Explore the Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountains 7 Days
The Ausangate trek is a “little” gem among the attractions of the Cusco region of Peru, is a challenging high altitude trek through 70 km of the Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range and features some of Peru’s most extraordinary scenery. Along the way, you’ll pass by small villages, glacial lakes, towering snow capped peaks, and herds of alpacas.
The Ausangate Trek is an adventure of a life time. Through this Peru trek, you’ll ascend and descend through the mountain range, finding sweeping Andean vistas, thermal lakes, mystical glaciers, green mossy passes and enormous snowy mountains. Along the way, you’ll catch a glimpse of interesting wildlife, like condors, chinchillas and groups of vicunas. You’ll also come across hidden Andean villages richly embedded in centuries-old traditions.
- Off the beaten path, pristine wilderness, glacial mountains, turquoise lakes, Ausangate, Rainbow Mountain, Vinicunca.
- Hike across remote Andean valleys and passes on the breathtaking Ausangate Trek
- Enjoy the most beautiful rainbow mountains without crowds
- Share unique experiences with the last descendants of the Incas, you will learn their ancestral rites and traditions, hold a ceremony to Mother Earth with the sacred coca leaves
- Experience the best trek of the Andes, with fabulous views of the Apu Ausangate, red, turquoise and green lakes.
- Taste the only typical dish of the Incas “Pachamanca”
- Connect your body and mind with the best energy of the apus and sacred mountains of the Incas
- Discover the ancestral paths of the Quechuas with our local guides.
- Get to know the textile tradition of the Andes of Cusco, learn the process of dyeing, warping and making ponchos, chullos and sweaters with alpaca wool, where the Quechuas embody their sacred symbolism.
- You will discover the true magical and sacred world of the Andean priests, who still practice their ceremonies of gratitude to their sacred mountains and Pachamama (mother earth).
- Immerse your knowledge about the agriculture of the Incas, in these towns it is possible to see this activity, where they grow the most delicious and colorful potatoes in the world.
Inclusions of this tour
CUSCO – TINQUI VILLAGE – UPIS
Early transfer from your hotel in Cusco with 6:00 am departure. We drive for 4 hours on a new highway to Tinqui, passing Urcos Pass (4,000 m/13,123 ft) along the way. Tinqui is a village on the high plains “altiplano” east from Cusco and is where we will start our trek. We follow a wide, gently ascending path toward the northwest face of the impressive Ausangate mountain. We will have a small lunch around noon by the side of the trail. We will continue walking through fields and by scattered stone farm houses, and later in the day we will begin to see llamas and alpacas. We ascend gently to the Upis pass (4,435 m/14,107 ft) and camp at Upis Hot Springs (4,250 m/13,779 ft) where we will be surrounded by snow capped mountains (Ausangate and Maria Huamantilla).There are thermal springs at Upis where we can enjoy a soak at the end of the day. Happy hour at 4:00pm and dinner at 6:00pm.
UPIS – ARAPA PASS – PUCACCOCHA
After an early breakfast we begin our second day of the hike. You will hike very close to the Ausangate Glacier Peak and will have incredible views of this mountain as well as beautiful lakes and waterfalls. We may see some llamas, alpacas and wild vicuñas (the undomesticated ancestor of the alpaca) and perhaps a rare condor soaring above. We will have a 3-hour uphill hike to reach the first pass (4800m/15,748ft) where you will have magnificent views of the surrounding area. After taking a few amazing pictures we continue hiking gradually downhill for another 2 hours to our beautiful lunch spot. After lunch we hike for another 3 hours to arrive at our campsite at Puca Ccocha (Red Lake). This spot is one of the most beautiful campsites located at the skirt of the Ausangate peak and at the bank of the lake.
PUCACCOCHA – ANANTAPATA – WARMISAYA – YANACOCHA
Wake up early with a hot cup of coca tea to start one of the most beautiful days of the trek, enjoying majestic views of some of the highest peaks in the Andes and depths of the beautiful valleys. This morning we will summit the Puca Pass. After an early breakfast we begin our 2-hour steep climb to the Puca Pass at (5050m/16,568ft). Along the way we have gorgeous views of turquoise lakes and the Ausangate glacier. Once you reach the summit of this mountain, you will be located right in front of the Ausangate Mountain and you can enjoy the views of Chillca Valley, with alpaca grazing along these hills. Also, from this pass you will see the beginning of the Rainbow Mountain range with their strikingly striated colors. After taking some great pictures we continue gradually downhill for another 2 hours until we reach our lunch spot located at Anantapata 4400m/14,435ft with amazing views of green hills and snow-capped peaks. After lunch and a little rest and relaxation, we will hike gradually uphill for 11⁄2 hours until we reach the the Warmisaya (aka Pitumarca) pass 5050m/16,568ft. After enjoying the views at the top we descend for 20 minutes to Yanacocha lake where we set up camp for the night. After dropping our bags we take our gradual 1 hour sunset hike to the Rainbow Mountain Pass and watch as the sun sets over the stunning Rainbow Valley. Once we have finished enjoying the view, we hike 45 minutes back down to camp at Yanacocha to have happy hour (tea and snacks) followed by a hearty dinner.
