The Ausangate Mountain is a peak of the Vilcanota sub mountain range of the Andes, located in the district of Ocongate, province of Quispichanchi, region of Cusco. Peru’s fourth highest mountain with 6,384 meters above sea level, its name in Quechua means “copper” and is considered sacred by locals, being one of the most sought after pilgrimage centers by the Inca descendants. The 70km trekking around Ausangate is one of the main attractions, through rocky fields, pasturing llamas, alpacas and sheep, tranquil villages, beautiful lagoons and different rock formations, ice and mountain passes over 5,000 meters of altitude.
- Meeting prior to trekking.
- Entrance fee to Ausangate.
- Transportation from Cusco to the starting point of trekking and back to your hotel.
- Professional local guide who speaks English, Spanish and Quechua.
- Tents for 2 people and basic foam mattress.
- Cook and kitchen equipment with a tent to prepare meals. Tent to eat with tables and chairs.
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the traditional diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. Please let us know if you have a preference for a certain type of dish. If salads are served, wash them in boiled water.
- Horses (one for two people, for equipment and personal items) including horseman. These carry camping gear, food and cooking utensils. We provide canvas bags at our briefing for your personal items (up to 7kg / 15lbs per person).
- Emergency horse which can be mounted if you feel sick or if you go a little slower.
- First aid kit including with an emergency oxygen bottle.
- Sanitary tent.
- Breakfast in the first morning.
- Overnight, lunch and dinner of the last day.
- Sleeping bags (We can rent for you).
- Additional horses for passenger luggage.
- All other items not reported in this itinerary.
- Team service fee.
The times quoted in this itinerary are approximate. The hiking times will depend on the group and the guide can change the lunch places and camping sites, depending on the progress of the group. The region of Ausangate is very high, besides that they will be near a snow massif. Temperatures are cold and can drop below freezing at night. You should travel well prepared for low temperatures. Rent or carry sleeping bag for temperatures below zero (-15ºC or more). This region has limited tourist infrastructure and this trek makes use of the local facilities. Visitors should be aware that things can change or not go with the plan. All this is part of the adventure and visitors to Peru are encouraged to have an open mind and be open to differences in how to do things in another culture.
We depart from Cusco very early in the morning for our three-hour transportation trip to the small village of Tinqui (3,820 meters / 12,464 feet). As Tinqui is located on the new Interoceanic Highway, now it can be reached much faster than in previous years. We pass through beautiful landscapes and traditional villages such as Urcos, Cattca and Ocangate. After lunch in Tinqui, the first 3 hours of the way are wonderful prelude to the magnificent landscape of the Vilcanota range, with excellent views of Ausangate. We will hike two more hours until reaching the hot springs in Upis (4,400 meters altitude / 14,432 feet), which offer fantastic views of Ausangate at the end of the valley.
In the morning we will cross the Arapa mountain pass (4,850 meters / 15,908 feet). From here, we continue down the valley, passing the green lagoon of Puqa Q’ocha until we reach the turquoise waters of the lagoon Jatun Puqa Q’ocha. Then we will ascend Apuchata, the second mountain pass (4,900 meters / 16,072 feet) opening with a view to the impressive Ausangate Q’ocha lagoon and its turquoise blue waters. This lagoon feeds on the melting snow of the snowy Ausangate. We’ll camp here in the second night.
From the Ausangate Q’ocha lagoon we ascend towards the Palomani mountain pass (5,200 meters / 17,056 feet) the highest point of the trek. From the pass we follow the path to the valley where we can rest and have lunch. In the afternoon you can enjoy the views of the snowy Tres Picos and Punta Puca. We will continue through the wide green valley of Pampa Jutunpata and up through the valley of the Q’ampa River. We will spend the third night in this area.
After passing through the small community of Q’ampa we will head northwest to the last mountain pass of this hike, the Q’ampa (5,000 meters of altitude / 16,400 feet). We will see several lagoons of different colors and we will have lunch next to Q’oma Q’ocha lagoon. We will hike for hours before reaching the small village of Pacchanta. We can enjoy the hot springs for a couple of hours and even have a well-deserved beer! We will set up a camp near Pacchanta and have the afternoon free to explore this interesting Andean town. You have the option of staying in a basic hostel tonight at your own cost.
It is a four hour trek back to Tinqui, where we will have time to explore this traditional Andean village before taking the transportation back to Cusco, arriving at about 18 hours.
You Must Bring
- A light backpack.
- Rainwear (jacket and pants if available). Plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco.
- Waterproof trekking boots. Extra socks can not be missed.
- Sandals are also good to giving your feet the opportunity to breathe at night.
- Warm clothing, including jacket, polar liners, gloves, scarf and hat. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping. Prepare for a wide range of temperature changes.
- Sleeping bag (we can rent it).
- Flashlight or headlamp and spare batteries.
- Camera, rolls and batteries (batteries are consumed more quickly under cold conditions).
- Hat or cap to protect from the sun, rain and cold.
- Sun block and cream for after sunbathing or moisturizing for face and body.
- Insect repellent (although no risk of malaria has been reported).
- Toilet paper, inside and outside the luggage.
- Snacks: cookies, energy bars, chocolates, fruit, granola, etc.
- Water bottle (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
- We suggest you bring pills to sterilize the water in case you collect water from the creeks.
- Your own medical kit with any special medications you may need.
- Small towel and swimsuit, if you intend to take a bath in the hot springs.
- Trekking poles (we can rent them).
- Cash – enough for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
- Original passport and ISIC (International Student Identification Card) if you have one.
We Can Rent
- Extra mule to bring your things: USD10.00 per day of travel.
- Extra mule to ride and muleteer to carry: USD18.00 per day of travel.
- Sleeping bag suitable for -10°C: USD4.00 per day of travel.
- Deluxe sleeping bag suitable for -15°C: USD5.00 per day of travel.
- Individual tent, if you do not want to share the tent: USD25.00 per person.
Important NotesDifficulty Level: Hard Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights Total Distance: 70km | 43,5mi Low Altitude: 3.820 meters | 12532 feet High Altitude: 5.200 meters | 17060 feet
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