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Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Trek

Mount Ausangate (6,377mts/20,921ft) is the highest and most sacred mountain in Southern Peru, which for centuries has been central to the religious beliefs of the Andean peopleWith spectacular glacial viewsuninterrupted beauty and solitude, this is a spectacular trip for seasoned trekkers who love a outdoor adventure. Hiking completely around this mountain, we will camp near hot springs and blue lakes inhabited by numerous bird species, including Andean goose and the almighty Andean condor. As you trek, you will walk amongst herds of llamas and alpacas in secluded Andean villages. A new added feature to the itinerary of the Mt. Ausangate trek is the opportunity to visit and wonder at the natural colors of the seldom visited Rainbow Mountain.  The Rainbow mountain trek offers a selection of wildlife; including soaring condors, vicunas, bobcats and pumas. The colorful sandstone mountains in the Vinicunca area is probably the coolest thing you will ever see. During the adventure, you will be well taken care of by our professional team of English-speaking guidescooks and horsemen with their mules. We also have some supporting saddle horses in case of emergency, or sickness. Click on the link to find out more about our Ausangate Rainbow Trekking Experience!

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Tinqui – Upis

Your guide will meet you in Cusco at 6am in the morning, and take you in private transportation to the starting point of our trek at Tinqui,where we load up the gear onto the packhorses. We will hike for the next 3 hours to where we will enjoy lunch before continuing our hike to our first camp. This day we only hike for a few hours until we arrive at the village of Upis. Here, you will have the opportunity to soak in the hot springs, while enjoying coca tea, and relaxing your muscles until dinner.

  • Distance: 9.65km/ 6 miles
  • Elevation: 4,100m/ 13,450ft
  • Hiking time: 5 to 6  hours
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodations: camping

Day 2: Upis – Chillca

We awake up at 5am with coca tea brought to your tent and we get energized for the day ahead with a big, hot breakfast. We start with a hike up Arapa pass (4,958m/16,266ft) before we descend to our lunch spot near Puma Cocha – a deep blue lake and a perfect spot to enjoy the views while we dine. Along the hike, we will see local llama herdersAusangate Mountain range towering above us, and our expert guide will explain the history of the indigenous people of Ausangate as well as the landscape. After lunch, we continue hiking up to our second pass, Pucacocha (5,000m/16,404ft) where, if we are lucky, we may see condors soaring above and vicuñas grazing in the wild. Then, we descend to our campsite of Chillca where we will be surrounded by towering mountains and incredible hanging glaciers, where we can watch for the glaciers crashing into the lake below! As always, camp will be set up for you to change and rest your weary legs while dinner is being prepared.

  • Distance: 15km/ 9.3miles
  • Elevation: 4,300m/ 14,100ft
  • Hiking time: 7 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodations: camping

Day 3: Chillca- Rainbow Mountain (5200m)- Lake Ausangate

Today, starts with Chillca pass (5,051m/16,571ft), a very colorful mountain but just the beginning of what comes next. After crossing the pass you enter into the Red Mountain valley, a vast desert landscape with surrounding vibrant colors, and llamas grazing below. When we approach the top of the pass, we will incredible views of the valleys belowt! From here, we descend to circle lake and continue walking a Peruvian flat until we are presented with our last climb to the Rainbow Mountain. This natural, colorful phenomenon is beyond words.  We will enjoy lunch in the surrounding area, and head back down the valley to make our way to the beautiful Lake Ausangate, where camp will be set up and waiting for us to take a rest our weary bodies.

  • Distance: 20km/12.4miles
  • Elevation: 4,300m/14,107ft – 5,200m/17,060ft
  • Hiking time: 7-8 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Accommodations: camping

Day 4: Lake Ausangate- Palomani Pass – Pampacancha

Hiking less distance today, as yesterday was a big day, we pass beautiful small glacial lakes, lush green everglades, and walk along the edge of the river. Today, is a great day for spotting wildlife so keep an eye out for condors, and vicuñas.

  • Distance: 17km/10.5miles
  • Elevation: 4,300m/14,107ft – 5,400m/17,716ft
  • Hiking time: 7 – 8 hours
  • Accommodations: camping
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 5: Pampacancha – Qampa Pass – Pacchanta (hot springs/ Camping)

As we only have one pass to cross, we will take it slow today to enjoy the deep blue lagoons and colored glacial lakes along the way. If you are in the polar bear club, you are welcome to jump into the cold water and take a swim. Views of the massive Ausangate Mountain are still visible, only today you will get to enjoy them from a different angle along with views of Pacchanta Valley. Our goal is the hot springs of Pacchanta, where we will enjoy a nice, hot soak and the views of the Ausangate Mountain above.

