Portrait of the Ausangate Trek

Ausangate Trek 4 days & Rainbow Mountain/Red Valley

   Cusco, Peru
   Moderate Challenging
   3500 to 5200 meters

About the Journey:

The Ausangate Trek is best suited for the more experienced traveler since it is the highest and one of the 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.


Day 1: Cusco - Sayllacancha - Quinsachacapata   +

3km, 2h

We will depart Cusco early morning (7:00 AM) via private transportation and drive 3.5 hours to Sayllacancha (4100m). Once we arrive, the horsemen and cook will be waiting for us. We will load the gear onto the horses and start walking for 3 hours to the town of Quinsachacapata (4200m). On our way we will get a first glance of the Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range (including both Ausangate and Colque Cruz peaks). Today is all about getting used to the altitude.
Day 2: Quinsachacapata - Machuracay - Ausangatecocha   +

13km, 7h

After breakfast, we will start climbing to Machuracay. On the way, we'll pass through some of the most spectacular views including the Yawarcocha Lake (a pink lake). We'll stop in Machurachay for a well deserved lunch before continuing our way uphill. After an hour or two we'll reach Palomani, the highest point of our trek at 5200m. We then go downhill for the next 2 hours to our campsite at Ausangatecocha.
Day 3: Ausangatecocha - Ananta - Surini   +

14km, 8h

Today the trail will involve going upwards and downwards constantly, though, it will not be as steep as on day 2. In morning, we'll start walking for 5 hours before lunch at Ananta. We then continue for 3 hours to Surini where we will set up our campsite. In Surini, we'll be 2 hours away from Rainbow Mountain
Day 4: Surini - Rainbow Mountain - Red Valley - Cusco   +

4km, 4h

We'll wake up early in the morning and have breakfast before starting to walk towards Rainbow Mountain. After 2 hours we'll reach Rainbow Mountain. We'll arrive before the crowds so we can take pictures and enjoy the views without the hassle. Afterwards, we continue our way to the Red Valley and stop for lunch. Then, we descend down to our car and return to Cusco

What's included:   +

  • English speaking professional guide with many years guiding in the Ausangate region. Wilderness First-Aid certified
  • Brief session before the trek
  • Private transportation to the start of the trek and back to Cusco
  • Entrance and camping fees
  • First-aid kit, oxygen tank and horse 'ambulance'
  • 4 person, 4 season tent for every two persons
  • Inflatable pad & pillow
  • Toilet tent
  • Dinning tent with tables & chairs
  • All meals
  • Boiled water to fill your water container
  • Cook, horsemen and horses (can carry up to 5kg of your personal stuff, apart from sleeping bag)

What's not included:   +

  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last day
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking poles
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (highly appreciated)

Weather:   +

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.

Packing List:   +

In the Ausangate region, we are over 4000 meters above sea level. This means heavy sunlight during the day (except for rain season during Nov - Apr), strong winds and freezing cold during nighttime. While walking, it will be hot under sunlight but cold under shades or winds, so you need a combination of layers to tackle the weather. During the months of November to April, there will be heavy rainfall and snowfall. This list will help you tackle the weather in Ausangate.


  • Sleeping bag (rated -10°C)
  • Trekking poles
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Daypack to carry your stuff while walking
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Thin and thick socks
  • Hiking pants (at least 2 pairs in case one gets wet)
  • Shirts (at least 5-6, preferable polyester or merino)
  • Underwear (at least 6)
  • Rain Jacket
  • Fleece/mid layer
  • Down/warm jacket
  • Gloves
  • Headlight (there won’t be lights at night time)
  • Water container/bladder
  • Passport


  • Small shoes to hang around campsites
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Lip balm
  • Camera
  • Swimsuit (for hotsprings)
  • Toiletries
  • First-aid kit (though the guide carries a professional kit, having a personal kit is always recommended)
  • Personal medications
  • Hand sanitizer (even though we will bring one)
  • Wipes

Only take a daypack with the things needed. In high altitude, you will not breath as well so every extra gram makes it harder. Your camera, water, hand sanitizer, and layers. Every night, the guide will give an introduction of the next day and explain the appropriate equipment needed.

Reservations:   +

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"

Rick from Besthike
"The Ausangate Circuit is one of the most beautiful treks in Perú and yet, the trails are practically devoid of people"

Jen from Long Haul Trekkers

More Information:   +

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.

Fitness Preparation:   +

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.

Open Departures

September 19th 2019

6 days 5 nights (with Rainbow Mountain)

$780 (min. 2)
7 spots left


October 13th 2019

6 days 5 nights (with Rainbow Mountain)

$780 (min. 2)
7 spots left