Qomercocha, the Green Lake, is one of the bodies of water found at the feet of Mount Ausangate. On the road from the small village of Tinke the experience becomes even more meaningful. The geography stands out; the snow-clad peaks are imposing. The road always shows you something new.
If your trip begins in the city of Cusco, you grab a bus that goes to the town of Ocongate. Its stop is at the Closed Colliseum the Coliseo Cerrado, and it takes you to Tinke village at a cost of 20/S. The journey takes 3 and a half hours. From there you take one of the motorcycle taxis to the community of Pacchanta. They charge 10/S to transport you. You can also find cars that will take you. It takes about half an hour in a car or motorcycle to get there. From Pacchanta, you walk.
Of course you can take a break in pacchanta to pause, rest, and relax in the good pools with hot spring water that comes from deep inside the earth. From there all the landscape looks alive and fresh. The people of the community wear traditional dress. Girls and women put on sandals, a pollera dress (a wide, pleated traditional skirt), colorful traditional hats called monteras (a traditional hat) while the men and boys wear sandal and hats. They keep themselves warm with modern jackets and brightly colored sweaters. Their houses are made from adobe and the majority have two floors with tile roofs. The community is where you buy food and water for your trek. You can also rent rooms should you decide to stay the night.
On leaving Pacchanta you climb for two and a half hours along a road that is marked with stones. Along the way you see magnificent scenery of the high Andes. The few homes along the way are built from stone and mud with straw roofs, fromt eh same strong grass that dresses the hills. Their corrals have stone walls and they raise alpacas, llamas, sheep, and pigs. The way goes through a small valley where streams threaten their banks. Around them you can appreciate a diversity of Andean birds, such as huallata (native geese), colorful gorriones, and small birds that are well camouflaged in the tall grass and rocks.
Continuing upwards you arrive at the first lake, Pucacocha, which means Red Lake. From there you see the cold wind dance through the mountains. Everything seems calm. This is the route muleteers take with their animals burdened with tents and food. After them, tourists with walking sticks and cameras come, following their steps.
You are overwhelmed with natural sounds. The wind whistles through the grass. The birds’ song is clearer and you hear the sounds of the streams along the way. Fifteen minutes more of hiking and you reach Qomercocha, the Green Lake. From there you see and feel the white mountains close by. Mount Ausangate, we call him Apu, looks steep and is covered with snow. At his feet viscachas seek refuge. When we arrived, the viscachas ran uphill to hide on seeing us. Well hidden, they watched us. On the shores of the lake you could see movements, the water, the fish, the ducks, and the wind made magic in Qomercocha.
It is spectacular to be there and to await sunset feeling and seeing all that nature has painted with the colors of the sky.