The Ausangate Trek offers spectacular mountain scenery, snow-capped peaks, picturesque villages and traditionally dressed locals, hot springs, turquoise lakes, glaciers, herds of llamas and alpacas. The trek is also high, tough and cold, so we highly recommend spend 3 days in Cusco to acclimatize before going on this hike.
This beautiful seven day circular Ausangate Trek starts and finishes at the small Andean village of T’inqui and takes you around Ausangate and over three high passes, two of them over (16,300ft / 5,000m)
Ausangate Trek – Overview
- Starting altitude – 12467ft. / 3800m
- Highest altitude – 17056ft. / 5200m
- Walking distance – 46miles / 75.5km
- Longest day – Day 2, approximately 9.31 miles / 15km
- Coldest night – most of the days are around 0° Celsius
- Overall difficulty – difficult
Ausangate Trek – Itinerary
DAY 1: CUSCO – T’INKI
Today we will pick you up from your hotel and leave Cusco along the Puerto Maldanado road heading to the village of Tinki where we will star our Ausangat Trek. It is 6 hour of travel and along the way we will stop at many villages to learn about their traditions, and customs that still they kept alive in this area. On arrival to Tinki (3780m / 12390ft.) we will spend the night in a local lodge.
DAY 2: TINKI – PACCHANTA – LAKE QOMERCOCHA
We start visiting the public school in Tinki. Just one school in this area so all the children from the communities come to here to study. If you have any gifts you can give to them such as pencils and notebooks before we begin the Ausangate Trek.
Our next visit is the community of Pacchanta, 2 hour away, Pacchanta is an amazing place for its thermal baths we’ll stop and have a relaxing dip before continue in to our campsite at Lake Qomercocha. Throughout the day we will enjoy fantastic views of Ausangate, Santa Catalina, Maria Huamantiqlla, Pucapunta and Colquecruz towering to us and see the locals herding their llamas and alpacas.
DAY 3: LAKE QOMERCOCHA – YANAMAYO
After an early breakfast we’ll start making our way up to the first pass from our trek (5030m / 16397ft.) which takes about 3-4 hours. It’s pretty hard going but the views along the way make it worth it. After geting the views from the pass we’ll make our way to the Ticllaqocha Lagoons, a beautiful group of little turquoise lagoons where we’ll stop for lunch.
In the afternoon we’ll continue our hike to the campsite at Yanamayo located in a valley overlooked by Tres Picos, Colquecruz and Pucapunta peaks very impressive.
DAY 4 YANAMAYO – CONDORPASO
From Yanamayo our hike once again begins to climb as we make our way up to Lake Yanacocha (Black Water), called thanks to its dark waters. The area around the lake is rich in volcanic soils which Change in color from dark to red through to black and there is evidence that the area was covered by glaciers as shown by the piles moraine dotted about.
From Yanacocha the path continues all the way up until we will reach the pass (5050 m /16463ft.) where we will have spectacular views of colorful mountains, beautiful lagoons and herds of llamas and alpacas. Our main destination for today is Condorpaso which lies beyond one more even higher pass (5100m / 16628 ft.)
DAY 5: CONDORPASO – LAKE SIBINACOCHA
Very early in the morning we will hike to the highest point of our Ausangate trek. About 2 hour walk from the campsite to Condorpaso lies the next pass (5200m / 16,956ft.) from where we’ll have our first views of Lake Sibinacocha and the Vilcanota mountain range. Ausangate Trek receives very few visitors and it makes perfect for us to spot the rare and reclusive vicuña (a wild breed of cameloid renowned for its fine wool).
From the pass it’s about 4 hour walking down to our campsite for the night on the shores of the lake. Just a short distance away from our camp is the source of the lake, a large glacier whose turquoise waters provide a sharp contrast to the dark blue of the lake.
