Ausangate Trek to Machu Picchu
Ausangate Trek 6 Days
Ausangate Trek 6 Days–Ready to hike around and on the skirts of the highest peak in Cusco? Join us on our hike along the Ausangate trek to Machu Picchu, Inca’s glorious city of stone perched high above the Sacred Valley. Hike through the Andean valleys and plains where the only one residents are the llamas and alpacas. Combine your trek with the colourful and gorgeous Rainbow Mountains (In Quechua, Vinicunca mountain) to experience this trekking in an absolute way, and immerse more into the real experience with more free time to roam and explore the great Andean scenery, enjoying the trek properly with no rush.
Ausangate Mountain is the highest mountain in the Vilcanota mountain range. The Cordillera Vilcanota is an impressive range of mountains which include the massive snow-capped Ausangate (20,873 feet) and three others tops over 19,620 feet. This is an excellent trekking circuit offering everything you could want if you love the nature, photography, adventure, culture, so this is for you! with spectacular mountain scenery, snow-capped peaks, hot springs, turquoise lakes, colorful mountains ( Rainbow Mountain), glaciers, herds of llamas and alpacas, picturesque villages and traditionally dressed Quechua people, which are very stupendous, and walking from one campsite to the next across the high passes is a mystical and unforgettable experience.
This is a challenging trek, not technical with several high passes, where you’ll love the great provided gears of Crocotrail Travel. This beautiful trek takes you around the massif of Ausangate mountain and over six high passes (all of them over 16,350 feet).
We’ve honed this journey to perfection with spectacular campsites, superb camp amenities, and an extraordinary team of Tour Leaders. If you’ve ever dreamed of hiking the Ausangate Trek 6 Days, this is the way to do it!
Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights with Machu Picchu / Only Ausangate Trek + Rainbow Mountains 6 days.
Physical Rating: 5 – Demanding. Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers. Full-day hikes (6-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 12,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 17,000 feet.
Service Level: Upgraded, Comfort
Group Size: Small Private Group. Small group experience, Min 02 – Max 8, Avg 04.
Overnight In Machu Picchu Town? YES.
Limited Trekking Permits: NO. Ausangate trek is not regulated yet by the Peruvian government; however, the entrance fee for the Ausangate mountain is charged in Tinqui and at some campsites (the entrance fee is included), thus you can book your trek one month in advance to organize the tour, whether you would like to hike up Wayna Picchu mountain, please let us know at the moment you are booking the tour ( tickets for Wayna Picchu is limited to 400 tickets a day).
Please Note. Passport information must be submitted to Crocotrail Travel at the moment you book prior to departure. This information is necessary to issue, Machu Picchu entrance fee, Waynapicchu, train tickets, bus tickets.
Day 01. Cusco – Yana Qocha
We meet you at hotel in this morning and begin our drive to Upis town, the starting point for our picturesque trek in Ausangate trek. En route we’ll drive though highland villages and stop to shoot some awesome photos. Three hours later we’ll be getting to Upis and we’ll meet up our local muleteers and horses, we then get ready to start the great adventure, we will walk for about 2 hours to get the first pass called Arpa (15,369 feet), we’ll be impressed by the first views from this point, right above us we’ll have a dramatic notch of the glacial moraines of Ausangate. Then we’ll walk downhill to get the lunch spot as we’ll be reaching our destination for lunch, we’ll see beautiful lakes on the skirt of Ausangate, where we’ll have our succulent lunch with amazing views around, then we’ll continue walking toward the first camp site called Yana Qocha (14,879 feet) where we’ll spend the first night, right next to a beautiful lagoon. All meals included.
Hiking Time: 7 hours
Hiking Distance: 5.5 miles.
Day 02. Yana Qocha – Auqui
Enjoy a stunning backdrop of glaciers and ice falls as you cross the next Pass (16,350 feet), more dramatic notches are seen on the glacial moraines of Ausangate. This morning we’ll walk uphill to reaach the second Pass, along the trail we’ll see and walk through the herds of llamas and alpacas, and locals dressed up typically. So that will be the perfect moment to get some great pictures, as we hike up a series of switchbacks over a pass that offers outstanding views of the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcanota Range in every direction, from this second pass we’ll be treated by spectacular views around, and we’ll be entering in the colorful valleys of Rainbow Mountain. As we’ll be reaching our next camp site ( 15,042 feet), we’ll see more herds of llamas and alpacas, perfect time to shoot national geographic type photos. At night a starlit sky will be over us, so a perfect moment for night photography. All meals included.
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Hiking Distance: 4.3 miles.
Day 03. Auqui – Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain – Ausangate Qocha
A nutritious breakfast prepares us for today’s third high Pass (16,350 feet). We’ll set out early in the cool mountain air carrying only our daypacks and cameras. As we hike up a series of switchbacks over a pass that offers outstanding views of the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcanota Range in every direction, and the Ausangate stands up in the middle. From this third Auqui Pass we’ll see the for the first time the valley of the Vinicunca where the Rainbow Mountain is located. Nothing to wait! walking downhill sections and highland plain and undulates sections, we’ll reach the Vinicunca rainbow Mountains. Awesome moment to delight this awesome view right infront of us, and shoot your own portraits. After enjoying the amazing views at these colored hills we’ll come back on the same way to get the same camp site to have our lunch. In the afternoon we will continue walking for 2 and a half hours to arrive the fourth camp site called Ausangate Qocha(15,369 feet), this camp site is located at the backside of the Ausangate mountain thus we will see the mountain from a different angle, and there is a nice lagoon close the camp site, where we will see many highland birds. All meals included.
Hiking Time: 9 hours
Hiking Distance: 9.9 miles.
Day 04. Ausangate Qocha – Jhampapampa
Today’s trek gets the highest point on the whole trail, the switchback trail takes us up to Palomani Pass (17,004 feet) located right beside of Ausangate mountain, where the wild vicuñas (southamerican camelids that belong to family of llamas and alpacas) are very common to see.
Then we’ll walk downhill to get the valley part, and follow the same valley with herd of llamas and alpacas, where we’ll eat our lunch, and in the mid-afternoon we’ll walk up to the next camp site Jhampapampa (15,696 feet).
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Hiking Distance: 7.4 miles.
Day 05. Jhampapampa – Pacchanta Town
We start the day with a great breakfast that is provided by our chef, we then walk gradually up to get the last pass called Jhampa pass (16,971 feet). A last high point in our trek, infront of us we still have a great mountain called Qolqe Cruz that forms part of the Vilcanota Range. From this last pass we start to walk gradually downward to lunch place. After having lunch, that afternoon we have 3 more hours to get Pacchanta town where we spend the last night, and a perfect time to soak into the thermal water or hot springs. At night we have a special dinner which is made as a surprise by our Quechua chef, and we enjoy the last supper all the team members together. All meals included.
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Hiking Distance: 7.4 miles.
Day 06. Pacchanta Town – Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu Town
A hearty breakfast fuels us up for the last day of our adventure and the initial 4-hour drive towards Ollantaytambo town through the Sacred Valley of the Incas with stop-off on the way. Today we don’t hike anymore, except some street stroll in the Inca town of Ollantaytambo, exploring the ancient original Incan streets, aqueducts, etc. At about mid-day we’ll stop to have a beautiful lunch picnic in the Sacred Valley. In the evening we’ll have our dinner and celebrate the trip with Pisco Sours in this town then to take our train to Machu Picchu town at 7:00 pm. We’ll spend this last night at the delightful Gringo Bill’s Boutique Hotel, a perfect base from which to explore the wonders of this magnificent site “Machu Picchu” the next day. All meals included, except the last dinner.
Hiking Time: Very Light Walks.
Hiking Distance: 0 miles.
Day 07. Guided Tour at Machu Picchu – Free Time to Explore or Hike to Huayna Picchu Mountain – Back to Cusco
A full day at Machu Picchu affords us the luxury of exploring at a leisurely pace while learning more about the Inca culture and the latest theories behind the construction of this marvellous complex. We have an early breakfast and head up to the ruins by shuttle bus before the morning tourist train arrives in order to fully enjoy the peace and solitude of this mystical place. Our knowledgeable Leader leads us on a fascinating tour, recapping Machu Picchu’s rediscovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and explaining the significance of the various structures that cover the grounds. We then have the chance to indulge ourselves with a hike to the dramatic viewpoint of Intipunku (the Sun’s Gateway), or a variety of other intriguing possibilities including an easy walk to an ancient Inca drawbridge or more vigorous hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain based on permit availability both peaks loom above the ruins. Of course, we can also choose to independently continue our exploration of the main site and daydream about what life must have been like here centuries ago. We catch the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and from there take the bus back to Cusco, arriving at approximately 7:00 p.m. The day concludes with our Leader joining us for a final celebration dinner at a traditional local restaurant. Only breakfast included, the rest of meals don’t include.
Hiking Optional Huayna Picchu. Hike may be unguided and is steep with some exposure. Permits are limited to 400 spaces a day. An alternative optional hike may be available if Huayna Picchu permits cannot be obtained.
– Transportation from your hotel to the start of the trail.
– Entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
– One night hotel in Machupicchu town.
– Bus tickets up and down in Machupicchu town, the day of guided tour.
– Round trip train ticket.
– Private Transportation from Pacchanta town to Ollantaytambo town.
– Camping Equipment Black Diamond 4 season tent (04 people tent for 02 people).
– Other camping equipment, a dining tent with table and chairs, and a kitchen tent, manned by a professional cooking staff.
– Private bus from the train station to hotel in Cusco.
– Tour Leader.
– First-Aid Kits, Oxygen tank.
– Meals: Breakfast (6), lunch (6), dinner (5), and snacks, with option for vegetarians, gluten free, lactose free.
– A professional Quechua chef who grew up in the countryside.
– Horses and muleteers to carry your personal gears. Where you’ll pack as max amount 18 pounds.
– Sleeping pad (Therma-Rest mattresses) and pillow.
– Duffle bag.
– Outdoor toilet tents with chemical toilets at our campsites.
– Emergency horse, that will be staying with us during the hike to upload our personal day gears or ride.
What’s Not Included
– Sleeping bags, you might get them rented from us US$ 5 per day.
– Hiking poles,you might get them rented from us US$5 per day a pair of poles, Black Diamond or leki brand.
– Last dinner on 6th day.
– Last lunch on 7th day.
– Extra expenditure during the trek, such as: soda, alcoholic drinks, extra snacks, tickets for the hot springs in Pacchanta town
– Travel Insurance.
– Travel and health insurance (bring copies with you please), we highly recommend to get an insurance of trip cancellation, interruption; an insurance to protect your travel investment, Included with your pre-departure package, bring your travel insurance to cover trip cancellation, interruption, baggage loss and delay, emergency medical evacuation insurance and emergency medical expense insurance. Any unexpected situations occurred during the journey and which are beyond our control, including changes in scheduling trains or flights, delays, strikes, cancellations, missed connections, etc. it should be covered by the passenger as a whole. Also, if you for physical reasons of health cannot continue the trek or walk, and will need emergency evacuation then all charges incurred such as transportation, hotel, ambulance, doctors, medication, hospitalization, etc. will be at passenger’s expense.
– International or internal airfare, transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Detailed Itinerary, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
Lodging & Camping Amenities
Ausangate Trek Camps.
We make hiking and camping in the Andes as comfortable as it can get! On the trail, you are accompanied by our experienced team of trek Leaders, and all your gear is carried for you, leaving you free to hike with just a light daypack to hold your camera, water bottle, jacket, etc. Our camp amenities include a dining tent with a dining table, chairs with backs, camp meals prepared by our highly trained staff, toilet tents with chemical toilets. Our camp crew takes care of all camp chores, including bringing tea or coffee to your tent each morning and providing beautiful picnic lunches each day at a scenic spot along the trail. Accommodations are in sturdy mountain-four season tents, mountain-four season sleeping pads, pillows. Our camps are operated to the highest environmental standards. Most trip members bring their own sleeping bag, but we can arrange for you to rent them in Cusco at our office if you prefer.
Tents: Black Diamond tents. Our tents are 4 season and roomy, high-quality 4-person mountain tents (used for only two people) and 2-person tents (used for singles).
Sleeping Pads. Therma-rest 4 season. Our Sleeping pads are comfortable and high-quality mountain type.
Hotel in Machu Picchu Town. On the fourth night of the trek, after your final day of hiking, you’ll overnight at charming Gringo Bill’s Boutique hotel, in the town of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes).
- Ausangate Trek With Machu Picchu 7 Days, From USD 1400.00 Per Person.
