Peru

Ausangate Lodge to Lodge Trek to the Rainbow Mountain - 5 Days

Trek the world class Ausangate trail via this stunning lodge to lodge Adventure

Ausangate Lodge to Lodge Trek to the Rainbow Mountain - 5 Days

Trek the world class Ausangate trail via this stunning lodge to lodge Adventure

Embark on a captivating five-day expedition through the awe-inspiring Cordillera Vilcanota, traversing the renowned "Camino Del Apu Ausangate" route nestled near the majestic Apu Ausangate, the revered peak of the Cusco region. The Apu symbolizes life and stands as the guardian of one of the world's most pristine mountain ecosystems.

Our journey is enriched by the presence of llamas and horses, graciously lent by the shepherds of Chillca community, who generously share their land and the spirit of their extraordinary world with us. Accompanied by these faithful companions, we embark on a trekking adventure like no other.

Each day, our path leads us through breathtaking landscapes and cultural encounters. We are welcomed into the warmth of Andean Lodges, known as "Tambos," where skilled chefs tantalize our taste buds with an array of authentic Peruvian dishes, complemented by the vibrant melodies of local musicians serenading us into the evening.

Highlights:

  • Mountain Lodges: Experience the luxury of nights in our Exclusive Mountain Lodges deep in the Andes.
  • Rainbow Mountain: Witness the surreal beauty of Rainbow Mountain (without the crowds) with its vivid, multicolored stripes, making for an unforgettable natural wonder.
  • Ausangate Trail Exploration: Trek through the remarkable Ausangate trail, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and cultural significance.
  • Local Culture: Engage with local communities and farmers, gaining a deeper understanding of their traditions and way of life while surrounded by the stunning Andean scenery.
  • Llama and Alpaca Encounters: Marvel at llamas and alpacas grazing in their natural habitat, adding to the authenticity of your Andean experience.

Trip Departures:

Fixed Group Departures: Every Friday

Private Departures: On Demand

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Trip ITINERARY

DAY 1: CUSCO - CHILLCA

Setting off early from Cusco, we journey alongside the Vilcanota River, pausing to explore the ancient temple of Checacupe before continuing through the picturesque valley of Pitumarca. Our first day culminates in Chillca, where the community extends a heartfelt welcome, accompanied by traditional Andean music and revitalizing coca tea.

  • Drive Time: 3.5 hours
  • Hiking Time: 1.5 hours
  • Distance: 1.9 miles (3 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 492 ft (150 m)

DAY 2: CHILLCA – MACHURACAY

Following a hearty breakfast, we venture into the glacier-laden Phinaya valley, encountering herds of llamas and alpacas along the way. As we ascend towards Mt. Santa Catalina, the majestic Pjachaj waterfall captivates our senses. After a scenic picnic lunch, we press on to Machuracay Lodge, where the native hosts await our arrival.

  • Hiking Time: 6 hours
  • Distance: 6.2 miles (9.9 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 2,295 ft (700 m)

DAY 3: MACHURACAY-ANANTAPATA

Today presents our first mountain pass challenge, rewarding us with panoramic vistas at over 16,000 feet. Descending past glaciers, we reach Ausangate Cocha Lake for a well-deserved lunch amidst striking red sandstone formations. The day concludes at Anantapata Lodge, offering respite and stunning vistas.

  • Hiking Time: 5 hours
  • Distance: 6.6 miles (10.6 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 2,950 ft (900 m)

DAY 4: ANANTAPATA-HUAMPOCOCHA

Our journey continues with a trek through diverse landscapes, passing by Lake Kayrawiri and the famed Rainbow Mountain. Amidst the vibrant hues of Mt. Vinicunca, we pause for lunch and reflection before continuing to Huampococha Lodge, where comfort awaits amidst the Andean splendor.

  • Hiking Time: 6 hours
  • Distance: 6.6 miles (10.6 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 2,296 ft (700 m)

DAY 5: HUAMPOCOCHA-CUSCO

As our adventure draws to a close, we ascend one final pass, savoring the grandeur of the mountains before descending through a captivating limestone forest. Reaching Trapiche, we bid farewell to the Andes, returning to Cusco by bus, cherishing the memories of our remarkable journey.

  • Hiking Time: 4.5 hours
  • Distance: 5.2 miles (8.3 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 3,608 ft (1,100 m)
  • Drive time to Cusco: 3 hours

Preparation for the Trek:

Acclimatization is paramount to ensuring a comfortable and healthy journey through high-altitude terrain. Our team is dedicated to assisting you in optimizing this crucial phase and ensuring your well-being throughout the expedition.

Before embarking on the Apu Ausangate Route, all trekkers must complete a 3 to 4-day acclimatization period. This typically involves arriving in Cusco and engaging in local activities such as visiting Machu Picchu or exploring the Sacred Valley before commencing the Ausangate trek. This period is vital for adjusting to altitudes surpassing 5,000 meters, guaranteeing a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Additionally, participants should be in good physical health and fitness to fully participate in trekking activities.

Altitude sickness, locally known as soroche, may manifest at altitudes above 3,000 meters, presenting symptoms such as headaches, loss of appetite, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping. To mitigate these effects, it's recommended to prioritize rest, engage in light walks, maintain a light diet, and stay hydrated by drinking ample water and coca leaf tea. Avoiding alcohol consumption during the initial days of acclimatization is also highly advisable.

Before your departure, we advise consulting with your physician regarding medicinal options suitable for high-altitude environments, such as Diamox. For further guidance and detailed information on medical considerations during travel, please feel free to reach out to us.

Weather Conditions Along the Ausangate Trek:

The high mountains present a challenging yet invigorating climate, ideal for adventurous endeavors.

In the high Andean region, days typically feature clear skies and abundant sunshine, accompanied by gentle to brisk winds in the mornings. Daytime temperatures range from 32°F to 73°F (0°C to 23°C), with fluctuations and varied weather patterns to anticipate.

This area experiences only two distinct climate seasons: the dry season spanning from June to September, and the rainy season, characterized by heavy precipitation from November to April. For optimal weather conditions, we recommend traveling between April and November, ensuring favorable conditions for hiking and outdoor activities.

During the dry season, nighttime temperatures often drop below freezing, contrasting with milder daytime temperatures.

Additional Trip Info

  • Expert guides specializing in mountain trekking
  • Private transportation to Chillca and return to Cusco
  • Mountain lodge accommodation in private double rooms
  • Breakfast and dinner served at the lodges, with snacks and lunches provided during the journey
  • Waterproof bags for baggage carried by llamas
  • Comprehensive first aid kit and oxygen supply
  • Entrance fees to Ausangate.
  • Boiled water for drinking purposes.
  • Travel Insurance - We recommend  World Nomads, or Global Rescue
  • International flights
  • Personal trekking equipment (such as trekking poles, backpacks, etc.).
  • Tips for guides, cooks, and porters (optional but appreciated).

A complete packing list will be sent upon booking

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