Mt. Ausangate, Peruvian Andes

Trekking is the ideal way to enjoy the mountain realm of Ausangate, a sacred Inca peak with a breathtaking setting. Our journey also includes hikes in the Sacred Valley and exploration of Cusco, the Inca capital.

Photo by Bill Abbott

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Trekking Peru's Sacred Mountain

Into the High Andean World of Apus, Incas and Quechuas
Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

Trekking Peru's Sacred Mountain route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 14 days
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 4 nights hotels, 9 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 10-day trek on steep trails, 5-8 hours a day, altitudes between 12,000-17,280 feet
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Highlights

  • Trek below a sacred peak of the Incas
  • Hike to Lake Sibinacocha (15,800'), one of the highest lakes in the world
  • Enjoy traditional Quechua culture of the high Andes
  • Turquoise mountain lakes, gleaming glaciers, rare Andean wildlife

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

To the Incas, the regal mountain called Apu Ausangate (20,945') was the home of the gods (“apu” means spirit).The highest peak in southern Peru, this snow-capped giant is still central to beliefs of the Incas’ descendants, the Quechua people of the high Andes, and it is an absolutely stunning place for a trek. As we hike below sacred Mt. Ausangate, we follow trails skirting the edge of radiant blue-white glaciers, camp at glorious lakes, and meet the traditional Quechuas—weavers, herders, shamans—who enrich this lofty realm with their fascinating culture. Cobalt skies, rare wildlife including vicunas, our special featured hike to the hidden gem of Lake Sibinacocha (15,800’), and incredible cultural immersion make this one of the most rewarding treks in the world.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Cusco / Sacred Valley

After a warm-up hike to Cusco’s major Inca monuments, we head to the Urubamba Valley to explore the majestic Inca fortress at Pisac and the beautiful village below it.

Days 4-8
Tinki / Upis Valley / Pucacocha Lakes

From the highland village of Tinki (12,300'), our trek brings us into the remote Upis Valley, where the Quechua people graze herds of alpacas and llamas at the foot of Ausangate. Women herders often spin wool while they are with their animals, weaving marvelous textiles with intricate patterns encoded with cultural meaning. We cross Arapa Pass at 15,250 feet, following trails past huge glacial moraines and along lakes of unbelievably vivid blues. The brilliant colors of the lakes, along with the shimmering white of the glaciers, create a powerful spiritual landscape. Condors are sometimes seen soaring in the sunny skies over these peaks.

Day 5
Upis

Today’s trail takes us uphill through open, rolling grasslands known as puna. We hike uphill all day making a 2,200-foot gain in elevation. We will have a chance to talk to the local people as we move closer to the high mountains, pass the local school at Upis, and follow the Upis Valley, where large herds of animals graze. Our campsite is at 14,500 feet at the foot of Ausangate. Hot springs are nearby and local Quechua-speaking people dressed in the traditional clothing come to visit our camp, with examples of their fine textiles to share with us ...BLD

Days 9-12
Condor Pass / Lake Sibinacocha / Lloclla Canyon

Our hike across Condor Pass (17,280') brings us stupendous views, and we descend into the Sallma Valley to the shores of vast Lake Sibinacocha. From our camp on the edge of this mystical lake, we enjoy marvelous sunsets and optional hikes to view some of the lake’s rich birdlife. We depart Sibinacocha by way of a special vicuna reserve, then descend into Lloclla Canyon, enjoying our last views of Ausangate’s mighty glaciers gleaming beneath the deep blue skies.

Days 13-14
Cusco

After returning to Cusco, capital of the Inca empire, we fly to Lima and visit one of the city’s great museums before our evening flight home.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 6, Strenuous. Most hiking is between 10,000 and 15,000 feet, and the maximum elevation reached is about 17,000 feet, on the crossing of the Condor Pass. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed; the group will spread out along the trail during our 6 to 8 hours of hiking. Trail conditions can be primitive, and there is a good bit of up-and-down (often 2,000- to 3,000-foot gain or loss in elevation per day). We are up in the high Andes, and mountain weather is always fickle, so there will be days when it may be cold. The days can also be brilliantly sunny but nights are always cold at these altitudes. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in top physical condition for the trip.

Explanation of Trip Levels

Casa Andina Private Collection—Cusco

Casa Andina Private Collection—Cusco

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights),
Day 13 (1 night), Cusco, Peru

Just three blocks from the Plaza de Armas in the heart of old Cusco, this charming hotel is a renovated colonial manor house. It features a series ...
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Ausangate Trek Camps

Days 4 to 12 (9 nights), Ausangate, Peru

We make hiking and camping in the Andes as comfortable as it can get! On the trail, you are accompanied by our experienced team of trail guides, and all your gear is carried for you (leaving you free to hike with just a light daypack to hold your camera, water bottle, jacket, etc.). Our camp amenities include a dining tent with a dining table, chairs with backs, camp meals prepared by our highly trained staff, and toilet tents. Our camp crew takes care of all camp chores, including bringing tea or coffee to your tent each morning and providing beautiful picnic lunches each day at a scenic spot along the trail. Accommodations are in sturdy mountain-style tents equipped with sleeping pads. Most trip members bring their own sleeping bag, but we can arrange for you to rent one in Cusco if you prefer.

Ramada Costa Del Sol Lima Airport

Ramada Costa Del Sol Lima Airport (Day Room) (Day Room)

Day 14, Lima, Peru

Very conveniently located right across the Lima international airport, this hotel is just a two- minute walk across the street from the terminal, ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Peru

Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica

Exploring Waterways and Nature Trails

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1

Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension

Colonial Splendor and Natural Wonders

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 2

Lake Titicaca Extension

Mystical Birthplace of the Incas

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 2

Frieze at the Temple of the Moon, near Trujillo

Sipan and Chan Chan Extension

Ancient Wonders of Northern Peru

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1