Adventure Tours

Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain trek

Dominating the horizon south of Cusco, the magnificent peak of Ausangate (6,333 meters) is the highest and most sacred mountain in southern Peru. For centuries, it has been central to the religious beliefs of the Andean people and pilgrimages to its icy slopes are still made by local people.

Treks in the Ausangate area take from eight to twelve days. The scenery is spectacular. Snow-capped peaks look down on seemingly endless grasslands studded with turquoise lakes and thermal pools.

Herds of llamas and alpacas graze under the watchful eyes of their owners, who live in the same isolated and picturesque villages that their ancestors founded countless generations ago.


Cusco / Ocongate/ Tinki / Upis

We drive southeast of Cusco, passing Qatca and Ocongate, where we will make brief stops. Continuing the trip the landscape begins to change gradually as we climb from the green Vilcanota valley up to the dry arid mountains inhabited by thousands of people who live from livestock herding and agriculture when the rainy season.

We arrive to the village of Tinki where we start the trek. An easy first day. We cross the Mapocho River, which is one of the principal sources of the Amazon, and walk across plains of coarse grass. Along the way we will see a number of homes that will be of interest to photographers as we approach the Ausangate massif, a 6,372 metre peak which has been considered sacred since time immemorial. We will camp that night close to the thermal baths at Upis, where we will have the opportunity to bathe in the medicinal waters.

Driving distance (Cusco – Tinki): 96.93 ml/ 156 km (paved road); 3.5 hours

Main altitudes: Cusco 11154 ft/ 3,400 m, Tinki 12,414 ft/ 3,784 m. Upis 14422 ft/ 4,396 m.

Distances: Tinki – Upis 6.03 ml/ 9.7 km (uphill): 6-7 hours

Meals: lunch, dinner


Upis / Pucacocha

Accompanied by our own personnel and pack animals we cross the first pass at 4500 metres. From there we head to Lake Pucacocha at 4400 metres.

Distances: Upis – Pass 3.60 ml/ 5.8 km (uphill). Pass – Pucacocha Lake: 1.86 ml/ 3 km (downhill).

Approximate walking time: 6-7 hours

Main altitudes: Upis 14422 ft/ 4,396 m. Pucacocha 14629 ft/ 4,459 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Pucacocha / Pass/ Quechua community

Today we cross a high pass (4882m/16012 ft.). We leave early, keeping Ausangate to our left and passing groups of grazing llamas and alpacas.

As we cross the pass we will be met by spectacular views of the southeast mountain range, if we are lucky then we may spot a solitary condor, the world’s largest flying bird, high above us. We then descend towards a beautiful Andean Community at 14720 ft/ 4488 m. where we will camp.

Distances: Pucacocha –Pass 1.8 mi/ 3 km (uphill). Pass – Quechua community 2.80 ml/ 4.5 km (downhill).

Approximate Walking Time: 7 hours

Main Altitudes: Pucacocha 14629 ft/ 4,459 m.  Pass 16,012 ft/ 4882 m. Community 14,720 ft/ 4,488 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Quechua Comunity / Qocha

Today we cross another pass (4977m./16324ft.). We hike among the mountains of the Vilcanota range gradually uphill before descending towards the beautiful Lake Qocha, where we will camp.

Distances: Community – Pass 3.11 ml/ 5 km (uphill). Pass – Qocha 0.93 ml/ 1.5 km (downhill)

Approximate Walking Time: 6 hours

Main Altitudes: Community 14,720 ft/ 4,488 m. Pass 16,324 ft/ 4,977 m. Qocha 15,671 ft./ 4,778 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Qocha / Vinicunca / Quesoyuni / Cusco

The sun comes up at around 6 am and it will be time to start the 14 kilometers / 8.70 ml. walk. The first 3 kilometers /1.86 ml. is uphill towards the Rainbow Mountain. Nothing can prepare us for the spectacular sight of Vinicunca with its beautiful colours spreading across the horizon. At 4,999 meters /16,396 feet. We will have a 360 degrees view of the Ausangate snow-caps on one side and the multi-coloured Vinicunca on the other side – it is pure magic!

The descent down the other side will be easy and as the oxygen returns, we will have a chance to breathe deeply and reflect on our amazing experiences over the last days.
The last long but spectacular walk with views of Ausangate and the other snow peaks take us to Qesoyuni the end of the walk, a bus waits us for the return to Cusco, arriving at around 7 PM.

Distances: Qocha – Vinicunca: 1.86 ml/ 3 km (uphill). Vinicunca – Qesoyuni 6.84 ml/ 11 km (downhill)

Approximate Walking Time:  7 hours

Main Altitudes: Qocha 15,671 ft./ 4,778 m. Vinicunca 16,396 feet./4,999 m. Qesoyuni 13,438 feet./4,097 m.

Driving Distance Qesoyuni – Pitumarca 14.29 ml/ 23 km (dirt road). Pitumarca – Cusco: 65 miles/105 kilometers; 3 hours.

Meals: breakfast & lunch


Private bus outbound and return.
4-person tents for every two participants, Single tents (upon request)
Air mattresses
Kitchen set, complete table service, chairs and tables
Dinner tent and kitchen ten
Latrine tent
First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle


English-speaking tour guide
Pack animals and mule drivers, camp assistant(s). Mules carry up to 8 kg of the items of our passengers


Delicious meals as described in the above itinerary
Drinking water to fill your water bottle (from natural sources, filtered and boiled)
Snacks in the morning and afternoon (fruits, biscuits, chocolate and energy bars, small candies)
Hot drinks such as tea and coffee

Not Included:

Sleeping bags (we can provide some for an additional price of US$30 per person)
Participants are expected to bring their own sleeping bag, clothing and other items of a personal nature, including personal medical supplies
Entrance fee to visit Wayna Picchu (subject to space)
Meals not included in the itinerary
Items of a personal nature including personal medical supplies
Tips to guides and to the staff.

Tipping of our guiding staff is acceptable, at your discretion, when you feel they have gone beyond their normal job requirements and should be compensated by you for it.  Tipping for guides, cooks and porters may vary, depending on the type of service, length of trip and group size. Tipping is not compulsory

What to bring on the trip?

  • Passport (bring additional photocopies of your passport)
  • A small backpack for daily personal items (to be carried by Passenger)
  • Warm clothing for Andean region
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeved shirts (cotton)
  • Shorts for walking (optional)
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Sun block cream
  • Digital camera
  • Binoculars for bird watching enthusiasts
  • Well hiking boots
  • Walking poles (if you are used to walking with poles) ensure they are not metal tipped
  • Bathing suit and sandals (if you wish to visit thermal baths in Aguas Calientes)
  • Flashlight

Important detail: To be in good health and shape to be part of this adventure (Try to train by walking each day for at least two weeks before departure).

Travel Details

  • Duration: 5D / 4N
  • Dificulty: Moderate
  • Customizable: Yes
  • When to go: Best: March to December
  • Travel Style: Adventure Tours.
  • Destinations: Cusco.
  • Fixed departures: Yes (Click here)
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Urb. Lucrepata E-13, Cusco, Peru
(+51 84) 229911 / (+51 84) 263498

Office hours (Local Peruvian Time, GMT -5):

Monday to Friday: 09:00-13:00, 15:00-19:00

Saturdays: 9:00-13:00 (except on public holidays)

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