This is one of the most spectacular high-altitude hikes in Peru. It surrounds one of the most important Apus or "sacred mountains" of Cusco, the Ausangate. The route takes us through several mountain passes or "abras" with impressive views, authentic Andean communities, hot springs and turquoise lagoons. An unforgettable hike for lovers of trekking, nature and in search of something different.
Degree of difficulty: High. Due to the altitude. We recommend a minimum of 3 days of acclimatization in Cusco before doing the hike.
DAY 1: CUSCO - UPIS
We will leave Cusco or the Sacred Valley in our private transport to go to the beginning of the trek. We will go south until we take the detour to Puerto Maldonado. Then we go to Cattca, a community of agricultural shepherds from where we can appreciate a beautiful view of the entire region, until we reach Ocongate, capital of the district that bears the same name. We will pass through the town of Tinki and continue a little further to start walking. We will walk uphill for about 2 hours, with a beautiful view of Ausangate, until our first camp in Upis (4200 masl) where there are thermal baths.
DAY 2: UPIS TO AUSANGATECOCHA
After breakfast, we continue ascending for two to three hours until we reach Abra de La Arapa at 4600 m. We descend towards an area with several lagoons of red, turquoise and green tones such as Pucacocha, Hatun Pucacocha and Qomercocha. We will continue climbing to the Apuchata pass (4800 masl) and then descend to our second camp in Ausangatecocha (4600 masl).
DAY 3: AUSANGATECOCHA TO Q'AMPA
Today we will walk to what will be the highest point of the journey; the Palomani pass (5200 masl), a mountain similar to the famous 7-color mountain. From there we will head down a small valley to an area of llamas and alpacas in Uchuy Finaya and Pampacancha and where there have been sightings of pumas. We will continue climbing for about 3 hours until the third camp at Q'ampa at 4600 masl.
DAY 4: Q’AMPA TO NINAPARAYOC
We will walk in the morning up a climb with spectacular views and we will arrive at the Q'ampa pass (5100 masl). With luck we will be able to see Andean deer in this section. We will continue descending to Ninaparayoc where we will camp surrounded by lagoons.
DAY 5: Q’AMPA TO PACCHANTA
This day we will walk about two hours down to Pacchanta, where there are also thermal baths. There our transport will wait for us to take us back to Cusco or the Sacred Valley.
• We will have the support of horses that will carry the equipment, each one having to carry only a small backpack with a jacket, rain jacket, snacks and water. We will also take saddle horses in case someone gets tired.
• It is a demanding walk, with steep ascents and descents, so a regular physical condition is recommended.
• We recommend wearing trekking shoes some time before, to get used to it and avoid blisters.
• During the day, the temperature does not drop below 8°C, and can drop to -5°C at night; depending on the time of year, with the possibility of rain and snow.
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What to bring
• Sleeping bag (from -7 degrees C to more)
• Headlamp with sufficient battery
• A duffle bag or backpack for your belongings, which must not exceed 12 KG. Including sleeping bag and mat
• A small backpack or daypack to carry during the walk
• Special shoes for trekking
• Comfortable slippers or sandals to wear with socks in the camps
• A pair of pants
• Warm clothing that includes thermal underwear, a fleece sweater or jacket, and a down jacket.
• Several pairs of socks for hiking and thick socks for camping
• Rain jacket
• Rain poncho
• Insect repellent
• Cap or hat for the walk
• Wool hat and gloves
• A water bottle or container of water that goes in the small backpack
• Round trip transportation.
• MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR high mountain tents for three people, where 2 can be accommodated to provide greater comfort.
• 1 inflatable sleeping pad per person
• Kitchen tent, dining tent with benches and tables
• Bathroom tent
• Professional bilingual guide (2 guides if more than 6 people)
• Chef and food team
• Pack of horses (horses, donkeys or mules that carry all personal and camping equipment
• Emergency saddle horse (one for every 5 people)
• All meals during the trek. In addition, every morning a snack and a tea time in the afternoon except the last day.
• Others: hot water every morning and water to refill for the trek.
• First aid kit and emergency oxygen tank
• Duffle bag for those who want to carry their things on the donkeys
• Sleeping bag
• Hotel in Cusco or Sacred Valley
• Walking sticks
• Breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last day
• Tips and other services not specified