5-Day Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain Trek: A Condensed Adventure

Experience the raw beauty of the Ausangate mountain range and the iconic Rainbow Mountain in a compact 5-day journey.

Home » 5-Day Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain Trek

Cusco, Peru


5 Days




Year Round

Tour type



Immerse yourself in the raw beauty of the Andes on our 5-day Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain Expedition. Challenge your spirit as you navigate the same ancient trails once walked by the Incas, encountering awe-inspiring natural wonders—from the multicolored canvas of Rainbow Mountain to the majestic glaciers of Ausangate. Embrace the solitude of high-altitude lakes and the warmth of local communities, with each step revealing the enduring heartbeat of the Andean wilderness.

This journey is as much about cultural connection as it is about scenic exploration. Relish the simplicity of life in the highlands, the comfort of our well-appointed campsites, and the rejuvenating embrace of Pacchanta’s hot springs. Designed for the intrepid, this trek transcends the ordinary, offering a glimpse into a world few have the privilege to see and creating memories that resonate long after the adventure concludes.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 4:00 AM - 4:30 AM
Estimated Return Time 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Guide Languages Available Guides fluent in English and Spanish
Key Attractions Ausangate Mountain, Rainbow Mountain, Red Valley, Pacchanta Hot Springs, Yana Cocha, Qomer Cocha, Palomani Pass, Jhampa Pass
FromUSD 720
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  • 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.

Embark on the first leg of your 5-day adventure with a morning pickup from your hotel in Cusco, setting out towards the pastoral town of Upis. The drive itself is a prelude to the wonders of the Andes, offering stunning vistas as you approach the majestic Ausangate mountain.

At Upis, you'll meet the team of muleteers who play a vital role in your journey. They will assist with carrying the supplies, allowing you to trek with ease. The hike to Pampa Arapa basecamp spans approximately 3.5 hours, leading you through valleys where time stands still, and traditional herding life continues among the roaming llamas and alpacas.

Your first day's exertion is rewarded with a freshly prepared lunch, followed by an afternoon to unwind and photograph the Ausangate sunset. Evening settles with a communal tea time, fostering camaraderie among your group, before a dinner that celebrates the region's culinary heritage.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 3.5 hours, 11 km

As sunlight spills over the campsite, we ready ourselves for a day of ascent towards the serene Pampa Arapa Pass. Today's trek is defined by the harmonious blend of physical challenge and natural splendor as you gain elevation and are rewarded with views that stretch beyond the horizon.

The crest of Pampa Arapa Pass serves as a triumphant milestone, with ample time dedicated to capturing the sheer beauty of the Andean range in photographs. Descending from the heights, you'll encounter a string of captivating high-altitude lakes—Yana Cocha, Comer Cocha, and the striking Puka Cocha—where a shoreside lunch awaits.

Post-meal, the trail to Ananta unfolds, a path sprinkled with opportunities to witness the diverse wildlife and gaze upon the imposing Ausangate Mountain. The evening’s camp at Ananta is a sanctuary for rest and reflection, under the vast starlit sky, as you prepare for the adventures that await.

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

The tranquility of Ananta greets us at dawn as we embark on one of the trek's most visually stunning legs. After breakfast, we ascend towards Warmisaya Pass, a path that unfolds through Andean beauty, offering glimpses of Rainbow Mountain in the distance.

Reaching the Warmisaya Pass, we're presented with a panoramic view of the Andes, a prelude to the vibrant spectacle of Rainbow Mountain. From here, we descend and then climb gently up to our goal, standing before Rainbow Mountain's brilliant striations. This moment, amidst the colors, is a treasure of the journey.

Retracing our steps, we return to Ananta for lunch, reliving the morning's splendors. The afternoon's trek to Ausangate Cocha is a gentler affair, a reflective journey against a backdrop of staggering vistas. As we set up camp beside Ausangate Cocha, the lake's still waters reflect the day's journey and the gathering twilight.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 7-8 hours, 15 km

The day dawns with the still waters of Ausangate Cocha reflecting the first light. After a nourishing breakfast, we take on the ascent to the Palomani Pass. This ascent is both a challenge and a revelation, with the sprawling vistas of the Andes unfolding as we climb higher.

