Mount Ausangate Trek

Mount Ausangate Trek 5 days 4 nights

Trek in the Andes mountains, beneath Cusco’s highest peak, and disconnect from the world. Dominating the horizon south of Cusco, magnificent Mount Ausangate (6,333 meters / 20,770 feet) is the highest and most sacred mountain in southern Peru. The scenery is spectacular: snowcapped peaks look down on seemingly endless grasslands studded with turquoise lakes and thermal pools. Herds of llamas and alpacas are grazed by the residents of isolated and picturesque villages.

YOUR DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY AND SERVICES:

Day 1: Cusco – Ocongate – Tinki - Upis

In the early morning we will drive southeast from Cusco, passing the small towns of Qatca and Ocongate, where we will make brief stops. Gradually, the landscape will begin to change as we climb from the green Vilcanota valley up into the high plains inhabited by communities who live from llama and alpaca herding and farming. Our trek will begin in the village of Tinki. An easy first day will take us across the Mapocho River, and over plains of coarse grass. Along the way we will pass homes that will be of interest to photographers, as we approach the Ausangate massif, a mighty peak sacred to local people. We will camp close to the Upis thermal baths, where you can bathe in the medicinal waters.

Day 2: Upis - Pucacocha

Accompanied by our own trekking personnel and pack animals, and escorted by our experienced professional mountain guide, today we will continue trekking through spectacular high Andean scenery, crossing the first pass on our route at 4500 meters (14,760 feet). From the high pass, we will descend to Lake Pucacocha (“red lake”, in Quechua), at 4459 meters (14,625 feet), where we will camp for the night. 

Day 3: Pucacocha – Palomani - Jampa

Today we will cross the highest pass on our route at Palomani (4800 meters / 15,744 feet). We will leave our campsite early, keeping Mount Ausangate to our left and passing groups of grazing llamas and alpacas. As we cross the pass we will be met by spectacular views of the southeast mountain range, and we may even spot condors. From the pass, we will descend along the course of the Jampamayo River, to the rural community of Jampa, where we will camp.

Day 4: Jampa – Q’omercocha – Pajchanta

After hiking around the shores of Lake Ticllacocha, today our route will take us up to the final pass of our trek at 4,650 meters (15,255 feet), where we will be rewarded for our efforts by fine views of the surrounding Vilcanota mountain range. After time to rest and take photographs, we will begin our descent towards the beautiful turquoise and green waters of Lake Q'omercocha, and continue the descent to the village of Pajchanta, whose residents live from livestock herding and farming. Along the way, we will also pass thermal baths, where you can stop to rest and bathe in this extraordinarily beautiful setting with views of the surrounding Andes mountains.

Day 5: Pajchanta – Tinki – Cusco

Completing our high Andean circuit, in the early morning we will make the short walk to the village of Tinki, where our trek began and where our vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Cusco.

EXTENSIONS: DO YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND IN PERU?

Other travelers added the following extension to this Peru itinerary...

CUSCO CITY TOUR Half day 
Explore historic Cusco and its major attractions during a half-day excursion: Colonial-era Cusco, with its cathedral and the Inca Temple of the Sun, or Qorikancha. The enormous Inca temple complex of Sacsayhuaman, located at the top of the hill overlooking Cusco’s main square, and other archaeological sites in the hills around the city. 

CHECK TO SEE WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING...

Included
  • Private vehicle outbound and return
  • 4-person tents for every two participants, single tents (upon request)
  • Air mattresses
  • Kitchen equipment, complete table service, chairs and tables
  • Dining tent and kitchen tent
  • Latrine tent
  • First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle

Team:

  • English-speaking guide
  • Cook
  • Pack animals and mule drivers, camp assistant(s). Mules carry up to 8 kg of each individual participant’s personal gear

Meals and snacks:

  • Delicious meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinking water to fill your water bottle (from natural sources, filtered and boiled)
  • Snacks in the morning and afternoon (fruit, cookies, chocolate and energy bars, candy)
  • Hot drinks such as tea and coffee

Not included
  • Sleeping bags (we can provide sleeping bags at an additional cost of US$30 per person) Participants are expected to carry their own sleeping bag, clothing and other items of a personal nature, including personal medical supplies
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal items, including personal medical supplies
  • Tips
What to bring:
  • Passport (pack additional photocopies of your passport)
  • Daypack for daily personal gear (to be carried by each participant)
  • Warm clothing for high Andean region
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeved shirts (cotton)
  • Shorts for walking (optional)
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Camera
  • Binoculars for birdwatching enthusiasts
  • Good hiking boots
  • Walking poles (make sure they are not metal-tipped)
  • Bathing suit and sandals (if you wish to visit the thermal baths)
  • Flashlight
FAQs - Frequently asked questions

How far in advance do I need to book a trek or hike?

For trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you should make your booking at least five days in advance, so we can make the necessary preparations, although we recommend that you make your booking up to 90 days in advance. Full refunds (minus administration costs) can be offered 45 days before your scheduled departure date. After 45 days, only partial refunds will be given. 

I would like to trek with my friends, can I book now and my friends book later?
Yes, for trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you can add other travelers to your group before departure. Write to us for more information on the treks, hikes and tours we have available. 

What is the maximum group size? Is there a maximum?
The maximum group size is 16 persons. For more than 16 persons, a second group must be organized. A single guide travels with 8 participants. For larger groups, an assistant guide will also accompany the participants.

If I am traveling alone can I have my own tent / hotel room?
If you are traveling alone and are willing to share a tent, with a member of the same sex or partner, family member or friend, then there is no additional cost. If, however, you would like your own private tent an additional supplement will be payable. Please contact us in advance, because on some trekking and hiking routes this option may depend on the availability of spaces at campsites designated by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

What do we do for water?
Use of plastic bottles on the network of Inca Trails to Machu Picchu is not permitted. Other treks and hikes do not have this restriction, but we always recommend and encourage our travelers to use reusable canteens or second use plastic water bottles. Our cook will provide you with boiled water to refill your bottle at all the campsites.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 

What do I need to carry?
You will need to carry your daypack with all the personal items you need during the day. The rest of your luggage will be transported by us (van / porters). Porters are only permitted to carry 8 kilos for each person (including sleeping bag). As a company, Andean Adventures Peru is committed to the well-being of its porters during treks and hikes, ensuring that they are properly paid, well fed, and comfortable at our campsites. On some of our trekking and hiking routes, pack animals are used. 

What type of camping gear is used for treks and hikes?
We supply all the camping equipment needed for groups to enjoy the great outdoors safely and comfortably: 4-person tents for every two participants; air mattresses; complete table service; dining tent, chairs and tables; kitchen tent; latrine tent; sleeping bags on request (many travelers choose to bring their own sleeping bag; however, we also offer sleeping bags for hire at an additional cost). 

What processes are in place to ensure the equipment is always in perfect condition?
Our full time logistics staff continuously maintain and/or replace all our equipment. To ensure proper use of our equipment, all gear is handled by our trained field crew during treks and hikes.

Do you provide sleeping pads?
Yes.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 

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