Revered as one of the most sacred mountains of the Vilcanota Mountain Range, Apu Ausangate is the 5th-highest snow-capped peak in Peru. An Apu, or Mountain Deity, is the spiritual entity of the mountain, believed to watch over the communities of people and animals living in its vicinity. You will traverse remote and vibrant country that is home to one of the few remaining pastoralist societies in the world: high mountain herds-people living at these heights trade their meat and fiber with the lower-lying communities that produce agricultural products, using some of the very same trails we’ll be hiking. On the journey, you’ll see domestic camelids grazing in the fields, including llamas and alpacas, and if we are lucky, we’ll get a glimpse of their predecessors, fleet, golden vicuñas that produce the most expensive fleece in the world! Also, on this journey, meet some of the entrancing and hardy people that live in these remote environs. Bird enthusiasts will enjoy sightings of raptors, including eagles, hawks, and condors soaring the thermals far above.
On this journey you will marvel at brilliantly colored landscapes, turquoise high mountain lagoons, imposing white glaciers, rolling farmlands, and ice dunes, all part of the majestic Vilcanota Mountain range. You’ll be amazed at the rainbow of sediment striations that sparkle with diverse colors on Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain. Join us and discover the magic of this remote high mountain trek, breathing the rarefied air of some of the most beautiful hiking terrain in all of Peru.
NOTE: Two days at least are necessary to acclimatize in the Cusco area before starting this trek.
Location: Cusco – Vilcanota
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Season: March to December
Group Departures: 1st and 3rd Friday of every month
Minimum: 2 passengers
Prices start at $812 USD Per person
Duration: 5 Days/ 4 Nights Season: March to December
Group Departures: 1st and 3rd Friday of every month
Day 1: Cusco – Ocongate – Yanama – Cojahuri – Ranrapata Camp
From Cusco, we will drive to Ocongate and then take a side road to Yanama, a picturesque village perched on the canyon’s edge. From there, we’ll drive about 15 km (9.3 mi) to Cojahuri, where the trail begins (total 4-hour drive). Now we’ll have 2 hours of easy hiking, starting at 4180 masl (13,713 fasl) before arriving at Ranrapata Camp at 4315 masl (14,157 fasl). The camp is a large esplanade spread out just below the northeast flank of snowy Ausangate. Enjoy the beautiful sunset after walking 6.5 km (4 mi), and camp beneath the stars with great views of Mt. Ausangate and the Jampa Pass of our last day’s hike.
(L / D)
Driving distance: 125 km (77.7 mi) – Time: 4 hours
Trekking distance: 6.5 km (4 mi) – Time: 2-3 hours
Day 2: Ranrapata Camp – Upper Yanama Valley – Puka Rumi Pass – Cusipata Camp
Today we’ll head up the upper right side of the Yanama Valley, traversing a long slope that winds along Mt. Surinami and Mt. Inca, until we reach the Puca Rumi (Quechua for “red stone”) Pass, after 8 km (5 mi) for a total time of around 5:30 hours of trekking. The pass is at a height of 4986 masl (16,358 fasl). We will have amazing views of the brilliantly hued Red Mountain and Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain, in the distance. From here, we will begin our descent to the Cusipata Valley where our camp is located, just below the colorful Vinicunca Mountain at 4639 masl (15,220 fasl).
(B / L / D)
Trekking distance: 11.6 km (7.2 mi) – Time: 8 hours
Day 3: Cusipata Valley Camp – Vinicunca – Wasacocha Pass – Ausangatecocha
Setting out early in the morning, we will hike the last 3 km (1.86 mi) for 1.5 – 2 hours until reaching Mt. Vinicunca at 5034 masl (16,516 fasl) where we will feast our eyes on the impressive color bands of this Mountain, formed by the layering of diverse striations of minerals. After visiting the Rainbow Mountain, we will first descend towards brilliant, cold Quirillacocha and Surini Lakes, and then ascend to the Wasacocha Pass at 4982 masl (16,345 fasl). We continue to Ausangatecocha, a brilliant reflective turquoise mountain lake at 4656 masl (15,276 fasl) of altitude. Our hike will bring us 480 m (1574 ft) downhill, and 130 m (426 ft) uphill, before we finally head down the Anantapata Valley, to our tranquil and peaceful camp.
(B / L / D)
Trekking distance: 14.7 km (9.2 mi) – Time: 7-8 hours
Day 4: Ausangatecocha – Palomano Pass – Wanu Wanu
From camp, we ascend for a 2.5-hour, 500-meter (1640 ft) climb towards the Palomani Pass at 5180 masl (16,994 fasl) for 2.7 km (1.67 mi) of trekking. This is the highest mountain pass of the entire route. Breathe the rarified mountain air as we hike along (if we are lucky) the sparkling snow-covered trail. We’ll take a breather to recoup our energy before beginning our descent, which will take around 4.5 hours, towards the Chilca Valley and up to our camp at Wanu Wanu at 4616 masl (15,144 fasl).
(B / L / D)
Trekking distance: 11.2 km (7 mi) – Time: 7 hours
Day 5: Wanu Wanu – Jampa Pass – Pacchanta
We will begin our trek with a gentle ascent to our last pass; the Jampa Pass, which is located at 5070 masl (16,633 fasl). After climbing for 4 hours, we then begin a 3-hour descent to Qomerqocha Lake and Pacchanta Village, where our vehicle will be waiting to take us on the 4-hour drive to our hotel in Cusco for a much-deserved rest.
