AUSANGATE TREK + MACHU PICCHU PACKAGE

7 Days 6 Nights

The AUSANGATE TREK & MACHU PICCHU PACKAGE includes the best of both worlds: a stunning trek past snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes, and wildlife, all ending with a tour of one of the 7 man-made wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.

You’ll see the highest peak (Ausangate 6,385 m/20,948 ft) in the Cusco region. snow capped mountains, glaciers, lakes, and wildlife along the way (such as vicuñas (elated to alpacas) chinchillas, deer, and the rare condor). This adventurous trek is approximately 67 km/41.6 mi and goes up to 5,400 m/17,716 ft. Ausangate is an excellent and quiet/remote trekking circuit offering stunning features such as spectacular mountain scenery, snow-capped peaks, hot springs, turquoise lakes, glaciers, herds of llamas, alpacas, and wild vicuña, picturesque villages, and traditionally dressed Quechua people.

This is a moderate to challenging trek, not technical, with several high passes and often below freezing nights. This beautiful 7 day package starts in the small Andean village of Tinqui and takes you around Ausangate mountain and over three high passes (two of them over 5,000 m/16,404 ft). It is essential to be properly acclimatized for this hike, spending at least two or three days in Cusco (or equivalent altitude) before starting. The campsites are at high elevations and therefore will be below freezing in the evenings.

Minimum passengers necessary for trek departure: 2 people (1 person or private/custom treks possible with extra fee). Maximum trekkers per group: 10 people (special, private party groups can exceed maximum).

Meters

Kilometers

Days

Nights

The Nitty Gritty Trek Details

Highlights

Off the beaten path, pristine wilderness, glacial mtns, turquoise lakes, Machu Picchu

Location/Terrain

Glacial, snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, multiple high passes, rocky terrain, screed.

Acclimatization

3 day acclimatization and multi-day trekking experience recommended

Duration

7 Days/6 Nights

Distance

67 km/41.6 miles

Altitude

3700m/12,139ft to 5400m/17,716ft

Adventure Rating

★★★★★
Strenuous, lengthy, high altitude

Solitude Rating

★★★★★
Quiet, Off the beaten track

When to Go

Best from March to November

Departures

Daily departures with 2 or more people

Prices USD

6-10 trekkers: 1400, 3-5 trekkers: 1450, 2 trekkers: 1600 (per person)

Customizable

Yes! Private, custom, add-ons all available.

DAY 1: CUSCO – TINQUI VILLAGE – UPIS (camping at hot springs)

Early transfer from your hotel in Cusco with 6:00 am departure. We drive for 4 hours on a new highway to Tinqui, passing Urcos Pass (4,000 m/13,123 ft) along the way. Tinqui is a village on the high plains “altiplano” east from Cusco and is where we will start our trek. We follow a wide, gently ascending path toward the northwest face of the impressive Ausangate mountain. We will have a small lunch around noon by the side of the trail. We will continue walking through fields and by scattered stone farm houses, and later in the day we will begin to see llamas and alpacas. We ascend gently to the Upis pass (4,435 m/14,107 ft) and camp at Upis Hot Springs (4,250 m/13,779 ft) where we will be surrounded by snow capped mountains (Ausangate and Maria Huamantilla).There are thermal springs at Upis where we can enjoy a soak at the end of the day. Happy hour is around 4:00pm and dinner at approx 6:00pm depending on hiking speed/weather.

 

  • Walking distance approximately 16 km/9.9 miles (6 hour acclimatizing hike)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks on the trail
  • Overnight: Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

DAY 2: UPIS – AUSANGATECOCHA

After breakfast we begin our trek at 7:00am. We begin ascending for 3 hours to Arapa Pass 4,800 m/15,748 ft. At the top of the pass we will have a wonderful view of the Maria Huamantilla Mountain and Ausangate Mountain behind it. From the Arapa pass we trek across an arid hillside for 20 minutes and then we descend, sometimes quite steeply, for 45 minutes into a valley of deep blue glacial lakes and waterfalls. We will stop to have a quick lunch by one of the lakes. After lunch we continue for 1 hour on flat trails and then 1 more hour gentle ascent to our second pass of the day, Ausangate Pass 4,700 m/15,419 ft. At the top of the pass we will have a beautiful view of Ausangante Mountain and the lake Ausangatecocha, formed by a melting glacier. We then descend for 40 minutes to our campsite by the lake Ausangatecocha 4,300 m/14,107 ft, which is at the bottom of one of the Ausangate glaciers. Happy hour is around 4:00pm with dinner at 6:00pm.

