Ancascocha Travel Guide
Before You Go, What You Should Know
Here are the top highlights that you’ll enjoy on the tour:
- See some of the best views you’ll ever see in the stunning Andean mountain range.
- Enjoy a trek through nature in peace and quiet.
- Visit ancient archaeological sites and learn more about the Incas.
- Witness different Andean flora and fauna along the way.
- See how the locals live in remote regions of the mountains.
- End your trek at one of the New Seven Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu
What to Expect on the Trail
When deciding whether to go on a trek or not, it helps to know what to expect. Below you’ll find a few aspects that you can look forward to to aid in making your final decision.
Peace and Quiet
As mentioned earlier, this trek is one of the lesser known, and therefore a quiet route to take. You can enjoy the peace of the Andean mountains with just the sounds of the wind and nature, without bumping into other trekkers all along the way.
This trek goes up to over 4,650 masl, so you’ll definitely need to take the right precautions. Spend at least 2 days in Cusco before you set off and take it easy along the trail. Not following this advice could mean you feel ill on the hike.
This trek offers some of the most beautiful scenery, including lakes, waterfalls, rivers, and the incredible rolling hills of the Andes. You need to remember your camera to get some great photos to remember your trip by.
To Learn a Lot
You’ll have a guide for a very small group on this trek, so you’ll be guaranteed to learn a lot from them about the surrounding areas wildlife, how the people live in the zone, as well as the history of the Incas.
The high altitude along with the change in elevation means that this trek is very challenging in parts. Many hikers look for this kind of adventure, so if you like to test yourself, this is a great option.
Go Back to Basics
You’re going to be heading out into the wild and rural Andes, so you can say goodbye to your commodities. Each night you’ll be camping along the trail with basic bathroom amenities.
Have a Great Time
Above all else, you can expect to have an excellent time during your trip. You’ll make new friends, see some amazing sights, and end up at the Inca fortress of Machu Picchu.
Where is Ancascocha?
The trek begins about 2 hours from Cusco in the Sacred Valley in a place called Socma. The community of Ancascocha itself sits at 3,700 masl. You’ll be heading up to 4, 650 masl maximum.
As with a lot of hikes in the mountains, this trek is on the difficult side of the scale as you head up to high altitude and experience changes in elevation. There are easier parts, especially the last day of walking, but we recommend you prepare well to make sure you enjoy the challenge to the maximum.
Here are some interesting facts about the trek.
- It’s far less popular than the Inca Trail and Salkantay Trek, but is just as stunning and offers some spectacular views.
- The highest point of the trek is the Huayanay Pass (4,650 masl / 15,255 fasl).
- The trek starts in the Sacred Valley from Socma at 3,205 masl.
- It’s one of National Geographic’s 20 dream hikes on their World Best Hikes list.
- The Ancascocha trek requires no special permits, so it’s always available.
- The overall distance of the 5 day trek is 56 km/34.8 miles.
Take a look at these tips to help you with your trek preparation.
- Arrive to Cusco a few days before your departure date to help you acclimate to the altitude.
- Go on plenty of hikes back home to get your body used to walking a lot. Weekends away trekking are a great idea to accustom yourself to a few days in a row of strenuous activity.
- Create an exercise routine to help build up your muscles for the walk.
- Consider walking poles to help you with the ascents and descents. They can be a great help for your knees and ankles.
- Stay hydrated along the route, as you can get very dehydrated at high altitude with the sun much closer.
- Take your time on the trek. There’s no need to rush and the altitude will tire you out quickly.
To make your trip as enjoyable as possible, take on board these recommendations to take away the stress.
Book in Advance
Even though this trip never sells out, it’s a good idea to book beforehand so that the tour operator can make sure they have guides available. You don’t want to turn up to book and find that you can’t go.
Check the Weather
You don’t often find a reliable weather report for Cusco as it can be unreliable, but you can make sure you come in your preferred season. From May to October is the dry season, but the nights can get very cold. November to April is rainy season, so you can expect the trail to be wet, but there are fewer visitors in this season so it’s nice and quiet.
Buy Travel Insurance
Health care in Cusco is very expensive if you have an accident or fall ill and don’t have insurance. You’ll also find that most agencies and operators won’t let you travel with them if you don’t have it.
Visit a Doctor
Before coming to Cusco, make sure you visit your doctor back home. This will ensure you get the right vaccinations. You can also ask if they are able to prescribe anything for you to take in case you feel the effects of the altitude
Use a Packing List
You’ll need to check out a packing list for treks in Cusco. This will make sure that you take everything you need for the trip but also use the space adequately. You usually only get a small weight/size limit allowed for bags, so you need to use the space wisely.
Stock up on Snacks
You’ll be given plenty of food along the way, but you might get hungry while you walk. This is why it’s best to take some extra snacks for yourself. This can include nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, and coca candies.