The Ausangate Trek + Short Inca Trail is one of the most spectacular circuits, due to its scenic beauty. This tour is located in Cusco, one of the most visited cities in South America.
The Ausangate trekking circuit is rarely visited, but it is worth doing it since you will be rewarded by the great diversity of snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes of blue, green, turquoise colors. Towns full of ancient culture, with a profound wisdom of the Andean religion inherited from the Incas.
You can also enjoy an incomparable sunrise in the Vinicunca mountain of colors, surrounded by the largest Apus or sacred mountains for the Andean peoples.
And to continue our journey, you will explore the route of the short Inca trail to the citadel of Machu Picchu; This trail is very special due to its most famous archaeological attractions, such as the royal palace of Wiñaywaya, a place where the most powerful families of the Inca empire spent their days, within the exuberant cloud forest, with a view of the Veronica mountain and the great vilcanota river. Finally, to complete this great trip, you will visit the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu, where you will be able to explore the greatest wonders of engineering and architecture left by the splendid culture of the Incas.
This trip is rated as Vigorous . Trip members need to be strong, experienced hikers in excellent physical condition. Most days are spent at high altitude (7,000′-17,000’). For the trekking portion, we will remain at elevations between 14,000′-16,986′ and sleeping as high as 15,797′. Most days we hike 5–7.5 miles with average elevation gains of 1500′ and elevation losses of up to 3000′, some of which are quite steep. Upon arrival in Peru, you should be capable of hiking up to 8 miles, averaging 2 miles per hour, without major discomfort over terrain with some steep grades for multiple days in succession. To help combat the effects of altitude, incorporate hills and stairs into your training.
High Mountain Camping Tents (3 nights):
On our Ausangate trekking adventures, we use the best outdoor trekking gear. Our camping tents have the best technology to withstand the harshest climates in the Andes. They are Tents that have a capacity for three people, but are only used by 2 people. For your comfort, an inflatable mattress and additional blankets are provided to insulate you from the cold. Because it is always different to experience the true spirit of Trekking, our company maintains that idea of not using Lodges or huts as other companies do.
RETAMA MACHU PICCHU (1 night):
The Hotel Hotel Retama Machupicchu is located, 700 meters from the hot springs of Machu Picchu, it is the most beautiful and quiet area of the town, in the Wiñaywayna Park located three blocks from the Peru Rail station, overlooking the river and the moutains; It offers free WiFi and a tour desk. The accommodation offers luggage storage and a currency exchange service. Room service, 45-inch plasma AOC TV, 24-hour hot water, Hair dryer, Towels for thermal baths, Buffet breakfast.
The pick-up will be from your hotel at 5:45 am, then we leave Cusco around 6:00 am for our private transport, in the direction of Urcos, Ocongate and then to the town of Tinki, where we start the Ausangate Trek. Our chef will prepare a succulent Andean breakfast. Then we hike to the base of the impressive Ausangate Mountain. This day we will pass through the local villages of indigenous communities, who speak Quechuam, and are dedicated to grazing llamas, alpacas, until reaching the small settlement of Upis, this site is well known for its sources of thermal baths you can take a dip, The cost is (10 soles). Today we will spend the night here and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the picturesque backdrop of the mountain while the sun sets in the mountains. So here we will have lunch and dinner with a spectacular sky full of stars and the fabulous milky way. The nights are very cold, wear warm clothes.
This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health.
Today we will get up at 5:30 am, then we will have the super nutritious breakfast since the day will be very hard due to the ascent to the Arapa Pass (4950 m), from where you can see the mountain chains of the Vilcanota mountain range, whose highest point is the Ausangate (6384 m), then we will have a slight descent to our place for lunch. After lunch we continue towards Lake Pucacocha, a deep turquoise lake and a perfect stop for a rest. On the way you will see local shepherds and llamas, and your expert guide will explain the history of the locals and the landscape in the Ausangate Trek. Our camp tonight is located just below the imposing Ausangate Mountain. You will enjoy a true outdoor adventure experience, surrounded by mountains and fresh air. Your evening will be enjoyed with dinner in our cozy dining tents, here you will be surrounded by views of the Ausangate mountain and its very impressive glaciers.