DAY 6: LAKE SIBINACOCHA – CCASCANA
Waking up by the lake we will be treated to a beautiful spectacle in the gentle dawn light, the lake’s water is perfectly still and there is not a sound to be heard other than the called of birds. It’s a perfect place to enjoy our breakfast.
From Lake Sibinacocha our hike takes us in to the community Yayamari and across a plateau to our final campsite at Ccascana. Along the way we’ll see hundreds of alpacas and llamas and also some vicuñas. Our campsite for tonight is surronded by impressive snow-capped peaks such as Montura and Chumpi and there are many small rural communities dotting the area showing us that we’re finally getting back to civilization.
DAY 7: CCASCANA – PHINAYA – CUSCO
The final seccion of our Ausangate Trek takes us down the mountain to small community of Phinaya, 3 hour walk . This small Andean community has a beautiful little church and no presence of vehicles except bikes and horses; we’ll stop here for our last lunch it will be enjoyable, knowing that we made real our dream after of several days of Treking, and wait for our bus to pick us up and drive us back to Cusco.
Included in Ausangate Trek
PROFESSIONAL TOUR GUIDE: all Inka Trail Explorer’s tour Guides have University degree, they studied tourism and English at University. They all are passionate in the history, archeology, and also in the astronomy, they always will be happy teaching you about their heritage.
BRIEFING: The night before the trek, your guide will give you all detailed information about your trek schedule, an also you will get your duffel bag, which is to fix your personal belongings no more than 7kg / 14lbs you have to include your sleeping bag and air matt in case you have or rented.
HORSES: We do use horses just for the alternative treks, not being allowed for the classic Inca trail. Horses are going to carry all camping equipment, food supplies and your duffel bags. Also we include an emergency horse for each group from the alternative treks, if you feel tire or need a break, so an emergency horse is waiting for you.
HOTEL: All of our alternative treks include 1 night in a hotel in Aguas Calintes the town below Machu Picchu. We include 3 stars Hotel; your booked hotel will be listed on your confirmed invoice. Upgrades are always possible.
TRANSPORTATION: all the transportation is included in this trek. From the beginning of your trek to the end of your trek, our train service is expedition class it can be upgraded to the Vistadome train.
CAMPING EQUIPMENT: our camping equipment is from the best quality and very comfortable, each Tent will be shared by 2 people, except if you request for a single tent, we provide spacious dining tent and kitchen tent.
FOOD: our amazing and experienced chefs, they prepare all the meals and they make magic happens during the trek in a small tent over a single flame. Always taking care of our customer’s health we provide all natural and fresh vegetables and selected meat proper from the Peruvian Andes. We honor all food restrictions, but you should mention as soon as you are booking your trek. Food is served family style and you will enjoy our traditional dishes from Peru and Cusco. Every day in the morning your chef will provide you a snack to enjoy along the trail.
WATER: Beginning from your first lunch antil your last breakfast, Inka Trail Explorer will supply all the wáter you need. The wáter you will get from us is straight from the glaciars and streams, it will be boiled, filtered and cooled before it will be distributed. You must bring your own wáter bottles or camel back. Highly recommended carring about 3L wort, you have the chance to refill your bottle every day at each meal.
Not Included in Ausangate Trek
SLEEPING BAG: You really need a sleeping bag when you choose the camping option. Most of our campsites are above (3,800m /12,390ft) it can be cold. We highly recommend bring Sleeping bag for -10C (it can be rented from us).
INFLATABLE AIR MATT: It is optional but it helps in getting a good sleep, (it can be rented from us).
WALKING POLES: Highly recommended. It helps to keep your valance especially when you go steep downhill and it must have a rubber tip when bringing your own, if you do not have (it can rented from us)
HUAYNAPICCU: This amazing mountain stands behind Machu Picchu; the views from the top are spectaculars. It takes 45 minutes to reach the top and 45 minutes back down it is quite steep. If you are interested to experience this adventure you need to book in advance, and also we highly recommend clamp in the second group which is at 10am and so much better views.