AUSANGATE Trek to Rainbow Mountain (VINICUNCA) is a hike around the snow capped, a dramatic scenery located in South America; Perú, the largest peak in Cusco southern region, Andes Path Peru. It offers you one traditional circuit around Ausangate and one very non-traditional to Vinicunca, you end up doing two treks in the area. Andes Path Peru will satisfy most demanding and will get unforgettable memories as sumptuous panoramas of high mountain, formidable glaciers and crystalline rivers, turquoise lakes, peaceful pastoral scenes of the herds of spangled and alpacas kept on by Andeans with multicolored clothing. This new route, apart from the beaten paths, is a true adventure through a nature preserved and wild, where the only meeting which you make will be YAURICUNCA, VINICUNCA THE RAINBOW MOUNTAIN, PUCAPUNTA (the red mountain) and small communities of Quechua-speaking Inca descendants that exploit the vast wide ones of Altiplano. The route achieves a circuit of scale, passing by collars located between 4710 and 5200 meters.
1 – 8 Guests
Experience | Difficulty
- Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers
- DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras
- Moderate schedule
- Travel by car or minibus
- Moderate elevation changes and lots of walking and hiking (none of our adventures have difficult hikes)
- (non-photographers also welcome)
Weather | Sun
May – Temps 70/40 F 20/2 C Sunrise 5:24 | Sunset 7:23 (19:23)
September – Temps 75/42 F 24/5 C Sunrise 6:10 | Sunset 6:35 (18:35)
- 4 Days
- Travel, landscape, nature, wildlife and people photography
- Professional photographer | guide
- Photo walks & discussions
- Small group size (1-8 guests)
- All Meals
- National Park Permits
- Local transportation
Arrival Airport: Cusco – Transfer time to hotel 30min
Departure Airport: Cusco – Transfer time to hotel 30min
Our adventure begins in the afternoon on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.
Travel Visa: Not required .
ITINERARY Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain
After early breakfast we will drive you southeast to Tinki and Pacchanta native community. Through the way, the silence and sound of the wind will let us discover the landscape. Our hike starts right after breakfast with the wilderness being the best distraction from the wicked climb. An abundance of birds, insects and extraordinary plants diverts our attention from the challenging hike. Lagoons are spotted along the way, until finally we arrive in the town of Pacchanta for our lunch and a well-deserved rest. By the time we arrive at our campsite for the evening, a relaxing dip in the hot springs might be just the thing to alleviate any tension or tightness in our legs.
After breakfast we begin our trek at 7am. We begin ascending for 3 hours. The morning begins with your first mountain pass crossing – Arapa (4850m). The views of Ausangate from Arapa pass are stunning and you’ll want to get your camera ready! After reaching the pass you stop for a light lunch before descending into the valley on a well-trodden gravel trail. On your descent you’ll pass the green lake of Puqa Q’ocha (4556 m). Once back down in the valley you camp for the night beside the gorgeous blue lake of Jatun Puqa Q’ocha. From your camp site you can choose to climb a nearby ridge to view the red-tinged lake of Vino Q’ocha. Each lake in the region is colored differently, depending on the colored sediment of the nearby mountains. L/D
Today is a big day and the most anticipated day of the trek. We hike up to 17,000 feet (5.18 km) where you will be graced with views of the majestic painted hills, but don’t get too excited yet, we still have a few hours to go before we finally arrive at the Rainbow Mountain of Vinicunca. We have a celebratory lunch on top and take a long break to enjoy the views. After lunch we head back up the valley and set up camp near Lake Yanaorqo.
Continue as far as we can towards Puca punta the red sandstone sediment formations, such a wonderful experience. Here we see vicuñas and luckily condors, to shorten the climb this is a relatively short day and eventually encounter Vinicunca a mountain of striations of colors embedded in the hillsides. Best known as The Rainbow Mountain, it speaks for itself. We ended up having a marvelous time at our Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain and arrive at Cusco.