Without a doubt, the 7 day / 6 night Ausangate trail offers some of the most wonderful scenery in the whole of the Cusco area, with many birds, wildlife, glaciers and high alpine lakes. It is also one of the most challenging in the region with three high passes over 5,000 metres/ 16000 feet. On a clear day, Apu Ausangate dominates Cusco’s southern skyline. As we draw closer to this massive massif (6,380 metres/ 20 926 feet) one becomes increasingly impressed and understands fully why the ancient Incas held this spectacular mountain in such high regard. During the whole Ausangate trek circuit we pass local villages where the people dress in their typical attire – the women in beautiful flatboard hats with trimmings – and llamas graze freely.
Ausangate is a mountain of the Willkanuta mountain range in the Andes of Peru. With an elevation of 6,384 metres it is situated around 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco. The mountain has significance in Incan mythology: In the Andes of Southern Peru, the high mountains are considered the most powerful of the traditional deities. Ausangate is the highest and the most respected mountain, worshiped from Cuzco to Lake Titicaca. From its snows, sacred waters flow past Machu Picchu to the Amazon. Quechua people who live on the slopes of Ausangate have maintained their way of life largely unknown to the outside world and in close relationship to the mountain, much as their ancestors did before them. Ausangate, at 20,800’ is a sacred peak or Apu, a powerful mountain inspiring the lives and rituals of the Quechua. Qoyllulr Rit’I, the largest pilgrimage in Peru, draws thousands of people to Ausangate each year to make offerings and in return to receive the mountain’s blessings.
Ausangate is the ultimate trekking destination in the Cusco area. This beautiful snow-capped peak is one of the main features of the Cusco skyline but very few people actually ever see it up close. The area around Ausangate is full of natural beauty; with azure lakes and the majestic snow-capped peak ever-present; the scenery here is truly amazing.
On this amazing 7 day trek we will pass by llama and alpaca herding communities, as it constitutes one of the few remaining pastoralist societies in the world. High mountain trails are used by these herders to trade with agricultural communities at lower elevations. Currently, one of these trails, “the road of the Apu Ausangate”, is one of the most renowned treks in Peru – and for good reason!
The 7 day Ausangate trek really allows you to see a part of Peru few ever visit. This unforgettable trail is perfect for people with a thirst for adventure!
By booking the Ausangate Trek with PumaPath you are choosing the best!
- Starting Altitude – 3800m / 12,467ft.
- Highest Altitude – 5200m / 17,056ft.
- Walking Distance – ?km / ? miles
- Longest Day – Day ?, approximately ?km / ? miles
- Coldest Night – Day ? around ?º celsius
- Overall Difficulty – Very difficult
Day 1: Cusco – Tinki
We’ll set out from Cusco along the Puerto Maldanado road, heading for the village of Tinki, where we will begin our trek. It’s a 6 hour journey in total. Along the way we will stop at various villages to learn about the different cultures, traditions and customs that exist in this area. Upon arrival to Tinki (3800m) we will spend the night in a local lodge.
Day 2: Tinki – Pacchanta – Lake Qomercocha
We’ll begin our day with a visit to the public school in Tinki. Tinki has the only school in the region so all of the children from the surrounding communities come here to study. After meeting the children you can give them any gifts you may have brought them, such as pencils or notebooks, before we begin our trek.
Our first destination is the community of Pacchanta, a 2.5 hour walk. Pacchanta is famous for its thermal baths. We’ll have the opportunity to stop and have a relaxing dip before continuing on to our campsite at Lake Qomercocha. Throughout the day, we will have fantastic views of Ausangate, Santa Catalina, Maria Huamantiqlla, Pucapunta and Colquecruz towering above us.
Day 3: Lake Qomercocha – Yanamayo
Setting off early from our campsite we’ll begin ascending to the first pass of the trek (5080m) which takes about 3-4 hours in total. It’s pretty difficult, but the views along the way make it worth it. After taking in the views from the pass, we’ll make our way to the Ticllaqocha Lagoons, a beautiful group of turquoise lagoons where we’ll have lunch. In the afternoon we’ll arrive at our campsite at Yanamayo.
Day 4: Yanamayo – Condorpaso
From Yanamayo, we’ll once again begin to climb up to Lake Yanacocha (Black Water), named after its dark waters. The area around the lake is rich in volcanic soils which range in color from dark red to black. There is evidence that the area was once covered by glaciers as shown by the piles morraine.
From Yanacocha, our journey continues until we reach the pass (5050m) where we will have fantastic views of the mountains, lagoons and herds of llamas and alpacas grazing below. Our destination today is Condorpaso, which lies beyond one more even higher pass (5100m).
Day 5: Condorpaso – Lake Sibinacocha
Today we’ll reach the highest altitude of the whole trek. Roughly a two hour walk from our campsite lies the next pass (5200m) from where we’ll get our first views of Lake Sibinacocha and the Vilcanota mountain range. The area we are trekking in receives very few visitors and this makes it perfect for us to spot the rare and reclusive “Vicuña” (a wild breed of Camelid renowned for its fine wool).
From the pass, it’s about a 5 hour walk 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
Awaking by the lake is a beautiful spectacle in the gentle dawn light; the lakes waters perfectly still and not a sound to be heard other than the birds. It’s a perfect place to enjoy breakfast and acknowledge that by tomorrow we’ll be back in civilization.