- Ausangate Trek 6 days With Rainbow Mountains, From USD 750.00 Per Person.
Prices are quoted in US Dollars and all payments must be made in US Dollars.
To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are tier priced according to the number of full-paying participants on the trip.
All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. If you are willing to share accommodations, we will match you with a roommate if one is available. If we cannot match you with a roommate, the “forced single supplement” is listed if applicable.
Trip Payment Schedule.
– At the time of reservation: 30% of total balance.
– 90 days prior to departure: Balance should be paid fully, or once upon your arrival in Cusco the other 50% of final balance must be paid fully.
Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule.
– Minimum fee (Ausangate Trek permit fee): $120 per person
– 61-90 days prior to departure: 30% of trip cost
– 46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
– 45 days or less: 100% of trip cost.
Preparing For Your Trek
Whichever trail people choose, it’s important that they make the right preparations. The hike into the Andes is difficult for most, if for no other reason than the high altitude. No matter what, hikers should give themselves at least two days to adjust to the high altitudes in Cusco before beginning their journey. Once setting out, it’s important to be prepared with all of the essentials. Vendors will sell bottled water and snacks on the way, so it’s a good idea for travelers to carry currency just in case. Also, the trail gets cold at night, so it’s important to have proper sleeping bags and warm clothes even when hiking in Peru’s summer months.
The Ausangate Trek to Machu Picchu is mostly off the beaten path and it goes up and down across high alpine mountains while crossing several high-altitude passes. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed because we always have a staff member hiking in the lead as well as one behind with the slowest hiker in our group if ther are 7 participants in the group. Any fit, experienced hiker will enjoy this hike, but we recommend you make an extra effort to prepare by engaging in regular exercise well beyond your normal routine. To accelerate your conditioning, try walking faster than 1.5 miles per hour, walking on steeper inclines, using your gym’s stair-climbing machines, or going on long hikes (also a good way to break in your boots). Please be aware that there are a few sections of long, steep stone staircases, so we do suggest hiking poles to protect your knees. The trek takes place at altitudes between 9,810 feet and 17,004 feet.
What To Pack. Your 18 pounds will be carried by horses to the camp sites. Thus, you do need to pack light for the trek, but you will find it is not that challenging since all you really need are the following: comfortable hiking clothes, with additional warm layers, good hiking boots, and personal toiletries (we provide a detailed clothing list). You can bring your own, or rent a Crocotrail Travel sleeping bag, and hiking sticks. Your non-hiking luggage will be safely stored for you at your Cusco hotel. One of our Area Managers will be your point person from your first inquiry throughout your preparation for the trip, and they will be happy to answer any questions you have about preparing and packing for this incredible journey.
A professional Crocotrail Travel Tour Leader with a deep knowledge of the destination and a focus on customer service makes all the difference. Our leaders are experts in Inca history, nature, birding, gastronomy, local language, etc, with a profound connection to Peru’s fascinating traditional culture. They take care of all the details so that you can savor the experiences of the trip. And just as important, they have a remarkable gift for sharing their extensive knowledge and favorite places. Our Tour Leaders have the warmth, endless energy, and that special “it” factor that transforms a trip into an unforgettable journey.
Make the most of Peru’s natural beauty with outdoor picnics on each adventure tour, and discover the delights of Peruvian cuisine in each tour destinations and outdoor tours. So food is awesome!
Our chefs are to Food what Leonardo da Vinci is to Art, so we rely on really experienced Quechua chefs who were trained and chosen to make this food in the mountains, and they are our stars.
You’ll be surprised and delighted at the variety and quality of our on-the-trail cuisine, a blend of freshly made Peruvian & Fusion dishes with vegetarian options. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in our enclosed dining tent, complete with table and chairs. Each morning, you’ll wake up to hot coffee, cocoa, and a choice of teas, brought right to your tent. This is followed by a freshly prepared breakfast of eggs, pancakes, fruit salad, quinua porridge, fresh juice, French toast, or oatmeal. As you start the day’s hike, we provide tasty trail snacks including fresh fruit and chocolate.