  • Walking distance approximately 18 km/11.1 mi (7 hour hike)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks on the trail
  • Overnight: Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

DAY 3: AUSANGATECOCHA – HUCHUY FINAYA – PAMPACANCHA

After breakfast we leave camp at 7:00am and climb steeply for 3 hours on glacial moraine to the highest point on the trek, Palomani Pass 5,400 m/17,716 ft. From the pass there are extensive views of all the peaks in the Cordillera Vilcanota. We then descend for 2 hours on a steep trail into the Huchuy Finaya Valley where we will stop for a quick lunch. From the valley and lunch stop we will have a view of “Las dos gemelas” or the two twin mountains. We continue hiking 3 hours on a varied path to our campsite in the Pampacancha Valley (Qampa) 4,300 m/14,107 ft. Happy hour at 4:00pm and dinner at 6:00pm.
  • Walking distance approximately 17 km/ 10.5 mi (7-8 hour hike)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks on the trail
  • Overnight: Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

DAY 4: QAMPA – PACCHANTA (HOT SPRINGS CAMPING)

After breakfast we leave camp at 7:00am and begin climbing up to the Qampa pass (5,400 m/17,716 ft) for 2 hours. At this pass we have incredible views of The Three Peaks, the Pacchanta Valley, and will hopefully get a glimpse of some wild vicuña and deer, and if we are really lucky, a condor. We then descend gradually through the Pacchanta Valley, walking between Ausangate Mountain and the Two Twin Mountains for 2 hours until we stop for lunch. After lunch we continue descending gradually on a rocky trail for another 2 1/2 hours to our campsite at Pacchanta Valley (4,000 m/13,123 ft). From this campsite we will have a great view of Ausangate Mountain. There are also hot springs at this campsite, which we can enjoy before dinner.

  • Walking distance approximately 17 km/ 10.5 mi (6-7 hour hike)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks on the trail
  • Overnight: Camping in 3 person, 4 season Tents (double occupancy)

DAY 5: PACCHANTA – TINQUI VILLAGE – CUSCO

After breakfast we walk for 3-4 hours on a varied and gentle trail to Tinqui across open fields where we will have our final view of Ausangate, potato crops, and herds of llamas and alpacas. At Tinqui we will have lunch and meet our private transport and return to Cusco (3 hour drive), arriving around 4 or 5 pm. Once in Cusco we will go to our hotel to freshen up and relax before our celebratory group dinner.
  • Walking distance approximately 16 km/9.9 mi (3-4 hour hike)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks on the trail, Dinner in a Cusco Restaurant
  • Overnight: Hotel in Cusco (double occupancy)

DAY 6: CUSCO – MARAS – MORAY – SALINERAS – AGUAS CALIENTES

After breakfast at our hotel we take our private transport to Maras Village (3,300m/10,827ft). Maras is a beautiful little colonial town, still boasting some colonial architecture. You can see amazing facades made of thin stone, and lintels with sculptures in bas-relief. After exploring Maras we continue driving to Moray ruins located at (3,450m/11,319ft). Moray Ruins consist of circular agricultural terraces at high altitude with a complex system of irrigation. These terraces served as a natural green house to grow an extraordinary variety of crops that would normally only thrive in tropical climates. It has also been suggested that they had a cosmological meaning. After exploring the terraces we continue to Salineras, which consists of 3,000 small pools, roughly 5 square meters (53.8 ft²). Every three days, during the dry season, workers fill the pools with salt water that comes from local natural springs. When the water evaporates from the pool the salt is left for collection. This process is carried out over a one month period until the pools reach an approximate volume of solid salt that is 10 centimeters (4 inches) in height. The salt is ground up, treated with iodine, and packaged and sent to the various markets in the region. After exploring the salt mines of Salineras we take our private transport to Ollantaytambo where we catch the train to Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes we check into our comfortable hotel to freshen up before dinner. You can soak in the local hot springs before or after dinner if you wish. Tomorrow we get up early to see the incredible Machu Picchu!

  • Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, Dinner in Aguas Calientes, Snacks on the tour
  • Overnight: Hotel in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)

DAY 7: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO

Wake up call and breakfast is very early (Approx 4am) in order for us to take one of the first (5:30am, 25 min ride) buses directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft). Once we arrive at Machu Picchu you will show your entrance ticket and passport. If you are a student you must bring your ISIC card to the entrance or you will not be permitted entrance. From the entrance, it is a 15-minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Enjoy watching the sun rise over the ruin site and the fascinating tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora/fauna. Your guide will spend about 2 1/2 hours relating interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30am after which you will have a little free time to take photos and explore. The new rules for 2019 have split the entrance times into three slots per day. Our tour includes the first ticket (6-10am) so at 10am you would need to exit the ruin site unless you choose to purchase an extra time slot (or two). If you wish to do one of the extra hikes within Machu Picchu (Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain) you would need to prepurchase a permit as well as an extra time slot in Machu Picchu (these new rules are dictated by the Peruvian government and we are sorry for the inconvenience). After you are done exploring the ruin site, either at 10am or later if you’ve booked more time, take one of the many, frequent buses down to Aguas Calientes.  There are many restaurants to choose from and your guide can also help suggest a nice place to eat. After grabbing a bite to eat you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where private transport will drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.

  • Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks on the tour
  • Overnight: not included
Helpful Info:
  • There are no bathrooms in the ruin site. There are bathrooms right outside the entrance, cost is 1 sol per entrance, and they provide a little toilet paper. If you leave close to the time your ticket expires it is likely they will not permit re-entry.
  • You are allowed to take in a small backpack (under 20L)
  • They are no longer allowing box lunches to be brought into the ruin site. We recommend bringing extra snacks (we provide snacks too) or going down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and returning depending on how much time you’ve booked in Machu Picchu
  • They no longer allow plastic water bottles so please come prepared with water bladders/reusable water bottle(s)
  • Please do not climb on or deface the rocks or leave trash/debris of any kind.
  • Our recommendation is to add one extra time slot to allow for more time in the Ruin Site (with or without an extra hike).

Machu Picchu Entrance Times: in 2019 there will be 3 time slots with only 2800 people allowed to enter Machu Picchu each day (down from 4000 in 2018)

  • First Entrance: 6am to 10am
  • Second Entrance: 9am to 1pm
  • Third Entrance: 12pm to closing
    • Note: there will potentially be 4-5 entrance times in 2020

 HIKES WITHIN MACHU PICCHU

There are hikes within Machu Picchu that you can do on your own if you wish. The hikes that do not require an entrance ticket are The Inka bridge and the Sun Gate (where the Inka Trail ends with a view of Machu Picchu city). Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes both require a paid ticket and there are a limited number of spots (200 at 7am and 200 at 10am). If you want to hike one of these please let us know well in advance as these spots fill up very quickly. Please note we cannot guarantee you a spot for the mountains requiring tickets and that the trail is very steep and slippery and not for those afraid of heights or with vertigo).

We recommend the 10am time slot as Machu Picchu tends to be cloudy in the morning. You are only allowed to hike one of these mountains on a given day so if you would like to do both you would need to return the next day to hike the other one.

INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any questions
  • Collection from your hotel in the morning or our departure point (your choice): Plaza Regocijo
  • Private transport to start of the trek (day 1) and back to Cusco (day 5)
  • Private transport through the Sacred Valley (Maras, Moray & Salineras day 6) and on to Ollantaytambo and back to Cusco (day 7)
  • Personal porter to carry your overnight gear up to 8kg/17.6lbs
  • Dry bag in which to put your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty on the trail
  • 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable Mountain Hardwear Expedition tent)
  • One inch thick mattress pad
  • English speaking professional guide
  • Full meals on trek (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, and snacks on the trail)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse
  • Dining tent with tables and stools
  • Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Portable toilet, toilet tent, and toilet paper
  • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment, and your duffel bags)
  • Hot water every morning and evening for hand washing purposes
  • Boiled water to fill your water bottles every morning and afternoon
  • Entrance to the Ausangate trail
  • Hotel (double room) in Cusco (Night 5)
  • Celebratory dinner in Cusco (Night 5)
  • Round trip train: Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu and back
  • First entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex (6am to 10am)
  • Round-trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu, a little time to explore on your own
  • Hotel (double room) and dinner in Aguas Calientes
NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after trek
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Entrance to hot springs (20 soles)
  • Extra time slots in Machu Picchu (if you wish to stay beyond 10am) – 60 USD each extra time slot 
  • Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain Hike (85USD each which includes the second entrance ticket to Machu Picchu 9am to 1pm) – advanced booking essential
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Tip for your guide(s) and trek staff are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek
ON THE TRAIL

On the trail you should carry a day pack with your camera, water bottle or bladder, snacks, cold weather clothing and rain gear or poncho in case of rain (unlikely in dry season – May to October) and anything you will need before dinner as horses do not walk alongside you. We will provide you with a dry bag for your overnight gear to be carried by horses. Your bag will be waiting for you at every campsite.

PRICE AND NUMBER OF TREKKERS
A minimum of 2 trekkers required for this trek. Maximum of 10 trekkers in a group. 6-10 trekkers: 1400 per person, 3-5 trekkers: 1450 per person, 2 trekkers: 1600 (per person). Private treks, single trekker, custom treks, large groups, and packages welcome! Please email us to customize!
WHEN TO GO AND DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
March to November. (Dec to Feb: rainfall and snow can block the pass and cancel the trek). This trek is rated as a moderate to challenging (intermediate to advanced) hike considering the high altitudes and length of walking especially on the 2nd Day. It is recommended that you acclimatize in Cusco for at least 3 days before trekking.  
WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR TREK
What to bring: for your trek: The weather varies a lot in Peru, having 28 climates and 84 of the worlds 104 ecosystems. Cusco is set high up (3,380 mts, 11,089 ft) near the Andean Mountain Range and the dry season (winter) is from April/May to October/November with the wettest part of the year (summer) being January through March. Temperatures don’t vary too much between these seasons but the amount of precipitation does. If the sun is out it can be quite warm, but in the shade it gets cool fast. Temperatures change quickly and you will need layers as you hike during the day. At night it is quite cold in the mountains (usually near or below freezing) and most people will need long underwear and layers to sleep in, nice warm socks, gloves, and a hat. Everything you need for the day should be kept in your daypack that you carry because all the items you leave with your porter will not be available to you until the evening at the campsite. It is recommended not to hike in cotton or jeans in the event of rain as cotton takes a very long time to dry. It is also recommended to bring true hiking boots or trail running shoes as regular running shoes do not get very good traction especially when it has rained

  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
    • Recommend a sleeping bag rated for below freezing
  • Sleeping bag liner (for your sleeping bag if you wish)
  • Mattress pad – while we provide a mattress pad, being rested is essential for a great hiking experience and we find that sleep habits are very individualized. Therefore we recommend bringing your own pad that you know you are comfortable sleeping on, as well as any other sleep items you might want to have (camp pillow, etc).
  • Sunscreen: the sun is very strong in Cusco
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Hiking pants and shirts (layers)
  • Layers – long underwear and/or warm sleep pants for cold nights
  • Hand warmers if you wish
  • Warm hat, gloves, scarf and thick warm socks (or you can buy a traditional Peruvian hat and scarf – they are beautiful!)
  • Daypack and rain cover
  • Rain gear – rain jacket and rain pants (optional for the pants), can buy an inexpensive poncho before the trek
  • Cash for tipping porters, cooks, horsemen, guides, buying items along the trail, for in town, emergencies, etc. Note: Cash should be in perfect condition (ripped, damaged soles are NOT accepted anywhere in Peru)
  • Swim suit, flip flops, towel for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes if you wish to go
  • Sandals
  • Torch/flashlight/headlamp (and batteries)
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra snacks if you wish (beyond snacks provided by us)
    • E.g. if you have a favorite protein bar as Cusco does not sell items like this
  • First aid kit, including blister protection (though your guide will have one, you may wish to carry one of your own)
  • Personal medication and toiletries you might want
  • Camera, extra memory cards/film, batteries
  • Water bottle or water bladder to refill
  • Passport (must be valid 6 months past your travel dates for most countries)
  • Copies of passport (keep copies separate, give to travel friends to keep, etc)
  • Power adapter/converter
  • Travel lock(s) approved by TSA (or they cut them off – US only)
  • Tickets, itinerary, emergency contact information
  • Any medications you currently are taking or need/may need (see suggestions below)
  • Small quick-dry pak towels and/or wipes for a quick wipe down at the end of the day

What to bring: medications – medications are optional and depend on your specific needs

  • Antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI
  • Antibiotic for a severe bacterial infection
  • Medication for upset stomach/indigestion
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed
  • Cold/flu medication
  • General pain killer/fever reducer
  • Vaccinations – recommend bringing all boosters up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc)

View latest travel advisories and recommended vaccinations and medications for the regions you plan to visit. For Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu there are generally no vaccinations required. If you are going to the jungle or any other higher risk area you may need: yellow fever vaccine, medicine for malaria, typhoid vaccine, etc. Click here for updated info: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/peru.aspx NOTE: Please visit your doctor several weeks before your trip to discuss any health restrictions you may have, medications he/she might recommend for you personally, and to seek more information about any vaccinations or medications recommended for Peru (or any of your other destinations). Additionally: speak with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter and/or prescription medications alone or combined.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Itinerary is subject to change and Killa Expeditions is not responsible for loss of personal effects, interruption in your travels (from illness or other reason), or inclement weather/natural phenomena. Please see our disclosure agreement for further information. All trekkers will be required to sign an accident waiver form at time of departure and travel/medical insurance is highly recommended.

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