The Ausangate Trek is a multi-day trek in the Peruvian Andes, located near the city of Cusco. It is known for its scenic beauty, featuring towering mountains, glaciers, turquoise lakes, and traditional Andean villages. The trek usually takes 6 days to complete and reaches an altitude of over 5,000 meters, making it a challenging but rewarding experience for adventurous hikers. The Ausangate Trek is also culturally significant, as it passes by several sacred sites for the local indigenous people and offers a unique glimpse into traditional Andean life.
The ideal season for trekking Ausangate varies depending on the weather and terrain conditions at any given time. However, in general, the most popular trekking season is from May to September, when temperatures are warmer and rainfall is less frequent. During this season, it is possible to enjoy clear views and good walking conditions. However, it is important to be prepared for sudden changes in the weather and be sure to bring adequate clothing for warmth. Outside of the trekking season, the weather can be very inclement and snow can make hiking more difficult. Therefore, it is important to consult with a local guide or travel agency before planning your trip.
The cost of the Ausangate Trek can vary depending on factors such as the time of year, the number of days you want to do the trek, the level of comfort and the inclusion of additional services such as horseback riding, individual tents, climbing a mountain as a jampa. On average, a trip of 5 days and 4 nights can cost between US$ 350 and US$ 600 per person. However, it is important to do thorough research and compare various options before making a decision.
The highest pass of the Ausangate trek is the Palomani pass with an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level. This pass is usually reached on the third day of the trek.
Altitude sickness, also known as soroche, is a common problem in high mountains like Ausangate in Peru which has 4 high passes close to 5000m. It occurs when the body cannot adapt to the lack of oxygen at altitude. Symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and decreased performance capacity.
To prevent altitude sickness, it is recommended to acclimatize gradually before starting the hike, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and salty foods, and get enough rest during the night. If you experience symptoms of altitude sickness, you should rest and consider descending to a lower altitude in camps.
It is important to take preventative measures and be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the Ausangate trek. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is best to consult a doctor.
The typical itinerary of the 5 day Ausangate trek includes the following:
Day 1: Cusco, Pacchanta, Upis
Day 2: Upis, Pucacocha Lake
Day 3: Pucacocha, Inkawasi
Day 4: Inkawasi, Azulcocha Lake
Day 5: Azulcocha, Pacchanta, Cusco.
Return to Pacchanta and then to Cusco, with a stop at some tourist points along the way.
It is important to note that this itinerary may vary depending on weather conditions and the physical capacity of the participants. In addition, it is advisable to be prepared for high mountain walking and to have adequate mountain equipment.
For a trek in Ausangate, it is advisable to bring the following:
Remember that it is important to be responsible and respect the environment, taking all your waste with you and not to damage the local flora and fauna.
To train for the Ausangate trek, you can follow these steps:
Improve your fitness: Walking and running are good ways to improve your fitness and increase your endurance. You can also do muscle strengthening exercises for your legs and core.
Take regular hikes: Take regular hikes on steep terrain to get used to the slope and altitude of the Ausangate trek.
Adjust intensity and duration: Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your hikes so that you are ready for the challenge of the Ausangate trek.
Use adequate equipment: Make sure you have adequate footwear and clothing for hiking and carry enough water and food.
Remember that it is important to listen to your body and not overtrain yourself. If you feel pain or fatigue, stop and rest. It is also advisable to consult a doctor before starting any intensive training.
You can book a trek to Ausangate online through specialized travel agencies in Peru or local agencies in Cusco. At the time of booking always ask for your ticket to avoid being scammed or cheated. It is important to book in advance to guarantee the availability of guides and services during the high season.
There is no one agency that is considered the "best" for the Ausangate trek, as this depends on your personal preferences and needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing an agency:
Reputation: read reviews from other travelers online and look for references from friends or acquaintances who have done the trek before.
Experience: choose an agency that has experience in organizing Ausangate treks and has trained local guides.
Inclusion of services: make sure you understand what is included in the price, such as lodging, meals, transportation, etc.
Price: compare prices between different agencies and consider your budget and preferences.
Communication: choose an agency that responds quickly to your questions and has a good communication system to ensure a smooth experience.
In summary, it is important to research several options and choose the agency that best suits your needs and preferences. As an option we have Huillca Expedition, a travel agency expecialized in adventure trips to Ausangate, they are also local and have a lot of experience.