Cordillera Vilcanota

The Cordillera Vilcanota (Spanish cordillera: "mountain range", Aymara Willkan Uta or Willkanuta: "house of the sun")[1] is a mountain range located in Peru southeast of Cusco, on the boundary between the regions of Cusco and Puno.[2] It extends between 13°39' and 14°29'S and 70°31' and 71°20'W for about 80 km.[3] It includes 469 glaciers.[4]

Vilcanota mountain range
Cordillera Vilcanota panorama seen from the summit of Qampa I.
Highest point
Elevation6,384 m (20,945 ft)
Native nameWillkan Uta / Willkanuta
RegionCusco Region
Parent rangeAndes

To the east the rivers San Gabán and Azángaro are the natural boundary which separates it from the Carabaya range.[5] The La Raya range near the La Raya pass is sometimes included or listed separately.


Most of the names in the range originate from Quechua and Aymara. They used to be spelled according to a mainly Spanish-based orthography which is incompatible with the normalized spellings of these languages[citation needed] and Law 29735 which regulates the 'use, preservation, development, recovery, promotion and diffusion of the originary languages of Peru'. According to Article 20 of Decreto Supremo No 004-2016-MC (Supreme Decree) which approves the Regulations to Law 29735, published in the official newspaper El Peruano on July 22, 2016, adequate spellings of the toponyms in the normalized alphabets of the indigenous languages must progressively be proposed with the aim of standardizing the namings used by the IGN.[6] The IGN realizes the necessary changes in the official maps of Peru.[citation needed] These changes are part of a process to promote the indigenous languages and to reassert the rights of the indigenous peoples.[citation needed]

Hints to wrong spellings are terms containing hua and hui (instead of wa and wi), "e", "o", "ca", "cu", "qu" or diphthongs among others.[citation needed]


The highest mountain in the range is Ausangate which is also the fourth largest mountain in Peru. Other notable peaks including the Ayakachi group, the northern extension of the range, are listed below:[7][8][9][10][11]


Sibinacocha is the largest of about 22 lakes in the range[12] followed by Lake Singrenacocha northwest of it. Other notable lakes are Armaccocha, Jatun Pucacocha, Pucacocha and Huarurumicocha.


  1. Radio San Gabriel, "Instituto Radiofonico de Promoción Aymara" (IRPA) 1993, Republicado por Instituto de las Lenguas y Literaturas Andinas-Amazónicas (ILLLA-A) 2011, Transcripción del Vocabulario de la Lengua Aymara, P. Ludovico Bertonio 1612 (Spanish-Aymara-Aymara-Spanish dictionary)
  3. "Peruvian Cordilleras". USGS. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  4. "Sacred Land Film Project » Cordillera Vilcanota". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
  5. "Cordillera Vilcanota—1969". John Ricker. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  6. "Decreto Supremo que aprueba el Reglamento de la Ley N° 29735, Ley que regula el uso, preservación, desarrollo, recuperación, fomento y difusión de las lenguas originarias del Perú, Decreto Supremo N° 004-2016-MC". Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  7. Jill Neate, Mountaineering in the Andes, Peru
  8. John Biggar, The Andes - A Guide for Climbers
  9. Maps of the Eastern Andes of Peru containing four sketch maps of the Willkanuta mountain range
  10. - UGEL maps of the Quispicanchi Province (1 and 2) and of the Canchis Province (Cusco Region)
  11. SD19-05 Map of the area
  12. "Cordillera de Vilcanota". June 8, 2014.