6-Day Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Expedition: A Trekker's Paradise

Traverse the dramatic landscapes of the Ausangate mountain range and end at the stunning Rainbow Mountain.

Home » 6-Day Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain Expedition
Location

Cusco, Peru

Duration

6 Days

Difficulty

8/10

Availability

Year Round

Tour type

Adventure

Overview

Step into the heart of the Andes with our exclusive 6-day Ausangate Trek, an adventure designed to challenge, inspire, and amaze. This journey isn’t just a hike; it’s an exploration of breathtaking landscapes and a cultural immersion into the life of the high Andes. From the awe-inspiring Rainbow Mountain to the tranquil beauty of remote high-altitude lakes, every day presents a new canvas of staggering natural beauty.

As you walk the paths once trekked by the ancient Incas, the imposing Ausangate Mountain stands as a sentinel to your journey, offering a backdrop of glaciers and rugged wilderness. The vibrant colors of Rainbow Mountain will leave you spellbound, while the warmth of Andean hospitality at local villages along the way adds to the richness of your experience. This trek is more than a trip; it’s a gateway to a world few have the privilege to see, culminating in a rejuvenating dip in the Pacchanta hot springs. Join us for an unforgettable adventure where every step is a story, and every view is a memory.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 5:00 AM - 5:30 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, Pacchanta Hot Springs, Yana Cocha, Qomer Cocha, Palomani Pass, Jhampa Pass
Price
FromUSD 850
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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.

We commence our Ausangate journey with a punctual pickup from your Cusco lodgings, offering a comfortable and scenic drive to the charming town of Upis. As the early morning hues paint the sky, our journey on paved roads unfolds into the heart of the Andes, where your first glimpse of the magnificent Ausangate mountain beckons.

Upon arrival, our expert muleteers are ready to welcome you, helping to shoulder the load as you begin the first day's ascent. We take pride in making introductions, ensuring you feel part of our trekking family from the outset. The hike to Pampa Arapa basecamp is an enjoyable 3.5-hour trek through authentic highland valleys, where traditional herding life flourishes amidst the roaming llamas and alpacas.

At the basecamp, a culinary delight awaits — a lunch prepared on-site by our professional chef, fusing local flavors with the freshest ingredients. The afternoon is a photographer's dream, offering ample time to capture the breathtaking Ausangate sunset. As evening approaches, we invite you to our communal tea time, an array of treats complementing the conversation, leading into a dinner that’s as satisfying as the day's journey.

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

As the dawn stretches its golden fingers across the sky, we begin our second day in the Ausangate region. The morning air, crisp and energizing, is the perfect accompaniment to the coca tea served right to your tent. With your spirits high and your gear packed, we set off from Pampa Arapa, ascending towards the heights of the Pampa Arapa Pass. This segment of our trek is a breathtaking climb to an elevation where the air is fresh and the views are unparalleled.

Reaching the pinnacle of Pampa Arapa Pass, we take a moment to revel in the achievement. Here, surrounded by the majestic peaks, we indulge in a photography session, capturing the grandeur of the Andes. The descent from the pass is equally mesmerizing, with the path leading us to the remarkable lakes of Yana Cocha, Comer Cocha, and the enchanting Puka Cocha, where we pause to enjoy a freshly prepared lunch. The vibrant turquoise waters of these high-altitude lakes provide a stunning contrast to the rugged landscape, offering a moment of tranquil reflection.

With our hearts and bellies full, we continue our journey to Ananta. The trail from Puka Cocha to Ananta weaves through a panorama of the Andes, offering glimpses of the mountain wildlife and the ever-present Ausangate Mountain. As we set up camp in Ananta, you'll find yourself in a perfect position to enjoy the surrounding beauty, with ample time to explore and let the peace of the mountains wash over you. The day ends with a well-deserved rest under a canopy of stars, as we share stories and look forward to the wonders yet to come.

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

The day unfolds with the tranquility of Ananta, where the stillness of the morning is a gentle prelude to the day's adventure. After a hearty breakfast and a sip of the invigorating coca tea, we prepare for one of the most visually stunning segments of our trek—the ascent to Rainbow Mountain. The trail from Ananta to the Warmisaya Pass is a gradual climb, threading through a landscape that is a canvas of earth's raw artistry.

The Warmisaya Pass is a vantage point like no other, offering a panoramic view that stretches across the Andean highlands. With Rainbow Mountain's colors just a glance away, the descent is filled with a sense of wonder. Upon arrival, we take the opportunity to bask in the mountain's full glory—its stripes of vibrant colors unfurling beneath the sun's touch.

After retracing our steps to Ananta and relishing a fulfilling lunch, we embark on a gentle trek towards Ausangate Cocha. This part of the day's journey, less challenging than the morning's ascent, allows us to take in the sweeping vistas at a leisurely pace. The afternoon's hike is a time for reflection, accompanied by the soft murmur of streams and the distant crow of condors.

As evening approaches, we make our camp beside the pristine Ausangate Cocha, a lake that mirrors the sky's shifting moods. Here, the day concludes with a sense of peace, nestled at the foot of the mighty Ausangate, under a tapestry of stars that seem close enough to touch.

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

With the first light of dawn shimmering on Ausangate Cocha, our trekkers stir, ready to face a day of awe-inspiring altitudes and natural wonders. A nourishing breakfast kickstarts the morning before we ascend towards the grand Palomani Pass. As the highest point of our trek, the climb is a thrilling challenge, but the reward is a horizon filled with the majestic peaks of the Vilcanota mountain range.

