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Intro

Ausangate and the Rainbow Mountain 8 Days 7 Nights Group Service 3-star Hotels Included min requirement 4 pax

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To the south-west of Cusco, the Cordillera de Vilcanota stands as the last barrier between the Inca Empire and the great Amazonian forests. The Ausangate, omnipresent from the top of its 6372m, is the unmistakable lord of the massif: we skirt it from west to east, passing at the foot of its magnificent south face … We begin the crossing of the huge massif composed of Pico Tres (6093m), Chumpe (6106m) … the wild and mineral knot of Vilcanota. At the end, the site of Vinicunca and its rainbow of colored rocks.

Itinerary

Most of the country, including all coastal areas, enjoys a so-called Mediterranean climate, almost identical to much of California. Summers are hot and dry with a 7-month period of near-constant sunshine generally from April until November.

Day 1 – CUSCO – 4 RUINS

cusco-plaza de armasIt is the morning that you gain height and join the 4 ruins overlooking the city. The fortress of Sacsaywaman and its ramparts built with massive blocks of stone offer you a grand view of Cusco. Not far from there the Inca sanctuary of Qenqo, the Puqa puqara fort and the Tambomachay water temple reveal to you some of the Inca rites and the organization of life at that time. End of the day off.

Level of Difficulty:   Easy
Accompanied by:   Local English-speaking guide
Meals:   Lunch
Transportation:   Private van.

Day 2 – CUSCO – CHINCHERO – OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES

Ollantayambo - CuscoOn the way to Machu Picchu! Tonight we will reach the village of Aguas Calientes located a few kilometers from the lost city. We will leave this morning to visit several sites of the Sacred Valley of the Incas with our local guide. We will visit Chinchero, a charming village with cobbled streets, Inca ruins and colonial church. We will continue with the visit of the Inca agronomic observatory of Moray and the multicolored saline of Maras. In Ollantaytambo we will discover an imposing Inca fortress. We will understand better how the Incas worked the huge blocks of stones, since the site was not finished yet at the time of the Spanish conquest. After your visit of Ollantaytambo will take your board the Expedition train departing at 15:20 that will take you to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival you will have the evening free to explore Aguas Calientes on your own. You will spend the night in a Hotel.

Level of Difficulty:   Easy
Accompanied by:   Local English-speaking guide
Meals:   Breakfast, lunch and dinner    
Transportation:   Private van.
Lodging:   Hotel 3 star / Included

Day 3 – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Cusco - MachupicchuAfter an early breakfast, a Shuttlebus will take you to the Machu Picchu archeological site, where you immediately begin a 2.5-hour guided tour of the entire Incan outpost.After the guided tour, you can explore the remainder of the citadel on your own and enjoy your time at this world’s spiritual center with its carved stairways made of stone. You should take your time and enjoy the pure delight of the moment.  

Additional hikes need to be booked 3 to 5 months in advance as these depend on availability! these hikes need to be paid for in advance at booking!

If chosen in advance you can climb (Huayna Picchu ($75US per person)) or (Machu Picchu Mountain ($75US per person)) to appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu and the valleys below from a higher viewpoint. 

Other activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the local museum or to the hot springs on your own. (entrance fees required and time permitting)

After your visit, you will descend to Aguas Calientes have a leisurely lunch on your own, and later board the Expedition train which departs at 4:22 pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo train station where our driver will be waiting for you for your return trip to Cusco. You will be back in Cusco by 20:30 approximately depending on traffic.

Accompanied by:   Local English-speaking guide
Level of Difficulty:   Easy
Meals:   Breakfast
Transportation:    Shuttlebus, train, private van

Day 4 – CUSCO – TINKI – UPIS

UpisDeparture by private bus to the southeast of the city. Stop in the city of Urcos. It is the capital of the Vilcanota Cordillera Province. Our route goes up to the Pilluyo pass from which we can already appreciate «Apu Ausangate», guardian of the city of Cusco and all the villages of the region. We arrive at Ocongate then we continue to finally arrive at Tinqui (3900m). Meet with our team of muleteers («arrieros»). Beginning of our adventure. Camp facing Ausangate (6378m) in the village of Upis (4380m). Possibility of swimming in hot springs.

