7 Days 6 Nights
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).
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, 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 they changed to 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 future years Due to COVID19 – current capacity in Machu Picchu is has been varying based on outbreak numbers. Expect reduced capacity in 2021, extra hike closures, and difficulty obtaining time slots – we recommend booking early
A minimum of 2 trekkers required for this trek. Maximum of 10 trekkers in a group. 6-10 trekkers: 1400 USD per person 3-5 trekkers: 1450 USD per person 2 trekkers: 1600 USD per person Private treks, single trekker, custom treks, large groups, and packages welcome! Please email us to customize!
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), although these may become subject to permits and charges in 2021. Further, all permitted hikes are subject to closure due to weather, erosion, pandemic/epidemic, etc. 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. Wayna Picchu Mtn Hike: most popular and well known. It is a slightly shorter hike than the other one and is the mountain you see in the famous shots of Machu Picchu. It is very steep and slippery in several spots. Some parts of the trail are extremely narrow stone steps/paths and in some areas there are only chains to hold onto. Other areas there are wooden ladders to ascend/descend over steep drops. From the top you can see the city from above on a clear day – and see how it was built in the shape of a Condor. This hike also has the Temple of the Moon if you choose to hike around the back to see this small ruin. This one takes about 50 minutes to hike up and 45 minutes down (not including time to explore at the top or Temple of the Moon). Machu Picchu Mtn Hike: this one is slightly longer and less steep than Wayna Picchu. It has stunning views of the ruin city, Urubamba river below, and snow-capped peaks in the distance. Fewer people do this hike so you’ll encounter fewer tourists. This one can take about an hour and ten minutes to hike up and about an hour back down. It is higher than the other mountain and has more areas on top where you can sit and relax.
Yes, we do cater to any dietary restriction. We have had many people join our trips who are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, and have various other intolerances and/or allergies. Just inform us well in advance of your specific needs!
Year-round, though the best weather is usually seen between March/April to November (or dry season). This tour is rated as easy to moderate as it involves gentle walking at each site. This is a great acclimatizing day tour as it is gentle walking at a lower altitude than Cusco. Please note if the weather is very poor the trail could be dangerous and we may have to cancel the trip and may be able to substitute another day hike or day tour instead, depending on the circumstances.
We take your health and that of our staff very seriously. We adhere to the recommended rules as outlined by the Peruvian Government, including border closures, trail closures, face-covering orders, quarantine orders, negative COVID19 test results, and the eventual need for proof of COVID19 vaccination. We have instituted a number of increased hygiene precautions for food preparation and treks/tours outlined below. Face coverings will be worn at all times by the guide/staff and are required of guests in towns and ruin sites and anywhere else it is mandated per Peruvian rules. Social distancing will be observed to the best of our ability, especially along the trail if you wish to remove face coverings while hiking. Increased hand hygiene will be practiced and temperatures checked daily. Anyone exhibiting COVID19 symptoms will need to self-quarantine. Machu Picchu has been declared a Safe Travels destination. In line with the good news that Peru is opening to a wider range of international visitors, we have updated our safety protocols to help keep you safe while you are travelling with us. Trips will take place in small groups (8 people per group, including guide), and according to the instructions we receive from the Ministry of Tourism. All of our transport will continue to be private services. Our guides, drivers, and representatives: Will wear masks and use antibacterial gel at all times Will be monitored continuously with temperature and symptom checks. If anyone has symptoms, they will be obliged to rest and recover, and substituted with other staff members We will ensure social distancing by: Keeping 1-meter distance between passengers when boarding vehicles. Restricting physical contact between our staff and customers. To add to your packing list: Cloth or medical face masks Face shields Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) Disinfectant wipes (at least 70% alcohol) for surfaces Digital thermometer We recommend the following steps to protect yourself and others when you travel: Always maintain a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) between you and others Avoid crowds Wear a face mask and a face shield Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth Cover coughs and sneezes Do not travel if you are feeling sick Disinfect your hands often. It’s especially important after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 30 seconds If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry With our updated protocol, we hope to offer you a safe stay without compromising on our excellent service. We will continue adapting our standards according to the recommendations of health experts. The Inca Trail 2D is open again as of Nov 2020 with a capacity of 150 people per day (down from 500). We do not have confirmation as yet for the Classic Inca Trail 4D but we will keep you posted. There are vulnerable communities along this trail and they are being closely monitored by the Peruvian Government. The minister has informed that only 675 people will be allowed inside Machu Picchu per day, which is 30% of its capacity pre-pandemic. Visitors will enter in groups of 8, with a tour guide, and will need to maintain a distance of 1.5-2 meters apart. Visitors will only be permitted entry when accompanied by a professional guide and have their tickets booked through a registered travel agent, such as Killa Expeditions. All of the above information is subject to change. Right now Peru has opened its borders to most countries but we recommend checking specifics for your country as these are updated regularly. Wishing you happy and safe travels! Blog Post: https://killaexpeditions.com/covid-19-travel-safety-protocols-with-killa-expeditions/
