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Ausangate Trek 5D

5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

The Cordillera Vilcanota is an impressive range of mountains which includes the highest glacier Ausangate (6,385m) and three others over 6000m. It’s an excellent trekking area offering travellers more than you could ask for, spectacular mountains and glacier scenery, snow-capped peaks, hot springs, turquoise lakes, glaciers, flora (most of the plants are medicinal used by locals) and fauna like Condors, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and chinchilas. Picturesque villages and traditionally dressed Indians. It is high, windy and cold so be prepared.

Without a doubt the Ausangate trail offers some of the most wonderful scenery in the whole of the Cusco area, with many birds and wildlife and also glaciers and high alpine lakes. Its also one of the most challenging in the region with three high passes over 5,000masl./16,400 feet. On a clear day, ApuAusangate dominates Cusco's southern skyline. As we draw closer to this massive massif (6,380masl. / 20,930 feet) one becomes increasingly impressed and understands fully why the ancient Incas held this spectacular mountain in such high regard. During the whole Ausangate trek circuit we pass local villages where the people dress in their typical attire - the women in beautiful flatboard hats with trimmings - and llamas graze freely.

Itinerary

DAY 1: Cusco - Tinqui - Upis

We depart Cusco early the morning ( 5:30am ) for a long  three hours  ride in private van to the small village of Tinqui (3800 masl./ 12 464 feet).  As Tinqui is located on the new Interoceanic highway we can now arrive here much more quickly that in previous years. We pass through beautiful countryside and several traditional villages including Urcos, Cattca and Ocangate. After a short rest  in Tinqui we will start walking, the first 2 hours on the trail are are wonderful prelude to the magnificent scenery of the Cordillera Vilcanota, where we get to the lunch spot  with great views of Ausangate. We will trek for 3 hours more until we reach the hot springs at Upis (4,400 metres/ 14432 feet) which offer fantastic views of Ausangate at the end of the valley. We will camp here for the night. (total trekking time 4-5 hours)

DAY 2: Upis -Arapa Pass -AusangateQ’ocha

During our morning's trek, we will cross our the Arapa pass (4,850 metres/ 15908 feet). From here, we continue 3½ hours down the valley, passing the green lake of PuqaQ'ocha until we reach the turquoise Lake JatunPuqaQ'ocha. We then ascend the second pass of Apacheta(4,900 metres/ 16 072 feet) with the stunning turquoise blue Laguna AusangateQ'ocha below. This lake is fed from the melting snow of Ausangate. We will camp here for the second night.

DAY 3: Lake AusangateQ’ocha–Qampa  Pampa

From the lake we ascend to the Palomani pass (5,200 metres/ 17 056 feet); the highest point of the trek where our tour guide  will do a ceremony  for the Pachamama  (Mother  Earth). From the pass we follow the trail into the valley where we'll rest and have lunch. During the afternoon we can enjoy views of the snowcapped TresPicos and Puca Punta. We will continue through the broad green valley of Pampa Jutunpata and up the Rio Q'ampa valley. We will spent night 3 in this vicinity

DAY 4: Q’ampa Pampa -Pacchanta

After passing through the small community of Q'ampa we will head North west to the last pass of this hike, the Q'ampa pass (5000 metres/ 16400 feet). We will see several different coloured lakes and lunch beside Q'omaQ'ocha. We hike for several hours before arriving at the small village of Pacchanta. We can soak in the thermal springs for a couple of hours, and even have a well-deserved beer! We will set up camp near Pacchanta and you will have the afternoon free to explore this interesting Andean village. (You have the option of staying in a basic hostal this night)

DAY 5: Pacchanta - Cusco

It's 3 hours trek back to Tinqui where we will have time to explore this traditional Andean village before taking our private van back to Cusco, arriving at about 18.00.

Itinerary notes - Ausangate trek (Ausangate Circuit)- 5 days

The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group and the guide can change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has their own preferred route and it might not correspond exactly to the route described here.

The Ausangate region is very high, plus you are close to a snow covered massif. Temperatures are cold, and can fall well below freezing in the nights. You should travel well prepared for cold temperatures. Hire/or carry sleeping bags for temperatures less than freezing (minus 15 celsius or more).This region has limited tourist infrastructure and this tour makes use of local facilities. Visitors should be aware that things change, or may not go to plan. This is all part of the adventure, and visitors to Peru are encouraged to have an open mind and be open to the differences in the way things are done in another culture.

Included

  • Pre Trek Briefing, you should get it one night  before to start the tour by  your trekking guide
  • Pic up from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
  • Private transport from Cusco to Tinqui (the trailhead) and return at the end of the trek.
  • Entry fee to the Ausangate mountain.
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional  trekkingguide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 8 people).
  • Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest)
  • Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
  • Toilet tent
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
  • Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person). .
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • Tents for our staff to sleep in, sleeping bags & mattresses plus a budget for their meals.
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle - but not blister treatments as known in western countries.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Sleeping bags If you haven't got a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.For this trek you should hire minus 15 or warmer bags.
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Entrance to Hot Spring
  • Additional horses for passengers luggage.

What You Should Bring?

  • A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
  • Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping. ** This is a particularly cold trek, you should make sure you have a lot of very warm clothes.
  • Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
  • Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
  • Sun block.  After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
  • Insect repellent - minimum recommended 20% DEET - although no malaria risk has been reported
  • Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
  • We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
  • Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
  • Small towel or sarong
  • Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs)
  • Cash - sufficient for your tips and souvenirs.
  • Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. )
  • Binoculars (if you have them)

Places to Visit

Ausangate, Arapa

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Vidal Expeditions | 2019

Prolongacion Av. Grau K-2, Santiago

Phone: +51 951 359 694 - e-mail: vidalexpeditions@gmail.com - info@vidalexpeditions.com

Cusco - Perú