Everything you need to know to do this trek through Ausangate Trek and Rainbow Mountain
Ausangate Trek is the best alternative for trekking lovers. You will challenge this impressive mountain route with beautiful landscapes and the rewarding interaction with the local people and their beautiful traditions, making your trip an epic journey.
The exciting thing about the Ausangate trek is that it starts at 4200 m. and climbs up to about 5200 m. It is to enjoy throughout the journey of unparalleled landscapes; lakes, pristine glaciers, peaks, and jagged snow-capped mountains, valleys, and colorful mountains that allow a deep contact with tugged ancient nature.
On this hike, you will also be able to observe the diverse fauna consisting of 20 species of birds, black-winged Andean geese, the majestic Andean condor, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas (a wild relative of the alpaca), and the vizcacha (a type of chinchilla that resembles a rabbit). All this creates a configuration of entirely sublime hiking.
When you do this trek, the villagers will charge you an entrance fee, which they use to maintain the route and allow for investment in security measures and infrastructure to make your trip safer.
The Ausangate trek does less known than the Inka Trail and the Salkantay Trek. Lately, passionate, adventurous trekkers opt for its route because its natural environment remains virtually untouched and with little influx of travelers, making it a unique pathway for these characteristics.
To get to Ausangate Mountain and do this hike, you take a bus until you reach the area of Tinki.
The bus terminal is located 10 minutes (by cab) from the city of Cusco. Buses leave every 20 minutes, and the prices are reasonable.
Please ensure the bus’s destination is Ocongate, a town larger than Tinki, and located before reaching it. If you want to read more about this topic, you can read this article.
In the Ausangate trek, you will encounter up to 3 high mountain passes, so Kondor Path Tours recommends up to three days of the previous acclimatization. In Kondor Path Tours, we have tours that you can do these days that you need acclimatization, such as the city tour, the tour of the sacred valley, etc. We recommend at least three acclimatization hikes before undertaking the magnificent adventure. The best way to achieve this goal is to hike to Cristo Blanco in the city of Cusco (3,700 m) and do the Maras Moray tour, both located at higher altitudes than Cusco.
Don’t risk it; if you want to do this trek, you have to be well acclimatized, as this can damage your hike, and you can get altitude sickness.
Altitude sickness can make your adventure an adverse experience. Take the recommended time to get used to the altitude and start this incredible route-long trek.
The best time of the year to hike Ausangate is from April to November. All this to take advantage of the sunniest days. However, the favorable weather attracts more hikers, and if you want to enjoy these beautiful places a whole way, it does recommend to do the trek in the last days of March or December.
What can do the Ausangate Trek at any time of the year (in case you do it on your own), and the prices increase (in the agencies that offer the trek) due to the low demand because it is more difficult to find daily departures.
Due to the constant rains, January and February are the worst months to go on this adventure. Even the Classic Inca Trail is closed during this season. Hail and thunderstorms are common and even become much more intense, increasing the chances of the experience becoming downright terrifying.
Doing the Ausangate trek with a travel agency has a significant advantage as they have a large staff supporting every moment. As Kondor Path Tours, we have strict control over the times and services so that your trip is entirely satisfactory. In addition to safeguarding the integrity of our travelers, we will take care of even the most minor details, which can sometimes be a headache for travelers seeking to make the trek alone. You only worry about enjoying the journey and thus enriching the experience to make it memorable.
If you still wish to do the hike on your own, the requirements are that you have previously done tours above 4000 m. It would help if you carried all the proper equipment, stocked up on sufficient food supplies, and mastered either Spanish or Quechua.
If you still wish to do the Ausangate trek on your own, we recommend the following advice: hire a muleteer and pack the necessary supplies and food on pack animals (Upis village.)
In the Andes, there is a diversity of climates. Still, it is always unpredictable, and on the Ausangate Trek, we will be at a temperature between 10-20º C during the day if it is sunny and up to 05-10º during the day if it is not bright.
The climate is not hot, but the sun is intense, so you should bring good sunscreen, which can make your hike a little tricky; in the afternoons, the temperature is lower, reaching temperatures below -10 ° C.
For the Ausangate trek: It is advisable to use waterproof clothing and covers of the same material to cover your belongings. In addition to using this material, it does suggest providing yourself with plastic or several Ziploc plastic bags.
If you are hiking on your own, make sure you have in mind and comply with the supply of all the necessary paraphernalia to carry out the tour under the unseasonable rains.
Entrances Tickets to Ausangate Trek
The route to Ausangate includes transit through several communities. These communities are responsible for the maintenance of the way, as well as offering camping services, bathrooms, and even night guards, for which you have to pay and are already stipulated rates. A guided hike may or may not include the respective payment of these fees. Be clear about this before contracting the services of a travel agency.
You can choose between two categories to carry out the extraordinary Ausangate trek: short (2-4 days) and long (5-7 days).
If you have time, we suggest you opt for the 5-7 days route, as the itinerary offers views and landscapes that will leave you speechless.
Hiking for several days has a particular advantage. Visiting all the tourist sites, which comprise the complete circuit, is that you can appreciate the variety of high peaks from multiple angles. As well as traversing mountain passes, at least one and even up to two per day, of altitudes from 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) to 5,200 meters (17,600 feet).
These short Ausangate treks intend to provide hikers with a “better” sample of the Ausangate region in a quick and intense period.
This route focuses on circling the Puka Qocha Lake, the Ausangate Glacier, and the 7-color mountain.
Doing the Ausangate trek has a special reward, above the tree line and comprises panoramic views of the beautiful mountain scenery—a magnificent opportunity for those who love to take pictures.
At most accommodations and Kondor Path Tours, you can leave your luggage while doing the Ausangate trek and then pick it up on your return.
This trek does consider a bit difficult because it passes through high altitudes.
This trek does not recommend for those who are new to long hikes. It does suggest that you have previously done moderate hikes.
Four local communities manage the campsites along the Ausangate trekking routes. A few years ago, you could camp freely in the place of your choice, but this caused little control. Because travelers left their garbage which harmed the environment, the local people established the camping system, which generated jobs and the possibility of economic growth through tourism. In this way, mutualism has made trekking an increasingly attractive and sustainable activity in this circuit.
The campsites are still rudimentary and located in remote areas, so you will not likely find a Minimarket. You will generally find a place to set up the tents, and the toilets are rustic. There is no drinking water in the campsites, and taking a shower will have to be postponed until the end of the trek; if you do the tour with Kondor Path Tours, you will have water available to do your basic cleaning.
If you prefer to rent equipment in Cusco rather than carry it with you worldwide, we recommend two camping and trekking equipment rental stores located half a block from the main square.
If you have any particular medical condition, you should consult with your doctor and contact Kondor Path Tours to see any details you should consider for the Ausangate trek. As we know, it reaches an altitude of 5040 m (16,400 ft) above sea level. If you have medication, you should take it with you to continue your treatment.
At a higher elevation, the temperatures drop, so bing thermal equipment. If you decide to do a multi-day trek, wear hot clothing.
What to bring for the Ausangate trek: