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Safe Travels Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain , Epic  High Altitude Adventure 7 Days Secure Payment Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain , Epic  High Altitude Adventure 7 Days

Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain , Epic High Altitude Adventure 7 Days

OCT 2022 - DEC 2023 Price from $ 760 USD pp $ 800 USD
Trip Type Walking & Trekking
Difficulty Level Challenging/Tough
Group Size 2-8 people
BOOK NOW ONLINE Or call +51 981488207 Call us +51 981488207
Safe Travels Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain , Epic  High Altitude Adventure 7 Days Secure Payment Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain , Epic  High Altitude Adventure 7 Days Andean Great Treks Since 2007:
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Explore the Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountains 7 Days
ausangate trek 7 days by andean great treks

Trip Overview

The Ausangate trek is a “little” gem among the attractions of the Cusco region of Peru, is a challenging high altitude trek through 70 km of the Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range and features some of Peru’s most extraordinary scenery. Along the way, you’ll pass by small villages, glacial lakes, towering snow capped peaks,  and herds of alpacas.

The Ausangate Trek is an adventure of a life time. Through this Peru trek, you’ll ascend and descend through the mountain range, finding sweeping Andean vistas, thermal lakes, mystical glaciers, green mossy passes and enormous snowy mountains. Along the way, you’ll catch a glimpse of interesting wildlife, like condors, chinchillas and groups of vicunas. You’ll also come across hidden Andean villages richly embedded in centuries-old traditions.

Rainbow Mountain is a very popular destination. Here you can see these iconic mountains with rich mineralization bringing red, orange and yellow hues across a seemingly endless mountain expanse. It’s truly a sight to behold.

INCLUDED

INCLUDED IN THE AUSANGATE TREK TO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 7 DAYS

  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any questions
  • Collection from your Cusco hotel on the first morning
  • Private bus transport to start of the trek (day 1) and back to Cusco (day 5)
  • Personal porter to carry your overnight gear up to 8kg/17.6lbs
  • Dry bag in which to put your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty on the trail
  • 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable Mountain Hardwear Expedition tent)
  • One inch thick mattress pad
  • English speaking professional guide
  • Full meals on trek (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, and snacks on the trail)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse
  • Dining tent with tables and stools
  • Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Dietary needs: able to cater to any dietary preference/need
  • Toilet, toilet tent, and toilet paper
  • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment, and your duffel bags)
  • Hot water every morning and evening for hand washing purposes
  • Boiled water to fill your water bottle every morning and afternoon
  • Entrance to the Ausangate trail

NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL

  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after trek
  • Dinner on the last day (day 7)
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Entrance to hot springs
  • Travel interruption & travel medical/evacuation insurance (required)\
  • Items of a personal nature and souvenirs
  • Tip for your guide(s) and trek staff are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek

Trip Highlights

  • Off the beaten path, pristine wilderness, glacial mountains, turquoise lakes, Ausangate, Rainbow Mountain, Vinicunca.
  • Hike across remote Andean valleys and passes on the breathtaking Ausangate Trek
  • Enjoy the most beautiful rainbow mountains without crowds
  • Share unique experiences with the last descendants of the Incas, you will learn their ancestral rites and traditions, hold a ceremony to Mother Earth with the sacred coca leaves
  • Experience the best trek of the Andes, with fabulous views of the Apu Ausangate, red, turquoise and green lakes.
  • Taste the only typical dish of the Incas “Pachamanca”
  • Connect your body and mind with the best energy of the apus and sacred mountains of the Incas
  • Discover the ancestral paths of the Quechuas with our local guides.
  • Get to know the textile tradition of the Andes of Cusco, learn the process of dyeing, warping and making ponchos, chullos and sweaters with alpaca wool, where the Quechuas embody their sacred symbolism.
  • You will discover the true magical and sacred world of the Andean priests, who still practice their ceremonies of gratitude to their sacred mountains and Pachamama (mother earth).
  • Immerse your knowledge about the agriculture of the Incas, in these towns it is possible to see this activity, where they grow the most delicious and colorful potatoes in the world.

Activities

This is a moderate to challenging trek, not technical, with several high passes and below freezing nights. This beautiful 7 day package starts in the small Andean village of Tinqui and takes you around Ausangate mountain and over multiple high passes. It is essential to be properly acclimatized for this hike, spending at least two or three days in Cusco (or equivalent altitude) before starting. The campsites are at high elevations and therefore will be quite cold in the evenings.

Accommodations

High Mountain Camping Tents:
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.

Itinerary

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 4250 m
Hiking Distance 16 km
Approximate walking time 7 hrs

Early transfer from your hotel in Cusco with 6:00 am departure. We drive for 4 hours on a new highway to Tinqui, passing Urcos Pass (4,000 m/13,123 ft) along the way. Tinqui is a village on the high plains “altiplano” east from Cusco and is where we will start our trek. We follow a wide, gently ascending path toward the northwest face of the impressive Ausangate mountain. We will have a small lunch around noon by the side of the trail. We will continue walking through fields and by scattered stone farm houses, and later in the day we will begin to see llamas and alpacas. We ascend gently to the Upis pass (4,435 m/14,107 ft) and camp at Upis Hot Springs (4,250 m/13,779 ft) where we will be surrounded by snow capped mountains (Ausangate and Maria Huamantilla).There are thermal springs at Upis where we can enjoy a soak at the end of the day. Happy hour at 4:00pm and dinner at 6:00pm.

Accommodation

  • Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

Included Activities

  • Ausangate Trek – Visit the local market of Tinki, where you can observe the traditional trade of the Ocongate communities.
  • Ausangate Trek – Andean plains with beautiful postcards of Andean camelids and the majestic Apu Ausangate.
  • Ausangate Trek – A pleasant afternoon in the thermal baths of Upis

Meals Included

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information

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.

 

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 4800 m
Hiking Distance 12 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

After an early breakfast we begin our second day of the hike. You will hike very close to the Ausangate Glacier Peak and will have incredible views of this mountain as well as beautiful lakes and waterfalls. We may see some llamas, alpacas and wild vicuñas (the undomesticated ancestor of the alpaca) and perhaps a rare condor soaring above. We will have a 3-hour uphill hike to reach the first pass (4800m/15,748ft) where you will have magnificent views of the surrounding area. After taking a few amazing pictures we continue hiking gradually downhill for another 2 hours to our beautiful lunch spot. After lunch we hike for another 3 hours to arrive at our campsite at Puca Ccocha (Red Lake). This spot is one of the most beautiful campsites located at the skirt of the Ausangate peak and at the bank of the lake.

Accommodation

  • Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

Included Activities

  • Ausangate Trek – Andean plains with beautiful postcards of Andean camelids and the majestic Apu Ausangate.
  • Ausangate Trek – Camping next to the Pucacocha Lake, with a view of the Ausangate. If it is in the dry season, you can enjoy a sky full of stars and the Milky Way.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 5050 m
Hiking Distance 17 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

Wake up early with a hot cup of coca tea to start one of the most beautiful days of the trek, enjoying majestic views of some of the highest peaks in the Andes and depths of the beautiful valleys. This morning we will summit the Puca Pass. After an early breakfast we begin our 2-hour steep climb to the Puca Pass at (5050m/16,568ft). Along the way we have gorgeous views of turquoise lakes and the Ausangate glacier. Once you reach the summit of this mountain, you will be located right in front of the Ausangate Mountain and you can enjoy the views of Chillca Valley, with alpaca grazing along these hills. Also, from this pass you will see the beginning of the Rainbow Mountain range with their strikingly striated colors. After taking some great pictures we continue gradually downhill for another 2 hours until we reach our lunch spot located at Anantapata 4400m/14,435ft with amazing views of green hills and snow-capped peaks. After lunch and a little rest and relaxation, we will hike gradually uphill for 11⁄2 hours until we reach the the Warmisaya (aka Pitumarca) pass 5050m/16,568ft. After enjoying the views at the top we descend for 20 minutes to Yanacocha lake where we set up camp for the night. After dropping our bags we take our gradual 1 hour sunset hike to the Rainbow Mountain Pass and watch as the sun sets over the stunning Rainbow Valley. Once we have finished enjoying the view, we hike 45 minutes back down to camp at Yanacocha to have happy hour (tea and snacks) followed by a hearty dinner.

