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Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain 5 Days

Cusco - Upis Town - Yanacocha - Rainbow Mountain - Jhampa - Pacchanta Town
(16)
Service Level:
Premium
Activity type:
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Local Culture
  • Wildlife
  • Scenic Vistas
Physical Rating:
Trip Type:
Private Tour & Semi-Private Tour
Trip Length
5 days
Starting from
$ 680
per person

Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain 5 Days, Mind-bending Scenic Vistas in Every Way!

Visit a landscape shaped by the spectacular forces of wind and ice, trek through the fantastic reddish hills, painted mountains, eroded peaks, and Vilcanota Range, and have closer encounters with wildlife on this striking 5-day trek.

For lovers of scenic mountain regions, it would be hard to beat this exceptional trek. The trail provides breathtaking scenery through highland valleys and over mountain passes to enjoy the spectacular Andean wilderness. From our magnificent campsites at the foot of Ausangate, we make our way up scenic passes to enjoy the incredible vistas in every direction. As we make our way around the skirt of Ausangate mountain (6,389m/ 20,961 ft) the highest mountain in the Cusco region, we will trek nearby local isolated communities where people still dress very typically.

This Ausangate trek to Rainbow Mountain with “Cusco Local Friend” will allow you to discover the most beautiful scenery of the Peruvian Andes, with its dazzling massif glaciated peaks in the Vilcanota mountain range, pale blue glacial lakes, hot springs. In these mountain regions, the llamas and alpacas graze freely around ad you will also spot some rare mammals like vicuñas, the national animal of Peru. Delight in the sublime natural wonder of Vilcanota Range along with its Rainbow Mountain and Ausangate on this challenging and rewarding hike: Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain.

Why you will love this tour

  • Hike along the Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain circuit with spectacular views of glaciers, turquoise alpine lakes, rare wildlife, and rugged mountains around the Vilcanota Mountain Range.
  • Get off the beaten path and explore remote mountains along the Ausangate hike, in a high Andean realm close by to herd of llamas, and alpacas to the iconic Rainbow Mountain.
  • Camp along remote mountainsides, at the boot of Ausangate, enter into remote Andean culture preserved in rich Incan Culture and enjoy the stunning stargazing with your private Tour Guide.
  • This is a fully supported trek by a Private Tour Guide, emergency horse, horseman, and packhorses to carry tents, food, cooking gear, and backpacks.
  • Travel with your own private guide, muleteers, horses, delicious camp cuisine prepared by your personal cook.
  • Enjoy the comforts of our Ausangate Trek camping services—the best on the trail.
  • Small groups and Big adventures (min 2ppl– max 8ppl – average 4ppl). Avoid the crowds on this rarely walked trek
  • Trek this Ausangate Trek 5 days with a local tour operator, managed by expert local guides, accredited by the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism.

Trip Details

  • Tour duration: 5 days
  • Activities: Hiking, culture, and nature.
  • Trek starts from: Cusco
  • Trek ends in: Cusco
  • Group Size: Small groups for big adventures (min 2ppl – max 8ppl – average 4ppl)
  • Good For: Those with a sense of adventure and in good hiking shape
  • Physical rating: Demanding – challenging due to the altitude of the trail
  • Consideration: Please remember coming prepared for this trek. And allow you at least 2 days to get acclimated in Cusco before the trek begins.
  • Hiking time: 7-9 hours every day.
  • Trail distance: 61km/ 37.90 miles.
  • Highest point: 5,130m/ 16,831 ft.
  • Departure: Daily

ITINERARY

Welcome Briefing

You will have a thorough pre-departure briefing with our guide the night before your trek. This meeting will be at your hotel and you can take this opportunity to ask final questions and make any final preparations for your hike.

To start our 5-day Ausangate trek to Rainbow Mountain, our Cusco Local Friend guide will pick you up at 5:30 am from your hotel in Cusco. We will then drive for approximately 3.5 hours to the trailhead. Along the journey, we will pass by quaint villages. After driving for about 3 hours, we will stop in Tinki town (3815m/ 12516ft) for toilets and grab something we forgot to buy in Cusco, next, we will continue driving for 30 minutes on a dirt road to reach the beginning of the trail.