(B / L)
Trekking distance: 16.6 km (10.3 mi) – Time: 7 hours
Driving distance: 126 km (78.3 mi) – Time: 4 hours
End of services
B- Breakfast / BL- Box Lunch / L- Lunch / D- Dinner
– Wildlife in the Ausangate route: Vicuñas, vizcachas, eagles, hawks, and condors
– Domestic animals: llamas and alpacas along the whole route
– Nature: Mountain glaciers, glacial lagoons, and highland grasslands
Mt. Ausangate trek With Rainbow Mountain 5 Day/4 Night
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Why we love Explorandes
Explorandes (1975) has been a pioneer in adventure travel. We were the first company to operate the Inca Trail trek, spearheading tourism in remote and rural regions of Peru. Our founders discovered ancient ruins, hidden trails, and the last uncharted rivers in the most fantastic and varied natural landscapes of the Andes. As innovators and passionate adventure enthusiasts, Explorandes gives back to the places we love exploring by creating top quality tailor-made travel experiences.
Explorandes is certified by the Rainforest Alliance and has a proven track record of promoting sustainability in every outing.
What’s Included on your trek?
- Professional bilingual guide
- Double occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads
- All meals during trek
- Non-alcoholic drinks
- Kitchen and dining tents
- Cook and field staff
- Horses and drivers
- Entrance tickets
- Solar energy lamps
- Toilet tents
- Adequate garbage disposal
- First aid kit and oxygen tank
- Personal travel insurance
- Laundry service
- Airline tickets
- Sleeping bags (rent available)
- Personal gear
- Alcoholic beverages
- Additional services
- Regular and long wicking first layer for cold weather, like polyester, nylon, or merino wool
- Short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, breathable fabrics, like nylon and polyester
- Light-colored long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts
- QuickDry Pants, trekking pants, and shorts
- Insulated long-sleeve jacket (fleece, synthetic, down, merino wool)
- Liner gloves
- Light cap and beany
- Rain jacket (in the rainy season, bring rain pants)
- Breathable sports socks or hiking socks
- Warm socks for nights
- Multifunctional headwear (e.g. Buff)
- Waterproof and breathable hiking boots
- Comfortable and lightweight shoes for campsite
- Sleeping Bag (0°/32° to -15°/ 5°) (rent available)
- Day Pack (preferably with rain cover)
- Trekking Poles (available to rent)
- Waterproof duffle bag
- Microfiber towel
- Sunblock, lip balm, and insect repellent
- Reusable water bottle or vacuum bottle
- Portable Power Bank (to charge lamps, etc)
- Personal First Aid Kit (recommended)
On each trip we carry a medical kit, but we suggest you bring a small personal First-Aid Kit for bruises and blisters. Knee and ankle braces are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.
Terms & Conditions
All prices hold for the duration of the calendar year in which they were set. At the end of each calendar year, all prices are reevaluated and/or adjusted. Due in large part to our good relations with hotels, transport companies and operators, we are able to maintain competitive prices. All of our prices include administrative and operational costs.
IMPORTANT: Some properties and third party providers do increase their rates around special holidays and dates, including, for example, Christmas, New Year’s, Inti Raymi, and any other national holiday or special date. In these situations, the price may be higher than the prices we have set and listed for the calendar year.
Payment & Booking:
In order for us to guarantee the highest quality guides, space in the best hotels, and many other ancillary services for your trip, our policy is that we pre-pay for any contracted services before the passenger’s arrival date. Additionally, a large portion of the passenger’s deposit goes towards acquiring the necessary permits required by the governments of the destinations they will be visiting, which is usually a non-refundable fee.
For these reasons, we have set the following payment policies:
– Deposit: Upon booking with Explorandes, $500 deposit per person. Subject to booking value, an additional deposit may be required and we will advise at the time of quotation.
– Balance Due in full: 60 days prior to arrival.
Cancellations & Refunds
In the event that a passenger needs to cancel their trip with Explorandes, a cancellation fee will be charged to the passenger. The amount of the cancellation fee is set according to the number of days in advance of the passenger’s arrival that Explorandes was notified of the cancellation. The amount of the cancellation fee is also dependent on the policies of each provider to whom Explorandes has already issued payment in preparation for the passenger’s trip. Some third-party providers do require Explorandes to pre-pay well in advance of a trip to confirm space and services, and many times these payments are non-refundable.
Explorandes’ cancellation refund policy is as follows:
Cancel 0 – 30 days prior to arrival = 100% non-refundable of total trip cost.
Cancel 31-45 days prior to arrival = 75% non-refundable of total trip cost.
Cancel 46-59 days prior to arrival = 50% non-refundable of total trip cost.
Cancel 60 or more days prior to arrival = loss of deposit
Insurance & Medical
We strongly recommend that every passenger that travels with Explorandes purchase a travel/medical insurance plan before their trip. The passenger can purchase an insurance plan directly through an insurance company of his/her preference at home. If a member of the group gets sick or is incapacitated, Explorandes will help the sick or injured passenger by getting them to a qualified doctor. Any extra costs associated with hospitalization, emergency evacuation, and/or any other costs associated with the illness or injury will be assumed by, and the responsibility of, the individual passenger.
Important – Please read carefully We, Explorandes SAC, reserve the right to modify or withdraw from any travel arrangements when deemed necessary, and when it is in the best interest of our clients. Any bags or luggage are carried at the owner’s own risk throughout the entire duration of the tour. Explorandes SAC acts only in the capacity of an AGENT upon the legal conditions that, while exercising every possible precaution, Explorandes is not responsible for injury, sickness, damage, loss, additional expenses, accidental delay, or other irregularities which may be caused either through willful or negligent acts or omissions on the part of companies or individuals providing or engaged in transportation, accommodation, or other services related to the accomplishment of the tour, or through natural disasters, social upheavals or acts of nature. On day trips, you will sometimes be asked to sign an affidavit, which acts as a release form for risks incurred during your excursion, which is a usual practice for some operators.