ALTERNATIVE TREKS IN CUSCO: AUSANGATE, CHOQUEQUIRAO, RAINBOW MOUNTAIN, HUMANTAY

AUSANGATE TREK

Description

Ausangate Trek 5 days, will take you Ausangate mountain itself is considered a holy mountain by local people and is the deity of Cusco. Since pre-Inca times the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings and this tradition continues today.

AUSANGATE TREK ITINERARY:

 

DAY 1: Cusco – Tinqui – Upis

We depart Cusco early the morning for our three hours ride in private transport to the small village of Tinqui 3800 meters. As Tinqui is located on the new Interoceanic highway. Now we can arrive here much more quickly that in previous years. We pass through beautiful countryside and several traditional villages including Urcos, Cattca and Ocangate. After lunch in Tinqui the first 3 hours on the trail are wonderful prelude to the magnificent scenery of the Vilcanota Cordillera, with great views of Ausangate. We will trek for two more hours until we reach the hot springs at Upis 4400 meters which offer fantastic views of Ausangate at the end of the valley. We will camp here.

DAY 2: Upis – Lake Ausangate Q’ocha

During our morning’s trek, we will cross our the Arapa pass 4850 meters. From here, we continue 3 hours and half down the valley, passing the green lake of Puqa Q’ocha until we reach the turquoise Lake Jatun Puqa Q’ocha. We then ascend the second pass of Apuchata 4900 meters with the stunning turquoise blue Laguna Ausangate Q’ocha below. This lake is fed from the melting snow of Ausangate. We will camp here for the second night.

DAY 3: Lake Ausangate Q’ocha – Qampa

From the lake we ascend to the Palomani pass 5,200 meters the highest spot of the trek. From the pass we follow the trail into the valley where we’ll rest and have lunch. During the afternoon we can enjoy views of the snowcapped Tres Picos and Puca Punta. We will continue through the broad green valley of Pampa Jutunpata and up the Rio Q’ampa valley. We will spent the third night.

DAY 4: Q’ampa – Pacchanta

After passing through the small community of Q’ampa we will head North west to the last pass of this hike, the Q’ampa pass 5000 meters. We will see several different coloured lakes and lunch beside Q’oma Q’ocha. We hike for several hours before arriving at the small village of Pacchanta. We can soak in the thermal springs for a couple hours, and even have a well-deserved beer! We will set up camp near Pacchanta and you will have the afternoon free to explore this interesting Andean village.

 

DAY 5: Pacchanta – Cusco

It’s 3 hours 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 18.00. MORE INFORMATION OF AUSANGATE TREK

What you need to take

  • Original passport
  • Insurance card optional.
  • Hiking water proof boots (with ankle protectors )
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
  • Warm jack
  • Hat and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable trousers
  • Rain pants
  • Sun hat, Bathing suit (for hot springs in santa teresa and Aguas Calientes)
  • Sun protection cream ( factor 35 recommended ) sun is strong
  • Insect Repellent 40 % deet ( for mosquitos )
  • Water bottle
  • Water purification tablets (Micropur recommended)
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medication
  • Camera and extra batteries.
  • Torch with spare batteries (flashlight)
  • Extra contribution suggested money for tipping porters, cook and guide. and for any emergency.

You can rent in our office:

  • Walking sticks ($ 20.00 per person) for the entire hike.
  • Sleeping bag ($ 25.00 per person) for the entire hike.

CHOQUEQUIRAO ROUTE 

Description

Choquequirao trek classic 4 days, is one of the little crowded routes of Cusco but no less attractive than Machu Picchu, since Choquequirao is considered the Sister Citadel of Machu Picchu.

CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Playa Rosalina – Santa Rosa

We will pick up you from your Hotel at 5.00 am in our private transport and drive towards Cachora (4 hours approx.) the starting point of the trek where we meet our horsemen and horses. Then we start our hike climbing for 2 hours approx. to Capuliyoc where may we enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. We continue after Capuliyoc, descending for two more hours to Chiquisca and our delicious lunch made by our chef. After lunch we keep going down the mountain until we reach Playa Rosalina campsite. After crossing the Apurimac River we start the climb to Santa Rosa, zigzagging up a steep slope (2 hours approx.) where those who wish may try Cambray the “typical drink” here, made locally from a sugar cane extract.

Day 2: Santa Rosa – Archaeological Site of Choquequirao

We will wake up for breakfast and so we can have an early departure from Santa Rosa. Afterwards, we continue our hike slowly climbing for 2 hours approx to Marampata.

