10 Days / 9 Nights
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The Ausangate trek is considered one of the most challenging treks to Machu Picchu, in large part due to the high altitude along the route. But if you’re up for the challenge, the Ausangate trek is one of the most naturally beautiful treks in Peru, passing through unspoiled landscapes of snow-capped mountains, glaciers and crystalline lakes.
The trek takes its name from The Apu Ausangate, Apus meaning “Sacred Mountain, in the native language of Quechua. A huge glacier with various peaks, the highest measuring 6,384 m (20,945 ft). Ausangate was an important mountain in Inca mythology and even today, is still considered a deity. The trek circles around the flanks of this spectacular mountain, through pristine landscapes where the only signs of human activity are tiny hamlets and high mountain trails used by the local llama and alpaca herding communities. This trail is also far less traveled by other trekkers, making it ideal for people who really want to get away from it all get off the beaten path and explore a remote yet stunning part of Peru. Why don’t you try off season? March, April, September and October are particularly good months, either side of high season, the weather is still decent and there are fewer people!
Our Ausangate trek ends with a day exploring Machu Picchu. It also includes the spectacular “Vinicunca”, the Rainbow Mountain!
Arrival to Cusco with a transfer to your hotel; a welcome meeting will be organized by your guide for a quick briefing of the tour. The rest of the day can be spent exploring Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, set in the Andes Mountains. Discover Spanish churches and mansions that sit alongside Inca remains, visit the local market of San Pedro and their array of products from handicrafts to vegetable products, fresh juices and items for traditional Andean ceremonies. ...
After breakfast, enjoy a free day to explore Cusco at your ease. The capital city of the Inca Empire is now the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, as well as the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. You may visit the local archaeological sites of Saqsaywaman, Tambomachay and Qenqo or you can take part in a Peruvian cooking class or chocolate making class, depending on how you want to spend your free day. We can help arrange and suggest all activities a...
Our adventure begins when we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at around 4:30 a.m. We then have a 3.5-hour drive through spectacular scenery, stopping occasionally to enjoy the views, before eventually arriving at the village of Upis. Upis sits at 4,350 m (14,272 ft) above sea level, and this is where we find the trailhead for our Ausangate trek. Here we will meet our local muleteers and horses, have a hearty breakfast and prepare to set off on our great adventure....
Waking up to watch the beautiful sunrise, we’ll first have a tasty breakfast before starting our second day of trekking. We begin on a trail with a series of ups and downs, passing some of the prettiest scenery yet. Here, blue and turquoise lagoons are dotted all around the foot of the Ausangate Massif, creating a magical landscape that wouldn’t look out of place in a Lord of the Rings movie.
After hiking for about 1.5 hours, we will start ascending a s...
Today we visit the beautiful Vinicunca, also known as the Montaña de Siete Colores or Rainbow Mountain. After an early breakfast, we’ll hike for about 1.5 hours until we reach the famous Rainbow Mountain, at about 5,050 m. Our early start means we’ll beat the large crowds that visit the mountain, and we should have it all to ourselves for about 45 minutes -- enough time to enjoy the splendid colours of the striped landscape, the result of varied mineralogical compos...
Today is the shortest day of trekking so far in terms of distance covered, but we will be trekking up to the highest point on our Ausangate adventure. After breakfast, we’ll begin trekking up to the Palomani mountain pass, which sits at 5,130 m (16,831 ft) above sea level – the highest pass on the whole trail. It’s a challenging hike, especially at this altitude, but we’ll take it slowly and you can stop for a breather whenever you want.
After another great breakfast cooked by our chef, we will walk gradually up to the last mountain pass of our trek, the Jhampa pass, at 5,060 m (16,601 ft). From here we have amazing views of glaciated peaks right in front of us.
We’ll now start trekking gradually downhill for two hours, passing by more pretty lakes and keeping an eye out for alpacas and chinchillas. Eventually we’ll reach our last campsite at Ninaparayoq (4,700 m). Upon our arrival, we ...
Our morning begins with a hot cup of coca tea and another excellent breakfast, after which we set off on a 2.5-hour downhill hike to the town of Pacchanta, where the trail ends. Here we can soothe our muscles in the local hot springs and have lunch, thinking back on our epic trekking adventure through the mountains. We’ll also say goodbye to our local muleteers, chef and other trekking staff.
We now return to our private transport for the four-hour drive to ...
To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning on Day 7 so we can get to the Inca citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast in Aguas Calientes first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:40 a.m. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu.
We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here ...
After breakfast enjoy your last day at leisure before transferring to the airport for your return flight home via Lima.