The Cordillera Vilcanota is an impressive range of mountains which includes the highest glacier Ausangate (6,385m) and three others over 6000m. It’s an excellent trekking area offering travellers more than you could ask for, spectacular mountains and glacier scenery, snow-capped peaks, hot springs, turquoise lakes, glaciers, flora (most of the plants are medicinal used by locals) and fauna like Condors, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and chinchilas. Picturesque villages and traditionally dressed Indians. It is high, windy and cold so be prepared.
Day 1: Cusco – Tinki Pacchanta.
We leave the city of Cusco at 5.00am in our private bus , we drive along the Cusco – Puerto Maldonado paved road in the direction of Tinki village (3700 meters above sea level). On the way we stop at the Huacarpay (look out point) for some pictures of the colorful Ladscape. We then drive gradually up to reach Ccascca where we stop to have our breakfast, there is a magnificent view of the Ausangate glacier snow capped mountain, then we drive one hour and arrive at the trail head where we meet our arrieros and horses, after we prepare our day packs we begin the hike with an impressive view of snow capped mountains similar to Ausangate, Ccolquecruz, Caracol. We stop along on the way to have lunch with our porters and maybe some local kids. Afterwards we begin the hike, on the way we will meet some local people with traditional, colorful Inca clothes, we will also see traditional andean animals like Llamas and alpacas. Finally by 5.00 pm we reach our first campsite where our tents will be already set up by our porters. Before dinner we will visit the most famous natural hot springs called Pacchanta where you can relax and enjoy an amazing view of the evening sky.
Walk distance 12 km.
Altitude of the campsite 3950 meters above sea level
Day 2: Pacchanta Ccampa pass Ausangate camp.
After breakfast, we begin our hike slightly uphill for 4 hours to our lunch spot, on the way we will have many breathtaking views of the snow capped mountains beautiful lakes, one of them is called Ccomerccocha a green lake where in the month of August our andean healers have special rituals for the mountain god of Ausangate and for the mother earth, requesting to recieve the energy to cure the community with homeopathic andean medicine. By 1pm we reach a place called Puca mocco (red mountain) to have our lunch with a spectacular view of many huge snow capped peeks which makes your food that much more delicous. Afterwards we begin over our hike with the company of Vicuñas and condors, here you will really feel as a part of the andes because the snow caped surrounding mountains will be stunning like Catalina, Maria Huamantilca, Pucapunta and Ccolquecruz and the most famous Ausangate, finally we reach the first pass of our hike QAMPA 5000 meters high above sea level where we will make an offering of our coca leaves for the mountain god (apu), We also have a magnificent view from this point , then we start decending to reach our camp site at around 5pm here we will have happy hour and dinner.
Walk distance 16 km.
Altitude of the camp site 4100 meters above sea level
Day 3: Ausangate camp – Wayracmachay lake – Yanamayo camp.
After enjoying a very nutritional breakfast we will leave the camp site with a spectacular view of the valley, river and the waterfalls. It is also possible to observe some stunning mountains and some beautiful groups of small turquoise lakes, andean birds inhabit this area such as the Andean geese, Andean gull and some types of ducks. After hiking for about five hours we reach Pampaccawa ( panoramic look out point ) to enjoy our appetizing lunch with some Andean tea to help our digestion. Afterwards we have some time for fishing in a beautiful river. Then we will begin our hike along the magnificent llama valley, at this time hundreds of llamas, alpacas and sheep are taken back home through the mountains by the quechua farmers. Finally by approx 5.15pm we arrive to our charming campsite near to one the nicest waterfalls and overlooking the huge and awesome snow capped Picks, Colquecruz , Pucapunta and Puma mountains. After dinner we will organize a grand bomb fire which we can sit around and enjoy some hot wine, sangria and have a look the stars, the famous milky way and the southern cross.
Walk distance 15 km.
Altitude of the campsite 4.000 meters high above sea level.
Day 4: Yanamayo camp – Condor pass – Sivinacchocha lake .
