The Ausangate Trek is a high-altitude trek located in the Cusco region of Peru. The trek takes you through the Vilcanota mountain range, passing by snow-clad peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, and remote indigenous communities. The highlight of the trek is Ausangate Mountain, which stands at 6,384 meters (20,945 feet) above sea level, making it one of the highest mountains in Peru and the highest mountain in the Cusco region.
The trek usually takes around 4-7 days to complete, and it is recommended that you be in good physical condition before attempting it and well acclimated. The trail is challenging and requires hiking at high altitudes, with some steep inclines and descents.
Along the way, you will pass through several small villages and meet local people who still practice traditional lifestyles. The trek offers an opportunity to learn about the indigenous culture and way of life, as well as enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the region.
Ausangate Trek is a challenging but rewarding experience that is perfect for adventurous hikers who want to explore the natural beauty of Peru and learn about the local culture.
The Ausangate Trek and Rainbow Mountain are known for their stunning natural beauty and unique cultural experiences. Here are some of the highlights of the trek:
Ausangate Mountain: The trek takes you up close to Ausangate Mountain, which is a majestic sight to behold. The snow-capped peak stands at 6,384 meters (20,945 feet) above sea level and is surrounded by beautiful turquoise lakes.
Awe-inspiring Vistas: The vistas are stunning and one-of-a-kind in every direction; towering spire peaks, craggy rocks, glacier mountains, llamas/alpacas, azure lakes, starry nights. You will love them.
Natural Hot Springs: Along the trek, you will have the opportunity to relax in natural hot springs, which are believed to have therapeutic properties. It’s a great way to rejuvenate your muscles after long several days of hiking.
Indigenous Communities: The Ausangate Trek takes you through several remote indigenous communities where you can learn about their traditional way of life. You’ll have the opportunity to meet locals and see firsthand how they live and work in the high Andes.
Rainbow Mountains: On some versions of the trek, you may have the opportunity to visit the Rainbow Mountains, which are a stunning natural wonder. The mountains get their name from the colorful stripes that are formed by mineral deposits.
High Altitude Passes: The trek takes you over several high-altitude passes, including the Palomani Pass, which is over 5,130 meters (16,830 feet) above sea level. From these passes, you’ll have stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
No regulations yet were set for this park but please respect nature when hiking making a minimum impact that means that you need to carry all personal trash with you leaving the trail clean. TAKE ONLY MEMORIES, LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS.
There is no special permit to hike this trail. We strongly recommend booking your trek a couple of months in advance with a reputable tour operator. We are an official tour operator for this trek, we normally have groups twice a week, for further details please contact one of our trekking destination experts.
The weather in the Ausangate Trek region can vary greatly depending on the time of year and the altitude. Generally, the best time to trek the Ausangate circuit is during the dry season, which runs from May to September.
During the dry season, you can expect mostly clear skies and sunny weather, with daytime temperatures ranging from around 10-20°C (50-68°F) at lower elevations and cooler temperatures at higher elevations. Nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing, so warm layers and a good sleeping bag are essential.
Outside of the dry season, the weather can be more unpredictable, with more rain and the possibility of snow at higher elevations. The wet season runs from November to March, and during this time, trekking can be more difficult due to the rain and the potential for landslides.
It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly, with layers that can be added or removed as needed.
Since this trail is not popular the campsites are normally located in the middle of nowhere next to the trails, just a couple of the campsites have toilets (generally toilets are in bad condition). reputable tour operators provide proper gear including the toilet tents for this trek, make sure to ask at the moment to get a tour.
It’s important to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the Ausangate Trek to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
Get in Shape: The Ausangate Trek is a challenging trek that involves hiking at high altitudes, so it’s important to be in good physical shape. Try to do regular cardio exercise and strength training to build up your endurance and prepare your legs and core for uphill and downhill hiking.
Acclimatize: The Ausangate Trek takes you to high altitudes, and altitude sickness is a risk. Plan to arrive in Cusco a few days before the trek to acclimatize to the altitude. It’s also a good idea to do some short hikes or day trips to higher elevations before starting the Ausangate Trek.
Pack the Right Gear: Make sure you have the right gear for the trek, including sturdy hiking boots, warm layers, a good sleeping bag, and a waterproof jacket. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
Bring Snacks and Water: The trek is physically demanding, and you’ll need to stay hydrated and energized. Bring plenty of water and high-energy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and energy bars.
Mental Preparation: The Ausangate Trek can be mentally challenging as well as physically. It’s important to be mentally prepared for the long days of hiking, the high altitude, and potential weather challenges. Try to maintain a positive attitude and keep a sense of humor.
By following these tips and preparing well, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the Ausangate Trek and enjoy all of its amazing sights and experiences.
Ausangate Trek Map
Food on the Trail
With Peru Summit Adventures on this trek, food is awesome and well balanced, you will have enough food from varieties of vegetables, pasta, chicken, beef, quinoa, local potatoes, trout, porridge for breakfast, coffee, milk, and much more things, all this prepared by an experienced cook, which will be served in comfortable tents with tables, chairs, lamps. You will also have options for vegetarians, vegans, or gluten-free. When going with other companies make sure to ask if the food will be enough and fresh.
What to see
In addition to the highlights we mentioned earlier, there are many other amazing sights and experiences you can have on the Ausangate Trek. Here are a few more:
Wildlife: The Ausangate Trek is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, Andean foxes, and even Andean condors. Keep an eye out for these animals as you hike.
Glaciers: The Ausangate Trek takes you past several impressive glaciers, including the Qampa and Mariposa glaciers. These are some of the largest glaciers in the region and are an impressive sight to see.
Queñua Forests: The Ausangate Trek also passes through several queñua forests, which are unique to the high Andes. These forests are made up of gnarled trees that have adapted to the extreme cold and altitude.
Sacred Lakes: There are several beautiful and sacred lakes along the Ausangate Trek, including the Ausangatecocha and Qomerqocha lakes. These lakes are an important part of Andean mythology and are believed to have spiritual significance.
Traditional Andean Architecture: The indigenous communities along the Ausangate Trek have a rich architectural heritage, with unique styles of homes and other structures. Take the time to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of these structures as you pass through the communities.
Ausangate Trek Tours
We have the following treks to this destination: