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AUSANGATE Y VINICUNCA TREK 5 DAYS & 4 NIGHTS

The Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) is a mountain with fringes of several colors, located in a remote part of the region of Ausangate in Peru. Before 2015, Peru’s Rainbow Mountain was hardly visited as an attraction. Only more  recently, it has begun to gain international attention among travelers and hikers. We believe that the Rainbow Mountain will become as popular as some of the many other well-known attractions in Peru. We especially designed this Ausangate and Vinicunca Trek in response to requests from our customers. The mountain is known locally as Vinicunca. Cunca in Quechua means “neck”. The meaning of Vini is unknown, but it could possibly refer to the different colors of the mineral layers that make up the rock formation. Our unique itinerary takes you to the remote, unspoilt nature of the Ausangate region, famous for its breathtaking landscapes of high altitude, turquoise lakes and herds of alpacas. We’ll start the trek hiking to Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain, and then continue with the last part of the classic Ausangate trek. Note: this rugged and adventurous Ausangate and Vinicunca Trek requires 3 days of acclimatization to the altitude, in Cusco or another high altitude location.

From USD 650

Tour Type

Hiking, Camping, Adventure, History, Culture

Recommended

Recommended to those who enjoy hiking and have a moderate level of fitness

Distance - Difficulty

Moderate

DETAILS

Day 1 : Cusco - K'airahuiri Alto

We’ll depart at around 7:30 am from Cusco. As the journey begins, we’ll head towards the city of Puno, travelling on a blacktop road through the lush Vilcanota Valley. We’ll leave the paved road after 2 hours and 15 minutes and continue our way on a dirty road, stopping at the colorful village of Checacupe. After a visit to the Colonial Church of the Immaculate Conception, we´ll start our climb out of the Pitumarka Valley.

 

We’ll arrive at Pitumarka town for a brief rest: we can buy some basic refreshments here before continue our walk. From here, it’s a one hour hike through some beautifully scenic valleys and canyons to the village of Hanchi Pacha. Sensing our approach, llamas and alpacas will momentarily interrupt their grazing to observe us with wide-eyed stares. There are some unusual rock formations on this section of the road, and we will pause to allow time for some scenic photos!

 

We’re due to arrive at the village of Hanchi Pacha after a 4 hour travel from Cusco. Here, we will refuel with an open-air picnic lunch, after which we will meet the local horseman who will accompany us on our Rainbow Mountain trek.

 

Along the route, we might chance upon one or more of the local weavers practicing their craft while keeping watch over their flocks. This region, Quisipicanchis, has a time-honored, rich weaving tradition. After lunch, we’ll hike for approximately 2-2.5 hours, climbing steadily until we reach the village of K’airahuiri Bajo  (4.550m/14,925ft). Here, we’ll enjoy spectacular views of the magnificent valley and its surrounding mountains.

 

From here, we will continue another 40 minutes to our campsite, and to the checkpoint K’airahuiri Alto (4.700m/15,420ft), with views across the verdant valley.  Along with the previous recommendation of three days of acclimatization, we strongly suggest you bring lots of warm clothes and a -15 degree Celsius sleeping bag to ward off the low temperatures you will be experiencing at night.

 

Overnight: K’airahuiri Alto (camping)

Meals: Lunch – Dinner

Area: Andean highlands

Accommodation: camp at K’airahuiri Alto (4.700m/15,420ft)

Distance: km/  miles (4-5 hours)

Difficulty: Moderate

Climate: Cool to warm during daytime, very cold at night.

Day 2 : K’airahuiri Alto - Rainbow Mountain - Pucacocha

We’ll have an early breakfast at 5 a.m. and then begin a walk of approximately one and a half hour to the Vinicunca Pass, the site of the famous Rainbow Mountain!  At this point, our breathing will become increasingly labored as we gain altitude. Once we arrive at the top of the pass, there may be some frigid gusts of wind, so please ensure that you are wrapped up warmly and that your head is protected with a woolen hat.

 

You will be rewarded for your trekking efforts when you’ll finally see the incredible Vinicunca, with its vibrant multi-hued layers of rock sediment: turquoise, orange, brown, and red! In addition to the great views of the colored mountain itself, you will have majestic views of snow-capped Apu Ausangate, provided the day is clear. This trek to Vinicunca is without a doubt, the most famous new attraction in Peru and there will be plenty of people taking selfies!

 

After some time to rest and take photos, and the chance to observe a spectacular sunrise, we’ll head on to Pucacocha Lake over two passes – the 4.900-meter ‘Menos Ponco’ and the 5.100-meter ‘Chillca’ (altitudes are approximate).