There’s nothing better for your body than waking up to a hot herbal tea of coca leaves. Get up early to start one of the most beautiful days of the entire excursion. Be amazed by the stunning views of the snow-capped mountains and deep green valleys. After a hearty breakfast, we will go up to Abra Puca. Feel the impressive presence of the Apu Ausangate and take photos of its beautiful turquoise lagoons. Once you reach the top, you’ll feel that you have the giant face of the Apu Ausangate right in front of you. In addition, you’ll be able to observe the extended beauty of the Chilca Valley where llamas and alpacas will be passing quietly. From this open you can already see the beginning of the Rainbow Mountain range with its striking stripes of colors.
After taking some photos we continue with a gradual descent for 2 hours to our lunch point located in Anantapata (4,400 masl / 14,435 fasl). Once we have filled our stomachs, we’ll take the opportunity to rest and relax before continuing with an ascent to the Warmisaya or Pitumarca pass (5,050 masl / 16,568 fasl). From there you’ll feel like you are a bird and you’ll observe the vastness of the horizon. We only have to descend for 20 minutes to the Yanacocha lagoon where the camp will be waiting for you. Before stopping, we’ll continue our 1 hour walk to the Rainbow Mountain pass to see the majestic sunset show over the Rainbow Valley. Once we have rejoiced in the sunset, we’ll return to the camp in 45 minutes to enjoy happy hour (drinks and snacks) and then a dinner that will surprise you.
After a tasty breakfast at 5:00 am we will return to the Rainbow Mountain to contemplate this colourful valley lit by the lights of dawn. You’ll have time to enjoy this paradise for 1 hour before the tourist crowd begins to arrive. Our expert guide will take you directly to the key places so you can get the best pictures.
Your guide will explain in detail why this mountain has such unique colours. It’s one of the most amazing places in South America and one of the main natural attractions in Peru. The only other coloured mountains can be found in China.
After enjoying this gem from the Peruvian Andes, we’ll begin our trek towards the spectacular Red Valley. A place that seems to be taken from another planet and that’s visited by very few tourists. You’ll be surprised not only by its amazing beauty but also by the immense tranquillity that’ll surround you. Breathe and feel the joy of being alive. It only takes 30 minutes of walking to reach the viewpoint from where you will get the best views of the valley.
Finally, we’ll make a 1-hour descent between ancient Andean communities and herds of llamas. After the delicious final lunch, a bus will wait for you that will take you back to the doors of your hotel in the city of Cusco.
We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4:00 am, in our private transport, then we descend to the Ollantaytambo station, this first stretch lasts 2 hours. Then we will travel by train, our train leaves at 6:40 in the morning. We will travel to the side of the Vilcanota River until km 104 to begin our short inca trail hike. At 8:00 am we will start the trek the first archeological site to visit is Chachabamba (2270 meters). We continue our ascent to Wiñayhuayna, during the journey you will have beautiful views of the Urubamba River. We can observe different species of orchids. After 2 hours, you will reach the ruins of WIÑAYHUAYNA (2,650 meters), this fabulous archaeological site is located on a rocky promontory that dominates the Urubamba Valley and is dominated by a large set of terraces, this place was built by Pachaquteq, the emperor most powerful of the Incas empire. After eating our box lunch, we continue with the walk to Sun gate, where it will arrive at 2:00 pm. From this place we have the first view of Machu Picchu, also you can enjoy an exceptional sunset. Then we descend to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu (2400 meters), where we can only take some panoramic views, in the afternoon we will go down by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, so we will end the first day of the short inca trail hike, in a confortable Hotel.
This day the tour in Machu Picchu will take place early in the morning, after getting ready at the hotel, we will take the bus at 5:30 am. After a trip along the road surrounded by vegetation and impressive views of the Putukusi mountain, we will arrive at the access point for the sacred sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
First, before passing the control, those who wish to use the toilets will be able to do so. Since there are no bathrooms inside Machu Picchu, if you are going to go outside once inside, unfortunately you will not be able to re-enter.
Our visit to the wonder of Machu Picchu will be through circuit number 2, since it is one of the most complete. On this tour you will be able to go up to the famous guardian’s house from where the postcard photo of Machu Picchu will be taken, then you will pass through the main gate, the ceremonial plaza, the Inca’s house, the ceremonial fountains, you will see the temple of the sun, but not up close; You can also access the pyramid where the sundial is located.
