Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountains in 3 Days
In the heart of the Cusco Andes, in the district of Ocongate (Cusco), a majestic Apu (Sacred Mountain) looks imposing over the rest of the mountains that make up the Cordillera de Vilcanota. With its 6384 m s. n. m., Ausangate Trek is the fifth highest mountain in Peru and is considered the most important in the province of Quispicanchi and all of Cusco.
Ausangate Trek is surrounded by extensive and luminous turquoise lakes such as Sibinacocha, as well as stone forests, glaciers and vast plains that impress with their magical landscape, it is considered one of the most challenging trekking routes in the Andes. However, during the hike, the traveler witnesses incredible postcards: multicolored mountains, herds of alpacas and desert cliffs that together create an incredibly beautiful outdoor experience from start to finish.
- Experience world-famous Rainbow Mountain—crowd-free
- Hike across remote Andean valleys and passes on the breathtaking Ausangate Trek
- 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 – UPIS – PUCA COCHA LAKE
We will pick you up from your hotel at 5:00AM to begin this amazing expedition. You will have private transportation to the trailhead at Upis. Upis is an small Andean village located near Ocongate at 3900 m/12795 ft above sea level. It is here you will meet your horsemen and horses. You will enjoy your first breakfast prepared by our trekking chef. After you will have wonderful views of the Ausangate glacier peaks since you will be hiking very nearby. You will also have amazing views of the lakes and waterfalls perhaps see some llamas, alpacas and wild vicuñas (the undomesticated ancestor of the alpaca) as well as condors soaring above. We will have a 3 hour uphill hike to reach the first pass which is at 5000m/16404 ft. Where you will have magnificent views of the surrounding area. Perhaps in some months of the year we will have some snow hikes, but mostly in dry season you always get great views. Likely you will get to see vicuñas, which are the most impressive animals still living wild in Peru and belong to the family of Andean camelids. Their fleece is the most expensive wool today the world over. After taking a few amazing pictures we will continue on to our lunch spot, with a gradual downhill hike for another 1½ hours to a beautiful area where you will enjoy your first day’s lunch. It will be another 2½ hour hike to arrive at our campsite at Puca Ccocha (Red Lake). This campsite is one of the most beautiful campsites located at the skirt of the Ausangate peak and at the bank of the lake. You can see amazing sunsets from here and perhaps some condors and eagles flying nearby.
CHILLCA – AUSANGATE MOUNTAIN - YANA COCHA LAKE
After an early breakfast we will start with a 2-3 hour steep climb to Alpaca Pass at 5100 m/ 16732 ft elevation. Along the way you will always have gorgeous views of the blue lakes and the majestic views of Ausangate Glacier Peak surrounding you. You can even sometimes see avalanches in process happening from the glacial hills with ice crashing into the lakes below. Once you reach the summit of this mountain, you will be located right in front of Ausangate and you can really enjoy the Chilca Valley, with many alpaca grazing along these hills. Honestly, it is so impressive to be right at this point – at times you have the feeling that you are in The Kilimanjaro Trails in Africa. After taking some great pictures you will continue for another 2 hours gradual downhill trek – in some sections the trail is still a bit difficult to see – and then we reach our lunch spot, located in Chilca Valley. The views are always amazing of the waterfalls, the green hills and snow-capped peaks located far away, on top of the mountains. After enjoying your lunch and a little siesta, you will continue on to the second pass of the day, Vicuña pass at 5300m/17388 ft elevation. It will be 1½ hour slow pace to reach the summit of this highest pass of the trek. Along the way it is possible to see some condors, and vicuñas if we are lucky enough. Once we are on top of the mountain we will enjoy a cup or two of traditional coca tea which will be provided by your porters. Then it will be another 1 hour downhill hike to arrive to our campsite at the banks of yanacocha lake where you will enjoy our famous daily happy hour of hot drinks. This campsite is located few hours away from our final destination which is The Rainbow Mountains. This is a perfect place at night to spot the famous Inka constellations and do some stargazing.
RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – QUESIUNO – CUSCO
After an early final breakfast with your trekking team and enjoying the famous traditional warm drinks such as coca tea, it will be about 1½ hours gradual uphill trek until we reach the famous rainbow mountain and the Red Mountain Valley located at 5200 m /17060 ft elevation. Your guide will explain why these mountain are special and really are something quite different from any other mountains in the Vilcanota Range. This is due to a composition of various minerals which make different colors of stone striations formed right in the middle of the red mountains. This is definitely one of the key tourist highlights in South America and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Peru. There is nothing else like it.
After taking your photos and enjoying the views which you have come so far to see, you will continue the expedition to the end of the trail. This is all downhill along the Quesiuno Valley for about 3 hours where you will enjoy your final lunch with your team. We will then drive back to Cusco, about 3 hour max drive and we will drop you off at your hotel. The drive itself provides really nice views of the Andes, passing some traditional villages along the way. You will be arriving into Cusco around 4 PM.
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 & Rainbow Mountain 3 Days
What to Bring for this tour
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