Upon arrival to the trailhead, called Upis Village (4,200mt./ 13,800ft). We will have time to organize our rucksacks and duffle bags, our tour guide will introduce you to our crew that will be in the Ausangate Loop Trek with you. Our trek begins on a small path that winds up through the Andean potato and grain fields. The first three hours of hiking run over hilly plain crossing some streaming and slight rise where you see some Andean row of houses built like in their ancestor’s time. As we hike through the grassy highland valley, we might spot some Andean geese hovering in the wind, also we hike nearby of small ponds, which is a perfect habitat for ducks. After over 3 hours of hiking, we will reach the place for lunch, a lovely place with Ausangate Mountain (6,389m/ 20,961 ft) at backdrops.

After eating succulent lunch, we will continue ascending for 2 hours to Arapa Pass at 4,800mt/ 5,748ft, here we will have stunning views of eroded mountains, highland valleys, and a wonderful view of the Ausangate Mountain behind. From the pass, we will hike across an arid hillside for 20 minutes and then we will descend for 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the first campsite, called Yanacocha (4,650m/ 15,256 ft), which is a place located at the foot of wondrous Ausangate with amazing views around. Once we get to the Yanacocha camp, we will have free time to take a rest or walk around the campsite before the happy hour (afternoon tea), followed by dinner. Lunch and dinner included.

  • Hiking Distance: 12 km / 7.46 miles
  • Hiking Time: 7 – 8 hours
  • Lowest Point: 4,200mt/ 13,800ft
  • Highest Point: 4,800mt/ 15,748ft.
  • Meals: Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea time, and dinner.

A fresh and great breakfast will make us ready for today’s hike.  After breakfast, we will follow a trail with its cascading waterfalls and onwards past the turquoise Pukacocha lagoon, which lies at the foot of the western icefall of Ausangate. This section of the Ausangate Trek is one of the most picturesque ones because of the gorgeous glacier lagoons nestled at the skirt of Ausangate mountain and the Ausangate itself with great massif ice body. After hiking for 1 and a half hours along this beautiful section of the trail, we will start hiking up on a switchback trail to Pukacocha Pass (5,000mt / 16,404ft.).

Once at the pass, we will have an extraordinary vantage point to look down and see the snow-capped mountains going in different directions, lagoons formed by melting glaciers, and the reddish hills of the highlands with colorful mountains and an untouched landscape. After this pass, the trail comes downhill until getting to the valley part, on this section will see a lot of freely grazing llamas and alpacas, we will still hike up the valley to reach the lunch spot located in Ananta (4,650m/ 15,256 ft) located in a highland valley with incredible views everywhere and more llamas grazing nearby.

Following lunch, we continue trekking uphill for 2 more hours to reach the next pass called Warmisaya Pass at 5,000 m / 16,404 ft, from this pass, we will have the first sights of the iconic Rainbow Mountain in a further distance and more stunning views. After witnessing the views and taking some pictures, we will walk the last 30-45 minutes downhill to reach the second campsite located at Comercocha (4,680 m / 15,354 ft). At the camp, we will enjoy afternoon tea and dinner and then go to sleep because the next day we will get up early to visit the amazing Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain.

  • Hiking Distance: 12 km / 7.45 miles
  • Hiking Time: 8 – 9 hours
  • Lowest Point: 4,600mt. / 15,092ft.
  • Highest Point: 5,000mt. / 16,404ft.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea time, and dinner.

This morning, we’ll wake up very early to visit the iconic Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, the idea to start early is to beat the large crowds and enjoy it in solitude and take pictures with no people around, what a cool!

