The Vinicunca Rainbow mountain and Ausangate Trek does not baffle… but rather gives something that is not seen anyplace else on this mainland and in just a single other place in the whole world. This is the terrific, as of late found Rainbow Mountain, authoritatively named Vinicunca. Notwithstanding the view, you will see alpacas and llamas, and in addition the main indigenous natural surroundings of the Incan Vicuña. You will likewise find out about the conventions of the Andean individuals with visits to nearby towns.
DAY 1: CUSCO ‐ TINQUI VILLAGE – UPIS HOT SPRINGS
We set off early from Cusco traveling by private van to the small village of Tinqui. We will see the impressive mountain range of Vilcanota and pass through several traditional Andean villages en route and take time to stop to take some photos. When we arrive at Tinqui (our trailhead), we will have a delicious breakfast prepared by our master chef. Then our horsemen will arrange all the group gear and packs on the horses and our trek officially begins. We begin our walk through farming communities and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains. We will walk for around 3 hrs and then its time for a lunch stop. After lunch we continue for another 2 hours to reach Upis (4,100 m / 13,448 ft). There we will have the opportunity to soak in the local hot springs before dinner, and camp for the night.
DAY 2: UPIS ‐ ARAPA PASS – PUCACOCHA
After a big breakfast we are ready to leave our camp and get started on our hike for the day. We will climb to the Arapa Pass (4,850 m / 15,908 ft). From this vantage point we will enjoy the contrast between dry desert like hills and breathtaking snow capped views of Mt. Ausangate and Pucacocha. This area also boasts three beautiful lakes with tones of reds, greens, and turquoises (Pucacocha, Hatun Pucacocha, and Qomercocha). Our second campsite is close to Ausangate glacier.
DAY 3: PUCACOCHA – AUSANGATE PASS – MINASNIYUQ PASS – SURINE COCHA
Today, you will be woken up with “room service” (a hot cup of coca tea). This is going to be one of the most beautiful days of the trek. We will see the Rainbow Mountains in the distance. Also, on today´s journey, we will pass through Alccatauri Village. This is where we will see their traditional village life. There are no trees in the area, so there is no wood to make houses or build fires. The residents are extremely enterprising and make their adobe houses out of mud and build fires with nature´s fertilizer, a.k.a. manure. J.
The day begins with a 1 ½ hour uphill climb until we reach the Ausangate pass (4,930 m / 16,170 ft). At this pass, we will see red mountains and also have the opportunity to see Vicuñas, chinchillas and alpacas.
After we enjoy the pass, we descend for 1 ½ hours until we reach the Alccatauri Village (4,400 m / 14,435 ft). During our time at the village, in return for their generous hospitality, we will give them offerings of coca leaves. This is extremely valuable because this treasurable Peruvian staple can not be grown in this climate. Following this incomparable experience, we will hike a further 30 minutes uphill to our lunch spot at a rustic lodge.
After a satisfying lunch, we will begin our voyage uphill to the second pass. After 1 ½ hours, we will follow Llama trail to Minasniyuq Pass. Here we will have our first views of the Rainbow Mountains (5,020 m / 16,469 ft). At this pass, we will make offerings to Pacha Mama (Mother Earth).
The remainder of the day´s journey is a 1 hour downhill hike to our camp, Surine Cocha (4,800 m / 15,748 ft). The camp is on the banks of the gorgeous Surine Lake (pictured above).
DAY 4: SURINE COCHA – RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – QUESIUNO VILLAGE – CUSCO
After breakfast we hike gradually uphill for 2 hours until we reach the famous Rainbow Mountain (5,020 m / 16,469 ft). Your guide will walk you to the best spots to get the perfect pictures of these incredible mountains and the other surrounding mountains. Your guide will explain what makes these mountains so unique: they are composed of various minerals, which make different colors of stone striations. Not only is this one of the most stunning places in Peru and South America, these type of mountains are seen in only one other country in the world, China.
After taking photos and enjoying the view, we will continue on the trek until we reach Quesiuno Village. This is a 2 ½ hour downhill hike. We will have lunch there. Our private van will be waiting to pick us up in this village after lunch. We will then drive 3 ½ hours back to Cusco. After one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, we will drop you off at your Cusco hotel. Approximate arrival time is 6 PM.
- Bilingual English speaking tour guide (additional tour guide for groups of nine people or more)
- Pre-Departure Briefing at your hotel 1 or 2 days before your trek.
- Private van transportation from your Cusco hotel to Tinqui (the trailhead)
- Private van transportation from Quesiuno Village to your Cusco hotel
- Four person tent for each 2 persons.
- Thermarest Inflatable Mattress
- Kitchen tent
- Professional chef and assistant chef
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Toilet tent and portable toilet
- Wranglers and horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc)
- Horse to carry 8 kg of your personal gear
- Emergency horse in case we need it
- Four breakfasts, four lunches, and three dinners
- Hot water for washing twice daily
- Daily morning boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles
- Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
- Admission fee for the Upis Hot Springs
- Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
- Trekking poles (can be rented from us)
- Travel Insurance
- Day 4 dinner
- Tips for the crew (muleteers, chef and guide)
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
- A light day pack with 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 .
- 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 (we can hire these to you)
- Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
- Camera, 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
- Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
- Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
- 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 hot springs )
- Cash - sufficient for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
- Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
- Binoculars (if you have them)
Price per person 2017:
$ 000 usd (group service max. 10 people)