This very special alternative trek takes you alongside the spectacular snow-capped "Apu" of Ausangate (6.372m/20900ft) and takes you over mountain passes, through awesome mountain scenery, authentic Andean villages, hot springs and turquoise lakes. This alternative route to the classical circuit around Mount Ausangate still offers the most spectacular views of this sacred Andean mountain before it deviates towards the impressive Sibinacocha Lagoon, leaving tourist crowds behind and entering an almost uninhabited area where you can truly commune with nature. The hike ends in Phinaya, a small and remote Andean community with just horses and bicycles as transportation.. An unforgettable trail for lovers of mountain trekking, or those searching for something different and away from the increasingly popular traditional Ausangate trek.
DAY 1: CUSCO - TINQUI - PACCHANTAYou will be collected from your hotel in private transporte and drive along the Cusco - Puerto Maldonado road (now the Trans Oceanic Highway) in the direction of Tinqui (3800m/ 12464 ft). On the way we stop in Urcos (major bus road junction) for some pictures of the colorful market. We then go on to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we can appreciate the region's spectacular views and finally pass through Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name and only half an hour away from our destination. After an 3 hour drive, we arrive in Tinki, where we will have lunch and then start walking for 3 hours towards Pacchanta (4100m/ 13448ft) , where we stop to camp. Pacchanta is a rural community that boasts some well-known thermal baths where we can enjoy a nice dip, offering very nice views of Ausangate Mountain .
DAY 2: PACCHANTA - QOMERQOCHA LAGOON - JAMPA PAMPAWe contiue our hike with a slight climb up the Pacchanta valley, having the chance to spot llamas and alpacas, until we reach the beautiful Qomercocha lagoon where we will have lunch. this is a spectacular spot with amazing views of Ausangate, Santa Catalina , Maria Huamantiqlla, Pucapunta and Colquecruz snow-capped mountains. After lunch we will continue on towards the first mountain pass of our trek, the Abra de Q´ampa (Jampa) at 5080m/ 16400ft, which we will reach after about 3 hours . We then descend towards the Ticllaqocha Lagoons, a beautiful group of little turquoise lagoons which will be a beautiful setting for lunch. In the afternoon we continue our hike for an additional 2hours until we reach Jampa Pampa where we set our camp in an impressive valley overlooked by the huge and awesome Tres Picos, Colquecruz and Pucapunta peaks.
DAY 3: JAMPA PAMPA - FOOT OF CONDORPASOWe leave camp after breakfast and start a gradual climb up towards Yanaqocha or "Black Lagoon" its name being due to the dark color of its waters. In this area we can appreciate a soil of volcanic origin, its color turning to dark red and black, as well as moraines, showing the previous presence of glaciers in this region. We will go over Yanaqocha mountain pass (5050 m/15564 feet) to discover a surprisingly beautiful valley with an explosion of colored mountains, three spectacular lagoons and the presence of llamas and alpacas, which we will cross to head towards our next mountain pass (5100m/ 16728ft ). From this point, another hour of hiking takes us to Condorpaso, our next campsite, located very close to the mountain pass of the same name which will be our challege for the next day.
DAY 4: CONDORPASO - SOURCE OF SIBINACOCHA LAKE - MOMORANIAfter breakfast, we continue on a gradual climb up the valley that takes us to the mountain pass Abra del Condor (5200 m/ 17056 ft) after an approx two hour walk. From the pass, the highest point of our trek, we may not only enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range and the Sibinacocha Lagoon, our next milestone, but also hopefully see vicuñas. Immediately, we continue our hike for an additional 3 hours, crossing another mountain pass on the way and then descending into the valley of the Sibinacocha Lake 's source. We will camp next to the lagoon and very close from its source, where an impressive glacier stands and nourishes the lake with its turquoise waters that contrast with the dark blue pure color of the lagoon. The lagoon boasts a wide bio-diversity, and with any luck we will most be able to spot Andean Coots, "Huallatas" or Andean Geese as well as Andean Ducks from our camp.
DAY 5: MOMORANI - CCASCANAToday, we depart early to walk along the shores of the Sibinacocha Lagoon for 3h until we reach the Yayamari community, next to the mountain of the same name, an impressive rocky peak overlooking the lagoon (5500 m/ 18040 ft). We then continue crossing a pampa where we will most probably see hundreds of llamas, alpacas and hopefully vicuñas, to then follow towards the Abra Ccascana at 5000m/ 16400 ft, which will lead us to the lagoon of the same name, in which area we will set our last camp. In this spot, surrounded by impressive snow-capped peaks such as Montura and Chumpi and inhabited by small rural communities, we may have the chance to spot ¨Huallatas¨ or Andean geese and maybe even flamingos.