 

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch- Dinner

Area:  Rainbow Mountain

Accommodation: Camp at Pucacocha Lake (4.556 m /14,943 ft)

Distance: km/  miles (4-5 hours)

Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3 : Pucacocha - Palomani Pass - Chillca

This is a stunning morning’s walk as we hike with the great Ausangate Mountain on our left hand side; we’ll pass clear glacial lakes, and, if we are lucky, herds of local alpacas and llamas.  First up is Apacheta Pass, at 4.600 meters. From here, we’ll ascend to the Palomani Pass (5.200 meters/ 17,056 feet): we have now attained the highest point of our trek. As we’ll cross the pass, we will be confronted with spectacular views of the southeast mountain range, including the peaks of Mariposa and Caracol. From the pass, we’ll follow the trail into the valley, where we’ll rest and have lunch. During the afternoon, we can enjoy views of the snow-capped Tres Picos and Puca Punta. We will continue walking through the broad green valley of Pampa Jutunpata and up to the Rio Q’ampa Valley, where we will spend night 3 of our trek.

 

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Area:  Andean Highlands around Ausengate.

Accommodation: Camp at the Rio Q’ampa Valley.

Distance: km/  miles (8 hours)

Day 4 : Q’ampa to Pacchanta

After passing through the small community of Q’ampa, we will head northwest to the last pass of this hike, the Q’ampa pass (5.000 meters/ 16,400 feet). We will see several differently colored lakes and we’ll have lunch beside beautiful blue-green Lake Q’omercocha (4.704 m /15,429 ft).

 

 

We will then hike for several hours before arriving at the small village of Pacchanta. (4.010 m /13,152 ft) This was traditionally a small high-altitude herding village like many others in the region.  However, with the arrival of tourism, the village has adapted its activities to include demonstrations of their style of living and weaving art for visitors.

 

 

If you like, you can now soak in the hot springs for a couple of hours, and even down a well-deserved beer!  This is certainly an AMAZING photo opportunity with Apu Ausangate as a backdrop!  We will set up camp near Pacchanta and you will have the afternoon free to explore this intriguing Andean village. (Tonight, you have the option of staying in a basic hostel, rather than camping).

 

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch- Dinner

Area:  Andean highlands

Accommodation: Camp at Pacchanta or basic hostel

Day 5: From Pacchanta to Cusco

It’s a 3-hour trek back to Tinqui, where we will have time to explore this traditional Andean village before taking our private car back to Cusco, arriving at about 6:00 p.m. The construction of the Trans- Oceanic highway has completely changed this drive from a bumpy dirty road to a smooth continental highway that takes about 3 hours. The scenic drive winds up and over a pass for a last glimpse of imposing Ausangate Mountain, where you just spent 5 days trekking on one of the most fantastic of all Peruvian treks! Even more intriguing is the fact that you will be one of the few people in the world who has accomplished the combined Vincunca Rainbow Mountain trek with the Ausangate circuit trek!
This Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca Peru trek/ Ausangate trek is an experience you will never forget!

 

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch

Area:  Andean highlands.

Accommodation: n.a.

Distance:  (3 hours)

INCLUDED

  • Pre-Trek Briefing.
  • Pick-up from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
  • Private transport from Cusco to Tinqui (the trailhead) and return at the end of the trek.
  • Entry fee to the Ausangate mountain.
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 8 people).
  • Tents – 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest).
  • Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups).
  • Toilet tent.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
  • Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person).
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower.
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals.
  • Tents for our staff to sleep in, sleeping bags & mattresses plus a budget for their meals.
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle – but no blister treatments as known in western countries.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Sleeping bags If you haven’t got a sleeping bag or you don’t want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.For this trek you should hire minus 15 or warmer bags.
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters.
  • Additional horses for passenger’s luggage.

WHAT TO BRING

  • A light day pack.
  • Original passport.
  • International Student’s Card (ISIC, if applicable).
  • A change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
  • Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping. ** This is a particularly cold trek, you should make sure you have a lot of very warm clothes.
  • Sleeping bag (also for rent at a cost of $ 25 USD).
  • Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions).
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold.
  • Sun block.
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
  • Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported.
  • Toilet paper, pack in & pack out.
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
  • Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
  • Small towel or sarong.
  • Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in the hot springs).
  • Cash – sufficient for extra expenses, tips and souvenirs.
  • Walking sticks or poles (also for rent at a cost of $ 20 USD pair) .
  • Binoculars (if you have any).

Booking Form

Go to the booking page and fill out our booking form.You make a person fill out the form for the group, so be sure to book all together. Have your passport ready, that is important for us that you enter all your information details.

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Mario Expeditions is a young agency, offers adventure tours throughout Peru and also adventure tour to Machu Picchu through different routes and ways

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