We’ll only take what we need, typically, the sky is clear and full of stars. The hiking path is uphill for about 1 and 30 minutes. When we arrive at this long-awaited place, we will soak up incredible views of Rainbow Mountain, you will receive information from your tour guide as to why this place has these features. After enjoying the place for 45 minutes (depending on your trekking speed and weather conditions) we’ll return by the same path we took the day before until Ananta, where we’ll have time to rest and enjoy just made delicious lunch. Next, we will still hike for 3 hours to reach the third camp, called Ausangatecocha. Once at the campsite, we’ll enjoy afternoon tea before being served an amazing dinner. All meals included.

  • Hiking Distance: 15 km / 9.32 miles
  • Hiking Time: 9 – 10 hours
  • Lowest Point: 4,600mt. / 15,091ft.
  • Highest Point: 5,050 m / 16,568 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea time, and dinner.

Today, we’ll reach the highest point on the entire trail, for this, a great nutritious breakfast will make us ready. From the campsite, we’ll hike up to the Palomani pass at 5,130m / 16,831ft, this section of the trail is steep uphill for 3 hours, the trail ascends between the ravine and apacheta (mound of stones), around this part of the trail, we’ll have high chances to spot the wild vicuñas.

At the highest point, we’ll snap unique pictures and soak up the gratification of our achievement. We’ll enjoy the stunning views and take a moment to leave some little offerings to the mountains and Pachamama (mother earth). After a while, we’ll begin our descent following the trail as it loops across the steep slope passing pens and herds of llamas and alpacas. It’s how we’ll arrive at the next lunch spot. This afternoon, after lunch, we’ll hike over the hilly terrain surrounded by tall mountains, toward a marshy area to reach the upper level of the valley where is our camp called Jhampapampa (4,700 m / 15,420 ft). Upon arrival at the next campsite, we’ll rest and have hot drinks in the evening followed by dinner. As well, around the camp amongst the rock bounders, you’ll see viscachas (Andean chinchilla) muted brown in color. All meals included.

  • Hiking Distance: 10 km / 6.21 miles
  • Hiking Time: 7 – 8 hours
  • Lowest Point: 4,600mt. / 15,092ft.
  • Highest Point: 5,130mt. / 16,831ft.
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea, and dinner.

Wake up hot coca tea in the morning to have another great day, after having breakfast we’ll hike up for 2 hours and 30 minutes to the last pass called Jhampa at 5,060 m / 16,601 ft, where we’ll have amazing glacier peaks right in front of us.

From this last pass, we’ll continue descending to gorgeous Comercocha (green lagoon) located at the skirt of the Puka Moqo (Red Mountain). Finally, we reach Pacchanta town, where we’ll have the last lunch prepared by our chef. In Pacchanta, you’ll also have a chance to soak in the natural hot spring. After lunch and hot springs, we’ll take our private transportation back to your hotel in Cusco. End of the great adventure. Breakfast and lunch included.

  • Hiking Distance: 12 km / 6.83 miles
  • Hiking Time: 7 – 8 hours
  • Lowest Point: 4,300mt. / 14,108ft.
  • Highest Point: 5,060mt. / 16,601ft.
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, and Lunch.

Included

  • Private transportation for all transfer services.
  • Camping Equipment (tents, sleeping pads)
  • Other camping equipment like a dining tent with table and chairs; and a kitchen tent.
  • Entrance tickets to the park.
  • Tour guide.
  • Meals: Breakfast (4), lunch (5), dinner (4), and snacks. If you’re veggie? no problem! we have great options.
  • A professional cook.
  • Horses, and muleteers; horses carry your 8-kg / 16-pound personal items.
  • Emergency horse to escort us during the trek.
  • Oxygen tank.

Not Included

  • First breakfast on day 1.
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Hiking poles.
  • Extra expenditure during the trek.
  • Tipping for the trek leader, porters or muleteers, and other staff.
  • Travel Insurance.

Prices per person

# Price / Person Book Now
1 People We have special rates for SOLO travelers. Get started by filling out the information below. Enquire Now
2 People $ 750.00 Enquire Now
3 People $ 730.00 Enquire Now
4 People $ 700.00 Enquire Now
5 People $ 680.00 Enquire Now
6+ People We have special rates for groups over 6ppl. Get started by filling out the information below. Enquire Now

What to Expect

Impressive views, cold temperatures at night and in the mornings; mostly sunny days during the months of May, June, July, and August; very high altitude points every day so you need to have enough time in Cusco to get acclimated before your trek begins.