At the summit of Palomani Pass, the apex of our trek, we're rewarded with views that are nothing short of majestic. The descent brings a new discovery — the unique Chocolate Lake, a hidden alpine gem named for its distinctive color, adding to the day’s tapestry of sights.

With the landscape painted in broad strokes of natural wonder, we continue our descent to Jhampapampa. Here, amidst the greenery and pastoral beauty, we'll pause for lunch. The remainder of the day offers time to rest, explore, and soak in the tranquility of this Andean paradise.

As dusk approaches, we gather for dinner, sharing tales and the camaraderie of the trail. The night at Jhampapampa is a canopy of stars — a silent guardian as we rest and rejuvenate for the adventure's final chapter.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 6-7 hours, 15 km

Greet the dawn one last time in Jhampapampa before embarking on your final trek to Jhampa Pass. As you traverse this last ascent, the early morning light bathes the surrounding peaks in a warm glow, offering a moment of reflection on the journey you've undertaken.

The descent from Jhampa Pass is a scenic journey past pristine highland lakes, their calm waters a mirror to the vast Andean sky. Our path brings us to Pacchanta, a village known for its therapeutic hot springs. Here, we'll enjoy a celebratory lunch amidst the community's hospitality.

Post-meal, it's time to relax in the hot springs, allowing the natural thermal waters to soothe your muscles. After this rejuvenating experience, we will make our way back to the city of Cusco, marking the end of our trekking adventure.

Accommodation: Return to your Cusco accommodation
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hiking: Approx. 7-8 hours, 17 km

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Tour Highlights

  • Rainbow Mountain: Marvel at the layered mineral deposits and vibrant colors of Vinicunca, the celebrated Rainbow Mountain, a masterpiece of nature’s artistry.

  • Ausangate Mountain: Trek in the shadow of the sacred Ausangate Mountain, a colossal guardian of the region, boasting stunning glaciers and alpine terrain.

  • High-Altitude Lakes: Be captivated by the serenity of crystal-clear Andean lakes, including the unique Chocolate Lake, whose waters echo the earthy tones of the surrounding landscape.

  • Palomani and Jhampa Passes: Scale the lofty heights of the Palomani and Jhampa Passes, each offering a challenging ascent and rewarding views of the vast Andean expanse.

  • Andean Wildlife: Encounter the rich biodiversity of the region, including herds of llamas and alpacas, and keep an eye out for the majestic Andean condor soaring above.

  • Pacchanta Hot Springs: Indulge in the therapeutic warmth of the Pacchanta hot springs, a natural oasis perfect for relaxation after days of trekking.

  • Cultural Connections: Engage with the local Quechua communities, where traditional Andean culture remains a vibrant and integral part of daily life.

  • Stargazing: Spend your evenings at high-altitude campsites under a canopy of stars, where the Milky Way is visible in all its splendor, offering a tranquil end to your adventurous days.


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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.

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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 5-Day Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain 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 5-Day Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain 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.

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 to embark on this trek is during the dry season, from April to October, when the weather is more stable and the paths are generally drier.

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 happens if I am unable to finish the trek?

If you’re unable to continue, our guides will ensure you are safely escorted back to the starting point or the nearest road access for transportation back to Cusco. An emergency horse is available in the deluxe package for such situations.

Is the 5-day trek significantly more challenging than the 6-day trek?

The challenge level is higher on the last day of the 5-day trek due to the longer hiking duration. However, the overall difficulty is manageable if you are well-acclimatized to the altitude and have a good level of fitness.

Will I miss out on any sights if I choose the 5-day trek over the 6-day trek?

No, you won’t miss any sights. Both treks cover the same route and key attractions, including Rainbow Mountain. The difference is in the pacing, with the 5-day trek requiring a longer hike on the last day to complete the circuit.

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.

How is altitude sickness handled?

We take altitude sickness very seriously and all our guides are trained to spot and treat symptoms. We carry an emergency oxygen bottle and a medical kit. It’s also recommended that trekkers acclimatize in Cusco for at least two days prior to the trek.

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 provide secure luggage storage for items you don’t need on the trek. These items will be 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.

What is the main reason trekkers choose the 5-day option over the 6-day?

Trekkers often choose the 5-day option due to time constraints or the desire for a more condensed and challenging experience.

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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  • 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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