Anyone can do Machu Picchu, thousands do it daily, but the Cordillera Blanca offers the balance of being among the few who get close to Peru’s most exquisite and highest peaks. The combined experiences are a nourishing sampler of Peru’s most spectacular places. There are more in Peru and Tusker is exploring them for future trips
.Taking the Option
To go all the way to Peru and not see Machu Picchu would be doing yourself a disservice even if the crossroads of the Inca empire is not on your bucket list. Peru’s government has agreed to start limiting visitation to Machu Picchu by 2020 bowing to UNESCO pressure to protect the park. New traffic patterns and rules are being instituted so sooner rather than later may be the way to see Machu Picchu. While Machu Picchu is not a pristine untouristed area unlike Tusker’s original destinations, it is a good compliment to the rugged and demanding Cordillera Blanca.
“In the Cordillera we have a mind boggling trek and camp out where you don’t see anybody but for the lakes early on the trip. Then on the option we go to Cusco to see the amazing archeological sites there eat great food and cap it with Machu Picchu. That’s great variety,” said Andrew Springsteel, Tusker’s South American guide.
For 2017, the 15 day Cordillera Blanca trek is slated for June 3-17 with the seven day Machu Picchu extension directly following. This will be the second year Tusker is offering the trip and a new Peruvian itinerary is in the works that will be an addition to the current Peru portfolio.
Peru Exploratory: The Rainbow Rush
In its unflagging effort to push the adventure travel envelope, Tusker is seeking a new Peruvian trek for its most hardcore. Andrew will embark on an exploratory this summer in the Ausangate, a region of high peaks in the Cordillera Vilcanota, 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco. This range is not part of the Inca trail and its trail system is at higher elevations.
The wildly colorful purple and yellow sandstone mountains in the Vinicunca area have been likened to a striated rainbow at the trek’s end and Andrew is eager to offer a trip there if the exploratory goes well. “The first night we camp over 13,400 feet and in the five day trek we go over three 16,000 foot passes. On the last day we walk down to the waiting vehicles and drive to kilometer 104 that will allow passing through the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu late in the afternoon when the crowds have gone,” Andrew said.
“A lot of our clients want to do Machu Picchu, but they want more than just a trek extension.”
If the exploratory goes well, the Ausangate trek could show up on the Tusker travel itinerary in late summer 2017. Look for it.