Then we continue to enjoy this day we will dedicate ourselves exclusively to enjoying all the magic of history and splendor of Choquequirao, we will enjoy a complete guided tour of the Choquequirao complex, including a visit to the high parts (Hanan), and the lower parts (Urin). There will be time to know explore the site with its 8 sectors, its barns, houses and temples. You will see the three stages of the excavation of this late Inca-town: the excavated buildings and constructions; the ruins currently in the process of excavation and finally the unexplored areas and terraces with the secrets they may hold of this last refuge of the dying Inca empire. And throughout the day we will keep an eye to the sky for a glimpse of the majestic flight of condors. With luck on the high steep slopes of Chocuequirao, they can pass very close to you. We will enjoy our lunch and then we will return to our Maranpata campsite for rest.

Day 3: Choquequirao – Playa Rosalina – Chiquisca

This morning we enjoy our delicious breakfast and start our 1 ½ hour walk back towards Maranpata and a descent to Playa Rosalina for lunch and a some relaxation time. After lunch we climb for 2 hours to Chiquisca campsite where dinner will be waiting for us.

In Chiquisca you can have a shower and eat some exotic local fruits from this area.

Day 4: Chiquiska – Cachora – Cusco

We leave camp after breakfast to start the two to three hours climb to Abra Capuliyoc. We will leave Chiquisca campsite early because the sun can be very strong after 10 am, so we plan to to arrive at Capuliyoc by then. Then it is an easy two hours more back to Cachora where we have our lunch. In the afternoon, we met our private transport which will be waiting to take us back to Cusco. Estimated arrival time around 5.00pm. MORE INFORMATION OF CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

What you need to take

    • Original passport and Student card (ISIC) green card
    • Insurance card is essential
    • Hiking water proof boots (with ankle protectors )
    • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
    • Sleeping bag
    • Warm jack
    • Hat and gloves
    • T-shirts
    • Comfortable trousers
    • Rain pants
    • Sun hat, Bathing suit (for hot springs in santa teresa and Aguas Calientes)
    • Sun protection cream ( factor 35 recommended ) sun is strong
    • Insect Repellent 40 % deet ( for mosquitos )
    • Water bottle
    • Water purification tablets (Micropur recommended)
    • Toilet paper
    • Personal medication
    • Camera and films
    • Torch with spare batteries (flashlight)
    • Extra contribution suggested money for tipping porters, cook and guide. and for any emergency (300 soles)
    • Walking poles ( black diamont or leki brand)

Optional items to take

  • Short pants
  • Walking poles (with rubber tips) they can also be hired from us.$15 usd the all trip.
  • Sleeping bags $20 usd the all trip.
  • Plaster and bandage.

 

RAINBOW MOUNTAIN AND AUSANGATE

Description

The Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca), are stunning and can be seen on the spectacular Ausangate Trek. Ausangate mountain itself is considered a holy mountain by local people and is the deity of Cusco. Since pre-Inca times the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings and this tradition continues today.

RAINBOW MOUNTAIN AND AUSANGATE MOUNTAIN ITINERARY

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.

What you need to take

  • 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 .
  • 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 (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)

HUMANTAY LAKE 

Description

This tour is an option thinking of people who like hiking and nature and do not have many days, on the route we will appreciate beautiful landscapes, crops of different products such as corn, avocado, squash and others that are produced in this Limatambo valley. The Humantay lagoon is located at 4180 meters above sea level with a turquoise coloration, and the Humantay or Apu Humantay peaks to be connected with nature.

CUSCO – SORAYPAMPA – HUMANTAY LAKE

We pick you up from your hotel or hostel between 4:00 to 4:20 in our private transport to go to Mollepata located north of Cusco, we will arrive in 2 hours approximately to this small town.
We arrived at Mollepata and enjoyed the delicious breakfast to start our adventure towards Humantay lake. We will continue in our private transport for approximately 1 more hour until Soraypampa which is located at 3900 m.s.n.m.
Our guide will give you some recommendations to start the trek to Humantay Lake located at 4200 m.s.n.m. Which is very close to the mountain Salkantay.
We start the hike to Humantay Lake for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes; Enjoying the beautiful views of the snowy mountains Salkantay and Humantay.
When we reach Laguna Humantay we will enjoy the beautiful turquoise lagoon. There you will take the best photos. Later you will enjoy a small snack watching the beautiful landscapes, continue the walk back to Soraypampa.
In Soraypampa, (optional) people will receive the bike and bicycle equipment and the necessary indications by our guide, so that they begin with the adventure of return until Mollepata.
Enjoy the adventure on bikes descending from 4000 m.s.n.m. At 2600 m.s.n.m. For about 2 hours until you reach the town of Mollepata.
In the afternoon we will arriving to Mollepata and enjoy a delicious lunch. After lunch we return to Cusco in our private transport. We will arrived in Cusco around 7:00 p.m.; We drop you at your hotel.

What you need to take

  • A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco).
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended.
  • Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
  • A down jacket is especially recommended for this trek since it runs at high altitude and temperatures may easily drop below freezing in the evening and at nights.
  • Flashlight/headlamp and batteries.
  • Camera 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.
  • Handkerchiefs.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection
  • Water container and water for the first morning.

 

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