3-Day Ausangate Challenge: Conquer the Andean Heights

A demanding trek for adventure-seekers through the Ausangate mountain range.

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Location

Cusco, Peru

Duration

3 Days

Difficulty

9/10

Availability

Year Round

Tour type

Adventure

Overview

Embark on the “3-Day Ausangate Trek,” a meticulously curated adventure that invites you to conquer the grandeur of the Andes and stand in awe before the majestic Rainbow Mountain. From the historic streets of Cusco to the remote trails of the Ausangate region, this trek is a testament to the power and beauty of nature, offering a blend of cultural immersion and awe-inspiring landscapes.

As you traverse ancient pathways and ascend to breathtaking altitudes, the “3-Day Ausangate Trek” provides an unfiltered connection with the natural world. Assisted by a team of local experts, from muleteers to chefs, your journey is seamless, allowing you to delve deeply into the serene environment. Encounter the daily rhythms of Andean communities, the gentle presence of alpacas and llamas, and the vibrant spectacle of the Rainbow Mountain. This trek is an invitation to touch the sky, a journey that weaves together the tapestry of Andean culture with the timeless splendor of one of Peru’s most iconic natural marvels.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 4:00 AM - 4:30 AM
Estimated Return Time 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Guide Languages Available Guides fluent in English and Spanish
Key Attractions Ausangate Mountain, Rainbow Mountain, Red Valley, Yana Cocha, Comer Cocha, Puca Cocha, Apacheta pass
Price
FromUSD 530
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Select a package
  • Standard Large GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 16ppl MaxStart Time: 04:00
  • Standard Small GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 8ppl MaxStart Time: 04:00
  • Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 04:00
  • Deluxe Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 04:00
  • Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 04:00
  • Deluxe Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 04:00

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Tour Itinerary

Explore our expertly designed itinerary below, crafted to showcase breathtaking views and provide unique adventures every step of the way.

In the quiet of early morning, we set out from Cusco, embarking on a 3-hour drive to Pacchanta. As the city fades and the Andean wilderness emerges, the anticipation builds. Upon arrival in Pacchanta, a hearty breakfast awaits, providing energy for the day ahead. With the majestic Ausangate mountain as our backdrop, we begin our adventure.

As we set off, our trusty mules, managed by our experienced horseman, are loaded with all the necessary equipment. This ensures that you trek light, carrying only your daypack, while the mules transport the camping gear, food, and other essentials. Our skilled cook, meanwhile, goes ahead to ensure timely meals are prepared at our stops.

The day's hike unfolds over approximately 6-7 hours, presenting ever-changing views of the grand Ausangate range. By late afternoon, we reach our campsite beside serene lagoons. Here, the tents are set up, and a sumptuous dinner is prepared. As dusk envelops the landscape, we gather around a campfire, with tales of Inca legends and the day's journey filling the air. The stars above seem close enough to touch, as the sounds of nature lull us to sleep.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Lunch, Tea, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 6-7 hours, 11 km

As the soft hues of dawn stretch across the sky, we rise, eager to continue our journey. The day begins with a challenging yet rewarding climb to Apacheta Pass. Accompanied by our steadfast mules, who carry our gear, we ascend, feeling the freedom of the mountains with each breath of crisp air. At the summit, a panoramic feast for the eyes awaits, offering an unforgettable vista of the Ausangate range.

The descent towards Anantapata unveils a tapestry of Andean flora and fauna. Here, in the midst of such splendor, our cook has once again gone ahead to prepare a nourishing lunch, ready for our arrival. As the sun arcs lower, we settle into our campsite, where our horseman has ensured the mules are cared for, and our tents are pitched for a night under the stars. In the company of new friends and the silent mountains, we share a meal and stories, with the promise of another day's adventure on the horizon.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 5 hours, 12 km

In the pre-dawn silence, we depart Ananta. Guided by the stars and the soft glow of our headlamps, we make the ascent towards Warmisaya Pass. The mules, ever-reliable, ensure our final hike is unencumbered. As we crest the pass, the first light of dawn reveals the Rainbow Mountain in the distance, its colors just beginning to awaken.

Our arrival at Vinicunca is timed to perfection, allowing us to experience this natural wonder in a tranquil exclusivity, before the rest of the world stirs. Here we pause, allowing the landscape to imprint itself upon us. As we descend, our horseman and mules take a different path, heading towards the rendezvous point where a final celebratory lunch awaits.

Our journey back to Cusco is filled with reflection and camaraderie. We bid farewell to our horseman and cook, whose efforts have been indispensable to the trek's success. As Cusco's lights come into view, signaling the end of our mountain adventure, we carry with us more than memories; we carry a profound connection to the Andes, fostered by the land, the people, and the creatures that accompanied us.

Accommodation: Not included (return to Cusco)
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Hiking: Approx. 5 hours, 7 km

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Tour Highlights

  • Early Bird Ascension: Beat the sun and the crowds with a pre-dawn start on the final day, ensuring a serene and solitary experience at Rainbow Mountain.

