Without a doubt the Ausangate trail offers some of the most wonderful scenery in the whole of the Cusco area, with many birds and wildlife and also glaciers and high alpine lakes. Its also one of the most challenging in the region with three high passes over 5,000 metres/ 16000 feet. On a clear day, Apu Ausangate dominates Cusco's southern skyline. As we draw closer to this massive massif (6,380 metres/ 20 926 feet) one becomes increasingly impressed and understands fully why the ancient Incas held this spectacular mountain in such high regard.
DAY 1: CUSCO - TINQUI - UPIS
We depart Cusco early the morning for our three hour ride in private transport to the small village of Tinqui (3800 metres/ 12 464 feet). As Tinqui is located on the new Interoceanic highway we can now arrive here much more quickly that in previous years. We pass through beautiful countryside and several traditional villages including Urcos, Cattca and Ocangate. After lunch in Tinqui the first 3 hours on the trail are are wonderful prelude to the magnificent scenery of the Cordillera Vilcanota, with great views of Ausangate. We will trek for two hours more until we reach the hot springs at Upis (4,400 metres/ 14432 feet) which offer fantastic views of Ausangate at the end of the valley. We will camp here for the night.
DAY 2: UPIS TO LAKE AUSANGATE Q’OCHA
During our morning's trek, we will cross our the Arapa pass (4,850 metres/ 15908 feet). From here, we continue 3½ hours down the valley, passing the green lake of Puqa Q'ocha until we reach the turquoise Lake Jatun Puqa Q'ocha. We then ascend the second pass of Apuchata (4,900 metres/ 16 072 feet) with the stunning turquoise blue Laguna Ausangate Q'ocha below. This lake is fed from the melting snow of Ausangate. We will camp here for the second night.
DAY 3: LAKE AUSANGATE Q’OCHA TO QAMPA
From the lake we ascend to the Palomani pass (5,200 metres/ 17 056 feet); the highest point of the trek. From the pass we follow the trail into the valley where we'll rest and have lunch. During the afternoon we can enjoy views of the snowcapped Tres Picos and Puca Punta. We will continue through the broad green valley of Pampa Jutunpata and up the Rio Q'ampa valley. We will spent night 3 in this vicinity
DAY 4: Q’AMPA TO PACCHANTA
After passing through the small community of Q'ampa we will head North west to the last pass of this hike, the Q'ampa pass (5000 metres/ 16400 feet). We will see several different coloured lakes and lunch beside Q'oma Q'ocha. We hike for several hours before arriving at the small village of Pacchanta. We can soak in the thermal springs for a couple of hours, and even have a well-deserved beer! We will set up camp near Pacchanta and you will have the afternoon free to explore this interesting Andean village. (You have the option of staying in a basic hostal this night)
DAY 5: PACCHANTA TO CUSCO
It's 3 hours trek back to Tinqui where we will have time to explore this traditional Andean village before taking our private car back to Cusco, arriving at about 18.00.
INCLUDEDFor complete facts about many aspects of AUSANGATE TREK, check out our FAQs page!
Pre trek briefing
Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
Transport private from Cusco to and Phinaya to cusco.
English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people).
Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest).
Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person).
1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
Tents for our staff to sleep in
First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
NOT INCLUDEDBreakfast on the first morning.
Sleeping bags If you haven't got a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.For this trek you should hire minus 15 or warmer bags.
Tips for the guide, cook and porters
Additional horses for passengers luggage.
What you need to takeA backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping
Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
Camera and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported
Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection
Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into Machu Picchu. Plastic water containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended
Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far
Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
Cash in soles and/or US$
Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount)
Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage the Inca Trail)
“This tour is available every day provided we have a minimum of 2 pax”