Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain: A 5-Day Trekking Odyssey

Journey through the Peruvian Andes on a 5-day trek, unveiling the wonders of Ausangate and the vibrant Rainbow Mountain.

Home » 5-Day Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain Trek
Location

Cusco, Peru

Duration

5 Days

Difficulty

9/10

Availability

Year Round

Tour type

Adventure

Overview

Hike through the heart of the Peruvian Andes on this 5-Day Ausangate Trek & Rainbow Mountain Expedition, a journey showcasing some of the most magnificent and lesser-known vistas of Peru. This adventure takes you beyond the beaten path, inviting you to experience the raw and untouched beauty of the Ausangate region. From the tranquil shores of Ausangate Cocha to the mesmerizing striations of Rainbow Mountain, each step brings a new perspective of the Andean majesty. The route weaves through imposing mountain passes, past tranquil high-altitude lakes, and through vibrant Andean dawns, crafting an unforgettable trekking experience that challenges and rewards in equal measure.

This expedition isn’t just about the landscapes; it’s a deep dive into the heart of Andean culture and traditions. Along the way, trekkers witness the enduring lifestyle of local communities, whose customs and practices are as integral to the highlands as the mountains themselves. Moments of serenity are plentiful, whether soaking in Pacchanta’s soothing hot springs or under the canopy of stars at Jhampapampa. More than a physical endeavor, this trek is a journey of cultural discovery and personal reflection. As trekkers make their way back to Cusco, they carry with them not just photographs but a rich tapestry of experiences, tales, and a deeper understanding of Peru’s majestic natural and cultural landscapes.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 4:00 AM - 4:30 AM
Estimated Return Time 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Guide Languages Available Guides fluent in English and Spanish
Key Attractions Ausangate Mountain, Rainbow Mountain, Red Valley, Pacchanta Hot Springs, Yana Cocha, Qomer Cocha, Palomani Pass, Jhampa Pass
Price
FromUSD 720
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  • Standard Large GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 16ppl MaxStart Time: 04:00
  • Standard Small GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 8ppl MaxStart Time: 04:00
  • Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 04:00
  • Deluxe Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 04:00
  • Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 04:00
  • Deluxe Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 04:00

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Tour Itinerary

Explore our expertly designed itinerary below, crafted to showcase breathtaking views and provide unique adventures every step of the way.

Begin your six-day adventure with a morning pick-up from your Cusco hotel, as you journey towards the picturesque town of Upis. This drive is a visual feast, offering the first glimpses of the magnificent Ausangate mountain and the Andean landscapes.

In Upis, meet the essential muleteers who assist in making your journey seamless. Embark on a 3.5-hour trek to the Pampa Arapa basecamp, traversing through timeless valleys dotted with grazing llamas and alpacas. This trek is not just a journey through distance, but also a step back in time to the traditional herding life of the Andes.

After the day's hike, unwind with a freshly prepared lunch and an afternoon at leisure, ideal for capturing the stunning Ausangate sunset. The evening culminates in a communal tea time, fostering group bonding, followed by a dinner that showcases the region's culinary delights.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 3.5 hours, 11 km

As the sun rises over Pampa Arapa, prepare for a day of ascent towards the serene Pampa Arapa Pass. This trek blends physical challenge with the breathtaking beauty of the Andes, rewarding you with horizon-stretching views at every step.

Reaching the peak of Pampa Arapa Pass marks a significant achievement. Here, take the time to capture the beauty of the Andean range in photographs. The descent introduces a series of high-altitude lakes including Yana Cocha, Comer Cocha, and the vibrant Puka Cocha, beside which you'll enjoy a well-deserved lunch.

The journey to Ananta is marked by opportunities to observe diverse wildlife and take in views of the imposing Ausangate Mountain. Your camp at Ananta, under the vast starlit sky, offers a peaceful retreat for reflection and anticipation of the adventures to come.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 6-7 hours, 11 km

Awaken in Ananta to the serene beauty of dawn in the Andes. After breakfast, embark on one of the trek's most visually stunning segments, ascending towards Warmisaya Pass. The trail unfolds through breathtaking Andean landscapes, with early views of the mesmerizing Rainbow Mountain.

