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The Cordillera Vilcanota is an impressive mountain range which includes the massive snow-capped Mountain, Ausangate (6,385m) and three others over 6000m/. It is excellent trekking terrain and offers the traveler everything he/she could want: spectacular mountain scenery, snow-capped peaks, hot springs, turquoise lakes, glaciers, and herds of llamas and alpacas. On this trek, you will also see Rainbow Mountain with natural mineral formations and pass by local campesino villages. This is a tough hike at high altitude and with low temperatures, so be prepared!

This beautiful, six-day trek starts and finishes in the small Andean village, Tinqui, and takes you around Ausangate’s massif and over three high passes (two of them over 5000m. It is essential to be properly acclimatized for this hike, spending at least three days in Cusco (or somewhere at an equivalent altitude) before starting. If you are concerned about the altitude or have never trekked in high altitude before, please consult your doctor for advice on how to prevent altitude sickness.

Note: The Ausangate trek is usually completed in 5 days, combining trekking and horse riding. Well-acclimatized trekkers could complete the trek in 4 days, including the journeys to and from Cusco. The best months for doing the trek are between April to November.

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Day 1: Cusco – Tinqui – Upis

Distance: 8km / 3 miles

Elevation: 4100m / 13,450ft

Hiking time: 2 hours

Your guide will meet you in Cusco early in the morning and take you via private transport to the starting point of our trek – Tinqui. Here, you will have a locally-prepared lunch while your gear is being loaded onto pack horses. After lunch, you will hike for a couple of hours to the village of Upis, our campsite for the night. Before dinner in Upis, you will be able to soak in the hot springs while sipping coca tea and relaxing your muscles.

Day 2: Upis – Chillca

Distance: 15km

Elevation: 4300m / 14,100ft

Hiking time: 7 hours

With two passes to cross today, we will wake everyone up at 5:00 a.m. with coca tea brought to your tent, followed by a big breakfast to fuel you up for the day ahead. Our morning starts with a hike up to the Arapa Pass (4958m) followed by a slight descent to our lunch spot near Lake Pumacocha – a deep blue lake and a perfect stop for a break. Along the way you will see local herders and llamas, and Ausangate mountain while your expert guide explains the history of the local villages and talks about the landscape of the area. After lunch we will continue uphill to our second pass of the day, Pucacocha Pass at 5000m, where, if you’re lucky, you may see condors and vicuñas! From here, we will descend to our campsite, Chillca, which is surrounded by high mountains and incredible hanging glaciers – watch for sections of the glaciers crashing into the lake below! Camp will be set up when you arrive, so that you can rest your weary legs while dinner is prepared.

Day 3: Chillca- Rainbow Mountain (5200m)- Lake Ausangate

Distance: 20km / 8.65 miles

Elevation: 4600 m/ 15,090 ft – 4500 m-14,000 ft.

Hiking time: 7-8 hours

We start the day by crossing the Chillca Pass (5051m), a very colorful mountain, but only a precursor of what is to come. We’ll be able to see the beautiful Rainbow Mountain in the distance! Once we cross the pass, we’ll enter the Red Mountain Valley, a wildly desert landscape with vibrant colors all around and llamas roaming the ground below. We’ll descend, circle around the lake and walk through a fairly flat section before climbing up to Rainbow Mountain, where you’ll be able to soak in the sights and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard for. After a delicious lunch in the surrounding area, we’ll head back down the valley to make our way to the stunning Lake Ausangate, where camp will be set up and waiting for you to take a rest.

Day 4: Lake Ausangate - Palomani Pass - Pampacancha

Distance: 17km / 10.5miles

Elevation: 4600 m / 15,090ft – 4300 m / 14.1045 feet.

Hiking time: 7-8 hours

We’ll be hiking a shorter distance today as yesterday was a big day. Following the edge of the river, we will pass beautiful glacial tarns and lush green pampas. Today is a great day for spotting wildlife, so keep an eye out for condors and vicuñas.

Day 5: Pampacancha - Qampa Pass - Pacchanta (hot springs/ camping)

Distance: 16km /

Elevation: 4300m – 5400m – 4000m

Hiking time: 6-7 hours

With only one pass to cross today we will take our time along our route, enjoying the deep blue lagoons and alpine glacial colored lakes. If you are brave enough, you can even jump in to cool off! The massive Ausangate Mountain may still be visible and you’ll be able to see it from a new angle, along with views of the Pacchanta Valley. We will be camping in Pacchanta this evening, where you will be able to enjoy a nice soak in the hot springs while taking in the views of Ausangate Mountain.

Day 6: Pacchanta – Tinqui- Cusco

Distance: 16km

Elevation: 4000m (descending)

Hiking time: 3-4 hours

Today is the easiest day of our trek as we make our way back to the starting point, Tinqui, by walking through flat terrain and celebrating our accomplishments. Once we arrive in TInqui, you will have your last lunch while everything is packed up in our private transport to take you back to your hotel in Cusco, dropping you off around 5:00 p.m.

  • Transport from and to your hotel in Cusco
  • Spanish and English-speaking professional guide
  • All meals, which will be prepared by our cook and his/her assistant. We can accommodate special dietary requests e.g. vegetarian meals and allergies.
  • Horsemen and horses to carry all the equipment for the group and staff: tents, food, and cooking equipment, dining tent and chairs, and 7kg of your personal belongings
  • Coca tea is served every morning in your tent
  • Boiled water after breakfast, to refill your water bottles (1 liter per person)
  • Snacks each morning
  • Hot drinks such as coca tea, black tea and coffee in the afternoon
  • Two-person tent
  • Sleeping mattress
  • Oxygen and first aid kit
  • Includes the additional personal carrier that will carry your belongings up to 7 kilos.
Not included:
  • Horseback riding (available on request)
  • Travel Insurance – we strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance for the duration of your trip
  • Tips
  • Trekking poles (you can rent them from us)
  • Sleeping bag
What you need to bring
  • Day pack with rain cover, backpack
  • Hiking boots and sandals (very important)
  • Rain gear: a good raincoat, rain pants and a plastic rain poncho
  • Shirts and pants for the whole trek
  • Coat, layers for varying temperatures, especially at night
  • Thermal gloves, scarf, hat for cold nights
  • Woolen socks
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs
  • Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
  • Personal medical kit and medication
  • Toiletries and hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Small towel
  • Water bottle/s (recommended 2 liters)
  • Snacks
  • Trekking poles (can be rented from us)
  • Headlamp with spare batteries (very important)
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Extra money for drinks, souvenirs, tips etc. (soles or dollars)

OPTIONAL Items to bring

Small presents for local children, such as: school supplies, second hand clothes etc. Please do not bring candy for the children.

Private Service Price
  • 2 people USD$ 650.00 per person
  • 3 people USD$ 610.00 per person
  • 4 people USD$ 570.00 per person
  • 5 + people USD$ 530.00 per person

• Student Discount: USD $20.00 (requires green ISIC Card)
• Under 18’s Discount: USD $20.00

Optional extras NOT included (need to book in advance):

• Sleeping Bag USD $25.00
• Walking Poles (pair): USD $15.00
• Air Mattress: USD $25.00
• One-person tent: USD $30.00