Maximum altitude:   4545 m / 
Minimum altitude:   3900 / 
Level of Difficulty:   Moderate 
Distance covered:   8km. / 
Approximate trekking time:   5 hrs.
Accompanied by:   Local English-speaking guide.    
Meals:   Breakfast, lunch and dinner   
Lodging:   Camping

Day 5 – UPIS – PUCACOCHA

upis-pacochaWe walk slowly through the valley before starting to climb along a scree edge of the moraine lake at the foot of the glacier. In this rocky chaos, we can observe the viscets playing between the stones or warming themselves in the sun. The climb continues until a first pass (4730m). Beaten by the winds, the reliefs of it take on the appearance of sand dunes overlooking the two sides of the valley. We descend to a series of lakes until Pucacoccha where we stop for the night.

Maximum altitude: 4730 m / 
Minimum altitude: 4500 / 
Level of Difficulty: Moderate 
Distance covered: 12km. / 
Approximate trekking time: 7 hrs.
Accompanied by: Local English-speaking guide.    
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner   
Lodging: Camping

Day 6 – PUCACOCHA – CAMP  VINICUNCA

camping-ausangateWe leave the camp to slowly climb towards the pass (4940m). Since this last we have an extraordinary view of the Ausangate that stands in our backs. We go down to the valley for lunch before crossing a second pass (4980m). In front of us lies the valley of Vinicunca. Everywhere, the slopes are tinged with red and ocher, due to the strong presence of iron oxide in the rock of the massif. We descend peacefully to the camp below in the valley. The bravest ones will be able to go to the Vinicunca Pass if they want to take pictures at sunset.

Maximum altitude:   4980 m / 
Minimum altitude:   4500 / 
Level of Difficulty:   Moderate 
Distance covered:   17km. / 
Approximate trekking time:   8 hrs.
Accompanied by:   Local English-speaking guide.    
Meals:   Breakfast, lunch and dinner   
Lodging:   Camping

Day 7 – CAMP  VINICUNCA – VINICUNCA (RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – UNUQORI

We leave the camp to reach the Vinicunca pass. Here the layers of clays produce a beautiful rainbow in the crest of the mountain, giving it an unreal aspect as the colors going from off-white to purple mix in a learned process (rainbow). We pass on the other side of the mountain and follow a line of ridges overlooking large valleys with equally colorful slopes where we can, with luck, see many vicuñas. Lunch is waiting for us at the locality of Anta Grande. Our path continues for another few kilometers to reach our camp at the edge of the Unuqori.

Maximum altitude: 5000 m / 
Minimum altitude:: 4500 / 
Level of Difficulty:: Moderate 
Distance covered: 16km. / 
Approximate trekking time: 8 hrs.
Accompanied by: Local English-speaking guide.    
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner   
Lodging: Camping

Day 8 – UNUQORI – PUNKU WIRI  – CUSCO

UnqoriAfter a short climb, we spend the day descending the great mineral valley of Punku Wiri where our vehicle awaits us to take us back to Cusco.
Maximum altitude: 4500/ 
Minimum altitude:: 3000 / 
Level of Difficulty:: Moderate 
Distance covered:: 10km. / 
Approximate trekking time:: 5 hrs.
Accompanied by:: Local English-speaking guide.    
Meals:: Breakfast, lunch 
Transportation:: Private van.

END OF OUR SERVICES

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Important Information

Price Includes

  • Entrances to the archeological sites 
  • Your entrance ticket into Machu Picchu
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Expedition train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (round trip)
  • Shuttlebus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip)
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • The logistics of the trek and of the campsites
  • Personal assistance.
  • Hotels 3 Nights / Accommodation (double or matrimonial room)

Price Excludes

  • Machu Picchu Mountain / optional
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain / optional
  • Upgrade to Vistadome: $55USD per person (Return only Aguas Calientes to Poroy (Cusco) at 4:43pm)
  • Breakfasts, lunches and Dinners which are not indicated in the program. (Figure on about $5 to $10 US per meal.) 
  • Tips for your guide

Rentals:

Rentals are for the whole trek! and can be paid for at the briefing in cash in USD.

  • Sleeping Bag $20 USD per person / made specifically for the climate of Lares trek 
  • Air Mattress $20 USD per person / moisture-proof and warm mattresses for a comfortable night
  • Walking Poles $15 USD a pair / Professional extendable poles for your hiking comfort
  • Personal tent $30 USD / necessary for single trekkers only!