Reaching Warmisaya Pass, you're greeted with a panoramic view of the Andes, setting the stage for the day's highlight: Rainbow Mountain. Stand in awe before the mountain's vibrant colors, a geological wonder that is a photographer's and nature lover's dream.

Retracing your steps to Ananta for lunch, you'll have time to reflect on the morning's incredible sights. The afternoon's trek to Ausangate Cocha is a gentler journey, allowing you to soak in the vast, awe-inspiring vistas. Setting up camp beside Ausangate Cocha, enjoy the tranquil reflection of the surrounding mountains in the lake's still waters as twilight gathers.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 7-8 hours, 15 km

Greet the new day beside the calm waters of Ausangate Cocha. Fuel up with a hearty breakfast before tackling the ascent to the Palomani Pass. This climb is both challenging and exhilarating, rewarding you with expansive views of the Andean range as you ascend.

Upon reaching the summit of Palomani Pass, the highest point of the trek, marvel at the breathtaking landscapes that surround you. The descent introduces the unique Chocolate Lake, a hidden treasure named for its distinctive color, enhancing the day's rich palette of experiences.

Continue your descent to Jhampapampa, a picturesque campsite amidst lush greenery. Enjoy a peaceful lunch in this pastoral setting. The remainder of the day is yours to rest, explore, and absorb the beauty of this Andean paradise. As night falls, gather for dinner under a canopy of stars, sharing stories of the day's adventures.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 6-7 hours, 15 km

The final day of trekking begins with a beautiful dawn in Jhampapampa. Enjoy an early breakfast before setting off on the ascent to the Jhampa Pass. This last climb is a reflective journey, offering serene moments to contemplate the majestic beauty of the Andes, illuminated by the early morning sun.

As you descend from Jhampa Pass, the landscape transforms, revealing pristine highland lakes that mirror the vast sky above. These tranquil waters guide you to Pacchanta, a welcoming village famed for its rejuvenating hot springs. Here, celebrate the completion of your trek with a delightful lunch, enjoying the warm hospitality of the local community.

The afternoon is reserved for relaxation in Pacchanta's therapeutic hot springs, an ideal way to soothe your muscles and unwind. Bask in the natural warmth as you reflect on the unforgettable experiences of the past days. After this soothing interlude, we begin our journey back to Cusco, marking the end of an extraordinary trekking adventure.

Accommodation: Return to your Cusco accommodation
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hiking: Approx. 7-8 hours, 17 km

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Tour Highlights

  • Majestic Views of Ausangate Mountain: Begin your journey with awe-inspiring views of Ausangate, one of the most sacred mountains in the Andean cosmology, offering a stunning backdrop throughout the trek.

  • Traditional Andean Villages: Experience the timeless charm of Andean villages like Upis and Pacchanta, where you’ll witness traditional lifestyles and enjoy warm local hospitality.

  • Diverse Flora and Fauna: Traverse through valleys and passes rich in biodiversity, where you might spot unique Andean wildlife and a wide array of native flora.

  • Pampa Arapa and Palomani Passes: Conquer high-altitude passes such as Pampa Arapa and Palomani, each offering breathtaking panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment.

  • Rainbow Mountain: Stand before the stunning Rainbow Mountain, renowned for its vibrant, naturally colored striations – a truly unique geological phenomenon.

  • High-Altitude Lakes: Discover a series of beautiful high-altitude lakes, including Puka Cocha and the intriguing Chocolate Lake, each adding to the scenic splendor of the trek.

  • Cultural Immersion: Engage with local communities, learn about their customs and traditions, and savor authentic Andean cuisine prepared by local chefs.

  • Hot Springs of Pacchanta: Unwind in the therapeutic hot springs of Pacchanta, a perfect way to relax and rejuvenate after days of trekking.

  • Stargazing Opportunities: Enjoy unparalleled stargazing experiences at the high-altitude campsites, under the clear Andean sky.

  • Dynamic Landscapes: Witness the dynamic landscapes of the Andes, from snow-capped peaks and lush valleys to rocky passes and serene lakes.

Prices

Discover our diverse tour offerings, catering to various interests and providing unforgettable experiences for every traveler.
Payment Terms

Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy

Kindly take a moment to read our Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy before booking. Happy adventuring!