Food is amazing from vegetables, just made soups, pasta, to Peruvian delicious cuisine, desserts, and buffet options. All this, prepared by our experienced cook.

Why Travel with us

Local Knowledge & Expertise

It's great to travel with professional experts from the same destination you are going, that's how you get first-hand information. With deep in-country knowledge, We know the ins and outs of all the logistics, we will ensure you can make the most of your time away.

Personalized Experiences

Your time is precious - we know that. Your experience is our top priority. No big bus groups, No flags to follow! Traveling with a private guide and driver you’ll do what you want, when you want with the freedom to change your plans on the fly.

Friendly Local Guides

Great sights don’t make an amazing tour. Great guides do! Our guides don’t read from a script, we give them the freedom to make each tour their own, and your experience unique. We love what we do and it shows. From the moment you arrive, you'll feel the buzz and excitement that Cusco Local Friend to offer.

Exclusive Itineraries

It’s not all about the destination, it’s also about the journey. We offer only the best itineraries and tours. As local experts, we know first-hand what tours or experiences are the ones that most travelers enjoy and request. Escape the crowds! Never waste any minute, never miss any highlight!

Trip Reviews

Cusco Local Friend has been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence due to the most consistent 5-star reviews in Cusco, the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu for exceptional levels of service and care.

Cat Z
Cat Z
January 26, 2022.
We love Cusco Local Friend! Lovely tour of Sacred Valley! We visited Chinchero, Moray, the Maras Salt Mines and Ollantaytambo. Percy was extremely helpful and communicative, going above and beyond to make the best suggestions and be flexible with our travel situation. Our tour guide Hugo was super friendly, talkative and informative. He introduced us to a few unique and off the beaten path options like a stop to drink some homemade chicha, a casual 1-hour hike down the Maras Salt Mines that ended up in a small village near the Urubamba River, and many pit stops to see additional sites, photo ops and interesting history lessons. Our driver Edison was also very polite. We would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a private, detailed tour of anywhere in Cusco!
SaltySunburns
SaltySunburns
January 10, 2022.
A wonderful Sacred Valley day tour! Percy helped design a tour for us during the day including our transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. The price was very fair and we had an amazing day, including a memorable lunch at a little spot with llamas everywhere! Our guide Carlos was super knowledgeable, friendly and professional and I'd recommend Cusco Local Friend to anyone!
Scotty W
Scotty W
December 31, 2021.
Peru’s Sacred Valley Tour These guys are amazing! They were extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and made sure I was always well taken care of. They were also reasonable on prices. Highly recommended!
peacher2017
peacher2017
December 6, 2021.
3rd trip with Cusco Local Friend exceeded expectations ! Last July / August I took my 3rd trip with Hugo from Cusco Local Friend. Just like my two previous trips with them, it completely exceeded all expectations. And I’m already planning a 4th trip with them this coming summer! Hugo and Cusco Local Friend are the reason we fell in love with Peru. Hugo is professional, flexible, very knowledgeable and most of all FUN! The first two trips ( 2017 and 2018) I traveled with my two very food allergic daughters (allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood and sesame). Hugo and Mario asked a lot of questions, took the allergies very seriously, and found us some great restaurants. We even ate a pachamanca lunch with Hugo’s parents on their farm. So delicious. This time, I traveled alone. I texted Hugo my list of places I wanted to visit, things I wanted to do, and how long I wanted to spend in each location. He created the perfect itinerary and made the most of my time in Peru. We hiked for three days - Rainbow Mountain ( Vinicunca ), Seven Lakes ( Siete Lagunas ), and the alternative Rainbow Mountain - Palccoyo. The hikes were so stunningly beautiful. Hugo planned the hikes perfectly. He paid attention to health and safety and carried supplemental oxygen, snacks and water for me. And, he made them fun! We also visited the Potato Park ( Parque de la Papa ) , spent the night with a host family, and visited Pisac. We were supposed to do a food tour on my last day in Cusco, my my stomach was a bit upset. So he planned some alternative things to do. He also arranged my COVID test prior to my flight home. I can’t wait for my next trip with Cusco Local Friend! Call or text them with WhatsApp at +51 984 585 909 or +51 996 550 700. Email at CuscoLocalFriend@gmail.com . Have a great trip!