Deposit: The entire day hike cost will be charged to your card when you book the trip. 50% of this is non-refundable. Payment of Balance: The balance of the tour is due 60 days prior to departure and will be auto-debited via the booking software system on that date. If you wish to pay early, or use a different card to the one you have on file, you may do so by clicking on the reservation number in your confirmation email and entering the pin that was provided to you in the original confirmation email. If you wish to make other arrangements (e.g. pay cash in Cusco), please contact us. Please note if you book your trip within 60 days of departure, the balance of the trek will be auto-debited the next day. If you do not wish this to happen please contact us. Passport: For this trek we do NOT need a photo of your passport bio page. However, as this involves international travel, please note that each traveler is responsible for knowing the re-entry rules for their country of residence/citizenship. Some countries require 6 months of passport validity beyond the final date of travel. Please ensure that your passport is up to date and meets your country and residency requirements. Visa’s: Most countries are allowed to obtain a visa upon entry at immigration. Very few countries require a visa to be granted in advance. Please note that each traveler is responsible for finding out and obtaining a visa prior to entry if required. Please also note that tourist visas are for 90 days or less (typically) and you must show proof of return travel.
Please review our booking terms carefully. The minimum number of trekkers required for departure is 6 for the price quoted online. If the minimum is not met within 2 weeks of departure, Killa Expeditions reserves the right to offer the 1-2 paid trekkers the option of 1) paying the difference to take a private trek, 2) transferring their payment to another trek with more trekkers booked, or 3) cancel the trek and provide a full refund. Please contact us with questions. At the time of booking the entire day hike cost is charged. This is required to secure your spot on the tour and 50% is non-refundable. The balance of the trip (if any) is due within 60 days of departure Cancellations: Initial deposit is non-refundable. You may cancel your booking by notifying Killa Expeditions or Agent used and the applicable cancellation fees shall be determined based on when the request is received by Killa Expeditions or Agent. (a) Cancellation received 60 days or more before departure of the first Product to depart in relevant booking: 60% of the Product total shall be refunded to you (Inca Trail excepted where 25% of the Inca Trail product total shall be refunded to you). (b) Cancellation received 59-30 days before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: an amount equal to 25% of the total Product shall be refunded to you. (Inca Trail excepted where no refund is payable). (c) Cancellation less than 30 days before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: no refund shall be payable to you. Travel Medical Insurance: is required to depart on any trek (including emergency evacuation coverage and high altitude hiking). We also suggest travel interruption insurance in the event of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances that may arise. Killa Expeditions is not responsible for losses incurred due to any travel interruption (ex: weather/natural phenomena, missed/delayed/canceled flight, acts of war/terrorism, pandemics/epidemics, strikes, etc.), passport, visa, family emergency, or illness/medical issues. Please be advised that due to COVID19 pandemic and any subsequent variants – there may be border closures, quarantine measures, changes in entry requirements, etc. We will do our best to change your trek to a different date if issues arise that are outside of our control on our end. Please note you may also be required to show proof of a negative COVID19 test within 72 hours of departure and potentially a vaccination card once vaccines are widely available. As these terms change we will alert travelers to the new regulations. For Full Terms and Conditions please see the policy linked at the bottom of our website in the footer. It is also available to read during the checkout process. https://killaexpeditions.com/terms-conditions-peru/
Helping Local Children or Andean People (Optional) Along certain treks we may encounter some local children and Andean people. If you wish to lend a helping hand you may bring some clothes, toys, books and school equipment (used or new), toiletries and other essentials, and new/sealed medication for a variety of ailments. You will be rewarded with their gratitude and beautiful smiles. Please do not give candy or sweets as they do not have access to dental/medical care and tooth decay can lead to serious illness. For those who wish to help but take a trek that does not pass local people or villages you can leave your donated items with a Killa Expeditions representative and we will distribute them to one of the local communities that we support. You can also set up a day to visit a local community to donate your items personally! There are a variety of other ways in which to lend a helping hand to local communities (charity events, building schools, and much more). We support several local communities so if interested please get in touch!