DAY 6: CCASCANA - PHINAYA CUSCOAfter our breakfast, we leave Ccascana to walk for three and a half hours towards Phinaya. This is a small Andean community with a beautiful little church and no presence of vehicles except bikes and horses, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon, we drive back to Cusco, where we expect to arrive after dark.
- For complete facts about many aspects of AUSANGATE TREK, check out our FAQs page!
- Pre trek briefing
- Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
- Transport private from Cusco to and Phinaya to cusco.
- English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 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
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Breakfast on the first morning.
- Dinner on the last night.
- 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.
- Tips for the guide, cook and porters
- Additional horses for passengers luggage.
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)
Our TeamOur people set us apart.
Our team is composed of some of the most responsible, efficient, and knowledgeable professionals, experts in their area, that will make unforgettable experiences in the routes of Cusco.
OUR OFFICE STAFFOur office is in Cusco, Tupac Amaru urbanization,D-2, San Sabastian.
Please feel at home when you visit us. Our office staff will be willing to provide you with all information and help you may need. We are the following:
General Management and Administration:
- Edwin chara chilo
- Jhon Junior Laurente C.
OUR GUIDES:CUSCO EXPLORER relies on an extensive network of highly trained guides and expert ambassadors as a premise to guarantee excellence in our services. We are fully conscious that an excellent guide is key to making your trip a memorable experience, which is why we are extremely demanding when recruiting and regularly training our guides.
Our team is composed of whom we consider to be the best guides in the region, all officially licensed and holding Tourism Degrees. The superiority of our team is backed both by excellent tourist reports, which are available at our office in Cusco and some online on this website, as well as by their expertise earned from several years of experience in leading a wide array of different guests and profiles.
Knowledge, leadership, enthusiasm, availability and help, communication skills, language proficiency, empathy and interpersonal skills, friendliness and sense of humor, punctuality and an excellent treatment to our team of chefs, porters and wranglers are a must. Our guests evaluate their guide after each service and your constructive critiques help us to keep improving constantly. We have guides fluent in English and Spanish, but also in other languages, the most commonly requested being French, Italian and German. We will always consider the language as an integral part of the quality of the guided service, so when the language is beyond the scope of our guides, we can offer a translator.
Our team is also composed of specialized guides: bird watching, spiritualism, flora & fauna, archaeology, history, architecture, anthropology. These guides are not just available for specialized trips but have also been trained to run our treks and traditional programs, adding a wonderful value to their general knowledge and explanations.
Finally, more than 80% of our guides have now already been internationally trained in Advanced First Aid & Rescue, making this one of our most significant advantages of our guided services. Our team is regularly updated through seminars and courses in their respective fields.
OUR COOKS:In all of our trekking trips, the chef ensures high-quality meals on time, and manages the team of porters.
An adequate diet both in its quality and quantity is essential in high-energy trips such as the adventure programs we run. CUSCO EXPLORER has already become renowned for its outstanding menus and food quality. The secret lies in the careful selection of our team of chefs, whose top-quality restaurant background, creativity and passion for their jobs provide an unequalled touch to all of our meals. We do not have set menus since we wish to give our chefs the chance to create, innovate and surprise our clients through delicious dishes in every trip.
Additionally, the chef manages the team of porters and/or wranglers. Every person has a role in the team and is very aware of the team’s responsibility, and only excellent logistics will allow for an outstanding travel.
OUR PORTERS AND HORSEMEN.Porters and horsemen are an essential element in any trekking organization.
The porters carry all the collective equipment; some depart early before the group to make sure we get a good location at the campsite and to have everything ready and set up by the time you get to the lunch spot or campsite. Porters carry up to 20kg of load according to the Inca Trail regulation, which we fully respect by giving them a maximum of just 18kg each. In all treks other than the Inca Trail, wranglers are in charge of the horses or mules that carry the equipment.
Our porters are not numbers; they are our friends. We provide our team with excellent meals along the route, convenient accommodation, equipment, life and medical insurance and, most importantly, with one high wage.
our people are happy, enthusiastic, extremely helpful and simply exceptional. They are proud of working for us and of their absolutely outstanding working performance. And we are also very proud of having them with us.
The Horsemen are an essential element in any agency dedicated to hiking.
Our Horsemen are in charge of the horses or mules that carry camping equipment. Our carriers are trained in relief and rescue in high mountain. Our wranglers have sufficient knowledge of safe zones and camping places, they are precisely the people who installed the camps in safe areas for your comfort. If your concerns are the mules feel sure they are well treated, since charge between 20 to 15 kg. And are very well fed with forage in the camps.