Payment Terms

Beginning Your Adventure - Booking Confirmation and Deposit

Your journey starts with a commitment: a 30% deposit of the total tour cost. This initial investment is pivotal in activating the extensive preparatory process, ensuring every aspect of your tour is curated to perfection.

Final Payment: The Last Step Before Your Journey Begins

The remaining 70% of the tour cost is due no later than 48 hours before the commencement of your tour. This timely payment is critical to finalize all logistical arrangements, guaranteeing a hassle-free start to your adventure.

Expansive Payment Options for Ease and Flexibility

In line with our commitment to your convenience, Peru Tripper accepts a variety of payment methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, and PayPal. Please be aware that additional fees may apply depending on the payment method selected. Detailed payment procedures and potential fees can be found on our dedicated payment page.

Implications of Late Payments - Protecting Your Reservation

Adherence to the payment schedule is crucial. Late payments can unfortunately lead to the cancellation of your reservation, with the deposit being retained as a non-refundable fee. We urge you to maintain timely payments to safeguard your tour plans.

Policy for Last-Minute Adventurers

For those inspired to join this tour on short notice, namely less than 15 days before departure, full payment is required at the time of booking. This ensures that we can expedite all necessary preparations for your inclusion.

Cancellation Policy

Flexible Cancellation Options for Clients

We understand that circumstances can change, sometimes unexpectedly. If you find the need to cancel your booking, you have the flexibility to do so up to 30 days before the tour start date. In this case, you will receive a full refund minus a 10% administration fee, acknowledging the efforts and resources already invested in planning your tour. Any additional balance paid will also be refunded, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

Understanding Cancellations Within 30 Days

We wish to draw your attention to our policy for cancellations made within 30 days of the tour departure. Given the advanced stage of preparations and commitments made at this juncture, we are unable to offer refunds. This policy is in place to balance the significant logistical arrangements and reservations made on your behalf.

Navigating Through Force Majeure

In the event of extraordinary and uncontrollable circumstances, such as natural disasters or significant political unrest, Peru Tripper adopts a flexible approach. We prioritize your safety and satisfaction, offering to reschedule your trip or provide a credit for future travel, subject to availability.

Strong Advocacy for Comprehensive Travel Insurance

We cannot overstate the importance of securing comprehensive travel insurance. Such insurance plays a critical role in safeguarding your investment against unforeseen cancellations, emergencies, and other unexpected scenarios. It is a proactive measure to ensure peace of mind throughout your journey. Peru Tripper is not responsible for any expenses arising from incidents not covered by your insurance policy.

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Discounts

Special Discounts

 

  • Adult (12+ Years): Standard rates apply for travelers over 12 years old.
  • Child (3 – 11 Years): Save USD 20 for children between 3 and 11 years old.
  • Infant (0 – 2 Years): Infants younger than 2 years old are free (must ride on the adult’s lap; for a separate seat, add them as a child).
  • Group Discount: Automatically applied during online booking.
    • Save USD 10/person for groups of 5-7 people.
    • Save USD 15/person for groups of 8-10 people.
    • Save USD 20/person for groups of 11+ people.

Please note that the applicable age is considered at the time of completion of the trip.

View age and group-based discount details.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Dive into our in-depth guide on what’s included and not included for all package options on the 5-Day Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain Trek. With these carefully put-together lists, you’ll know exactly what to anticipate when booking the journey of a lifetime.

Standard Inclusions

Our Standard package offers a range of amenities and services for a comfortable and enjoyable trip experience. All package options include the following:

Not Included

The following items are not included in our trek packages. Please consider these additional costs when preparing for your trek. Note that some exclusions may be included in the Deluxe package, as mentioned in the Additional Inclusions section:

Additional Inclusions (Deluxe Package)

Upgrade to our Deluxe package for an enhanced and luxurious trekking experience. The Deluxe package includes these premium amenities and services, which can also be added individually to the Standard package:

What to Pack

When embarking on the 5-Day Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain Trek, it’s crucial to pack the right items for a successful and enjoyable experience.

Packing List

Provided Duffle Bag and Packing Tips

We’ll supply the duffle bag during the pre-trek briefing with your guide, held 1-2 nights prior to the tour’s start. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the bag and pack efficiently.