  • Breathtaking Panoramas: Witness the awe-inspiring 360-degree views of the Andean landscapes, including the towering Ausangate peak, from high mountain passes.

  • Cultural Immersion: Learn about the local Incan mythology and the significance of the Ausangate region within Andean cosmology as you trek through these sacred lands.

  • Flora and Fauna: Encounter a diverse array of Andean wildlife and plant life, including the chance to see South American camelids like alpacas and llamas in their natural habitat.

  • Guided Support: Travel with ease knowing that mules carry your equipment and an experienced horseman and cook accompany the journey, enhancing your trek with expertly prepared meals and well-managed campsites.

  • Starry Nights: Camp under the Andean night sky, a perfect canvas for stargazing, and enjoy the tranquility of the mountains with comfortable camping accommodations.

  • Photographer’s Dream: Capture the vibrant colors of the Rainbow Mountain and the stunning reflections in the mountain lagoons at sunrise and sunset.

  • Sustainable Travel: Engage in a trek that respects the environment and supports local communities, with a team that prioritizes eco-friendly practices and cultural respect.

Prices

Discover our diverse tour offerings, catering to various interests and providing unforgettable experiences for every traveler.
Payment Terms

Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy

Kindly take a moment to read our Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy before booking. Happy adventuring!

Payment Terms

Beginning Your Adventure - Booking Confirmation and Deposit

Your journey starts with a commitment: a 30% deposit of the total tour cost. This initial investment is pivotal in activating the extensive preparatory process, ensuring every aspect of your tour is curated to perfection.

Final Payment: The Last Step Before Your Journey Begins

The remaining 70% of the tour cost is due no later than 48 hours before the commencement of your tour. This timely payment is critical to finalize all logistical arrangements, guaranteeing a hassle-free start to your adventure.

Expansive Payment Options for Ease and Flexibility

In line with our commitment to your convenience, Huaynas Expeditions accepts a variety of payment methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, and PayPal. Please be aware that additional fees may apply depending on the payment method selected. Detailed payment procedures and potential fees can be found on our dedicated payment page.

Implications of Late Payments - Protecting Your Reservation

Adherence to the payment schedule is crucial. Late payments can unfortunately lead to the cancellation of your reservation, with the deposit being retained as a non-refundable fee. We urge you to maintain timely payments to safeguard your tour plans.

Policy for Last-Minute Adventurers

For those inspired to join this tour on short notice, namely less than 15 days before departure, full payment is required at the time of booking. This ensures that we can expedite all necessary preparations for your inclusion.

Cancellation Policy

Flexible Cancellation Options for Clients

We understand that circumstances can change, sometimes unexpectedly. If you find the need to cancel your booking, you have the flexibility to do so up to 30 days before the tour start date. In this case, you will receive a full refund minus a 10% administration fee, acknowledging the efforts and resources already invested in planning your tour. Any additional balance paid will also be refunded, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

Understanding Cancellations Within 30 Days

We wish to draw your attention to our policy for cancellations made within 30 days of the tour departure. Given the advanced stage of preparations and commitments made at this juncture, we are unable to offer refunds. This policy is in place to balance the significant logistical arrangements and reservations made on your behalf.

Navigating Through Force Majeure

In the event of extraordinary and uncontrollable circumstances, such as natural disasters or significant political unrest, Huaynas Expeditions adopts a flexible approach. We prioritize your safety and satisfaction, offering to reschedule your trip or provide a credit for future travel, subject to availability.

Strong Advocacy for Comprehensive Travel Insurance

We cannot overstate the importance of securing comprehensive travel insurance. Such insurance plays a critical role in safeguarding your investment against unforeseen cancellations, emergencies, and other unexpected scenarios. It is a proactive measure to ensure peace of mind throughout your journey. Huaynas Expeditions is not responsible for any expenses arising from incidents not covered by your insurance policy.

Click to review our payment and cancellation policies.
Discounts

Special Discounts

 

  • Adult (12+ Years): Standard rates apply for travelers over 12 years old.
  • Child (3 – 11 Years): Save USD 20 for children between 3 and 11 years old.
  • Infant (0 – 2 Years): Infants younger than 2 years old are free (must ride on the adult’s lap; for a separate seat, add them as a child).
  • Group Discount: Automatically applied during online booking.
    • Save USD 10/person for groups of 5-7 people.
    • Save USD 15/person for groups of 8-10 people.
    • Save USD 20/person for groups of 11+ people.

Please note that the applicable age is considered at the time of completion of the trip.

View age and group-based discount details.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Dive into our in-depth guide on what’s included and not included for all package options on the 3-Day Ausangate Challenge Trek. With these carefully put-together lists, you’ll know exactly what to anticipate when booking the journey of a lifetime.

