This 4-day Ausangate Hike to Rainbow Mountain takes you truly off the beaten path, by the skirt of the imposing Apu Ausangate (20,956 feet). And is hidden in the Vilcanota Mountain Range. Ausangate Peak is the highest mountain in southern Peru and has long been considered the lord of the Inca Empire and now by the Quechua (Andean people) from Cusco.
The Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain (4 Days) is designed for a smoother and more leisurely hike in the remote and untouched wilderness of the Ausangate. This beautiful multi-day Ausangate to Rainbow Mountain route is phenomenal but challenging in altitude with some high passes to traverse. This 4-day hiking trip allows you to walk in the crown of the Andes, savouring the incredible landmarks of shimmering glacial lagoons and some remote, isolated communities of the Highland.
Overview for Vinicunca and Ausangate
Ausangate, Red Valley 4 day Feel the pulse of snow-clad mountains and the Red Hills Mountains on this 4-day hike through one of Peru’s most timeless and wilderness regions.
- Duration: 4 Days, 3 Nights (Camping)
- Distance: 42 km/26.09 miles
- Elevation: 4200m (13,779 ft)–5080 m (16,666ft)
- Difficulty: moderate/difficult
- Departure: all year around
- Acomodation: camping
Day 01: Cusco, Mallma, and Singrena Cocha
Day 02: Singrena Cocha, Tarapata Pass, and Aasiyucpampa
Day 03: Aasiyucpampa, Pupusayoc Pass, Pacchanta
Day 4: Pacchanta, Tinqui, and Cusco
By booking Ausangate Rainbow Mountain for 4 days and 3 nights with Guiding Machu Picchu, you are choosing the best tour company in the Cusco region. Don’t believe us? See our Trip Advisor reviews.
- Enjoy the most stunning and remote treks in Peru.
- Trekking and adventure journeys “off the beaten path”
- Hike along the large and small multi-colour lagoons.
- Visit the amazing painted hill of Rainbow Mountain in Peru.
- Enjoy the wonderful landscape with glaciers, alpine lakes, and rugged mountains around Ausangate Peak.
- Get in touch with indigenous people in the rustic rural villages of the highlands.
- See some quite unique fauna, such as Chinchillas, Condors, “the largest Andean bird Vicunas, the only non-domesticated animal of the llama family,” and many more.
for Our Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain will leave from Cusco at 5 a.m. in a private van for the town of Urcos (the capital of the province of Quispicanchi), located southeast of Cusco. Driving, we pass different beautiful villages through Oncongate to reach the trailhead of our trek. Along the way, we stop at one of the overlooking points to take photos. This amazing location overlooks the snow-capped mountain range of Vilcanota, with Ausangate Glacier Peak (20,944 ft.) in the background. The mountain range is on the boundary between the regions of Cusco and Puno. After arriving at Tinque, This town is an excellent spot to buy any last-minute supplies prior to arriving at the trailhead, known as Upis Community (12,464ft). After breakfast, our first-day hike begins in a beautiful high Andean plain facing the glaciers of Ausangate. As we continue our trekking, we can see impressive views and meet some farmers wearing their typical dress, as well as plenty of llamas and alpacas feeding in the highland valley. Upon arrival at Upis Hot Springs, which is at 13,776 feet, we will enjoy lunch, and then we´ll get settled in a dramatic spot with the spectacular view of Ausangate in front of our camp. In the afternoon, we will go to relax and soak in a natural hot spring (it costs 10 soles) and see the sunset with incredible views of the snow-capped Ausangate range.
Hiking Distance: 11 km/6,21 miles
Hiking Time: 6 to 7 hours
Campsite altitude: 4,600 m (15,091 ft).
Meals: are all included.
Level of difficulty: moderate
This day, we begin the morning with hot drinks like tea or coffee delivered to your tent, and then we enjoy a fresh, hot breakfast in the chilly high altitude camp. After breakfast, we begin the hike through a beautiful green high alpine valley towards Arapa Pass, with phenomenal views of the Ausangate peak. At the Pass, which is at 15,744 feet, we´ll be amazed by dazzling vistas of rugged mountains, as well as, if we are lucky, we might have an opportunity to see some Vicuas grazing free there, Condors, and Chinchilla, where your expert trekking guide will explain about the landscape of the trail as well as about the flora and fauna of the zone. After exploring, we descend towards the incredible lakes of Yana Qocha (Black Lake) and Puca Qocha (Red Lake). On our cross-Andes route, we will be surrounded by dazzling peaks and waterfalls! Subsequently, we get to the lunch spot and take a nap. Later, we will have more time to explore and walk around the lakes. In the late afternoon, you will enjoy afternoon tea, followed by dinner.