ETHICAL, SUSTAINABLE, ECO-FRIENDLY Our mission is to provide exceptional treks, tours, and adventure trips with a strong commitment to environmentally responsible, sustainable, ethical, and socially conscious travel. During our trips, we make every effort to minimize negative impacts and maximize the benefits to the local people and natural environments we visit. We pay fair, livable wages, ensuring we hire and maintain the absolute best guides and support staff. We are committed to international sustainable tourism guidelines and have developed ongoing community projects and charity events supporting 4+ local Andean communities. EXCELLENCE We pride ourselves on providing 5 star service before, during, and after your trip. Killa Expeditions is dedicated to excellent customer service and adventure experiences. We have been awarded the 2017, 2018 & 2019 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence! QUALITY When trekking through rugged mountain terrain, at high altitudes, with unpredictable weather, it is essential to have the best equipment available. We provide Mountain Hardwear 4 season tents (3 season for Inca Trail due to warmer weather), extra thick mattress pads, dry bags for your overnight gear, and more, to ensure a safe and pleasant journey. NO HIDDEN COSTS Our treks and tours are truly 5 star and all inclusive. We do not charge extra to “upgrade” as we offer the best option included in the price already. There are no hidden meal costs, we are transparent about all inclusions, and best of all no booking fees! SMALL GROUPS Our groups average about 8 guests per departure, and are typically a mix of solo travellers, friends travelling together, and couples, all of varying ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Come prepared to make lots of new best friends. If you book a custom/private large group we provide 1 guide per 8 travelers, ensuring a small group feel and specialized attention. GOURMET Only the best, quality ingredients are selected from local farmers. Our chefs prepare a specially designed menu to maximize energy and facilitate acclimatization. And the dishes, a mix of traditional Peruvian cuisine and contemporary cuisines, are delicious too! And yes, we cater to any dietary need. PERSONALIZED We can customize any trek or tour to suit your travel, fitness, budget, and time preferences. Got a corporate or work shindig, charity group, or other major event you’d like to book a trek or tour for? Get in touch, we can arrange everything for you! LEAVE NO TRACE Our trips leave behind nothing but smiles and footprints, as it should be. REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE We love our planet, which is why we reduce, reuse and recycle. Our gear is reusable (no paper or plastic plates/cups/utensils), we buy local goods that do not come in paper/plastic wrapping, and we recycle everything we can. This is not the norm in Peru but we hope to help it become the norm one day soon! PASSIONATE All of our employees are passionate about what they do. Who wouldn’t be with majestic mountains and never-ending vistas as your office! We are proud to offer our guides and staff the highest wages. WE GIVE BACK We buy locally produced food, hire native tour guides, and book locally owned hotels and restaurants whenever possible. We hold numerous charity events throughout the year in various traditional Andean communities. Events often involve distributing food, drinks, daily essentials (such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, and more), toys for the children, shoes and clothes donated by many of our wonderful guests, and we are currently raising funds to finish building a school in the Willoc Community. Ask us about how you can help! For further information about us please see the following links: Equipment: learn about why we provide the best! https://www.killaexpeditions.com/our-equipment/ Our Team: meet some of our amazing guides! https://www.killaexpeditions.com/our-team/ Reviews – find us on Trip Advisor! Killa Expeditions Trip Advisor Page (Awarded 2017, 2018 & 2019 Certificate of Excellence)
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