  • Distance: 16k/10miles
  • Elevation: 4,300m/14,107ft- 5,400m/17,716ft
  • Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours
  • Accommodations: camping
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 6: Pacchanta – Tinqui

Today is the easiest day of our trek as we make our way back to the starting point of Tinqui, we will walk on flat ground and celebrate our accomplishments. When we arrive to the village, we will have our final lunch on the trek while everything is packed up in our private transportation to head back to back to Cusco where you will be dropped off at your hotel around 5pm.

Note: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or other events which are beyond our control. We will always do our best to follow the itinerary as closely as possible.

  • Distance: 16k/10miles
  • Elevation: 4,000m (descending)
  • Hiking time: 3 – 4 hours
  • Accommodations: camping
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch

Inclusions

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

  • Private transportation to and from the trek
  • Professional English-speaking Guide
  • Meals as indicated
  • 7kgs personal luggage allowance to put on the horses
  • Personal Duffel Bags for your extra luggage to put on the horses
  • Spacious tents; Sleeping mats; Dining tent, kitchen tent, latrine tent
  • Horses to carry the group equipment (food, tents, tables, etc.)
  • 1 Emergency Horse
  • Emergency Oxygen bottle and first aid kit
  • Tips for the crew, guide, cook and porters of ORANGE NATION PERU

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:   

  • Sleeping Bag –$25 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air Mattress –$25 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles –$20 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent -$30 USD – (Please request when you book your trek)
  • Breakfast on the 1st day
  • Dinner on the 6th day

Price

The Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Trek is available to depart any day of the week as long as we have two people.

No. OF PEOPLEPRICE
2 to 8 people$ 757 USD per person

Personal porter included!

***This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7kgs, we provide you a duffel bag, to put your things.

***We provide large Eureka 4 man tents for each 2 trekkers.

DISCOUNTS

  • Group of 5 or more:$30 USD – All you need is to book the trek together at the same time.

EXTRAS

  • Sleeping Bag –$25 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air Mattress –$25 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles –$20 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent- $30 USD – (Tent for single trekkers only)

ADDED VALUES FOR FREE

  • Thick Foam Mattresses
  • Small pillow
  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel (Cusco only)
  • Boiled water for drinking purposes
  • Personal porter included
  • Duffle bags and trash plastic bags
  • Thick warm blanket to put over the sleeping bag
  • Hot water bottles to put into your sleeping bag so you can sleep like a baby

Important Info

Please read the following information carefully ; it will help with your questions about our services and the Ausangate Trek

ARRIVAL TO CUSCO

We will greet you at Cusco airport and take you to your hotel, please inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to arrival. Our representative will be holding an orange board reading ORANGE NATION Peru outside the arrival terminal.

THE BRIEFING

The Briefing will be at 6pm at our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa  Nº383; 101 (first floor) we are next to SUBWAY restaurant and across the street from Sunat.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE

ABSOLUTELY! During the Ausangate trek your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are free.

HOW TO BOOK THE TREK

FIRST, to book your Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Trek, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here – BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Trek entrance tickets without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.O.B. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of $286.00 USD per person in order to purchase a permit for the Ausangate Trek. You can make you deposit by clicking on the PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.

WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?

It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many ATMs within the historical center to withdraw money.  You can also pay by PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPALyou need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address samtravelperu@gmail.com. 

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

Unfortunately the answer is No. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure dates. Tickets are not transferable nor refundable and final.

