Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain 4 Days
DAY 01: CUSCO – TINQUI VILLAGE – UPIS HOT SPRINGS
We leave Cusco early in the morning traveling by private van to the small village of Tinqui. We will see the impressive Vilcanota mountain range and pass through several traditional Andean villages along the way and have time to stop for some photos. When we arrive at Tinqui (our trailhead), we will have a delicious breakfast prepared by our chef. It is here that our muleteers will arrange all the group’s luggage and packs on the horses and our trek officially begins. We begin our walk through the farming communities and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains. We will walk for about 3 hours and then stop for lunch. After lunch we continue for another 2 hours to reach Upis (4,100 m / 13,448 ft). There we will have the opportunity to bathe in the local hot springs before dinner, and camp for the night.
- Minimum altitude: 3,800 m / 12, 464 ft
- Maximum altitude: 4,400 m / 14,432 ft
- Distance hiked: 12 km / 7 ½ miles
- Approximate hiking time: 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 02: UPIS – ARAPA PASS – PUCACOCHA
After a big breakfast we are ready to leave our camp and start our trek. We will climb to Arapa Pass (4,850 m / 15,908 ft). From this viewpoint we will enjoy the contrast between the dry desert like hills and the impressive snow covered views of Ausangate and Pucacocha. This area also has three beautiful lakes with shades of red, green and turquoise (Pucacocha, Hatun Pucacocha and Qomercocha). Our second camp is near the Ausangate glacier.
- Altura mínima: 4,100 m / 13,448 ft
- Altura máxima: 4,850 m / 15,908 ft
- Distancia caminando: 12 km / 7 ½ millas
- Tiempo aproximado de caminata: 6 – 7 horas.
DAY 03: PUCACOCHA – AUSANGATE – MINASNIYUQ – SURINE COCHA
This day, you will be awakened with “room service” (a hot cup of coca tea). This will be one of the most beautiful days of the trek. We will see the rainbow mountains. Also on today’s trip, we will pass through the village of Alccatauri. This is where we will see their traditional village life. There are no trees in the area, so there is no wood to make houses or build fires. The residents are very enterprising and make their mud adobe houses.
The day begins with a 1 ½ hour uphill climb to reach the Ausangate pass (4,930 m / 16,170 ft). At this pass, we will see red mountains and also have the opportunity to see vicuñas, chinchillas and alpacas.
After enjoying the pass and the beautiful views, we will descend for 1 ½ hours until we reach the village of Alccatauri (4,400 m / 14,435 ft). During our time in the village, in exchange for their generous hospitality, we will give them offerings of coca leaves. This is very valuable because this Peruvian staple cannot be grown in this climate.
After this incomparable experience, we will make an additional 30-minute hike uphill to our lunch spot in a rustic lodge.
After a satisfying lunch, we will begin our journey uphill to the second pass. After 1 ½ hours, we will follow the Llama trail to the Minasniyuq Pass. Here we will have our first views of the Rainbow Mountains (5,020 m / 16,469 ft.). At this pass, we will make offerings to Pacha Mama (Mother Earth).
The remainder of the day’s trek is a one-hour downhill hike to our camp, Surine Cocha (4,800 m / 15,748 ft.). The camp is on the shores of the magnificent Surine Lake.
- Altura mínima: 4,400 m /14,435 ft
- Altura máxima: 5,023 m / 16,479 ft
- Distancia recorrida: 12 km / 7 ½ millas
- Tiempo aproximado de caminata: 7 – 8 horas.
DAY 04: SURINE COCHA – VINICUNCA – QUESIUNO VILLAGE – CUSCO
After breakfast, we hike gradually for 2 hours until we reach the famous Rainbow Mountain (5,020 m / 16,469 ft). Your guide will take you to the best places to get the perfect pictures of these incredible mountains and the other surrounding mountains. Your guide will explain what makes these mountains so unique: they are composed of various minerals, which make different colors of stone striations. Not only is this one of the most impressive places in Peru and South America, these types of mountains are only seen in one other country in the world, China.
After taking pictures and enjoying the view, we will continue on the hike until we reach Quesiuno Village. This is a 1½ hour downhill hike. We will have lunch there.
Our private transportation will be waiting for us after lunch. The trip will be 3 ½ hours back to Cusco. After one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, we will drop you off at your Cusco hotel. The approximate time of arrival is 4 PM.
- Altura máxima: 5.020 m / 16.469 pies
- Distancia recorrida: 8 km
- Distancia aproximada a pie: 4 – 5 horas