Day 1 Cusco to Upis
Very early we leave the city of Cusco in a private transport, and drive along the Cusco – Puerto Maldonado highway in the direction of Tinki (3 800 m.a.s.l/12 464ft). On the way we pass through Urcos, where we may spot a beautiful lagoon with the same name, continue on to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we can appreciate the region’s spectacular views and finally cross Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name and only half an hour away from our destination. After an approximated 4 hours drive, we arrive in Tinki, where we meet our wranglers and horses. We start our trek 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 (6 372 m.a.s.l./20 900ft). After lunch, we continue walking for another hour and a half to reach our campsite in Upis (4 400 m.a.s.l/14 432ft). From this point, we may appreciate fabulous views of all the snow peaks in the area. We camp and dine directly in front of Ausangate.
Day 2 Upis to Ausangatecocha
After breakfast, we continue our hike ascending for two hours to reach La Arapa pass (4 850 m.a.s.l./15 908ft). We then descend to our lunch spot, crossing an area of falcons and ¨vizcachas¨ 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 (4 900 m.a.s.l./16 072ft), from which we descend, for another half an hour, towards our campsite at Ausangatecocha (4 440 m.a.s.l./14 563ft).
Brealfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Ausangateqocha to Q´ampa
Today, we depart early to climb for two hours towards the third mountain pass, the Abra de Palomani (5 200 m.a.s.l./17 056ft). This is the highest part of the entire hike, from which we then descend for another 2 hours through an area of llamas, alpacas and ¨vizcachas¨ to reach Pampacancha (4 050 m.a.s.l./13 284ft). From here we follow an uphill trail until that leads us to our campsite in Q´ampa (4 300 m.a.s.l./14 104ft). Along this easy 3 hours climb we may have the chance to spot llamas, alpacas, and maybe even pumas. Dinner and overnight at camp.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinnner
Day 4 Q´ampa to Pacchanta
We climb for 2 hours until we reach Q´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 (4 100 m.a.s.l./13 448ft) after an approximated 5 hours of 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.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Pacchanta to Tinki
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 transport that will take us back to the city of Cusco, where we estimate to arrive after nightfall.
- Departure and arrival times are approximated.
- Campsites are subject to change according to our guide’s criteria and the group progress
Challenging due to the altitude: we recommend a period of at least 3 days for acclimatization in Cusco or over 3 000 m.a.s.l./9 840ft.
- Pre-departure briefing
- Collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private transport to Tinki, starting point of the trek
- Tinki visitor fee
- Campsite fees
- Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. The tents employed for treks around the Ausangate area are 4-season Eureka K2XT, highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in field
- One inflatable sleeping pad per person
- One sleeping bag per person: our sleeping bags are -18ºC-comfort (0ºF), mummy form and include a sleeping liner. They are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips
- One pillow per person
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Kitchen tent
- Toilet tent with biodegradable toilet facilities
- English speaking professional and official tourist guide (2 guides for groups of over 8 people)
- Chef and cooking equipment
- Pack animals (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
- Pack animals to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 9kg per person (including sleeping pad and sleeping bag)
- 1 emergency horse every 6 persons
- Accommodation for all our staff
- Meals (04B, 05L, 04D + daily morning snack + daily tea service except last day). Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost
- One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment
- Filtered boiled water from lunch time on 1st day onwards
- Bio-degradable personal hand soaps
- Bio-degradable dishwashing detergents used by our kitchen staff
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Private transport from Tinki to Cusco, including transfer to your hotel in Cusco
- 24-h guest service: please ask for the emergency number available during your time of visit
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Breakfast on the first day
- Dinner on the last day
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
- A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
- Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping. A down jacket is especially recommended for this trek since it runs at high altitude and temperatures may easily drop below freezing in the evening and at nights
- Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
- Camera and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
- Sun block
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
- Toilet paper
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection
- Water container and water for the first morning
- Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far
- Small towel
- Swimsuit (if you wish take a dip at the hot springs along the route)
- Cash in soles and/or US$
- Copy of original passport
- Optional: walking sticks or poles
Appropriate clothing along this hike
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required along the whole route, down jackets, down sleeping bags and thermal clothes being very recommended. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.
Cusco’s climate is divided into two differentiated seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees at night.
Along the Ausangate trek, temperatures range from 10-20ºC during the day if it’s sunny, to 05-10ºC during the day if not sunny. Given the high altitude of the campsites, temperatures drop significantly in the evening and especially at night, where they may get down to -10ºC or even lower in the dry season. Warm clothes are therefore especially requested for this hike.