Ferhat D
Ferhat D
November 2, 2021.
Perfect 👍🏻 Hugo was a great and knowledgeable person. He was so friendly and very patient with our questions. As a group, we really enjoyed our trip. I highly recommend him!! Thank you very much for the great experience, Hugo!!
shama842018
shama842018
November 2, 2021.
nice Everything went well. The tour was organised as individually as possible and all our wishes were taken into account immediately. Good guys, I recommend them.
Ahram A
Ahram A
October 26, 2021.
Thank you Hugo! I want anyone to know that you can trust Hugo from Cusco Local Friends. My wife and I spent 4 different days with Hugo hiking into Machu Picho, Rainbow Mountain, and on a beautiful, secluded hike to the Sun Gate above Ollantayambo. Hugo made everything easy with private car pick ups from the airport, and he is very knowledgable about the history of every place. I would hire Hugo again anytime when I go back to Peru. Thank you my brother! Ahram + Jennie
Andrew De Donato
Andrew De Donato
October 14, 2021.
Fantastic Tour on Short Notice Hugo was a fantastic guide to spend the day with. He met us in the morning at our hostel in Aguas Calientes and helped us get set up for the day as we picked up some last minute items like snacks, water, and insect repellant. We took the bus to Machu Picchu together and once we got to the site, he provided a really in-depth and interesting tour. He had great answers to every follow up question we had, took fantastic photos throughout the day, and was generally just a really nice and helpful person! I learned so much and will definitely use Cusco Local Friend again next time I visit. I should also add that I originally reached out to him only two days before we were slated to be in Aguas Calientes and he was easy to work with on such short notice and able to source some hard-to-find entry tickets for the time we wanted to visit.
Jessica K
Jessica K
August 17, 2021.
MAGICAL TOUR DURING OUR AMAZING HONEYMOON!! Hugo was truly our Local Friend! We had an amazing tour of Machu Picchu that made our Honeymoon even more fantastic than it already was. He gave us some very interesting and amazing details about the ruins and Incan culture. We would love to return to Peru to learn more and hop on another one of his tours. On top of everything, he even met up with us the next day to help us in Cusco get our Covid Antigen tests so we could fly home (We originally didn't know we needed them to return). Absolutely fun and professional man. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!
Bean
Bean
July 15, 2021.
Best tour experience ever! The best thing I can say about our 3 days touring with Hugo is that we left having made a great friend and look very forward to seeing him again. He led us on sensational tours of Ollantaytambo, Moray, Maras, Chinchero, Pisca, Rainbow Mountains and gave us valuable advice, counsel, and information for our self guided tour of Machu Picchu. Every day seemed to exceed the grandeur and historical significance of the previous day. Each day, with Hugo's terrific guiding, we found ourselves more captivated with Peru and it's history. Hugo is incredibly well versed in the history and lore of the Cusco region and is thoughtful and engaging in sharing his knowledge. He adjusted our tours to meet our needs, interests, age and fitness levels. He was always gracious, thoughtful, kind and understanding. If we were ahead of schedule Hugo always had an additional archeological site or worthwhile additional "something" to see. Sarah and I have travelled throughout the US, Scandinavia, Europe, and Southeast Asia. This was the single greatest travel experience we've shared. And a great deal of the credit is due to Hugo's thoughtful, caring personality and his singular interest in making each of his participants have a fully developed, well organized, educational, and enjoyable experience. I can't make a stronger recommendation than to say using any other tour service in the Cusco region would diminish your experience compared to what Hugo and Cusco Local Friends would give you.

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