The Ausangate Trek will lead you to one of the highest and most beautiful mountains in the south of Peru while discovering amazing landscapes on this natural Andean level (Puna). You will see a great diversity of mountain formations which make this region unique in the world, so for example the popular rainbow mountain which arised after the last volcanic activity. Here, the minerals melted in bride colours! Also you will enjoy the variety of the Andean camelids as the alpaca, llama, Vicuña and Huanaco (Huanaco is not often seen) in their natural habitat. You will be amazed by the local people, their traditions and colourful clothing as well as tjeir believes and connection with the Apus (god mountains).
This trek is a lifetime experience and a challenging adventure where you expectations of the beauty of this area are beyond imagination. We invite you to touch the sky!
The trail starts about 4 hours east of Cusco from the small village Tinqui and leads you to the great Ausangate mountain and the Sibinacocha lake until it finally reaches Phinaya from where we return to Cusco.
Duration: 7 days/ 6 nights
Level: Difficult/ challenging with some high passes
Adventure rating: adventurous and with only a few visitors
– You should be prepared for the cold!
Cusco – Tinqui – Pacchanta
You will be collected from your hotel in private transport and drive along the Puerto Maldonado truck road in the direction of Tinqui (3800 m/ 12464 ft). On the way we stop in Urcos to take 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. We then finally pass through Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name and only half an hour away from our destination. After approximately 4 hours of driving, we arrive in Tinqui where we will have lunch and then start our trek, walking for 3 hours towards Pacchanta (4100 m/ 13448ft), where we stop to camp. Pacchanta is a rural community that boasts some well-known thermal baths where we can enjoy a nice dip, enjoying very nice views of the Ausangate Mountain at the same time.
Pacchanta – Qomerqocha Lagoon
The second day of our adventure, we continue our hike with a slight climb up the Pacchanta valley, having the chance to spot llamas and alpacas, until we reach the beautiful Qomerqocha lagoon where we set our camp and have dinner. Our campsite is a spectacular spot with amazing views of the snow-capped mountains Ausangate, Santa Catalina, Maria Huamantiqlla, Pucapunta and Colquecruz. We will camp around Qomerqocha or a little further on.
Qomerqocha Lagoon – Yanamayo
After an early breakfast, we continue our hike towards the first mountain pass of our trek, the Abra de Q´ampa at 5000 m/ 16400ft, which we will reach after about 4 hours. We then descend towards the Ticllaqocha Lagoons, a beautiful group of little turquoise lagoons which will be an incredible setting for lunch. In the afternoon we continue our hike for additional 2-3 hours until we reach Yanamayo where we set our camp in an impressive valley overlooked by the huge and awesome Tres Picos, Colquecruz and Pucapunta peaks.
Yanamayo – Condorpaso
We leave our camp after breakfast and then start a gradual climb up towards Yanaqocha, the “Black Lagoon” as it is named due to the dark color of its waters. In this area we can appreciate a soil of volcanic origin with colors from dark red to black, showing the previous presence of glaciers in this region. Afterwards, we will hike the Yanaqocha mountain pass (5050 m/15564 ft) to discover a surprisingly beautiful valley with an explosion of colored mountains, three spectacular lagoons and the presence of llamas and alpacas! We cross the valley to head towards the next mountain pass (5100 m/ 16728ft) and then continue our hike for another hour to Condorpaso, our final destination for our fourth adventure day. At the same time, this will be the place for our next campsite, located very close to the mountain pass of the same name which will be our challenge for the next day.
Condorpaso – Source of Sibinacocha Lake
After breakfast, we continue our journey on a gradual climb up the valley that takes us after approximately two hours to the mountain pass Abra del Condor (5200 m/ 17056 ft). From the pass, the highest point of our trek, we may not only enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range and the Sibinacocha Lake, but also hopefully see vicuñas. Immediately, we continue our hike for another 3 hours, crossing another mountain pass on the way and then descending into the valley of the Sibinacocha Lake ‘s source. We will camp next to the lagoon and very close from its source, where there is an impressive glacier which nourishes the lake with its turquoise waters that contrast beautifully with the dark blue pure color of the lake. The lake boasts a great biodiversity, so we will probably be able to spot Andean Coots, “Huallatas” or Andean Geese as well as Andean Ducks from our camp.
Sibinacocha Lake – Ccascana
Today, we depart early to walk along the shores of the Sibinacocha Lagoon for 3 hours until we reach the Yayamari community. The village is next to the mountain of the same name, an impressive rocky peak overlooking the whole lagoon (5500 m/ 18040 ft). We then continue crossing a pampa where we will most probably see hundreds of llamas, alpacas and hopefully vicuñas. We continue our trek towards the Abra Ccascana at 5000 m/ 16400 ft, which will lead us to the lagoon of the same name. In this spot, we will set our last camp, surrounded by impressive snow-capped peaks such as Montura and Chumpi and inhabited by small rural communities. We may even have the chance to spot ¨Huallatas¨, Andean geese or some flamingos.
Ccascana – Phinaya – Cusco
After our breakfast, we leave Ccascana to walk for 3,5 hours towards Phinaya. This is a small Andean community with a beautiful little church and absolutely no presence of vehicles except bikes and horses. Here, we will enjoy our lunch and then drive back to Cusco in the afternoon (approximately 6 hours).
The times cited in this itinerary are approximate -the walking time depends on the group! The guide can change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has their own preferred route and it might not exactly correspond to the one described here.
The Ausangate region is very high, plus you are close to a snow covered massif. Temperatures are cold, and can fall far below freezing in the nights. You should travel well prepared for cold temperatures. Rent or carry sleeping bags for temperatures less than freezing (minus 10 Degree Celsius or more). If required, riding horses or horses to carry luggage can be arranged at a reasonable daily rate.
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Price US$ 900 per person, based on 2 to 4 people.
Price US$ 800 over 5 people.
Exclusive international transaction fees: The amount of the extra transaction fees depends on how the payment is made and on your bank. For further information please don’t hesitate to ask.
Upon request, with each booked tour with Green Peru Adventures, you will receive a free walking tour of the mysterious and historic city of Cusco. You will be guided by one of our multilingual, professional guides.