Hiking Distance: 11 km/6,83 miles
Hiking Time: 7–8 hours
Campsite altitude: 4,599 m (15,088 ft).
Meals: all included
Level of difficulty: challenging
Today is an absolutely incredible day! We´ll have a relatively relaxed morning and a big breakfast. After breakfast, we start making our way towards Pucaqocha Pass, which is at 16,571 feet. The uphill section is for about 1–2 hours and offers phenomenal views of colourful glacier lakes behind the Ausangate peak. Furthermore, at Pucaqocha Pass, we will have an extraordinary vantage point to look down both sides of the valley with colourful mountains and intact landscape, likewise, the awesome glacier Sacred Mountain (Ausangate). Continuing our trek, we descend to the campsite, witnessing the beautiful views of the mountain range and llamas and alpacas eating grass right next to us. Eventually, we arrive at the last camping spot, snapping pictures along the route to relax and eat lunch. Knowing that this day is a short distance, we stay there after lunch.
Hiking Distance: 7 km (4.35 miles)
Hiking Time: 4–5 hours
Campsite altitude: 4,599 m (15,088 ft).
Meals: all include
Level of difficulty: challenging
The last day, we start early for another exciting day in the mountains to reach the “Rainbow Mountain of Peru and Red Valley. Besides leaving early, we´ll try to be the first to get to the Vinicunca Mountain of Carolfull Valley and witness the beauty of the Rainbow Mountain before tourists arrive from day tours.
On this day, we hike for 2 hours to get to Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, and after enjoying the spectacular landscape that surrounds you, we start walking downhill for about 2.5 hours to the lunch site. Following lunch, we take our transportation back to Cusco. Our Ausangate trek to Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountain will end at your hotel.
Hiking Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Meals: all included
- A pre-trek briefing the night before the start of your trek.
- One English-speaking guide.
- Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to the trailhead
- Private transport from Quesiuno to your hotel in Cusco
- Horses and muleteers carry your 7-kg or 14-pound personal items.
- Emergency horse to escort us during the trek
- 3 nights camping along our trip
- Entrance ticket to Rainbow Mountain
- 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 afternoon snacks, and 3 dinners, all prepared by our cook and his assistant
- 4-person capacity tents Two people will be assigned per tent.
- Camping equipment, a dining tent with table and chairs, and a kitchen tent manned by a professional cooking staff
- Foam sleeping mattress.
- Water supply (boiled) after every meal
- First Aid Kit and Oxygen Bottle
- Personalised service
- All local taxes
- Sleeping bag (which you might rent from us).
- Hiking poles (you might rent them from us).
- Entrance to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
- Gratuities for the crew (muleteers, cook, and guide)
- Hotel accommodations in Cusco
- Personal expenses (Internet access along the trail, laundry, personal taxis)
- Travel insurance: we strongly recommend you bring copies with you of travel and health insurance to protect:
- Original passport and valid International Student Card (ISIC, if applicable), some copies
- Travel insurance (and some copies).
- Sleeping bag (the recommendation is a rating of at least minus 15°C).
- Sleeping bag liner.
- Hiking boots (waterproof). Sneakers are acceptable, but expect to get wet.
- Long-sleeved shirts to prevent sunburn.
- Trekking poles with rubber covers Without rubber covers, they will be of limited use.
- Comfortable hiking clothes, including warm clothes for the nighttime,
- Toilet paper and face tissue paper
- Water bottle or canteen.
- American dollars and Peruvian soles in cash
- Sun hat, cap, and warm hat and gloves for the nighttime.
- Hiking trousers.
- Hiking socks.
- Sunblock and sunglasses
- Day Pack: We provide a duffle bag to put in some personal belongings that will not be used during the day, and it will be carried by pack horses. You will need a small daypack for carrying your water, snacks, camera, rain gear, layers, sunscreen, bug spray, and medications every day.
- Rain gear: you need to have rain gear. The dry season lasts from April to October, and the wet season lasts from November to March. Just keep in mind that it can rain anytime of the year in the cloud forest, and in the Peruvian Andes, the weather is very changeable and unpredictable. It’s also good to have rain pants, as a poncho will not suffice.
- Personal first-aid kit. We recommend that you bring
anti-inflammatory tablets (ibuprofen), aspirin for headaches or muscle pain, and blister kits. Also, some recommendations from the doctor for medications for parasites and stomach bacterial infections (tablets like Ciprofloxacin for bacteria and Metronidazole and Tinidazole) and for high altitude (altitude sickness) are Diamox and Ciprofloxacin.