The Ausangate Trek is best suited for the more experienced traveler since it is the highest and toughest trek in the region. It is much more remote so there will be few, if any, other travelers on this path. Although the trek is tough, the views are worth it. You will have the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful scenery throughout this journey. The trek loops around the Ausangate mountain, the holy mountain, which has been a place of worship since pre-Inca times. The Incas believed that mountains were the connection to a higher realm and were known as Apu (mountain spirits). On clear nights, you will see how the Milky Way (Wilkamayu) lights the sky and creates a direct path to Ausangate. This trek is well worth the journey.
* Note: The altitude can be a problem for beginner hikers. It is recommended to spend at least three days prior in Cusco to adjust.
We will depart Cusco early morning (6:00 AM) via private transportation and will drive 3-4 hours to Upis. Your guide will give you a rundown of the trek and what to expect the next few days. On our way we will get a first glance of the Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range (including both Ausangate and Colque Cruz peaks). Once we get to Upis (4400m), we will trek for 3 hours just before reaching the Arapa Pass. We will then spend the night in Japata.
After breakfast, we will begin our trek at 7:30 am towards Kayrahuiri. This will take approximately 7 hours until reaching our campsite. We will be going through amazing landscapes and rock formations.
We will wake up at sunrise, eat breakfast and start our 1-2 hour hike to the Rainbow mountain (Vinicunca). This will be an uphill hike reaching approximately (5100m). This effort will be immediately rewarded once you see the amazing colours surrounded by snowy peaks. Then, we would head back to Cayrahuiri, eat lunch and then continue towards Pucacocha lake, our campsite.
We will ascend to the second pass of Apuchata (4900m) and Palomani pass (5200m) seeing the beauty of the turquoise lakes unfolding beneath us, as well as herds of alpacas and llamas. Once we reach the top of the pass, we will see beautiful views of the snow capped mountain range that make the long trek up well worth the effort. We may be able to spot some condors at the pass too. Then we will descend into the valley by following the Jampamayo River to the Village of Jampa where we will camp for the night.
This morning we will take it easy by following the valley along Lake Ticllacocha before we cross the Q’ampa pass (5000m). We will also pass by several beautifully colored lakes before hiking for a few hours to Comerococha where we will camp for the night.
We will make the short trek to Pacchanta, where we will enjoy a well-deserved time at the hot springs before our private transportation takes us back to Cusco.
May - Oct:
Clear, sunny and slightly warm during the day (15°C - 25 °C ). Temperature drops considerably at night (10 °C - 0 °C ). In Ausangate mountain, temperature can drop to -10°C.
Nov - Apr:
Heavy rain, snow, and thunderbolts at the peaks. The temperature during the day is between 10°C - 20°C, and at night can reach -15°C. Departures only available for November and April
* Please take note that the Andes weather is extremely unpredictable and we do see rare situations of getting storms in the middle of the season.
Once your payment is done, you spot will be automatically reserved. However, please keep in mind that we require at least three people for any departures to be confirmed. For more information please visit our Cancellation Policy
What others are saying about this trek:
"Ausangate is one of the top 10 hikes in the world"
Ausangate is the fifth biggest mountain in Peru, reaching an altitude of 6,384 meters and located 100 km southeast of Cusco city. It is part of the Andes mountain range, in the Vilcanota section. The Ausangate + Rainbow Mountain circuit covers 95 km of rock formations, beautiful large lagoons with a bright blue and green color and huge ice tongues.
We hike for various hours every day (5-8 hours), on 4 to 6 consecutive days, over rugged mountain terrain at high elevations (4500-5200 m.a.s.l.). The best training you can do is hike frequently at home, and at higher altitudes if possible. Perform challenging cardiovascular exercises, such as running or cycling, which will elevate your heart rate significantly and prepare you to deal with the stress of limited oxygen. It is highly recommended to always breath through your nose consistently, and drink plenty of water at all times. Before the trek, make sure you eat a lot of carbohydrates such as pasta, grains, bread, etc, which will provide you with energy for the hike. During the hike, if you are struggling with altitude sickness, we will provide you with our coca leaf tea. Avoid all toxic substances such as alcohol and tobacco the previous nights.
A Reputable Guide:
All of the guides at Runnatrip are English speaking (fluently, not casually) and are officially certified guides which is important because a lot of tour operators will use non-certified guides because it is cheaper. Our guides are experts in these treks and will make you feel both safe and welcomed. You have the option to meet your guide in our office prior to your trek so you can learn more about what you should expect on your journey. This is very much encouraged, but not required.
Transportation is included from your hotel to the start of trek and from the end of trek to plaza de armas. This is usually a private van. Treks that include Machu Picchu also include the cost of the train ticket into the ruins.
All entrance/trek fees are covered. You are good if you bring no cash at all. However, tip is always appreciated by the guides/porters.
Evacuation Plan & Safety:
There will be at least one horse just in case of accidents, so people can be evacuated fast. We will also have a first aid kit and oxygen tank with us as well.
All Food and Water:
The mules will be carrying all of the food we will need during the trek. The food is typical camping food like soup, noodles, chicken, beans, rice, fruits, tea and coffee. We will also boil clean water to drink each morning and evening, but be sure to bring your own container.
We will also be providing tents and sleeping mats, tables (varies between treks), chairs, and cooking equipment. Each night we will set up a community tent where we will have dinner and enjoy each other’s company before we head off to bed/go our separate ways for the night.
Porters/cookes/mules to carry the equipments and handle logistics. (depending on the trek, mules can carry up to 5kg of your personal stuff (your tent will already be carried)).
What to Bring:
Comfortable and moisture wicking clothing, hiking boots, sleeping bag, toilet paper, trekking poles, lightweight sandals (to hang around campsite), bottle/container for water.
What Not to Bring:
Jeans, heavy books, laptop, knives, drugs, alcohol, and babies.