Ausangate Circuit – Trekking in Peru

Altitude 5200m, Grade T5

Trek in the remote Cordillera Vilcanota with gorgeous lakes and hot springs. This trip includes time to visit Machu Picchu 

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The impressive free-standing snowy peak of Ausangate towers to 6372m and is clearly seen in the east from the Inca capital of Cusco. Our fully supported 5-day Ausangate Circuit Trek through this remote and rarely visited part of Peru circumnavigates the mountain, crossing several high passes on the way. The trek takes you through pastures grazed by the native llamas and alpacas, ancient Inca villages and past pristine lakes reflecting the snow covered peaks above. Here you can enjoy being away from the crowds on the Inca Trail, meet the friendly Quecha locals as you pass through their villages and relax in hot springs on the final day of the trek.

After flying in to Cusco we allow a few days for acclimatisation to the altitude with day hikes to visit the Incan ruins just outside Cusco. You may also choose to explore the city or we can arrange for you to join a guided tour of the Sacred Valley or Machu Picchu (please enquire on booking).

Extensions are available for this trip – Please go to the dossier download tab.

This trip will operate with 2 people with a local Peruvian guide. Alternative dates available, please contact the Adventure Peaks office.

Trip dossier

Day 1 Depart UK

Day 2 On arrival from your spectacular flight along the Andes to Cusco, we transfer you to your hotel and start acclimatising to the rarefied air of this beautiful city (3326m). In the afternoon, we take a short walking tour of the centre of Cusco to familiarise you with the main sights, restaurants and a chance to stretch your legs and experience hiking at 3300m. At a convenient time you guide will arrange a full briefing for the days ahead.

Day 3 From Cusco we visit the water temple of Tambo Machay, the “Red Fort” of Pucara, the mysterious engraved Huaca of Quenko and the impressive Sacsayhuaman. With a private expert guide and private transport, this is the best way to see the outlying Cusco ruins in just a half a day.

Days 4 & 5
Two full days to acclimatise further with day hikes from Cusco, or alternatively there is the option to take a day excursion to visit Machu Picchu (please enquire on booking).

Day 6
After an early start we set off for the stunning drive to the trailhead, where we have magnificent views of the awaiting Ausangate. On arrival at Tinqui (3800m) we meet our muleteers and enjoy an early lunch. We then set off for an afternoon of gentle up-hill walking past open puna, highland meadows and several water tables; we may be lucky to see viscachas (the long tailed highland rabbits), alpaca and llama herds, condors and Andean foxes before arriving at our campsite of Upis (4400m). Here the hot-springs, in the shadow of the snow covered Ausangate provide a spectacular yet eerie camp setting. After dinner the muleteers may ask us to join a ‘Jaiway’ where we can all make an offering to the mountain God (the ‘Apu’) requesting a safe passage around the mountain. 4 to 5 hours walking.

Day 7
After a morning’s sharp ascent, we skirt the western shoulder of Ausangate at Arapa pass (4800m). The colourful moon-like rock formations are in stark contrast to the white beauty of Ausangate. In the afternoon we descend past the spectacular Uchuy Pucacocha (little red lake) and its waterfalls before arriving at our campsite beside the red waters of Jatun Pucacocha (big red lake). 5 hours walking.

Day 8 A day of mainly steady ascent takes us across the passes of Apuchata (4900m) and Palomani (5200m). The beautiful azure lake of Ausangatecocha and the back view of Ausangate provide the backdrop for this fascinating but tough day. We pass through the traditional base camp used for mountain ascents before finishing with a descent to our campsite on the meadow below, surrounded by glacial moraines. 6 to 7 hours walking.

Day 9 We follow up the broad green valley to the small lake of Ticllacocha. More viscachas and hopefully some rare vicuñas should accompany us on our journey. Our last big pass, the Campa pass (5050m), now lies just ahead of us. The crossing is made most impressive with surrounding glaciers, scree and snow slopes providing a truly big mountain expedition feel. We descend to the meadow below to camp. 5 to 6 hours walking.

Day 10 This morning we have a gentle down-hill hike to the hot-springs at Pacchanta (4360m) where we can soak our exhausted muscles in the lovely hot water pools. We continue our hike back down to Tinqui where we meet our vehicle. We wave goodbye to our muleteers and their mules and begin the drive back to Cusco where hot showers and cold beers await. 5 hours walking.

Day 11 Today we transfer to Cusco airport in time for your international flights home; unless you have decided to stay longer to visit Lake Titicaca, the Amazon rainforest or other exciting extensions.

Day 12 Arrive home

  • Estimated International flights from London (flight inclusive package
  • All road transfers in country (unless stated in ‘exclusions)
  • Accommodation – 5 nights in hotels, 4 nights camping
  • Meals – 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 evening meals
  • Park fees as appropriate
  • Local guides
  • Local trekking staff to assist (cook and porters/pack animals)
  • All camping equipment (excl. personal kit)
  • Adventure Peaks kitbag. A logoed top will be substituted for returning customers and non-UK clients
  • 24hr back-up and support from our UK staff
  • 15% off the RRP on clothing and equipment purchases from Adventure Peaks shop
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals if not indicated in ‘inclusions’
  • Personal equipment
  • Drinks and personal spending
  • Tips for local staff
  • Visas (if required)
  • Museum and monument entry fees
  • Optional tours to Machu Picchu or Sacred Valley on day 3

It is vitally important that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip with Adventure Peaks. We recognise the complexity and variety of choice in the insurance market and know that many of you either have your own preferred insurer or have annual multi trip cover in place already. If this is the case, please ensure that your insurer is aware of your Adventure Peaks itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken.

Adventure Peaks do not provide any advice on travel insurance, although it is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have travel insurance which covers the activities which you are likely to be undertaking on your holiday. Cover must include emergency medical, helicopter evacuation, repatriation and rescue expenses.

It is strongly recommended that suitable cancellation insurance is purchased at the time of booking as all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Suggested insurance companies include:

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The Initial Deposits for this booking will be :£400 per Person

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