7 Days / 6 Nights
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 beautiful treks in Peru, passing through unspoiled landscapes of snow-capped mountains, glaciers and crystalline lakes.
The Rainbow Mountain to Machu Picchu trek takes its name from Mount Ausangate, a huge massif with various peaks, the highest measuring 6,384 m (20,945 ft). Ausangate was an important mountain in Inca mythology, and is still considered a sacred mountain apu, or mountain spirit. The Ausangate trek circles around the flanks of this spectacular mountain, through pristine landscapes where the only signs of human activity are 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 and explore a remote but stunning part of Peru.
Our Ausangate Rainbow Mountain trek ends with a day exploring Machu Picchu. It also includes Vinicunca, the spectacular Rainbow Mountain!
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 beautiful 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 get ready 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 switchb...
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 colors of the striped landscape, the result of varied mineralogical composit...
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 will h...
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 O...
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 you&rs...
These poles are designed to help you endure long treks into rugged, remote areas with a heavy pack. If you need a little extra support when walking, an adjustable folding walking stick is ideal. It has an aluminium body with plastic handles and base, it folds away neatly for easy storage when not in use.
Inca Trail Porters Protection Law No. 27607(Dec 6th 2001). Decreed Laws Numbers 19990 and 25897 Article 3 Conditions of work:
QUESTION IS, WHO ARE THE PORTERS?
Porters are indigenous Cusqueñian people who have lived in Cusco, at 4,000 meters high, all of their lives relying on the land of the Andes. Due to economic problems, it is important for these local indigenous people to continue working in the mountains they know so well, rather than give up their jobs in the country to move to the city. They prefer to stay in their local villages and support the education of their children by working as porters on tours.
Sadly, many tour operators don't give them the recognition they deserve. Often tour operators do NOT provide porters with adequate clothing or gear for carrying things while paying them very low salaries. Because of this, you will see thirsty, hungry porters with a low morale along the Inca Trail. Our government has created the Law of the Porter, which requires tour agencies to treat porters better and provide necessary resources for them, but sadly, many of these regulations are not met. Please make sure that the agency you book through respects the Porter Law and be sure to ask for proof of this. Otherwise you could be contributing to the ill treatment of these hard-working porters.
Those in search of a true once-in-a-lifetime experience can choose to make their pilgrimage to Machu Picchu in comfort with our sure-footed horses as their ideal traveling partners. Guests on horseback may choose to use along a uncrowded route that led early Incas to the great city of Machu Picchu.
Duffle bags for packing on cargo horses on relevant trips
Experienced Quechua Wranglers (muleteers) to look after all stock
No include Riding helmets (you may bring your own if you want)
Note that our sleeping bags are feather for those that are allergic
Now featuring our exclusive Atmos Foam to further reduce weight and boost compressibility, the ProLite is the lightest and most compact three-season mattress available. Self-inflation keeps set-up super-easy and its die-cut foam packs small, easily fitting inside the most ultralight packs. It's ideal for high-mileage, high-speed journeys where every gram counts. Stuff sack included.