From the summit of Palomani, at over 5,000 meters above sea level, the descent is a journey through contrasting landscapes. It is here we discover the hidden gem of Chocolate Lake, nestled at the foot of Ausangate. This unique body of water, named for its distinctive color, lies waiting like a treasure amidst the Andean wilderness. It's a place to capture memories, framed by the towering presence of one of Cusco’s highest mountains.

Post the visit to Chocolate Lake, we gradually make our way down to Jhampapampa, our stop for lunch and camp for the night. The afternoon is yours to rest or explore; the tranquil environment of Jhampapampa is perfect for contemplation or for bonding with your fellow adventurers. The scenes of local flora, fauna, and distant communities add layers of cultural richness to the natural beauty, making for an afternoon as fulfilling as it is peaceful.

As the evening draws in, our campsite becomes a sanctuary where stories of the day's journey are shared over a communal dinner. Surrounded by the silence of the mountains and the camaraderie of our group, Jhampapampa offers a perfect close to a day rich in exploration and discovery.

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

Morning at Jhampapampa begins with the tantalizing aromas of a hearty breakfast prepared by our dedicated chef, setting the tone for a day of exploration and discovery. With renewed energy, we embark on a steady ascent towards the Jhampa Pass, which stands majestically at 5,060 meters. The climb, though demanding, is immensely rewarding, offering breathtaking views of the glacier peaks that seem almost within arm's reach.

Reaching the summit of Jhampa Pass is a moment of accomplishment and reflection. Here, the vastness of the Andes stretches out in every direction, a testament to the grandeur of nature and the resilience of those who traverse its paths. But the journey doesn't end at the pass. From this elevated vantage point, our path winds gradually downhill, leading us towards our final campsite, Ninaparayoq, nestled at 4,700 meters.

Upon arriving at Ninaparayoq, a delicious lunch awaits, providing an opportunity to rest and refuel. The remainder of the afternoon is a gift of leisure. Whether you choose to relax, explore the surroundings, or engage in quiet contemplation, Ninaparayoq offers a sanctuary of peace and tranquility. As the shadows lengthen and the day draws to a close, this serene campsite becomes the perfect backdrop for reflection on the journey undertaken and the memories forged along the way.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 5-6 hours, 14 km

The final morning of our trek greets us with a warm coca tea delivered right to our tents, a cherished ritual that has gently begun each day of our journey. As we emerge into the crisp morning air, we gather for one last breakfast amidst the mountains, where our chef prepares a nourishing meal to fuel our descent.

Leaving Ninaparayoq behind, we embark on a 2.5-hour trek down to the quaint village of Pacchanta. The path is a gentle downhill walk, allowing us to drink in the vastness of the landscape one last time. Our footsteps trace the contours of the land, etching memories of the high Andes into our hearts.

Upon arrival in Pacchanta, we are rewarded with the chance to immerse ourselves in the natural hot springs. It's a moment of pure relaxation and rejuvenation, as the thermal waters soothe our tired muscles and offer a meditative space to reflect on the profound experiences of the past days.

In the warmth of the Pacchanta community, we enjoy our final lunch — a celebration of the journey and the culinary delights that have accompanied us. This meal also serves as a ceremony of thanks, where we express our gratitude to the muleteers, cooks, and guides who have been integral to our adventure.

With hearts full and spirits high, we bid farewell to the Ausangate trail and begin our drive back to Cusco. The return to civilization is a transition filled with mixed emotions — a blend of the joy of accomplishment and the bittersweet end of an unforgettable expedition. As we drop you off at your hotel, the echoes of the mountain's majesty linger with us, a lasting testament to the incredible journey we've shared.

Accommodation: Return to your Cusco accommodation
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hiking: Approx. 2-3 hours, 7 km

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Tour Highlights

  • Ausangate Mountain: Experience the grandeur of one of the Andes’ most iconic peaks, a stunning backdrop throughout the trek.
  • Rainbow Mountain: Discover the vibrant hues of this natural wonder, a mesmerizing spectacle of colorful sediment layers.
  • Pacchanta Hot Springs: Rejuvenate in these therapeutic waters, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Andes.
  • High-altitude Lakes: Marvel at the pristine waters of Yana Cocha, Qomer Cocha, and more, reflecting the majestic peaks that tower above.
  • Mountain Passes: Conquer the challenging terrains of Palomani and Jhampa passes, rewarding trekkers with panoramic views of the Andean landscape.
  • Andean Wildlife: Witness llamas, alpacas, and possibly even condors in their natural habitat, adding a touch of wilderness to the journey.
  • Cultural Immersion: Engage with local Andean communities along the route, gaining insights into their age-old traditions and way of life.
  • Camping Under the Stars: Embrace the serenity of the mountains, setting camp in remote locations with clear night skies showcasing the vast cosmos.
  • Skilled Local Guides: Benefit from the expertise of our experienced guides, fluent in both English and Spanish, ensuring a safe and enriching journey.
  • Chocolate Lake: Explore this lesser-known gem, offering trekkers a unique experience amidst the vast Andean landscape.

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 6-Day Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain Expedition. 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 6-Day Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain Expedition, 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.

Who is the 6-Day Ausangate Trek suitable for?

This trek is ideal for those who prefer a more measured pace and want to spend more time exploring the Andean landscapes, culture, and community. It’s suitable for trekkers who are in good physical condition and have some experience with high-altitude hiking.

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.

Can children participate in the trek?

Due to the challenging nature of the trek, it is not recommended for young children. Teenagers who are very fit and have prior trekking experience may participate with parental guidance.

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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