Continuing with the circuit you will arrive at the sector of the sacred rock, and finally you will visit the urban area where the royal houses of the Inca nobles were, and also the room of mirrors. After 3 hours of travel we will retire with our guide, and once outside you can have a drink or food. Because inside the complex is prohibited.
Then you can take the bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will have enough time to have your lunch. At 2:30 p.m. it will be the time of the return train to the Ollantaytambo station, where your return transportation to Cusco awaits you, arriving at approximately 7:00 p.m.
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The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.
To book this tour, a minimum of $ 200 USD per person is required, the remaining balance will be paid upon arrival in Peru, at the Cusco office.
Any other additional information, please coordinate with your travel agent.
All our Walking trips are graded from ‘Easy’ through to ‘Challenging to Tough’. On our online trip itineraries you’ll find a chart showing the daily walk distances, timings and information on the route including the terrain, altitude. Generally, no specific training is needed but you might feel more comfortable if you’ve got out walking a few times in the lead-up to your trip.
As with all our trips, every group is different but the ‘average’ group consists of roughly half couples and half solo travellers – all sharing a passion for exploring the world on foot. You’ll always have someone to keep you company along the route, but you don’t always have to walk together. Wherever possible your Andean Great Treks leader will allow everyone to walk at their own pace, regrouping regularly along the route.
Mostly of our hikes in the mountains in Peru and Cusco like the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Ausangate Trek, Lares Trek, Ancascocha Trek, Salkantay Trek , involves an average of walking hours of 7-8 hours per day, this timing includes stops for taking photos, lunch, breaks for recovery the energy, and the most important we adapt to your walking pace. This relaxed style of trip involves to know all the attractions in greater depth.
On nearly all our Walking trips, porters or mules will carry all the camping equimpent, so your main luggage will be transported for you. We recommend walk with a light rucksack, you will carry water, snacks, a camera, a small first aid kit and any extra clothing or sun protection. On more remote or challenging treks, additional guides are there to assist the leader tour guide and provide support to the group.
The acclimatization period is very important for our travelers to enjoy the experience. We suggest a minimum of 3 or 4 days of the previous stay in Cusco city, the Sacred Valley of the Incas or Machu Picchu. We recommend you check the acclimation programs we have prepared for you on our website.
The average height of our camps in the trekking circuits is 3,500 masl. In fact, one of the circuits where you sleep at the highest altitude is the Ausangate Trek, where you will have days to set up the tents at a height of 4,300 meters. Remember that Peru has snowy peaks that reach up to 6,700 masl.
From 3,000 meters above sea level, the symptoms of “altitude sickness” vary according to each person, and may even not occur. However, among the most common are a headache, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite and insomnia. Therefore, upon arriving in the city of Cusco, located at 3,400 meters above sea level, we recommend our travelers to take a good rest, drink plenty of water, eat light meals and take slower walking. Also, it is necessary to avoid alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. The symptoms can be alleviated with high mountain medicines such as DIAMOX or similar products, but we suggest you consult with your doctor before the trip.
While on the trail, hikers will need to carry a daypack (camera equipment, water bottle, extra layers, rain gear, and other accessories you might need on the trail.) Horses and llamas will carry your duffle bag to the next camping site.
The company makes the greatest efforts to provide a safe and unforgettable experience, for this reason, the trekking guides are constantly communicated with the central office through satellite phones, ensuring the welfare of each passenger. Our guides are trained in rescue techniques and first aid in emergency outdoor, these courses are developed annually and have the standards of the wilderness first respond. At all times we have oxygen and first aid equipment. In case of any eventuality a medical director will answer our questions 24 hours a day. In addition to the animals who carry the luggage we have horses to help walkers tired or eager to ride. We recommend getting a travel insurance.
Every Andean Great Treks holiday has been thoughtfully planned and crafted by our specialists. They draw on their own extensive travel experience and the guidance and expertise of our local partners to create superb holidays. Our specialists are committed to making every aspect smooth and enjoyable; they genuinely want to ensure that the holidays they create leave you with wonderful lasting memories.
Every Andean Great Treks traveller is accompanied by an experienced tour guide, you will be immersed in Historic cities, ancient ruins and unfamiliar landscapes are all brought to life by our carefully selected local guides. They want to share their expertise and help you make your own discoveries too; their sole mission is to ensure you enjoy every moment.