Lunches consist of a wide variety of dishes, depending on the day, including delicious roast guinea pig (a local delicacy dish), beef, chicken, fish, pasta salads, soup, casseroles, and other offerings, or surprises with appetizers and delicious desserts. They are served at a comfortable and scenic spot along the trail where our staff has set up tables and chairs, and quite often an open tent for shade. At each lunch stop, we set up our own private toilet tent and chemical toilet for minimal impact on the environment.
This trip is Level 5, Demanding to Strenuous. Most hiking is between 8,000 and 12,000 feet. The maximum elevation we reach is 17,004 feet, and the highest place we camp is 15,696 feet. The total mileage hiked is about 34.5. Trails can be rugged, not the well-maintained trails you may be accustomed to in your country. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed. Our group will spread out along the trail during about six to eight hours of hiking each day (shorter on some days). On the trail, you will just carry your own daypack for the items that you want with you on the trail, such as a water bottle and a jacket. Our horses and muleteers carry all your other gear from camp to camp.
A Typical Trekking Day. Hiking distances on trek are normally measured in hours, not miles, since maps aren’t really accurate enough to assess how far we walk up and down on winding mountain trails. With rest stops and photo stops, few people walk faster than one mile an hour in a mountainous region. Some hiking days are shorter than others, and some days are more difficult than others due to altitude gain and loss.
– Original passport and Student ISIC card (if applicable), and some copies.
– Travel insurance (and some copies).
– Sleeping bag (or you can rent one from us).
– Backpack to carry your things.
– Phone, power bank battery, camera charger and adapter.
– Bathing suit (if you would like to enjoy the hot springs in Machu Picchu town).
– Torch or headlamps.
– Deet or mosquito repellent ( recommendable 30% deet).
– Hiking poles ( or you can rent one pair from us).
– Rain gear (especially if traveling in the wet season, from October to March).
– Comfortable hiking clothes, including warm clothes for the nighttime.
– Good hiking boots with protector ankle or similar, and one pair of flip-flops or light sandals.
– Sunblock and sunglasses.
– Hiking long sleeve T-shirts.
– Hiking trousers.
– Ear Plugs.
– Thermal underwear.
– Hiking socks.
– Water bottle or canteen.
– American dollars and Peruvian soles in cash.
– Sun hat, cap, and warm hat and gloves for the nighttime.
– Toilet paper, and face tissue paper.
– Crédit or debit card.
– Luggage Tags and Locks.
– Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen).
– Personal first-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may take).
– For more info you can visit Gear Lexicon https://www.alpineascents.com/pdf/gear-lexicon.pdf
When to Go
The Ausangate Trek to Machu Picchu can be hiked all year around except in late December and February, the rainiest months, when the trail is blocked and damaged sometimes by the rainfall. The trail reopens in March and April, when the rains lighten up and the mountains are still green. High season begins in May and extends through September, as these are the driest months. October through December is considered shoulder season, when occasional rain is possible, but keep in mind that the highlands of Peru are a temperate desert and it is not uncommon for it not to rain for weeks at a time even in the height of the rainy season. This is also the time with the fewest hikers on the trail, more flowers in bloom, and fewer tourists at Machu Picchu as well as in Cusco. Temperatures in the Cusco-Machu Picchu region range from the high 60s in the daytime to the low 40s at night, with some variation depending on the time of year you go.
Route & Acclimatization
Whichever trail people choose, it’s important that they make the right preparations. The hike into the Andes is difficult for most, if for no other reason than the high altitude. No matter what, hikers should give themselves at least two days to adjust to the high altitudes in Cusco before beginning their journey. Once setting out, it’s important to be prepared with all of the essentials.
The trail gets cold at night, so it’s important to have sleeping bags and warm clothes even when hiking in Peru’s summer months.
Our trek has six hiking days (most companies push it with just five days on the trail—and some even fourth). The Crocotrail Travel way allows you to acclimatize gradually to the altitude, have reasonable wakeup times (no hiking in the dark, as with other companies), and enjoy well-paced hiking days that give you time to explore the extraordinary archaeological sites, and the birds along the route. We want you to experience the wonder of the Trail, not race through it.
With us you can have the Ausangate Trek 6 Days largely to yourself!. We have perfected the timing of our daily hiking schedule so that the majority of other hikers will be either far ahead or far behind you each day. This delivers a much better experience of this World Heritage Site, and our travelers often comment on the magic of having the Ausangate Trek 6 Days to themselves!