Accommodation

  • Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

Included Activities

  • Ausangate Trek – Fabulous views of the Ausangate Glacier, with the turquoise lagoons.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 5100 m
Hiking Distance 16 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

After a very early breakfast (5.00 am) we hike 1 hour up to the Rainbow Mountains (Vinicunca Mountains or Montañas de Colores) again to see the beautiful Rainbow Valley at sunrise! Enjoy the view for an hour without the crowds as we are one of the first groups to arrive. Your guide will walk you to the best spots to get the perfect postcard pictures of these incredible mountains and the other surrounding peaks. Your guide will explain what makes these mountains so unique: they are composed of various minerals, which make different colors of stone striations. This is definitely one of the most stunning places in South America and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Peru. There are Rainbow Mountains in only a few other locations in the world. After enjoying the sunrise view we hike downhill for approximately 3.5 hours until we reach Quesouno where we stop for lunch. After a hearty lunch and a well-deserved rest, we hike 2 hours uphill to Ausangatecocha (part of the Ausangate Trail). Along the way you will see beautiful mountain scenery, small streams, herds of llamas and alpacas and snow-capped peaks. At Ausangate cocha we camp by a beautiful dark blue/green lake for the night with views of the Ausangate Mountain.

Accommodation

  • Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

Included Activities

  • Ausangate Trek – Exploration of the Rainbow Mountain, we will be the first to enjoy this natural attraction, without crowds.
  • Ausangate Trek – Visiting the beautiful Red Valley

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 5350 m
Hiking Distance 16 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

After breakfast we begin a steep climb for 2-3 hours on glacial moraine to the Palomani Pass (5,350m/17,552ft). From the pass there are extensive views of all the peaks in the Cordillera Vilcanota. We then descend for 2 hours on a steep trail into the Huchuy Phinaya Valley where we will stop for lunch, surrounded by beautiful mountain views. From our lunch stop we will have a view of “Las Dos Gemelas” or the two twin mountains. After lunch we hike another 2 hours to our campsite, 45 minutes of which is a steep climb and the rest is a gradually uphill trail. Along the way you see streams and a small waterfall, chinchillas, llamas, alpacas, and snow-capped mountains (the three peaks). We camp tonight at Comercocha.

Accommodation

  • Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

Included Activities

  • Ausangate Trek – Guided walk through the impressive mountains of the Ausangate circuit, glacial lakes.
  • Ausangate Trek – Camping next to the Qomercocha, with a view of mountain “Las dos Gemelas”. If it is in the dry season, you can enjoy a sky full of stars and the Milky Way.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

 

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 5400 m
Hiking Distance 15 km
Approximate walking time 6 hrs

After some hot coca tea and a good breakfast we hike for 1 hour on a varied path through the Pampacancha Valley 4,300 m/14,107 ft where you will see wide open spaces and lots of llamas and alpacas. Once we pass through this valley we begin climbing up to the highest point of the trek, the Qampa Pass (5,400 m/17,716 ft) for 2 hours. At this pass we have incredible views of The Three Peaks, the Pacchanta Valley, and will hopefully get a glimpse of some wild vicuña and deer, and if we are really lucky, a condor. We then descend gradually through the Pacchanta Valley, walking between Ausangate Mountain and the Two Twin Mountains for 3 hours until we get to our campsite at Pacchanta (4200m/13,780ft). Along the way we see glacial moraines, beautiful lakes, and snow- capped peaks. This campsite is near the Pacchanta hot springs where you can take a well-deserved soak with stunning views of the Ausangate Mountain if you wish to (entrance fee – 10-20 soles).

Accommodation

  • Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

Included Activities

  • Ausangate Trek – Guided walk through the impressive mountains of the Ausangate circuit, glacial lakes.
  • Ausangate Trek – Pacchanta thermal baths, where after so many days of walking you can relax your body.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 3800 m
Hiking Distance 10 km
Approximate walking time 5 hrs

After a good breakfast we begin hiking on a wide dirt trail (village road) for 3-4 hours until we reach the small town of Tinqui (3600m/11,811ft). Along the way you will see a lot of local people, farms, farm animals and many children will come running up to greet you. Please do not give them sweets as they do not have access to dental care, but you are welcome to share other items with them (fruit, pencils, etc). At Tinqui we enjoy a nice lunch, after which we take our private transport back to your hotel in Cusco (arriving around 4pm) – about a 2.5 hour drive that provides nice views of the Andes, passing some traditional villages along the way.

