+51.998.444.900 [email protected]
+51.998.444.900 [email protected]

Ausangate Trek (5 Days)

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Tour Details

Ausangate Trek is undoubtedly one of the scenic treks in Cusco. This is an off the beaten path experience. The snow capped Ausangate is the highest peak in Cusco. It towers to 6372 metres above sea level. 

Locally known as “Apus”, it was sacred to Incas and it is revered today by the Andean population. Every year thousands of pilgrims hike to the small church in the Sinakara Valley. On a clear day, the sacred Ausangate peak dominates the southern skyline of Cusco. 

The five days Ausangate Trek is a lifetime experience. It takes you through some untouched wilderness. You will have captivating views right from start at every turn. The trek goes through many high mountain passes dotted with glacier lakes and hot springs. 

On this trek, you will also have the opportunity to witness the life of remote Andean communities. Local people here have a pastoral lifestyle. They earn their daily needs by trading with the low-land farming villages. You will see them grazing herds of alpacas and llamas. 

People here continue to practice “Ayni”. In Quechua, it means reciprocity. Ayni implies an effectual fairness in relationships. 

They imply this give and take policy not only with people but also with nature. To have a good harvest, they offer sacrifices to “Apus”.

Although the trek doesn’t link to Machu Picchu, this can be more interesting than the Inca Trail. 

Ausangate Trek Difficulty:

Ausangate Trek can be categorised as a challenging experience with most high passes ranging from 4700 metres to 5200 metres above sea level. You will be passing through two high passes, Apara Pass at 4850 metres and Palomani Pass at 5165 metres. Altitude Sickness is often a serious concern here. It is highly recommended to spend at-least 3-4 days to acclimatize in Cusco before the trek.

We also recommend you to consult your physician about using Diamox. It is an efficient drug that helps in overcoming altitude sickness. Locals here widely consider chewing Coca Leaves. It may seem bizarre but the leaves are mild stimulants that combats thirst, hunger, pain and fatigue without the psychoactive effects of cocaine.

Best Time to do Ausangate Trek:

Ausangate is the highest mountain in Cusco and is a part of Cordillera Vilcanota (Vilcanota Mountain Range). It lies in the Andes. The mountain range is susceptible to two seasons – dry season and wet season. 

Peruvian highlands experience rains from December to March. During the wet season the trails are slippery. Hence it is ideal to do Ausangate Trek during the dry season, between April and November. 

Why Tayra Tours Cusco?

Tayra Tours Cusco is one of the trusted adventure tour operators in Cusco. We have specialised tour guides on all our high altitude treks. All our guides are locals who are born and raised in Cusco. 

Our guides have a thorough knowledge about the customs and traditions of Andean communities. They are also trained in first aid and using oxygen cans. 

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

0500 AM

Price Includes

  • Pre-Trek briefing
  • Cusco Hotel Transfer
  • Round Trip Transport
  • Local Guide (English and Spanish speaking)
  • Tent with an extra capacity for added comfort
  • Mattress
  • Cook
  • Meals
  • Mules and Muleteers
  • An extra horse for emergency use
  • First aid kit
  • All entrance fees

Price Excludes

  • Breakfast in the first morning
  • Lunch and Dinner on the last day
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Any Private Expenses

Recommended To Carry

  • A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
  • Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping. * This is a particularly cold trek, you should make sure you have a lot of very warm clothes.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Camera, batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
  • Sun block
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
  • Toilet papers
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
  • We advise you to bring water sterilising tablets in case you collect water from streams.
  • A medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
  • Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs )
  • Cash - sufficient for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Total distance – 70km/43 miles
  • Starting/finishing point – Tinqui (Tinki)
  • Average altitude – Over 4000m/13 123ft.
  • Highest points – Arapa Pass – 4850m/16 000ft; Palomani Pass – 5165m/17 000ft.

Day 1Cusco - Tinqui - Upis

At 0500 AM, we will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco. Then in our private transport, we will drive you to a small village in the Andes named Tinqui. It is at 3800 metres above the sea level and serves as a gateway to Ausangate. 

Our crew (muleteers and chef) will join the group here. So while they organise your personal belongings on mules, we will serve you lunch.  After lunch, we will begin the five days Ausangate Trek with a gradual uphill climb. You will have a wonderful introduction of the Vilcanota Mountain Range on the first three hours of the trek. 

We will then reach Upis. It is a small village at 4400 metres above sea level. The village is home to natural hot springs and offers an entrancing view of “Apus” – Ausangate Mountain. We will be camping here for the night. 

  • Hiking Distance: 7 kilometres
  • Duration of Trek: 5 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 4400 metres/14435 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 3800 metres/12467 ft. 
  • Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner

Day 2Upis - Ausangate Q'ocha

Our crew will be waking you up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea. We will serve you breakfast in a beautiful setting amidst the snow capped peaks. 

Then we will start hiking to our fist pass. Arapa pass nestles at 4850 metres. It offers an enchanting view of the valley. Here we will have a small break to immerse in the tranquility of nature. 

Then we will be hiking down to the valley.  It will be a three and a half hours hike. On our way we will cross a picturesque green lake called Puqa Q’ocha. 

From here we will be hiking to a turquoise lake named Hatun Puqa Q’ocha. We will have lunch here. 

After lunch, we will start with an uphill hike to Apacheta pass. It is at 4900 metres. You will have a beautiful view of Ausangate Q’ocha lagoon. We will be camping on the banks of this turquoise lagoon for the night. 

  • Hiking Distance: 11 kilometres
  • Duration of Trek: 7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 4900 metres/16076 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 4750 metres/15583 ft. 
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 3Ausangate Q’ocha - Q'ampa

We will start the day’s hike quite early after a nutritious breakfast. Then we will hike up to the highest point of Ausangate Trek, Palomani Pass at 5200 metres. 

We will have a brief stop at the pass. Then we will descend to the valley for lunch. The valley offers a captivating view of “Tres Picos” also known as three peaks. 

We will then trek through a lush green valley named Pampa Jutunpata to Rio Q’ampa valley where we will be camping.

  • Hiking Distance: 12 kilometres
  • Duration of Trek: 7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 5200 metres/17060 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 4641 metres/15226 ft. 
  • Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner

Day 4Q'ampa - Pacchanta

We will be hiking through a small village which is home to the Andean community of Q’ampa. Then we will be hiking up to the last pass of the Ausangate 5 Days Trek, Q’ampa Pass at 5000 metres. Here you will be able to see different coloured lakes. We will be having lunch near Q’oma Q’ocha lake. 

Then we will be continuing the hike to Pacchanta. It is a village famous for the natural hot springs. You can relax and unwind in the hot springs and spend the evening. 

We will be camping here. The village also has basic hostels. You can upgrade to a hostel room for extra comfort. 

  • Hiking Distance: 12 kilometres
  • Duration of Trek: 7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 5060 metres/16601 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 4360 metres/14304 ft. 
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 5Pacchanta - Tinqui - Cusco

This is the most relaxed day of the 5 days Ausangate Trek. After relishing breakfast, we will hike back to Tinqui. It will be a three hours hike. 

Here we will be meeting our transport. We will then drive you back to Cusco. At around 0300 PM, we will be reaching the city of Cusco. 

  • Hiking Distance: 7 kilometres
  • Duration of Trek: 3 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 4360 metres/14304 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 3800 metres/12467 ft. 

Meals Included: Breakfast.

1 Review
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Solo Traveller

It was truly a lifetime experience. Ausangate Trek should top your bucket list. It takes you to some unspoilt places in the Andes. I am very thankful to Richard my guide from Tayra Tours. Everything was just as planned.

February 3, 2020