With alternative treks we may be able to change dates for a fee depending on what has been already purchased.  Please contact the office as soon as possible if you need to change your date.
If you cancel your Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE TREK

The expected weather in the area of Rainbow Mountain Peru usually is divided in two big seasons: dry and wet. As the zone of Rainbow Mountains Cusco forms part of the Cordillera Vilcanota in the Peruvian Andes, the dry season is considered from May to November mostly sunny days, with minimum percentage of rain or bad days, recommended time to trek to the Rainbow Mountains. But the rainy season usually is from December to April with hail storms, snowy, cloudy days and not much visibility on the mountains. During the winter season (June- August) the places in the proximity of the Rainbow Mountain Peru get warmer days but cold at night; Summer season (December- March) usually the trail gets wet, muddy and difficult to walk. Travelers visiting the Rainbow Mountains Cusco should be prepared for the quick change of temperatures and climates even in winter, but much more in summer season. Due to the global warming the weather conditions in the Andes is becoming very changeable and very unstable. It can be very cold at the high altitudes of this trek.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS ON THE TREK

For some visitors, the first hours in Cusco can be summarized as: shortness of breath, a discomfort in the body, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, even vomiting. As great connoisseurs of natural medicine, the Incas used coca leaves to counteract soroche, quechua for high-altitude sickness.

Don’t do anything other than rest

If you travel from Lima to Cusco, the effect can be immediate. This lack of oxygen, scientifically known as hypoxia, begins to manifest itself at 7,874 ft (2,399 m) above sea level. That’s why right after landing in Cusco, visitors can feel fatigued and have difficulty walking. Walking one block could feel like walking ten blocks carrying a backpack full of rocks. It is advisable to take it really easy on the first day and, if possible, rest the first few hours to help the body acclimatize to the altitude.

Stay hydrated

How do people feel after a night of drinking? Thirsty. That’s how you’ll feel when you arrive in Cusco. As already stated, the body dehydrates quickly in high altitudes. It is recommended you drink lots of water before and during your trip to Cusco. Also, avoid heavy meals since your stomach takes longer to digest food at high altitudes. A diet of low proteins and high carbs is advisable.

Discovering coca

No one knew better the effects of high altitude than indigenous peoples. Coca is the best natural medicine to combat altitude sickness. It was even considered sacred because of its curative powers and is still used in the same way now as it was in the time of the Incas. It contains iron, vitamins A, B1, B2 and calcium, among other nutrients. Coca makes it easier for your bloodstream to absorb oxygen, suppresses hunger, combats fatigue, headaches and can ease your stomach. If you do not feel like chewing leaves (which can be bitter, apart from numbing your mouth), you can try drinking coca tea, which is most commonly found in the lobby of hotels in Cusco.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?

The maximum group size is 8 persons.  Our groups are between 2-6 persons. ORANGE NATION Peru specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups to provide a personalized service.

HOW MANY COOKS/PORTERS FOR THE GROUP?

You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, they will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.

HIKING THE TREK 

The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFEL BAG to pack your clothes for the next six days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/14lbs. Your team of porters will carry your duffel bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. Please Note: you will not have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the Ausangate trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain coat, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc.  A 30 to 50L backpack is sufficient.

IS THE TREK DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?

Yes, it is a challenging trek with most of the you are over 4,ooo meters or 13,123 feet. You need to be in good physical condition and accustomed to hiking.

In preparation: try walking 15kms a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least 3 days in Cusco (3,350m/11,047ft) before starting the trek.

WHAT ABOUT TOILETS ON THE AUSANGATE TREKS?

ORANGE NATION Peru toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.” Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite. If you need to use the toilet at night, it is readily accessible and clean.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM UNABLE TO FINISH THE AUSANGATE TREK

This has not happened for years but in the scenario that you are unable to finish the trek due to a health issue, Orange Nation Peru will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required).

ARE WE GOING TO BE DROPPED OFF AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE AUSANGATE TREK?

OF COURSE! Included in the package and on the last day we will drop you at your hotel in Cusco! If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley, we will drop you there too!

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires them to give excellent service and is customary in the tourism industry across many ORANGE NATION Peru destinations. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you feel, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip.

ARE WE SUSTAINABLE? 

Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tour operator, for that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the indigenous people.

Packing list

WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU FOR THE AUSANGATE TREK?

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Valid University card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage:  2-3L (Camelbaks are encouraged)
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from Orange Nation)
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Toilet paper

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR DUFFLE BAG IN THE AUSANGATE TREK?

As a Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffel bag at your briefing and  INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.

  • 2 t-shirts.
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Bathing Suit for the thermal waters
  • Couple Fleece / Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º C
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash
  • Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us
  • Swimming Suit

TOILETRIES

  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal medications
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR BACKPACK IN THE AUSANGATE TREK?

We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40L for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.

  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water  at every meal time. Please bring your canteens
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Wool Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Coca leaves
  • Rain poncho (provided by ORANGE TRAVEL)
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
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