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5 days

Revered as one of the most sacred mountains of the Vilcanota Mountain Range, Apu Ausangate is the 5th-highest snow-capped peak in Peru. An Apu, or Mountain Deity, is the spiritual entity of the mountain, believed to watch over the communities of people and animals living in its vicinity. On the Ausangate trek, you will traverse remote and vibrant country that is home to one of the few remaining pastoralist societies in the world: high mountain herds-people living at these heights trade their meat and fiber with the lower-lying communities that produce agricultural products, using some of the very same trails we’ll be hiking. On the journey, you’ll see domestic camelids grazing in the fields, including llamas and alpacas, and if we are lucky, we’ll get a glimpse of their predecessors, fleet, golden vicuñas that produce the most expensive fleece in the world! Also, on the Ausangate trek, meet some of the entrancing and hardy people that live in these remote environs. Bird enthusiasts will enjoy sightings of raptors, including eagles, hawks, and condors soaring the thermals far above. On this journey you will marvel at brilliantly colored landscapes, turquoise high mountain lagoons, imposing white glaciers, rolling farmlands, and ice dunes, all part of the majestic Vilcanota Mountain range. You’ll be amazed at the rainbow of sediment striations that sparkle with diverse colors on Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain. Join us on the Ausangate trek and discover the magic of this remote high mountain region, breathing the rarefied air of some of the most beautiful hiking terrain in all of Peru. NOTE: Two days at least are necessary to acclimatize in the Cusco area before starting this trek.

5 day ausangate trek

During the 5 day Ausangate trek, you’ll explore the terrain of the revered Mt. Ausangate, including glacial lakes, rolling farmlands, and herding communities, ending with Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain.

seasonMarch - December
group departuresEvery first or third Friday
mininum: 2 passengers
maximum: 12 passengers
shared plan
private plan
shared plan:You will travel with other adventurers heading to the same destination.

From Cusco, we will drive to Ocongate and then take a side road to Yanama, a picturesque village perched on the canyon’s edge. From there, we’ll drive about 15 km (9.3 mi) to Cojahuri, where the trail begins (total 4-hour drive). Now we’ll have 2 hours of easy hiking, starting at 4180 masl (13,713 fasl) before arriving at Ranrapata Camp at 4315 masl (14,157 fasl). The camp is a large esplanade spread out just below the northeast flank of snowy Ausangate. Enjoy the beautiful sunset after walking 6.5 km (4 mi), and camp beneath the stars with great views of Mt. Ausangate and the Jampa Pass of our last day’s hike.

Bus ride: 125 km (77.67 mi)
Time: 4 hours
Trekking distance: 6.5 km (4.04 mi)
Time: 2 - 3 hours

Today we’ll head up the upper right side of the Yanama Valley, traversing a long slope that winds along Mt. Surinami and Mt. Inca, until we reach the Puca Rumi (Quechua for “red stone”) Pass, after 8 km (5 mi) for a total time of around 5:30 hours of trekking. The pass is at a height of 4986 masl (16,358 fasl). We will have amazing views of the brilliantly hued Red Mountain and Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain, in the distance. From here, we will begin our descent to the Cusipata Valley where our camp is located, just below the colorful Vinicunca Mountain at 4639 masl (15,220 fasl).

Trekking distance: 11.6 km (7.21 mi)
Time: 8 hours

Setting out early in the morning, we will hike the last 3 km (1.86 mi) for 1.5 - 2 hours until reaching Mt. Vinicunca at 5034 masl (16,516 fasl) where we will feast our eyes on the impressive color bands of this Mountain, formed by the layering of diverse striations of minerals. After visiting the Rainbow Mountain, we will first descend towards brilliant, cold Quirillacocha and Surini Lakes, and then ascend to the Wasacocha Pass at 4982 masl (16,345 fasl). We continue to Ausangatecocha, a brilliant reflective turquoise mountain lake at 4656 masl (15,276 fasl) of altitude. Our hike will bring us 480 m (1574 ft) downhill, and 130 m (426 ft) uphill, before we finally head down the Anantapata Valley, to our tranquil and peaceful camp.

Trekking distance: 14.7 km (9.13 mi)
Time: 7 - 8 hours

From camp, we ascend for a 2.5-hour, 500-meter (1640 ft) climb towards the Palomani Pass at 5180 masl (16,994 fasl) for 2.7 km (1.67 mi) of trekking. This is the highest mountain pass of the entire route. Breathe the rarified mountain air as we hike along (if we are lucky) the sparkling snow-covered trail. We’ll take a breather to recoup our energy before beginning our descent, which will take around 4.5 hours, towards the Chilca Valley and up to our camp at Wanu Wanu at 4616 masl (15,144 fasl).

Trekking distance: 11.2 km (6.96 mi)
Time: 7 hours

We will begin our trek with a gentle ascent to our last pass; the Jampa Pass, which is located at 5070 masl (16,633 fasl). After climbing for 4 hours, we then begin a 3-hour descent to Qomerqocha Lake and Pacchanta Village, where our vehicle will be waiting to take us on the 4-hour drive to our hotel in Cusco for a much-deserved rest.

Bus ride: 126 km (78.29 mi)
Time: 4 hours
Trekking distance: 16.6 km (10.31 mi)
Time: 7 hours
Our safety standards are the best in the business
  • Transportation
  • Professional guide
  • Double tents with Thermarest mattresses
  • All meals during the trek
  • Non-alcoholic beverages... keep reading
no included
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Laundry service
  • Airline tickets
  • Sleeping bags (rent available)
  • Personal gear... keep reading
what to take
  • Regular and long wicking first layer for cold weather, like polyester, nylon, or merino wool
  • Short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, breathable fabrics, like nylon and polyester
  • Light-colored long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts
  • QuickDry Pants, trekking pants, and shorts
  • Insulated long-sleeve jacket (fleece, synthetic, down, merino wool)... keep reading
Personal First-Aid Kit
On each trip we carry a medical kit, but we suggest you bring a small personal First-Aid Kit for bruises and blisters. Knee and ankle braces are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.

book ausangate trek

$950.00/5 days and 4 nights
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