Cusco – Tinki – Upis – Hot Springs
We will pick you up from your hotel at 4 a.m. to begin your expedition. You will have private transportation to the trail head at Tinki. Tinki is a small Andean village located near Ocongate, located at 3,900 m/12,795 ft above sea level. Here, you will meet your horsemen and horses. You will enjoy your first breakfast prepared by our trekking chef. Then, you will start the gradual, uphill hike. It will be three or four hours until we reach our lunch area. Along the way, we will have amazing views of Ausagnate, far in the distance. We will pass by traditional villages, and perhaps meet some local people, dressed in their colorful, traditional clothing. They may be accompanying their indigenous llamas. Our lunch spot is in an amazing location, surrounded by stunning mountains and an excellent view of Ausangate Glacier peak. After lunch, it will be another two hour hike until we reach our campsite at Upis Alto, near the famous hot springs. Upis Alto is a small village located at 4,100 m/13,451 ft elevation. This will be our first campsite at the skirt of Ausangate.
Upis – Condor Pass – Pucaccocha
After an early, nutritious breakfast you will prepare for the second day of the hike. Today, you will have wonderful views of the Ausangate glacier peaks. You will also see the lakes and waterfalls, and perhaps some llamas, alpacas and wild vicuñas (the undomesticated ancestor of the alpaca), as well as condors soaring above. We will have a three hour, uphill hike until we reach the first pass, which is at 5,000 m/ 16,404 ft high. You will have magnificent views of the surrounding area, especially in the dry season. In some months of the year, we will hike through some snow. You will most likely get to see vicuñas, which are the most impressive, wild animals in Peru. They belong to the family of Andean camelids. Today, their fleece is the most expensive wool the world. After taking some amazing pictures, we will continue on a two and a half hour, gradual, downhill hike until we reach a beautiful area, where you will enjoy your second day’s lunch. Following, it will be another two and a half hours until we arrive at our campsite, at Puca Ccocha (Red Lake). This campsite is one of the most beautiful campsites, located at the skirt of the Ausangate peak and at the bank of the lake. You can see amazing sunsets from here, and perhaps some condors and eagles flying nearby.
Pucaccocha – Alpaca Pass – Chillca – Vicuña Pass Yanaccocha
We will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea, to start one of the most beautiful days of the trek. You will enjoy the majestic views of some of the highest peaks in the Andes, and the depths of the beautiful valleys. You will have two mountain passes to make today.
After an early breakfast, we will start with a two to three hour, steep climb to Alpaca Pass at 5,100 m/ 16,732 ft elevation. Along the way, you will have gorgeous views of the blue lakes and the Ausangate Glacier Peak. You may even see avalanches happening from the glacial hills. Once you reach the summit of this mountain, you will be right in front of Ausangate, so you will be able to enjoy the Chillca Valley, and the many alpaca grazing along these hills. After taking some great pictures, you will continue for another two hours on a gradual, downhill trek, then we reach our lunch spot, located in Chillca Valley. Be aware that some sections of the trail can be a bit difficult to see. You will see views of the waterfalls, green hills and snow-capped peaks. After enjoying your lunch and a little nap, you will continue on to the second pass of the day, called Vicuña pass, at 5,300 m/17,388 ft elevation. It will be a slow-paced, hour and a half hike to reach the summit of this highest pass of the trek. Along the way, it may be possible to see some condors, and vicuñas. Once we are on top of the mountain we will enjoy a cup or two of traditional coca tea which will be provided by your porters. Then it will be another one hour, downhill hike until we arrive at our campsite at the banks of Lake Yanaccocha, where you will enjoy our daily happy hour of hot drinks. This campsite is located few hours away from our final destination, The Rainbow Mountains.
Yanaccocha – Rainbow Mountain – Chillca Village – Cusco
After another early breakfast with your trekking team, you will will gradually trek uphill for an hour and a half until we reach the famous Rainbow Mountains and the Red Mountain Valley, located at 5,200 m /17,060 ft elevation. Your tour guide will walk you to to the perfect spots for postcard pictures. He will also explain why these mountains are different from any other mountains in the Vilcantoa Range. Part of the difference is due to a composition of various minerals, which make different colors of stone striations in the middle of the Red Mountains. This is one of the key tourist highlights in South America, and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Peru.
After taking photos and enjoying the views, you will continue on the expedition to the end of the trail. This is all downhill, along the Chillca Valley. You will travel three hours until you stop to enjoy your final lunch with your team. We will then drive for hours back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel. The drive provides nice views of the Andes and we will pass some traditional villages along the way. You will be arriving into Cusco around 6 p.m.