Ausangate Trek – Complete Guide To The Highest Trek In Peru

Although not as popular as the Inca Trail, the Ausangate trek is a stunning hike through the wildest and rarely visited areas in Peru.

Traversing the Cordillera Vilcanota, the trek takes hikers over several high passes, down into low alpine valleys and through traditional Peruvian villages. You’ll see snow capped peaks, herds of llamas, glaciers and turquoise lakes, all set within an incredibly beautiful mountain range. You will also get the chance to see the Rainbow Mountains of Vinicunca!

On this page you will find all the information you need to prepare for an amazing Ausangate trek experience, including a detailed overview on all route and itinerary options

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Inca Jungle Treks

Created with Sketch. Tambopata, Peru

Tambopata Tours 5 Days 4 Nights

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40%
Tours to Machu Picchu

Created with Sketch. Vinicunca, Cusco, Peru

Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca Full Day Tour

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Created with Sketch. Palcoyo, Cusco, Peru

Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Full Day Tour

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Created with Sketch. Ausangate, Cusco, Peru.

Ausangate Trek + Rainbow Mountain 5 Days

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Created with Sketch. Ausangate, Cusco, Peru.

Ausangate Trek 6 Days

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Created with Sketch. Ausangate, Vinicunca, Cusco.

Ausangate Trek To Rainbow Mountain 4D/3N

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Created with Sketch. Ausangate, Sibinacocha, Cusco.

Ausangate Trek to Sibinacocha 6D/5N

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Created with Sketch. Ausangate, Cusco, Peru.

Ausangate Trek To Rainbow Mountain 3 Days

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incajungle-biking

Biking

This tour is an excellent trip to have a descend expedition on bicycle.

incajungle-rafting

Rafting

Our rafting trip starts in the town of Santa Maria at 2:45 pm, starting point is the bridge at Chaullay.

incajungle-trekking

Trekking.

Impress the majesty of the area and that constant variety that accompanies you from sun to rain and vice versa in an area considered ¨Ceja de Selva¨.

incajungle-zipline

Zipline

A wonderful tour and a different way of living, trained and warm staff. They made me feel safe all the time.

Ausangate Trek – An Overview

Lying a 100 km south-east of Cusco is the impressive cordillera Vilcanota. The mountain range has several peaks over 6,000 metres, including the sacred Ausangate (6372m) – the highest mountain in the Cusco region.

Unlike the Inca Trail, no permit is needed for the Ausangate trek. The trek is one of the quietest in the region and you’ll likely not see another trekker.

Whilst most Ausangate treks are offered on a 6 day itinerary, certain companies will combine the trek with a visit to Machu Picchu. Camping is usually the norm on this route, however, some companies will offer the trek as a ‘lodge’ trek in which you will stay in very basic huts along the route.

The Ausangate trek is one of the few treks in Peru that offers the option to ride a horse. Operators will provide the horses and extra horses will also be brought to carry your gear and equipment.

However, certain sections of the trek are so steep that you’ll need to get off and walk beside your horse. If you are not a confident rider then trekking only tours are also available.

The trek offers an array of wildlife including soaring condors, vicunas, bobcats and pumas. Camp sites are often beside beautiful blue lakes.

You’ll also have the chance to bathe in several hot springs and view the trek’s signature rainbow mountains! The colourful sandstone mountains in the Vinicunca area is probably the coolest thing you’ll see in Peru!

Ausangate mountain itself is considered a holy mountain (or mountain spirit) by local Peruvians and is the deity of Cusco. Since pre-Inca times the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings and this tradition continues today.

The mountain is also notable for the Qoyllur Rit’I Festival which is held on the opposite side of the Cordillera Vilcanota, in the Sinaqara Valley at the end of May. The festival draws over 10,000 pilgrims each year and celebrates the mountains spirit and the apparition of Christ on the mountainside.

How Difficult Is The Ausangate Trek?

With several high passes over 5,000 metres, the Ausangate Trek is considered fairly difficult.

The trek is classified as grade C which means the trek is fairly long and many sections are at high altitude. You’ll need a good level of fitness and stamina as you’ll be trekking over many steep sections in which the altitude changes significantly over a short space of time.

The trail itself is fairly good and well defined.

If you are using horse, you’ll most likely be on horseback for much of the flat sections. Your operator should allow good time for acclimatization.

This trek is probably not suited to first time trekkers. If you are a strong walker and have completed some moderate treks prior to this then you should be fine. Often weather can get quite rough in the higher regions and blizzards are certainly not uncommon.

As there are several high sections on the trek you should make yourself aware of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and how to diagnose and treat the sickness. The important thing is not to rush. If you have chosen a good operator they will take this into account.

Here is a really beautiful short video from Contemporary Nomad that shows the incredible landscapes of the Ausangate Trek.

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