This day we have to survive the highest pass of our trek, therefore we will be given a good breakfast by our porters. We begin our hike at 7.30 am with a gentle uphill walk for 2 hours on soft grass, by this time many animals such as lamas and alpacas have already been taken up here for grazing, if you like you might be able to pet some of them. We then have one hour to walk uphill on soft sand and snow where you can see many wild vicuñas, finally we reach the CONDOR pass 5.400 meters above sea level. Here you will have plenty of time to enjoy the amazing landscape scenery, you will be located higher than the other mountains. A great spot to take photos. Our porters will also provide magic hot coca tea, we will also leave some rocks and coca leaves as a payment for the mountains for taking us to the summit. During the Inca’s time, people used to leave rocks, jewels, or clothes for success to the mountains and to get nice weather. Afterwards we will carry on walking on the grassy and swampy trail with the company of hundreds of Lamas, Vicuñas and alpacas, after hilking we reach our lunch place next to a beautiful waterfall and near to the famous lake. After having a nice siesta we will begin our hike for 2 more hours to our campsite, along the way we will see some traditional houses, a lot of guinea pigs and hundreds of chinchillas. Finally, with spectacular views of glaciers in front of us, we will reach our camp place by 4.30pm.
Walk distance. 14 km.
Altitude of the campsite. 4.200 meters high above sea level.
Day 5 : Sivinacchocha lake – Vicuña mountain – Ccasccara lake.
You will be awoken with a traditional hot drink and you’ll be able to enjoy great views of the lake and the glacier from your tent. When you are ready we will enjoy a tasty breakfast then by 8.30 am we will begin our hike, this part of the walk until lunch time is very easy, we will walk by the banks of the most famous and the biggest lake called Sivinaccocha (ducks lake). Along the way we will make several stops in order to observe and recognize the several kind of local birds inhabiting this lake such as Andean goose and ducks. We may also be able to go fishing if the local people allowed us. Then we arrive to our lunch spot where our porters will serve us three course meal and have a short siesta. Then we will hike a gradually uphill for 2 hours to get to the vicuña mountain 5.350 meters high above sea level, the weather changes quickly from sunny day to chilly winds here so it is better to take our group photos when we descend gradually down. There are amazing views of the Andean Puna ecological level where local people farm some types of potatoes. We can also see some natural rock formations and just follow one nice stream down and reach our campsite by 4pm near to the lake Ccasccara (5000 meters above sea level) where we have a plenty of time to relax after our 5 day hike. Some local people will come over to our camp and invite us to go fishing or they might invite us to cook a fresh, clean fish for dinner. This is the best camp site along the way due to the lake and the glacier just if front of us which makes it a more enjoyable and magic area.
Walk distance 12 km
Altitude of the campsite 5000 meters above sea level
Day 6 : Ccasccara lake – Pinaya village.
Our wake up time will be at 7.30am when we can see a stunning sunrise. Once we are ready we will enjoy our breakfast then we visit a traditional family house to appreciate of their life style and see how the farmers live up here at 5000 meters high. We will see some mud brick and stone houses still with Incan style architectural. The family has guinea pig in their kitchen to eat. Most of them are large families with many kids who have problems with their education system due to the location of the village, for this reason we might take some presents like pens, pencils, notebooks to encourage them to study. Since they have hundreds of llamas, alpacas and sheep, their main economic activity is textiles. They make the original baby alpaca, hand made crafts using some natural flowers to get different colors. If you are interested in taking some memories home from the Andes this is the perfect place to buy crafts for a reasonable price. After we have spent time with the quechua speaking family and kids, we will keep going gradually down for 3 hours to reach our lunch place, along the way we will see for the last time some glacier mountains and nice valleys with a nice rivers and waterfalls, some red and green mountains which a long time ago was a glacier too but with a global warming it disappeared, here you will probably understand why the Andes is very important to us and why local people still practice the Inca customs, worshipping the sacred mother earth and the mountains. We will walk down gradually, we might see some more Andean fauna such us birds and llamas and then have the opportunity to take final photos with them. Finally by 3.30pm you will arrive at our last camp site of our trek in the little village Phinaya (4000 meters above sea level) where you have free time. We can organize some activities like playing a soccer game with the local kids or just resting in your tent.
Day 7 : Pinaya village- Cicuani – Cusco.
Today is the last day of our hike so we have to prepare our back packs. In the morning we organize extra walking up to the view point to see the village, or if you want you can just walk around the village and talk to the local people. We can also visit the school where you will see how the kids learn in the quechua language, you have an opportunity to give the kids some gifts you bought in Cusco. Later by 10.30 am we will have a small ceremony to say goodbye to our porters , then we will have the last lunch with your guide and porters. By 11.00 am your bus will leave and it will take about 4 hours on a non paved road to Cicuani, then yourself and all the porters and guides will take another bus to Cusco which will take 3 more hours so you will arrive in Cusco by 7 pm where we will take you back to your hotel.
- