Southeast of Cuzco, the awesome Cordillera Vilcanota includes a number of peaks of which Ausangate is the highest (6.384m/20.945ft). On a clear day, the peak is visible from Cuzco. The snow-capped peaks of this area are the second largest Peruvian glaciated system after the aptly named Cordillera Blanca. On one side of the cordillera is the Andes and altiplano, on the eastern side, the slopes give way to Peruvian Amazonia.
Note: This is a very difficult trek of high-altitude. You MUST allow yourself several days of acclimatization.
Day 1: Cusco – Tinki
We leave the city of Cusco by local bus and drive along the Cusco – Puerto Maldonado truck road in the direction of Tinki (3.800m/12.467ft). On the way we stop in Urcos for some pictures of the colorful market. We then go on to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we can appreciate the region’s spectacular views. After passing through Ausangate, the capital of the region, we arrive in Tinki after approximately six hours on the bus. In Tinki, we sleep in a local lodge and start the trek the next morning.
Day 2: Tinki – Pacchanta – Qomerqocha Lagoon
After breakfast, we spend some time visiting the Tinki public school. We will meet the children of the neighboring communities that study at this school and will give them some useful presents such as notebooks or pencils, all of which are highly appreciated. We then leave Tinki and start a 2.5 hour walk towards Pacchanta (4.100m/13.451ft) where we stop for lunch.
Pacchanta is a rural community that is well-known for some hot springs. You have the option of taking a dip there while enjoying views of Ausangate Mountain. In the afternoon we continue our hike through a slight climb up the Pacchanta Valley, where llamas and alpacas can be spotted. When we reach Laguna Qomercocha, we will have dinner and spend the night. Our campsite will be set in a spectacular spot with amazing views of the Ausangate, Santa Catalina, Maria Huamantiqlla, Pucapunta, and Colquecruz snow-capped mountains.
Day 3: Qomerqocha Lagoon – Yanamayo
After breakfast we leave at around 7:00 AM to begin a four-hour hike to the first mountain pass of our trek, Abra de Q´ampa (5.000m/16.404ft). We then descend towards the Ticllaqocha Lagoons, a beautiful group of small turquoise lagoons where we have lunch. In the afternoon we continue our hike for an additional two to three hours. We will reach Yanamayo, a beautiful valley shadowed by the Tres Picos, Colquecruz, and Pucapunta peaks.
Day 4: Yanamayo – Condorpaso
We leave camp after breakfast and start a gradual climb up towards Yanaqocha (Black Lagoon). It is named as such due to the dark color of its waters. In this area the soil is volcanic and varies from dark red to black. Moraines, which are evidence of glacial activitiy, are also found in this area. We will traverse through the Yanaqocha pass (5.050m/16.568ft) to discover a beautiful valley filled with vibrant mountains and lagoons. After crossing Yanaqocha, we ascend to our next mountain pass (5.100m/16.732ft). An hour after the last mountain pass, we will arrive at our campsite Condorpaso.
Day 5: Condorpaso – Lake Sibinacocha
After breakfast, we begin a two-hour gradual climb up to the Abra del Condor pass (5.200m/17.060 ft), the highest point of our trek. From the pass, we enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range and Lake Sibinacocha. If we’re lucky, we’ll also see vicuñas. We then continue hiking for three hours. During that time, we will cross another mountain pass and then descend into the valley of the source of Lake Sibinacocha. We will camp next to a lagoon where an impressive glacier stands and nourishes the lake. The lagoon boasts vast bio-diversity, we will be able to spot Andean coots, geese, and ducks.
Day 6: Source of Lake Sibinacocha – Ccascana
Today, we depart early for a three-hour long walk along the shores of the Lake Sibinacocha. We will arrive at the Yayamari community, which lies next to the mountain of the same name. Yayamari is also an impressive peak that overlooks the lake (5.500m/18.044ft). We then cross a pampa where we will likely see hundreds of llamas, alpacas and maybe even more vicuñas. We end the day at Abra Ccascana (5.000m/16.404ft). This campsite is surrounded by small rural communities and snow-capped peaks.
Day 7: Ccascana – Phinaya – Cusco
After our breakfast, we leave Ccascana to walk for three and a half hours towards Phinaya for lunch. Phinaya is a small Andean community with a beautiful little church and no motorized vehicles. In the afternoon, we drive back to Cusco, where we expect to arrive after nightfall.
Campsites are subject to change according to our guide’s professional discretion and hiker progress.
- Professional, bilingual tour guide.
- Transfer from Cusco Hotel, to Tinki.
- Transfer from Phinaya to Cusco Hotel.
- 6 nights in spacious personal tents and inflatable mattress.
- Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes while hiking.
- Excellent Meals (6 Breakfast, 6 Lunch, 6 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 Camelbak
- 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