Ausangate & rain bow mountain 4D/3N
This trail is for those who are looking to explore the Andes in the puna areas – exploring the majesty of the Andes and learning about the traditions of the Andean people. The area is inhabited by traditional Inca animals such as large herds of llamas, alpacas and this is the only area in Cusco region to see the Inkan indigenous habitat of the VICUÑA (which has most expensive wool in the world!) Besides seeing these most impressive views of the glacier peaks and blue lakes, you will enjoy the hike of llamas in the Vilcanota Mountain Range. You will also be amongst the first to enjoy the newly discovered and now famous RAINBOW MOUNTAINS in Vinicunca.
Day 1- CUSCO – TINKI – UPIS – HOT SPINGS
We will pick you up from your hotel at 4:00AM to begin this amazing expedition. You will have private transportation to the trailhead at Tinki. Tinki 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. Then you will begin the hike which will be a 3 to 4 hour gradual uphill hike until we reach our lunch area. Along the way we will have amazing views of Ausagnate, still far in the distance from where we will ultimately be. We will pass by a few traditional villages and perhaps meet some local people, dressed in their very colorful, traditional clothing while accompanying their grazing animals which are indigenous to this area – llamas and alpacas. Our lunch spot is in an amazing location surrounded by stunning mountains and an exellent view of Ausangate Glacier peak. After lunch it will be another 2 hour hike until we reach our campsite at Upis Alto near the famous hot springs. Upis Alto is a small village located at 4100 m/13451 ft elevation. This will be our first campsite at the skirt of famous Ausangate.
Walked distance: 13km / 8 miles
Campsite elevation: 4100 m / 13450 ft
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water
Weather: dry / cold
Day 2 – UPIS – CONDOR PASS – PUCACCOCHA
After an early, nutricious breakfast with your trekking team you will prepare for the second day of the hike. Today 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 beautifull area where you will enjoy your second 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.
Walked distance: 12 km /7 ½ miles
Campsite elevation: 4300 m / 14,100 ft
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking wáter
Weather: dry / cold
DAY 3: PUCACCOCHA – ALPACA PASS – CHILLCA – VICUÑA PASS YANACCOCHA
We will wake you up early in the morning with a hot cup of coca tea to start one of the most beautiful days of the trek. You will enjoy the majestic views of some of the highest peaks in the Andes and the depths of the beautiful valleys. You will have two mountain passes to make today.
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 magestic 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 enyoy the Chillca 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 Chillca 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 Lake Yanaccocha 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!
Walked distance: 15 km/9.3 miles
Campsite elevation 4400 m/ 14,435 ft
Meals : breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water
Weather: Dry / cold
Day 4: YANACCOCHA – RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – CHILLCA VILLAGE – CUSCO
After an early final breakfast with your trekking team and enjoying the famous tradiitonal warm drinks such as coca tea, it will be about 1½ hours gradual uphill trek until we reach the famous RAINBOW MOUNTIANS and the Red Mountain Valley located at 5200m /17060 ft elevation. Your guide will walk you to the best spots to get the perfect postcard pictures of these incredible mountain and the other surrounding mountains. Your guide also will explain why these mountaina are special and really are something quite different from any other mountains in the Vilcantoa 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 Chillca Valley for about 3 hours where you will enjoy your final lunch with your team. We will then drive back to Cusco – about 4 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 6PM.
Walked distance: 12 km /7 ½ miles
Meals: breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinking wáter
Weather: dry / cold