YANACOCHA – RAINBOW MOUNTAINS- – QUESOUNO – AUSANGATECOCHA
After a very early breakfast (5.00 am) we hike 1 hour up to the Rainbow Mountains (Vinicunca Mountains or Montañas de Colores) again to see the beautiful Rainbow Valley at sunrise! Enjoy the view for an hour without the crowds as we are one of the first groups to arrive. Your guide will walk you to the best spots to get the perfect postcard pictures of these incredible mountains and the other surrounding peaks. Your guide will explain what makes these mountains so unique: they are composed of various minerals, which make different colors of stone striations. This is definitely one of the most stunning places in South America and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Peru. There are Rainbow Mountains in only a few other locations in the world. After enjoying the sunrise view we hike downhill for approximately 3.5 hours until we reach Quesouno where we stop for lunch. After a hearty lunch and a well-deserved rest, we hike 2 hours uphill to Ausangatecocha (part of the Ausangate Trail). Along the way you will see beautiful mountain scenery, small streams, herds of llamas and alpacas and snow-capped peaks. At Ausangate cocha we camp by a beautiful dark blue/green lake for the night with views of the Ausangate Mountain.
AUSANGATE COCHA – PALOMANI PASS – COMERCOCHA
After breakfast we begin a steep climb for 2-3 hours on glacial moraine to the Palomani Pass (5,350m/17,552ft). From the pass there are extensive views of all the peaks in the Cordillera Vilcanota. We then descend for 2 hours on a steep trail into the Huchuy Phinaya Valley where we will stop for lunch, surrounded by beautiful mountain views. From our lunch stop we will have a view of “Las Dos Gemelas” or the two twin mountains. After lunch we hike another 2 hours to our campsite, 45 minutes of which is a steep climb and the rest is a gradually uphill trail. Along the way you see streams and a small waterfall, chinchillas, llamas, alpacas, and snow-capped mountains (the three peaks). We camp tonight at Comercocha.
COMERCOCHA – PAMPACANCHA – QAMPA – PACCHANTA
After some hot coca tea and a good breakfast we hike for 1 hour on a varied path through the Pampacancha Valley 4,300 m/14,107 ft where you will see wide open spaces and lots of llamas and alpacas. Once we pass through this valley we begin climbing up to the highest point of the trek, the Qampa Pass (5,400 m/17,716 ft) for 2 hours. At this pass we have incredible views of The Three Peaks, the Pacchanta Valley, and will hopefully get a glimpse of some wild vicuña and deer, and if we are really lucky, a condor. We then descend gradually through the Pacchanta Valley, walking between Ausangate Mountain and the Two Twin Mountains for 3 hours until we get to our campsite at Pacchanta (4200m/13,780ft). Along the way we see glacial moraines, beautiful lakes, and snow- capped peaks. This campsite is near the Pacchanta hot springs where you can take a well-deserved soak with stunning views of the Ausangate Mountain if you wish to (entrance fee – 10-20 soles).
PACCHANTA – TINQUI – CUSCO
After a good breakfast we begin hiking on a wide dirt trail (village road) for 3-4 hours until we reach the small town of Tinqui (3600m/11,811ft). Along the way you will see a lot of local people, farms, farm animals and many children will come running up to greet you. Please do not give them sweets as they do not have access to dental care, but you are welcome to share other items with them (fruit, pencils, etc). At Tinqui we enjoy a nice lunch, after which we take our private transport back to your hotel in Cusco (arriving around 4pm) – about a 2.5 hour drive that provides nice views of the Andes, passing some traditional villages along the way.
Best season to travel
The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.
Choose your preferred departure date to proceed
A unique adventure in Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain 7 Days
What to Bring for this tour
Inca Trail Tours
Why Inca Trail Expeditions
We make sure you get a true taste of your destination. We want to create experiences that give you a deeper perspective
Our friendly reservations team have first-hand experience of our holidays and will help you at every stage of your booking. They are available seven days a week to answer your questions.
Inca Trail Expeditions is a 100% local Tour Operator , with more than 15 years of experience.
Discover the most impressive landscapes of the Andes, travel to the Amazon rainforest, enjoy authentic cultural experiences with the best guides in Peru.
Explore the best Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu in small Groups.
Our much-loved National Escorts, whose knowledge and dedication have won us the best reputation in the industry, will make your holiday with us truly extraordinary.