From Lake Sibinacocha, our trek takes us to the community of Yayamari, and then across a plateau to our final campsite at Ccascana. Along the way we’ll see hundreds of alpacas, llamas and hopefully some vicuña. Our campsite is surrounded by impressive snow-capped peaks, though the small rural communities that dot the area show us that we’re getting close to civilization.
Day 7: Ccascana – Phinaya – Cusco
The final stretch of our trek takes us down the mountain to the small community of Phinaya, a 3.5 hour walk away. This small Andean community has a beautiful little church and no presence of vehicles; only bikes and horses. We’ll stop here for lunch and wait for our bus to bring us back to Cusco.
- Ceremony with your tour guide and locals
- Professional English Speaking Tour Guide
- Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 9+
- Mules / Porters to carry cooking and camping equipment
- Mules / Personal porter to carry 10kg of your personal belongings
- Pick-up from your hotel
Transportation by bus from Cusco to Tinki and from Phinaya to Cusco
- Water (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own)
- 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Afternoon Snacks and 6 Dinners. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- 4 man tent for every 2 trekkers
- Sleeping mattress, sleeping bag
- Oxygen bottle
- First aid kit
- Walking Poles
- Breakfast and lunch on Day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 7
- Tips for staff are not mandatory, but are a great gesture of gratitude.
- Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to purchase travel insurance for the duration of your trip.
Trekker’s Packing List:
- Original Passport
- ISIC card (if applicable)
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
- Warm jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Comfortable Trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun cream (SPF35 or higher)
- Insect repellent
- Toiletries and hand sanitizer
- Personal medication
- Camera and film
- Torch with spare batteries
At Puma Path, your comfort and safety are of our utmost concern. Therefore, we provide all necessary camping equipment for your trek. Included in prices are: sleeping tent, rollmat and pillow for your comfort. Please feel free to bring your own sleeping bag if you prefer.
Private Service Prices
- 2 people : US$865 per person
- 3 people : US$815 per person
- 4 people : US$765 per person
- 5 people+ : US$740 per person
- Student Discount: US$20 (Requires ISIC Card to qualify)
- Sleeping Bag US$35
- Inflatable Mattress US$30
- Single Tent Supplement US$75
- Mule to carry extra 7kg of personal items US$120
- Single tent: US $75
- Personal mule (half) to carry extra 7kg of personal items: US $75
- Full mule to carry 14kg of personal items: US $150
- Walking Pole: US $20
HORSES OR PORTERS: On this trek we provide horses to carry food and camping equipment. There will be one cook, his assistant, two horsemen, and one porter who will be picking up trash on the trail. You will have a personal allowance of 7kg for your gear. This will not be available during the day as the horsemen will be ahead of the group.
OUR GUIDES: Most of our guides began as porters before they went to Cusco University and Institute where they learned about the Inca history. They are always learning in order to be the best guide. They each speak English fluently, along with Spanish and Quechuan, the Inca Language. They are all able to communicate with natives from around the area and have lots of history to share with you.
OUR FOOD: Definitely one of the highlights of the tour is the food. It is always fresh and most of it is organic. There is always a lot to eat and a variety of options including vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and other types of protein and carbohydrates. Everyone sits down to eat together and we go out of our way to accommodate all dietary requirements including vegetarian options and any food allergies. We do not provide any alcoholic drinks on the trek but if you would like you can bring your own.
OUR EQUIPMENT: We provide 4 man tents for only 2 people and foam mattresses for everyone. Our dining equipment includes a spacious dining tent, tables and chairs, plates and utensils. We do not supply walking sticks, but they can be rented from Puma Path. We bring an extra blanket for all our hikers for those especially cold nights. Just ask and your guide will provide you with this.
Please note that if you are over 1.95 meters / 6´4″ tall then you won´t be able to rent a sleeping bag in Cusco. In this case it is recommended to bring your own.
WE ARE SUSTAINABLE: We always pick up waste along the trail as we go. We respect the local people, teach them to keep the land clean, and help the local children. We always take one extra porter who will be on the trail just to clean up the bottles and plastic bags that those who came before us threw away.
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE: We treat our hikers, porters and all the local people from the villages with the utmost respect. We travel in small groups to give personalized tours to each traveler. We pay good salaries to our porters and follow the Porter’s Law. We provide all our porters with their hiking gear such as shoes, pants, jackets, t-shirts, hats, sleeping bags and most importantly, health insurance.
FITNESS: The trek is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. Fitness is naturally important but this is the kind of trek that anyone with a positive attitude and determination can do. Obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will have to take in the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do some extra walking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip.
Many people worry whether they will be able to cope physically but complete failure is rare and would usually only result from severe altitude sickness or a person lacking even a basic level of fitness. People of all ages (from teenagers to pensioners) complete the trek and age itself is no barrier if you are positive minded and live an active lifestyle. Before departing for your tour, we recommend visiting your doctor who will be able to provide you with more information.
STORAGE DURING THE TREK: During the trek your main luggage will be stored in Cusco and you will receive a small duffel bag at your trail briefing (briefings are normally set for the evening before the trek) to pack clothes for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group. You should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water, sun screen, etc. By Peruvian law the duffel bag carried by the porters must not weigh more than 7kg (14pounds). You can either store your luggage at your hotel or you can leave it with us.
BOOKING: The Ausangate Trek is available to depart any day of the week so long as we have two people. You still need to book in advance.
Thanks for traveling with Puma Path, a 100% local company!