Included Activities

  • Ausangate Trek – Visit to a typical peasant house, where they will teach you about their culture and traditions.
  • They will teach you their textile art, worship of the mountains, and how the famous ceremony of the offering to Pachama with Coca leaves is performed.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

PACKING LIST

YOU SHOULD BRING TO THE AUSANGATE TREK TO  RAINBOW MOUNTAIN   7 DAYS

When packing for your  Ausangate Trek to  Rainbow Mountain , you should keep in mind that it is best to dress in layers due to the weather variation. The variety of clothes that you must pack to dress in layers is key to your walk, from the morning when it is quite cold until mid afternoon when the temperatures rise and reach their peak and then freeze again at night. Stratification is also useful as you ascend high passages that are exposed to winds or descend into shady valleys.

Effective stratification only works if each layer allows moisture to pass and escape into the external environment. In fact, the best layered clothing, such as wool, promotes moisture transfer through its absorbent properties. Cotton and denim absorb moisture and, therefore, should be avoided.

AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS warm jackets
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Hydration bladder
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS wool socks
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS camera
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS scarf
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS first aid kit
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS hiking shoes
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Dry bags
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Trekking Poles
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS sun cream
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Snack
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS sun hat
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS bathing suite
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS rain coat
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Sandals
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS insect repellent
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Passport
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Down Jackets
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS toilet paper
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS daypack
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Wool cap
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS head lamp
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS gloves
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS sun glasses
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS cap
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS extra cash
AUSANGATE TREK & RAINBOW MOUNTAIN  7 DAYS Trekking pants

FAQ

ALL ABOUT THE AUSANGATE TREK  YOU NEED TO KNOW

The AUSANGATE TREK is an adventurous route offering stunning Andean vistas, hot springs, turquoise lakes, mystical glaciers, green mossy passes and enormous snowy mountains. Along the way, you’ll catch a glimpse of interesting wildlife, like condors, chinchillas , herds of llamas, alpacasand, and wild vicuña. You’ll also come across hidden picturesque Andean villages and traditionally dressed Quechua people,  richly embedded in centuries-old traditions. The highest point of the trek is 16,800 feet above sea level and the highest campsite elevation is at 15,255 feet.

A voyage to Ausangate mountain is one of natural beauty, living history and ancient spirituality. Considered challenging, this  trek is recommended for seasoned hikers only, who have experience hiking at high elevations. Ausangate is actually the 5th tallest mountain in Peru, standing at 20,945 feet above sea level

In this part Andean Great Treks has tried to answer the most frequent questions that our travelers have asked us about the Ausangate trek, if you do not find any question, let us know through our mail so that we can help you with pleasure.

WHERE IS LOCATED THE AUSANGATE TREK?

The Ausangate Mountain is a natural attraction that is located in the district of Ocongate, within the province of Quispicanchi, in the department of Cusco. That snow-capped mountain is part of the Cordillera de Vilcanota and, according to an ancient legend, it was the brother of the Salkantay snow-capped mountain.

The Ausangate Mountain, has a height of 6,384 meters above sea level; and is considered an apu, or protective deity of the peoples that surround it; as well as the most representative mountain in the region. Its size is such that it can be appreciated even if one is in the Sacsayhuamán Fortress, not in vain is it considered the fifth highest mountain found in Peru.

This beautiful snow-capped Cusco impresses the eye, due to its incredible natural formations; In it, there are not only beautiful water mirrors such as the Sivinicocha, with turquoise waters, but also stone forests, glaciers and high plains that seem to make this natural attraction a paradise on earth, especially for those tourists who are interested. for adventure sports since the geographical features of Ausangate make it ideal for practicing sports such as rock climbing, ice climbing, trekking, among other activities.

