This adventure will leave you wanting more!
Minimum Age: 10 Year(s)
Ausangate Mountain is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Vilcanota. The Cordillera Vilcanota is an impressive range of mountains which include the massive Nevado de Ausangate (6,385m) and three others tops over 6000m. It's excellent trekking circuit offering to the traveller everything you could want: spectacular mountain scenery, snow-capped peaks, hot springs, turquoise lakes, glaciers, herds of llamas and alpacas, picturesque villages and traditionally dressed Quechua people. This is a moderate to challenging trek, not technical with several high passes and often freezing cold nights so be prepared. This beautiful six days trek starts and finishes at the small Andean village of Tinqui and takes you around the massif of Ausangate mountain and over three high passes (two of them over 5000m). It is essential to be properly acclimatized for this hike spending at least two or three days in Cusco (or equivalent altitude) before starting.
Day 1: Cusco - Tinki - Upis / hot spring
At 5:00 am we pick you up from your hotel and w e leave the city of Cusco in a private transportation, and drive along the Cusco â€“ Puerto Maldonado highway in the direction of Tinki (3800m/12464ft). On the way we stop in Urcos, where we may visit a beautiful lake with the same name. We then go on to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we can appreciate the regionâ€™s spectacular views and finally pass through Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name and only half an hour away from our destination. After an approximated 3-hour drive, we arrive in Tinki, where we star our adventures. We leave Tinki initiating a slight climb that crosses through puna (dry, high area with little vegetation) to then arrive at our lunch spot after a three-hour walk. From here we already have beautiful views of the sacred Ausangate peak (6372m/20900ft). After lunch, we continue walking for another hour and a half to reach our campsite in Upis at 4400m. From this point, we may appreciate fabulous views of all the snow peaks in the area. We camp and dine directly in front of the Ausangate Mountain.
Day 2: Upis - La Arapa pass (4850m) - Ausangate cocha
After breakfast, we continue our hike ascending for two hours to reach La Arapa pass (4850m/15908ft). We then descend to our lunch spot, crossing an area of falcons and Â¨vizcachasÂ¨ or Andean rodents. This area also boasts three beautiful lakes with tones of reds, greens, and turquoises (Pukacocha, HatunPukacocha, and Qomerqocha) and spectacular views of the surrounding snow peaks. After lunch, we continue on a long and slow ascent that will take us, after about two hours, to the second mountain pass, the Abra de Apuchata (4900m), from which we descend, for another half an hour, towards our campsite at Ausangatecocha (4440m).
Day 3: Ausangatecocha - Palomani Pass (5200m) - QÂ´ampa
Today, we depart early to climb for two hours towards the third mountain pass, the Abra de Palomani (5200m). This is the highest part of the entire hike, from which we then descend for another 2h through an area of llamas, alpacas and Â¨vizcachasÂ¨ to reach Pampacancha (4050m). From here we follow an uphill trail until that leads us to our campsite in QÂ´ampa (4300m/14104ft). Along this easy 3-hour climb we may have the chance to spot llamas, alpacas, and maybe even pumas. We will camp and dine at this place.
Day 4: Q'ampa - Pacchanta / hot spring
We climb for 2 hours until we reach QÂ´ampa mountain pass (5000m/16400ft), where we may have the chance to spot the Andean deer. From here we descend towards the Qomerqocha lagoon to finally arrive at Pacchanta (4100m) after an approximated five-hour walk. Pacchanta is a little community with attractive hot springs where we can enjoy a relaxing dip. We camp and spend the night at this place. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner / Accommodation: Camping
Day 5: Pacchanta - Tinki - Return to Cusco
We leave Pacchanta and start to walk our way back to Tinki, which will take approximately 2 hours. Once in Tinki, we board a private transportation that will take us back to the city of Cusco, where we estimate to arrive after nightfall.
Note: This is a very difficult trek of high-altitude. You MUST allow yourself several days of acclimitazation.
Day 1: Cusco - Tinki
We leave the city of Cusco by local bus and drive along the Cusco â€“ Puerto Maldonado truck road in the direction of Tinki (3,800 m/12,467 ft). On the way we stop in Urcos to take some pictures of the colorful market. We then go on to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we can appreciate the region's spectacular views. After passing through Ausangate, the capital of the region, we arrive in Tinki after approximately six hours in the bus. In Tinki, we sleep in a local lodge and start the trek the next morning.
Day 2: Tinki - Pacchanta â€“ Qomerqocha Lagoon
After breakfast, we spend some time visiting the Tinki public school. We will meet the children of the neighboring communities that study at this school and we will give them some useful presents such as notebooks or pencils, things that are highly appreciated. Then we leave Tinki and start a 2.5 hour walk towards Pacchanta (4,100 m/13,451 ft) where we stop for lunch.
Pacchanta is a rural community and is well-known for its hot springs. There you have the option to take a dip while enjoying the views of Ausangate Mountain. In the afternoon we continue our hike through a slight climb up the Pacchanta Valley, where llamas and alpacas can be spotted. When we reach Laguna Qomercocha, we will have a nice dinner and spend the night. Our campsite will be set in a spectacular spot with amazing views of the Ausangate, Santa Catalina, Maria Huamantiqlla, Pucapunta, and Colquecruz snow-capped mountains.
Day 3: Qomerqocha Lagoon â€“ Yanamayo
After breakfast, we leave around 7:00 AM to begin a four-hour hike to the first mountain pass of our trek, Abra de QÂ´ampa (5,000 m/16,404 ft). We then descend towards the Ticllaqocha Lagoons, a beautiful group of small turquoise lagoons where we will have lunch. In the afternoon, we continue our hike for an additional two to three hours. We will reach Yanamayo, a beautiful valley shadowed by the Tres Picos, the Colquecruz and the Pucapunta peaks.
Day 4: Yanamayo â€“ Condorpaso
We leave the camp after breakfast and start a gradual climb up towards Yanaqocha (Black Lagoon). The name is referring to the dark color of its waters. In this area, the soil is volcanic and varies from dark red to black. Moraines, which are evidence of glacial activity, can also be found in this area. We will traverse the Yanaqocha pass (5,050 m/16,568 ft) to discover a beautiful valley filled with vibrant mountains and amazing lagoons. After crossing Yanaqocha, we ascend to our next mountain pass (5,100 m/16,732 ft). An hour after the last mountain pass, we will arrive at our campsite Condorpaso.
Day 5: Condorpaso - Lake Sibinacocha
After breakfast, we begin a two-hour climb up to the Abra del Condor pass (5,200 m/17,060 ft), which is the highest point of our trek. From the pass, we enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range and Lake Sibinacocha. If we're lucky, we'll also see vicuÃ±as. Then we continue hiking for three hours. During that time, we will cross another mountain pass and descend into the valley of the source of Lake Sibinacocha. We will camp next to a lagoon where an impressive glacier stands and nourishes the lake. The lagoon boasts of its vast bio-diversity; we will be able to spot Andean coots, geese, and ducks.
Day 6: Source of Lake Sibinacocha â€“ Ccascana
On day six, we depart early for a three-hour long walk along the shores of the Lake Sibinacocha. We will arrive at the Yayamari community, which lies next to the mountain of the same name. Yayamari is also an impressive peak that overlooks the lake (5,500 m/18,044 ft). Then we cross a pampa where we will likely see hundreds of llamas, alpacas and maybe even more vicuÃ±as. The day ends at Abra Ccascana (5,000 m/16,404 ft). This campsite is surrounded by small rural communities and snow-capped peaks.
Day 7: Ccascana â€“ Phinaya Cusco
After our breakfast, we leave Ccascana and start hiking for three and a half hours towards Phinaya for lunch. Phinaya is a small Andean community with a beautiful little church and no motorized vehicles. In the afternoon, we drive back to Cusco, where we expect to arrive after sunset.
Campsites are subject to change according to our guideâ€™s professional discretion and hiker progress.