Ausangate Mountain is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Vilcanota. The Cordillera Vilcanota is an impressive range of mountains which include the massive Nevado de Ausangate (6.385m) and three others tops over 6000m. It’s excellent trekking circuit offering to the traveller everything you could want: spectacular mountain scenery, snow-capped peaks, hot springs, turquoise lakes, glaciers, herds of llamas and alpacas, picturesque villages and traditionally dressed Quechua people. This is a moderate to challenging trek, not technical with several high passes and often freezing cold nights so be prepared. This beautiful six day trek starts and finishes at the small Andean village of Tinqui and takes you around the massif of Ausangate mountain and over three high passes (two of them over 5000m).
It is essential to be properly acclimatized for this hike spending at least two or three days in Cusco (or equivalent altitude) before starting.
Day 1: Cusco – Tinki – Upis
At 5:00 am we pick you up from your hotel and we leave the city of Cusco in a private transportation, and drive along the Cusco – Puerto Maldonado highway in the direction of Tinki (3.800m/12.464ft). On the way we stop in Urcos, where we may visit a beautiful lake with the same name. We then go on to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we can appreciate the region’s spectacular views and finally pass through Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name and only half an hour away from our destination. After an approximated 3-hour drive, we arrive in Tinki, where we star our adventures. We leave Tinki initiating a slight climb that crosses through puna (dry, high area with little vegetation) to then arrive at our lunch spot after a three-hour walk. From here we already have beautiful views of the sacred Ausangate peak (6.372m/20.900ft). After lunch, we continue walking for another hour and a half to reach our campsite in Upis at 4.400m. From this point, we may appreciate fabulous views of all the snow peaks in the area. We camp and dine directly in front of the Ausangate Mountain.
Maximum Altitude: 4.400 m – 14.435 ft / Minimum Altitude: 3.800 m – 12.467 ft
Distance Travelled: 11 km – 6.835mi (approx.).
Approximate Walking Time: 4-5 hours / Approximate Travel Time by bus: 3 hours
Day 2: Upis – La Arapa Pass – Ausangate Cocha
After breakfast, we continue our hike ascending for two hours to reach La Arapa pass (4.850m/15.908ft). We then descend to our lunch spot, crossing an area of falcons and ¨vizcachas¨ or Andean rodents. This area also boasts three beautiful lakes with tones of reds, greens, and turquoises (Pukacocha, HatunPukacocha, and Qomerqocha) and spectacular views of the surrounding snow peaks. After lunch, we continue on a long and slow ascent that will take us, after about two hours, to the second mountain pass, the Abra de Apuchata (4.900m), from which we descend, for another half an hour, towards our campsite at Ausangatecocha (4.440m).
Maximum Altitude: 4.900 m – 16076 ft / Minimum Altitude: 4.440 m – 14.566 ft
Distance Travelled: 17 km – 10.563 miles (approx.). / Approximate Walking Time: 8-9 hours
Day 3: Ausangatecocha – Palomani Pass – Q´ampa
Today, we depart early to climb for two hours towards the third mountain pass, the Abra de Palomani (5.200m). This is the highest part of the entire hike, from which we then descend for another 2h through an area of llamas, alpacas and ¨vizcachas¨ to reach Pampacancha (4.050m). From here we follow an uphill trail until that leads us to our campsite in Q´ampa (4.300m/14.104ft). Along this easy 3-hour climb we may have the chance to spot llamas, alpacas, and maybe even pumas. We will camp and dine at this place.
Maximum Altitude: 5.200 m – 17.060 ft / Minimum Altitude: 4.050 m – 13.287 ft
Distance Travelled: 17 km – 10.563 miles (approx.). / Approximate Walking Time: 8-9 hours.
Day 4: Q’ampa – Pacchanta
We climb for 2 hours until we reach Q´ampa mountain pass (5.000m/16.400ft), where we may have the chance to spot the Andean deer. From here we descend towards the Qomerqocha lagoon to finally arrive at Pacchanta (4.100m) after an approximated five-hour walk. Pacchanta is a little community with attractive hot springs where we can enjoy a relaxing dip. We camp and spend the night at this place.
Maximum Altitude: 5.000 m – 16.404 ft / Minimum Altitude: 4.100 m – 13.451 ft
Distance Travelled: 14 km – 8.699 miles (approx.). / Approximate Walking Time: 6-7 hours
Day 5: Pacchanta – Tinki – Cusco
We leave Pacchanta and start to walk our way back to Tinki, which will take approximately 2 hours. Once in Tinki, we board a private transportation that will take us back to the city of Cusco, where we estimate to arrive after nightfall.
Maximum Altitude: 4.100 m – 13.451 ft / Minimum Altitude: 3.800 m – 12.467 ft
Distance Travelled: 10km – 6.213 miles (approx.).
Approximate Walking Time: 2-3 hours / Approximate Travel Time by bus: 3 hours
- Professional bilingual tour guide.
- Round trip Transfer from Cusco Hotel, to Tinki.
- 4 nights in spacious personal tents and inflatable mattress.
- Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes while hiking.
- Excellent Meals (4 Breakfast, 4 Lunch, 4 Dinner).
- Food includes pancakes, omelettes, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking.
- Horsemen with packhorse or mules(for carring camping equipment and up to 8kg of your personal belongings).
- Dinning tent.
- sanitary services.
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Sleeping bag rental, $30
- 1 extra Horse to carry personal items, $30 per day
- Walking sticks, $12.00
We recommend you bring:
- Original passport
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended but not required)
- Sleeping bag (also can be rented from us)
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Warm jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun protection cream (SPF 35 or higher recommended)
- Insect repellent
- Re-usable plastic or metal water container or a hydration pack such as
- Water (only for first 4 hours of trek, then we will provide you with previously-boiled drinking water throughout the trek)
- Toiletries (including toilet paper)
- Personal medication
- Camera and film
- Torch with spare batteries (headlamps are useful)
- Cash in local currency (Peruvian Soles) for tips for porters