Giving you the freedom to make your holiday even more memorable. We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday and we pride ourselves on the choice and flexibility that we offer to enhance every aspect of your experience. Whether it’s getting to the airport, upgrading your room or booking an additional excursion, we can help.
Our guides are the stars of the show; it is their unrivalled knowledge, passion and expertise that will transform your tour experience from good to truly extraordinary!
Because the have grown up in the area and know it like the back of their hand, so they can help you experience whichever aspects most interest you. They’re passionate about sharing their corner of the world with you, and as you explore together, they’ll open your eyes to the intricate details, provide background to enhance your understanding of what you’re seeing, and share stories that will bring everything to life.
“Your inspiration for a trip can be a single word or a highly evolved outline, but it’s the conversations we have that help us understand the experience you’re looking for. Meanwhile, I’m looking back on the time I spent at the destination.
‘The great thing about working with a specialist at Andean Great Treks is how they take your complete jumble of ideas and turn them into something absolutely spectacular.’
As you begin to share your ideas with your specialist, it will connect them immediately back to a time in their own travels. Conjuring a picture of the rest time they made that same discovery, reminding them how it felt.
Your specialist understands that, when the journey is right, it has the power to excite your emotions in the most profound ways after all, that was the effect on them.
They carry a treasure box of moments, captured over many journeys, into every suggestion they’ll share with you, as they ask you how you want to feel on your trip.
EXPERIENCES THAT CALL TO YOU
It’s what you do in a destination that helps bring it to life. It’s why we strive to choose experiences that help you connect to a place, absorbing a little of its complex character. Wherever your passions lie, we’ll recommend experiences that speak to you, and we’ll recommend the guide or local expert who’s most qualified to help you explore. Packing your holiday full of special experiences means some early starts and long days, but you can be sure that you’ll return home with many incredible memories! Read our Tours and check the Physical Ratings to see if the pace and activity levels are right for you.
STAYS WITH DIFFERENCE
We know that where you stay is a cherished part of your travels. So, we go to great lengths to find places to stay that exceed expectations, or go above and beyond the ordinary, whether in their character, hospitality, or location. Over the years, we’ve discovered the very best properties, trying and testing them, so we can choose the right one for you. We’ve nourished long-standing relationships with these establishments and the people who founded them, and we’ve stayed there many times often, we’ll even know which rooms have the best views (and reserve them for you).
Our style of travel — authentic, thoughtful, and focused on building meaningful connections to the people and places you visit — is inherently respectful and considerate of the destinations we love. We design each aspect of your trip exactly as you want it, which includes its sustainability. That might mean choosing a train journey instead of a flight, staying at eco-friendly wildlife lodges, or opting for experiences that give back to the communities you’re visiting. The choice is yours.
Responsible travel has always been at the heart of what we do. First and foremost, because it gives you the best experience, but, also because it helps to preserve the communities and landscapes you visit. This isn’t new for us we collaborated with local communities and outside experts so we can grow to be better ambassadors.
The most authentic and interesting experiences often directly benefit the local people. We prefer to buy local products that are produced in the organic farms of the Sacred Valley, we also have alliances with local artisan organizations who provide us with souvenir items for our clients, your money directly benefits the local economy.
‘There’s a saying: we don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. When we show you our country, this philosophy guides everything we do. It’s our responsibility to preserve the environment and wildlife, and support communities. That means using slower modes of transport, like cycling, employing local people, and working with communities who’ll benefit directly from your visit. This also gives you the best, most authentic impression of the places we want to share with you.
We prefer to buy local products in ecological bags, to avoid the use of plastic bags, likewise we teach the use of soaps and ecological products in each tour that we organize. We also work on reforestation projects with local communities who take care of landscape resources such as communal reserves, national parks.
Short Inca Trail & Yanacocha Lake tour you will enjoy the most beautiful landscapes of the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco.
The Ausangate Trek is one of the hiking circuits, most incredible for the beauty of its landscapes, in this mountain adventure you will enjoy unique scenarios, such as lakes of different colors (blue, green, turquoise, red), the mythical mountain of rainbows and ancient Andean cultures, who are the true heirs of the Incas, many still celebrate their ancestral rites.
Salkantay Trek and the Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu, you will enjoy the impressive landscape,with an incomparable variety of flora and fauna,snowy peaks,bird watching.