The Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Hike is one of the most popular routes in southern Peru, and for good reason. This short hike will take you from Ausangate to Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca, one of the most stunning natural wonders in the world.
The starting point for this adventure is the community of Pacchanta, a place full of culture and Andean experiences of Peru. Here you can meet local people and learn about their customs and traditions. During the journey, you will be amazed by the most impressive natural landscapes of Ausangate, surrounded by mountain flora and fauna. Along the way, you can enjoy spectacular views of the snowy peaks of Ausangate, one of the most sacred and mystical places in the Andes. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to see crystal clear lagoons, waterfalls, and glaciers in all their splendor.
Once you reach Rainbow Mountain, you will be amazed by the beauty and vibrant colors of this wonderful natural formation. Rainbow Mountain is a sandstone peak that has formed over millions of years, creating a beautiful variety of colors ranging from red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. It is a magical place where you can feel the energy of nature and connect with the universe.
The Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain itinerary is a 3-day trek that takes you through the stunning Andean landscapes of Peru. On the first day, you will drive to Pacchanta, have breakfast, and explore the Pacchanta community before starting the hike towards the Upis campsite. On day two, you will hike to the Apacheta Pass, admire the Pucacocha Lakes, and descend to the Ananta camp. Finally, on day three, you will start early to reach Rainbow Mountain, descend, and return to Cusco for lunch.
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The Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain hike begins early in the morning with a pick-up from your hotel at 4:00 am. We will then drive to the community of Pacchanta in our mobile vehicle, taking the same route as if we were heading towards Puerto Maldonado. After driving for a while, we will reach the small town of Tinke, where we will make a quick stop to do some last-minute shopping in case anything was forgotten. This is the last chance to purchase anything needed for the hike, so it's important to take advantage of this opportunity.
Once we have everything we need, we will continue driving until we reach Pacchanta, where a delicious breakfast will be waiting for us. From here, we will have an amazing view of the Ausangate mountain from the north-facing side. After breakfast, we will take a cultural tour of the Pacchanta community and enjoy a satisfying lunch. In the afternoon, we will start our hike towards the Upis campsite, which is about 6 km away from Pacchanta. Here, we will spend the night under the protective cloak of the Ausangate mountain.
As we hike towards Upis, we will be surrounded by breathtaking views of the Andean landscapes and natural beauty. We'll get a chance to see herds of alpacas, llamas grazing in the highlands, as well as witness the local flora and fauna that inhabit the area. Upon reaching the campsite, we'll set up our tents and enjoy a warm cup of coca tea while taking in the stunning views of the night sky. It's the perfect opportunity to relax and recharge for the next day's adventure.
Note: For every night, bring good clothes because the cold is intense.
During this day, we will begin the hike early in the morning, ascending to the Arapa Pass at an altitude of 4750 meters above sea level. This ascent is a challenge, but upon reaching the summit, we will be rewarded with a breathtaking landscape that will leave us speechless. This stretch is a traverse through the sandstone that leads us directly to Vinicunca, the famous Rainbow Mountain. The hike continues on a beautiful path that takes us to the Pucacocha Lakes, another impressive place that we cannot fail to admire.
However, the best view of the majestic Ausangate is found at the Apacheta Pass at an altitude of 4914 meters above sea level. From there, we can admire a wonderful and picturesque landscape, with brightly colored lagoons that are located in the distance. Once we reach the pass, we will begin the descent until we reach the Ananta camp, where we can observe the impressive red landscapes that stretch out before us. In this place, we can appreciate the villages of alpaca breeders and learn more about the lives of the people who live in this region of the Andes. It is a day full of impressive views that we will not easily forget.
After an early breakfast at 4:30 am, we will embark on one of the most exciting journeys of our hike. Today is the day we finally reach the famous Rainbow Mountain. To ensure we have the best experience possible, we will begin our hike at 5:00 am, aiming to arrive early and have the chance to enjoy the mountain before the one-day expeditions arrive.
For years, Huillca Expedition has been dedicated to exploring the most beautiful and lesser-known places in Peru. That's why our group will be one of the first to ascend the colorful mountain. It's a unique opportunity to experience nature in its purest form, in the company of other travelers who share the same passion for adventure and natural beauty.
Rainbow Mountain is one of the most stunning and colorful places in the region, with its unique and breathtaking landscapes. Once we've enjoyed enough, we'll descend the mountain to take our transportation back to Cusco. On the way, we'll stop in Cusipata to have lunch at one of our partner restaurants, where we can enjoy delicious local dishes.
Finally, we'll arrive in Cusco around 4:00 pm, after an exciting and adventurous journey in the majestic Peruvian Andes. This day will be one of the most unforgettable memories of our lives, thanks to the natural beauty and unique experience that Huillca Expedition offers.
Additional services that you can hire:
Travel recommendations for the Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain hike:
These recommendations will help you fully enjoy this impressive adventure in the Peruvian Andes.
The cost of this walk is for the 2022 season:
$290.00 for person (Includes VAT)
Note: all our trips include VAT with legislative compliance and tax liability.
The best time to do the Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain trek is during the dry season, which runs from April to November. During these months, the weather is more stable and dry, making conditions safer and more pleasant for hiking.
The Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain trek is considered to be of high difficulty. The trek involves ascending and descending several mountain passes and walking at high altitudes. Therefore, it is recommended that hikers be in good physical shape and have prior experience with high-altitude trekking.
To do the Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain trek, it is important to bring appropriate clothing for the cold high-altitude climate. Hiking boots, warm clothing, a hat, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, a comfortable and sturdy backpack are recommended.
During the trek, hikers camp in base camps near the lakes and glaciers of Ausangate. The camps are equipped with tents and thermal sleeping mats, and cooking equipment is also provided to prepare meals.
While prior experience with high-altitude trekking is not necessary, it is recommended that hikers be in good physical shape and have experience with multi-day trekking. It is also recommended to acclimate well before starting the trek to allow the body to adapt to the altitude.
Safety is a major concern for any mountain adventure, and the Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain trek is no exception. Fortunately, this trek is considered safe as long as necessary precautions are taken. It is important to follow the instructions of your tour guide and ensure that they are properly trained and certified. It is also important to bring appropriate equipment and be prepared for changing weather conditions. Additionally, it is recommended to acclimate well before starting the trek as altitude can affect your health if you are not used to it.
Yes, it is highly recommended to hire a guide to do the Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain trek. Guides are familiar with the area, the routes, and weather conditions, and can provide a safer and more enjoyable experience for hikers.
The starting point of the trek is about a three-hour drive from the city of Cusco in Peru. Transport services can be hired to reach the starting point, or a car can be rented to get there independently.
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