The Ausangate Mountain appears before our eyes as a mountain challenge; It is known that the first attempts to ascend it occurred in the early fifties of the last century, there were two frustrated first attempts to conquer the top of the mighty Apu, it was not until 1953, when a German expedition achieved the goal, climbing the mountain on its southern slope, in posterity, new routes were opened for the conquest of the Apu, however, only in 1983, thirty years after the first ascent, Peruvian feet crowned the top of the majestic snow-capped mountain.

At present, different companies have been promoting the Ausangate route as a trekking route, one of its purposes is that the expeditionists manage to surround the snow-capped mountain, although to date, few seasoned visitors have dared to follow it. Those who are interested in climbing this snowy mountain must know that they must have had enough time to practice before, since the Apu is not a snowy peak for beginners; so if you are an intermediate level mountaineer, it is recommended that you go in the company of a larger group of people experienced in the field.

HOW TO GET THE AUSANGATE MOUNTAIN

In order to reach this beautiful mountain, it is necessary, if one is in the city of Cusco, to go to Urcos, this first trip can be done by bus, and the duration of the journey to the place is one hour. Once in Urcos, continue to Ocongate and from here to Tinke, also by bus, spending three more hours on the way. Already in Tinke you have to pay for the right of entry, this has an approximate cost of ten soles, quite apart from the services of tour guides that are hired.

THE LEGEND OF THE AUSANGATE MOUNTAIN

The Inca tradition tells that Salkantay and Ausangate were two brothers who lived in Cusco. After a terrible time of drought, both ventured into strange lands to save the town from the crisis. Salkantay went north and found the jungle, and there, Veronica’s forbidden love; instead, Ausangate went south, to the highlands, and there he found a large amount of Andean food, such as camelid meat, corn, and potatoes, which he sent to the population.

The Chillca community, made up mostly of llama and alpaca farmers and herders, is known as the guardian of these beautiful landscapes. Every year on the slopes of the mountain the Qoyllur Ritti festival -“star snow” in Quechua- is celebrated before the Corpus Christi festival, during which thousands of people make a pilgrimage to the Sinakara temple where the painting of the Crucified Christ engraved on a rock. This pilgrimage has been named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2004.

WHAT IS THE ALTITUDE OF AUSANGATE TREK?

The Apu Ausangate is the fifth highest mountain in Peru at 6,384m, and is the highest of the 6 peaks that exceed 6,000m located in the Cordillera del Vilcanota in the Cusco region. The first ascent was made in 1953 and was led by the famous Austrian climber Heinrich Harrer, part of his first group conquered the north face of the Eiger, which was the story and script for the book/film “Seven Years in Tibet” (The renowned actor Brad Pitt was the protagonist of this film).

Ausangate is the most famous and well-known snow-capped peak in Cusco, the normal route to reach its summit is not very technical and difficult, but a lot of resistance and strength are needed to break the path with loose or accumulated snow to the summit stalls. Ausangate is the main Apu in Cusco and can be seen from many places in the city. It is rarely visited by tourists in this part of the region but is becoming popular as a destination to do the Circuit Trek around the snow capped in the dry season.

The altitude is insane. I’ll mention again that this trek never drops below 14,000 feet! Many of the passes are grueling and tower over 16,000 feet. The mountains are Apus, or Gods, to the Indigenous, so go in with the mindset of respecting them in this regard. By the way, the mighty mountain of Ausangate is a staggering 20,945 feet (6,384 m).

HOW IS THE LANDSCAPE IN THE AUSANGATE TREK CIRCUIT?

Ausangate is surrounded by extensive and luminous turquoise lakes such as Sibinacocha, as well as stone forests, glaciers and vast plains that impress with their magical landscape. Reaching the top of Ausangate involves a journey of 5 days and 4 nights along 70 km, which is why it is considered one of the most challenging trekking routes in the Andes. However, during the walk, the traveler witnesses incredible postcards: multicolored mountains, herds of alpacas and desert cliffs that together create an incredibly beautiful outdoor experience from start to finish.

The landscape is stunning. The imposing chain of mountains of the Cordillera de Vilcanota with its snow-covered peaks takes the breath away from those who dare to explore it.