Standard Inclusions

Our Standard package offers a range of amenities and services for a comfortable and enjoyable trip experience. All package options include the following:

Not Included

The following items are not included in our trek packages. Please consider these additional costs when preparing for your trek. Note that some exclusions may be included in the Deluxe package, as mentioned in the Additional Inclusions section:

Additional Inclusions (Deluxe Package)

Upgrade to our Deluxe package for an enhanced and luxurious trekking experience. The Deluxe package includes these premium amenities and services, which can also be added individually to the Standard package:

What to Pack

When embarking on the 3-Day Ausangate Challenge Trek, it’s crucial to pack the right items for a successful and enjoyable experience.

Packing List

Provided Duffle Bag and Packing Tips

We’ll supply the duffle bag during the pre-trek briefing with your guide, held 1-2 nights prior to the tour’s start. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the bag and pack efficiently.

The briefing covers essential trek details, such as itinerary, safety guidelines, and last-minute updates. It’s an excellent chance to ask questions, meet fellow trekkers, and prepare for your adventure.

Packing Tips:
  • Adhere to the 7 kg weight limit: Keep the weight of your personal items in the duffle bag within the 7 kg limit to maintain a manageable load for the horses.
  • Place non-essential items in the duffle bag: Store items you won’t need during the day, like extra clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bags, in the duffle bag to lighten your day pack.
  • Label your duffle bag: Add a luggage tag or other identification to your duffle bag to prevent mix-ups with other trekkers’ bags.
  • Keep valuables in your day pack: Store passports, cameras, cash, and other valuable items in your day pack for added security and easy access.

By following these packing guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your trekking adventure. We look forward to guiding you on this exciting journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Dive into our FAQ section for detailed responses to common queries. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, our team is just a click away to assist you.

What fitness level is required for the 3-Day Ausangate Challenge Trek?

The trek is considered challenging due to high altitudes and the distance covered each day. It’s recommended for individuals who are in good physical condition and have some experience with hiking or outdoor activities. Prior acclimatization to altitude is highly advised.

Can I charge my electronic devices during the trek?

Electricity is unavailable during the trek, so we recommend bringing extra batteries or a portable charger for your electronic devices.

What is the best time of year to do the trek?

The best time for the Ausangate Trek is during the dry season from April to October when the weather is typically clearer and drier. However, we operate treks year-round.

Are there restrooms along the trek?

We provide a portable toilet tent for our trekkers’ comfort. There are no fixed restrooms along the trekking route, so we ensure that our campsite has the necessary privacy and sanitary facilities.

What types of wildlife might we see on the trek?

The Ausangate region is rich in biodiversity. You might see a range of Andean wildlife, including vicuñas, Andean foxes, viscachas (a type of chinchilla), and several species of birds. Our guides will help you spot and identify the local fauna.

How do we get drinking water during the trek?

We provide boiled water at the start of each day, which is safe to drink. We recommend bringing a refillable water bottle or hydration bladder. It’s important to stay hydrated at high altitudes.

What type of guide will be leading the trek?

Our treks are led by experienced, English-speaking guides who are knowledgeable about the region’s history, culture, and flora/fauna. Our guides are certified and trained in wilderness first aid and altitude-related health issues to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

Will there be a briefing before the trek begins?

Yes, there will be a pre-trek briefing the day before the trek starts. During the briefing, our experienced guides will provide detailed information about the trek, answer any questions, and ensure that all participants are adequately prepared for the adventure.

Can I rent trekking gear from you?

Yes, we offer rental of trekking gear such as walking poles and sleeping bags. Please contact us directly for more information on our rental options and prices.

Can I store luggage that I don't want to take on the trek?

Yes, we offer secure luggage storage for items that you do not wish to take on the trek. Your belongings will be safely waiting for you upon your return to Cusco.

How do I acclimatize for the trek?

We recommend spending at least 2-3 days in Cusco or a similar altitude before the trek to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. During this period, stay hydrated, eat light, high-carbohydrate meals, and avoid alcohol.

How does the trek benefit local communities?

We are committed to sustainable tourism practices. We employ local staff, offer fair wages, and support community projects, ensuring that your trek also contributes to the well-being of the regions we explore.

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  • Overview
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices
  • Inclusions & Exclusions
  • What to Pack
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Why Choose Huaynas Expeditions

At Huaynas Expeditions, we believe that every journey should be an unforgettable experience filled with warm memories, new friendships, and exciting discoveries. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love exploring with us

Local Expertise

As a Cusco-based travel agency, our knowledgeable local guides and travel experts have an in-depth understanding of Peru's history, culture, and hidden gems, ensuring an authentic and immersive experience.

Experienced Team

Our dedicated team shares a deep love for Peru and its diverse offerings, ensuring you receive a memorable and uniquely crafted travel experience.

Personalized Itineraries

We understand that every traveler has unique interests and preferences. That's why we work closely with you to create customized itineraries tailored to suit your travel goals and desires.

Top Support

Our devoted team is available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience.

Safety and Reliability

Your safety and well-being are our top priorities. We adhere to strict safety protocols and maintain strong relationships with trusted local partners to provide you with the best possible experience.

Competitive Pricing

We strive to offer high-quality travel experiences at competitive prices, ensuring you receive excellent value for your investment.

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