The briefing covers essential trek details, such as itinerary, safety guidelines, and last-minute updates. It’s an excellent chance to ask questions, meet fellow trekkers, and prepare for your adventure.

Packing Tips:
  • Adhere to the 7 kg weight limit: Keep the weight of your personal items in the duffle bag within the 7 kg limit to maintain a manageable load for the horses.
  • Place non-essential items in the duffle bag: Store items you won’t need during the day, like extra clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bags, in the duffle bag to lighten your day pack.
  • Label your duffle bag: Add a luggage tag or other identification to your duffle bag to prevent mix-ups with other trekkers’ bags.
  • Keep valuables in your day pack: Store passports, cameras, cash, and other valuable items in your day pack for added security and easy access.

By following these packing guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your trekking adventure. We look forward to guiding you on this exciting journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Dive into our FAQ section for detailed responses to common queries. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, our team is just a click away to assist you.

Can I charge my electronic devices during the trek?

Electricity is unavailable during the trek, so we recommend bringing extra batteries or a portable charger for your electronic devices.

What is the best time of year to do the trek?

The best time to embark on this trek is during the dry season, from April to October, when the weather is more stable and the paths are generally drier.

Are there restrooms along the trek?

We provide a portable toilet tent for our trekkers’ comfort. There are no fixed restrooms along the trekking route, so we ensure that our campsite has the necessary privacy and sanitary facilities.

What types of wildlife might we see on the trek?

The Ausangate region is rich in biodiversity. You might see a range of Andean wildlife, including vicuñas, Andean foxes, viscachas (a type of chinchilla), and several species of birds. Our guides will help you spot and identify the local fauna.

How do we get drinking water during the trek?

We provide boiled water at the start of each day, which is safe to drink. We recommend bringing a refillable water bottle or hydration bladder. It’s important to stay hydrated at high altitudes.

What happens if I am unable to finish the trek?

If you’re unable to continue, our guides will ensure you are safely escorted back to the starting point or the nearest road access for transportation back to Cusco. An emergency horse is available in the deluxe package for such situations.

Is the 5-day trek significantly more challenging than the 6-day trek?

The challenge level is higher on the last day of the 5-day trek due to the longer hiking duration. However, the overall difficulty is manageable if you are well-acclimatized to the altitude and have a good level of fitness.

Will I miss out on any sights if I choose the 5-day trek over the 6-day trek?

No, you won’t miss any sights. Both treks cover the same route and key attractions, including Rainbow Mountain. The difference is in the pacing, with the 5-day trek requiring a longer hike on the last day to complete the circuit.

What type of guide will be leading the trek?

Our treks are led by experienced, English-speaking guides who are knowledgeable about the region’s history, culture, and flora/fauna. Our guides are certified and trained in wilderness first aid and altitude-related health issues to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

Will there be a briefing before the trek begins?

Yes, there will be a pre-trek briefing the day before the trek starts. During the briefing, our experienced guides will provide detailed information about the trek, answer any questions, and ensure that all participants are adequately prepared for the adventure.

How is altitude sickness handled?

We take altitude sickness very seriously and all our guides are trained to spot and treat symptoms. We carry an emergency oxygen bottle and a medical kit. It’s also recommended that trekkers acclimatize in Cusco for at least two days prior to the trek.

Can I rent trekking gear from you?

Yes, we offer rental of trekking gear such as walking poles and sleeping bags. Please contact us directly for more information on our rental options and prices.

Can I store luggage that I don't want to take on the trek?

Yes, we provide secure luggage storage for items you don’t need on the trek. These items will be waiting for you upon your return to Cusco.

How do I acclimatize for the trek?

We recommend spending at least 2-3 days in Cusco or a similar altitude before the trek to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. During this period, stay hydrated, eat light, high-carbohydrate meals, and avoid alcohol.

What is the main reason trekkers choose the 5-day option over the 6-day?

Trekkers often choose the 5-day option due to time constraints or the desire for a more condensed and challenging experience.

How does the trek benefit local communities?

We are committed to sustainable tourism practices. We employ local staff, offer fair wages, and support community projects, ensuring that your trek also contributes to the well-being of the regions we explore.

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  • Overview
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices
  • Inclusions & Exclusions
  • What to Pack
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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