There are more than 400 glaciers that extend between the Cusco and Puno regions. One of them is Ausangate, the guardian mountain of Cusco that gave its name to the regional conservation area created in December 2019, over an area of 66,514 hectares distributed between the provinces of Quispicanchi and Canchis, in the department of Cusco

ALTITUDE SICKNESS

Ausangate is not like some other high-altitude treks e.g. Everest Base Camp trek or Annapurna Circuit that start at lower elevations and gradually gain altitude. The entire route of the Ausangate trek goes over 4000m. Good acclimatization is the key here.

Altitude sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a health effect that can arise at high elevations. Minor symptoms include headache, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and dizziness. More progressed cases can result in vomiting, shortness of breath and high altitude cerebral edema, which is associated with lethargy, nausea and disorientation.

Altitude sickness occurs in 20 percent of people at 8,000 feet and 40 percent of people at 10,000 feet. For a hike like the Ausangate trek, it is highly likely that you will experience some form of altitude sickness, as elevations reach as high as 16,800 ft. For this reason, it is important to acclimate properly, take your time on the trail and take measures to combat symptoms.

The possibility of experiencing altitude sickness is one of the most common concerns for visitors to Rainbow Mountain. Altitude sickness is caused by a lack of oxygen at higher altitudes and can set in at altitudes above 2,500 meters (8,000 feet) above sea level, putting Rainbow Mountain’s altitude of 5,200 meters (17,060 feet) well above the minimum elevation where it can occur.

Many people arriving in Cusco by bus from Lima or the Amazon get altitude sickness. It is normal if you fly or go by bus from a low altitude to a location more than 3000m above it. Our body needs time to adjust to the decreasing amount of oxygen available due to the altitude, the higher you go the lower the air pressure and the less oxygen available to you.

Symptoms

There are three types of altitude sickness; Mild Altitude Sickness, HAPE and HACE – the last two are lethal. The Mild Sickness is the first stage that if you don’t take precautions, it can develop into one of the lethal types. Having Mild Altitude Sickness is similar to having a hangover; headache, nausea, fatigue. Many people feel it for the first couple of days in Cusco.

 

HOW TO AVOID THE SOROCHE WHILE HIKING THE AUSANGATE TREK?

How to prevent

  • First days in Cusco rest and sleep, don’t walk too much and don’t exercise.
  • Drink enough water. Locals in Peru and Bolivia drink a lot of “coca tea” a hot drink made with leaves – it’s considered to help acclimatization. An herbal remedy for altitude sickness used by local peoples for thousands of years.
  • Always take the time to acclimatize to the altitude for a day or two before attempting to hike Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain or completing any other strenuous physical activity.
  • You can take Diamox, this medication speeds up acclimatization, consult your doctor before taking it.
  • Avoid heavy meals, alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes.
  • Make sure to keep well-hydrated.
  • Don’t consume alcohol.
  • Don’t go any higher if you skip acclimatization at lower altitudes you won’t acclimatize if you go higher.
  • Try to sleep at lower altitudes – “climb high, sleep low”.
HOW IS THE VARIATION OF THE HEIGHTS IN THE AUSANGATE TREK?

As a foreground, the point from where this excursion will start is Cusco, which is located at an altitude of 3500 masl.

It is there where you will have to acclimatize before starting the Ausangate Trek, together with your friends and all the crew that will accompany you.

The first day you will start a trek from the towns of Pacchanta (3980 masl) towards the mythical mountains of Ausangate, so base camps are usually located at an average height of 4120 to 4350 masl.

On a normal day in the Ausangate Trek circuit you gain height from 800 to 1000 meters per day. The highest steps exceed 5,000 masl. With all this data, it is considered that the Ausangate route is to be well prepared and adapted to the climates and challenges of the Andes.

BEST TIME TO VISIT THE AUSANGATE TREK

Like most trek in the region, the best time to do the Ausangate trek is in the dry months between May and September. Unlike other popular treks, the Ausangate trek is very quiet, even in peak season.

In the shoulder months of April and October weather is still pleasant and the trek is very possible. However, because of its altitude you’ll have to contend with freezing nights, even in the dry season. Because of the altitude and snow, the trek is best avoided in the wetter colder season between November and February.

Temperatures during the day in the dry months are usually quite mild and visibility is very high. Because of the height you’ll want to make sure you are wearing layers, especially for the colder nights.

Because of its high altitude and frigid air, rainy season in the region often translates to snowfall for Rainbow Mountain. Visitors to Ausangate Trek and  Rainbow Mountain should come prepared with clothes for all weather, as conditions can also change quickly. For more information about when to visit, make sure to check out our blog on the best time to visit Peru.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE AUSANGATE TREK ?

The weather at Ausangate Trek and Rainbow Mountain is very unpredictable, changing frequently and quickly. You might see warm weather and sunny skies one minute and then cloudy skies and snowfall the next. The best idea is to make sure you’re prepared for all weather by dressing in layers.

In the Vilcanota Range, there is a dry season and a wet season. The dry season is between May and September, and is considered the best time to hike in the Andes. Keep in mind, however, that the dry season, containing Peru’s winter months, is also the colder time of year. The coldest months are May through July. Expect the days to be cool, no warmer than 40 degrees F, and the nights to drop to freezing temperatures as low as 10 degrees F.

The rainy season is between October and April. While the rainy season is warmer, it can still be cool at night. In fact, there can be heavy snow as well given the elevation. The rain and snow can cause muddy conditions on the trail and even partial closures. It is especially inclimate between January-March, with February bringing the most precipitation. The shoulder months of October and April bring more moderate weather with mixed rainy and dry days.

Dry Season – June to August

  • Daytime: 64℉ (18℃)
  • Nighttime: 28℉ (-2℃)

Should Season – April to May & September to October 

  • Daytime: 64℉ (18℃)
  • Nighttime: 35℉ (2℃)

Rainy Season – November to March

  • Daytime: 64℉ (18℃)

Nighttime: 39℉ (4℃)

GEOGRAPHY OF THE AUSANGATE TREK

The Ausangate Trek traces through high elevation landscapes ranging between 10,334 ft to as high as 16,800 ft above sea level. The land surrounding the mountain features Andean uplift, glacial valleys with hanging glaciers, Permian formations and cretaceous limestone forests. The trail takes hikers through landscapes bursting with glaciers, snow capped mountains, thermal lakes, high flatlands and lush green valleys.

AUSANGATE TREK OVERVIEW

Peru is famous for being home to many exhilarating treks. Though not as popular as some of the other trails accessible from Cusco, the Ausangate trek is just as worthwhile. In fact, being less crowded with tourists is part of its charm. It guarantees travelers who venture on this remote journey a more unique experience. While you won’t come across Incan ruins, it makes up for it with breathtaking natural scenery and spiritual significance. Spot spectacular snow-capped peaks, gorgeous lakes, and wonderful wildlife, including herds of llamas and alpacas. The centerpiece of the trek is the mighty Apu Ausangate, one of the tallest mountains in Peru.

The Ausangate Trek is a high altitude 70km hike in the Peruvian mountains near Cusco with an average altitude of over 4000m. Unlike most other hikes in the region Ausangate is not about Inca ruins, it’s all about beautiful scenery; snow peaks, glaciers, colorful mountain lakes, and the Rainbow mountain. If you like beautiful nature, going off the beaten track and hiking this trek is for you.

Ausangate is one of the most challenging hikes around Cusco but at the same time one of the most rewarding in sense of scenery. If you have any doubts about hiking Ausangate on your own read this article we hope it’ll help you decide whether to do an independent or guided trek. For more info on all our favorite hikes in Peru.

Basic Information

  • Length: 4-6 days
  • Distance: 43 miles (73 km)
  • Highest altitude: Palomani Pass – 17,000 ft (5,165 m)
  • Average altitude: 13,123 ft (4,000 m)
  • Elevation Gain: 9,406 ft (2,867 m)
  • Difficulty: Challenging
HOW MANY DAYS TAKES THE AUSANGATE TREK?

There are circuits from 3 to 7 days, which have different starting and ending points. It is advisable to do each circuit with a certified and highly experienced tour operator. The Ausangate Trek is a challenging high altitude trek through 70 km of the Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range and features some of Peru’s most extraordinary scenery. Ausangate is an off-the-beaten track hiking alternative with minimal foot traffic that allows you to carve into the mystical side of an ancient Andean world.

A voyage to Ausangate mountain is one of natural beauty, living history and ancient spirituality. Considered challenging, this trek is recommended for seasoned hikers only, who have experience hiking at high elevations. The route takes you through the Cordillera Vilcanota, or the Vilcanota Mountain Range. Ausangate is actually the 5th tallest mountain in Peru, standing at 20,945 feet above sea level.

Through  the Ausangate trek, you’ll ascend and descend through the mountain range, finding sweeping Andean vistas, thermal lakes, mystical glaciers, green mossy passes and enormous snowy mountains. Along the way, you’ll catch a glimpse of interesting wildlife, like condors, chinchillas and groups of vicunas. You’ll also come across hidden Andean villages richly embedded in centuries-old traditions. The highest point of the trek is 16,800 feet above sea level and the highest campsite elevation is at 15,255 feet.

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

BEST SEASON TO TRAVEL

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.

JANUARY
Warm - Heavy Rain 15 °C / 5 °C
FEBUARY
Warm - Heavy Rain 15 °C / 4 °C
MARCH
Warm - Light Rain 15 °C / 4 °C
APRIL
Hot - Warm 15 °C / 3 °C
MAY
Hot 14 °C / 0 °C
JUNE
Hot 20 °C / -5 °C
JULY
Hot 14 °C / -3 °C
AUGUST
Hot 14°C / -1 °C
SEPTEMBER
Hot 15 °C / 3 °C
OCTOBER
Hot - Warm 16 °C / 3 °C
NOVEMBER
Hot - Warm 16 °C / 4 °C
DECEMBER
Warm - Light Rain 16 °C / 5 °C

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

OCT 2022 - DEC 2023 Price from
$ 760 USD Per Person $ 800 USD
Note

To book this tour, a minimum of $ 100 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.

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What to expect from our

Treks in Peru

Nothing gets you closer to a country than walking through it, and we’ve got trips to suit walkers of all levels and interests.

How fit do I need to be?

 Andean Great Treks

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.

What will the group be like?

 Andean Great Treks

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.

Will I need to walk every day?

 Andean Great Treks

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.

What about the logistics?

 Andean Great Treks

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.

ANDEAN TREKS FAQS

HOW MANY DAYS OF ACCLIMATIZATION DO YOU RECOMMEND BEFORE STARTING A PROGRAM?

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.

WHAT ARE THE ALTITUDES IN THE CAMPING SITES ?

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.

HOW CAN ALTITUDE AFFECT ME?

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.

DO I HAVE TO CARRY MY OWN LUGGAGE?

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.

WHAT ARE THE SECURITY MEASURES IN THE TRAIL?

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.

 ANDEAN GREAT TREKS TOURS DIFFERENCE

ANDEAN GREAT TREKS TOURS DIFFERENCE

UNRIVALLED KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE

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.

AMAZING TOURS & AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES

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.

FLEXIBILITY & CHOICE

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.

GUIDED BY THE LOCAL GUIDES, TRUE EXPERTS!

GUIDED BY THE LOCAL GUIDES, TRUE EXPERTS!

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.

ALL OF OUR NATIONAL TOUR GUIDES…

  • Have at least five years guiding experience
  • Are fluent in English
  • Are born and raised in Cusco, Lima, Manu Jungle, Puno
  • Go through rigorous and ongoing training programmes
  • Are at your service 24 hours a day

OUR TRAVELS SHAPE YOURS

OUR TRAVELS SHAPE YOURS

“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.

MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES, REAL CONNECTIONS

MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES,  REAL CONNECTIONS

 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).

TRAVELLING THE RIGHT WAY

TRAVELLING THE RIGHT WAY

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.

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.

WE EXPLORE WITHOUT AFFECTING THE ECOSYSTEM

WE EXPLORE WITHOUT AFFECTING THE ECOSYSTEM

We want travel to change us, and not the World

‘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.

We want travel to change us, and not the World

‘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.

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