Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain or Seven Color Mountain is one of the most majestic attractions on the way to the Apu Ausangate. It is said to be a place that shows a new opportunity for all who visit. This belief starts at the saying “If you want to see the rainbow you have to face the storm,” which teaches us that there is always a prize for our efforts as well as a new opportunity. It is cataloged by the National Geographic magazine as one of the 100 places that must be visited before dying. Do not miss the opportunity to be part of this wonderful place because in the end, life is a wonderful adventure that begins when one really wants.
- Meeting prior to trekking.
- 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.
- Entrance fee to Ausangate.
- 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.
- Entrance fee to hot springs.
- 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.
A great hot coca tea wakes us up this morning, after having a nutritious breakfast we will start hiking up on a winding path to get the first pass Arapa (15,744 feet), We will then continue hiking downhill to get our lunch spot located at an impressive spot, right next to the glacial lake of Yana Qocha with backdrops of stunning snow-clad of Ausangate Mountain. After lunch, our trek continues through the highland plain to the second camp site of Puka Qocha (15,088 feet) located just close by to the Ausangate Mountain and glacier lakes whre the ice body is crashing into the lakes. At night the sky will treat us with clear view to shoot amazing Milky Way photos.
A nutritious breakfast makes us ready for today, we will start hiking up on steep switchback trail to reach the second pass located at an altitude of 16,400 feet, from this point we will start to see snow-capped mountains going in different directions and highland red valleys with red hills. Our hike continues on a hill down to the valley part, then to hike up to reach our third camp site (15,088 feet), set in a highland valley with amazing views around. Upon our arrival we will enjoy our lunch, free afternoon to chill in our tents. It’s time to give our legs a well-deserved rest today!
A great day awaits us as we hike one of the most beautiful trails in the Cusco region! From our camp site we will hike up the valley and we will start to see some coloured hills like rainbow, but it’s not the famous Rainbow Mountains yet. After 1 hour and 30 minutes hiking we will have gotten the next pass at 15,088 feet from where we will spot the Rainbow Mountains in a distance, not close yet, we will then keep hiking downhill to reach the uneven plain inhabited by local rescindents the llamas and alpacas, on we will hiking up to the ultimate destination the Rainbow Mountains. Upon our arrival we will take enough time to savor this unique place, after that, we will walk down the valley to reach our next lunch spot, next, we will say good bye to our muleteers, cooks, and we will eventually drive back to your hotel in Cusco.
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: Medium Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights Total Distance: 55km | 34mi Low Altitude: 3.820 meters | 12532 feet High Altitude: 4.750meters | 15584 feet
Have a Question?
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We are very happy to talk to you.
Why travel with Hike Ausangate?We’ve been adventuring in the Andes since before adventure travel was invented. Our elite guides are unrivalled in their passion and experience. Our talented team of travel enthusiasts offer first-hand knowledge with personal service. Prioritizing sustainability since our inception, we offer big adventures with a small footprint.
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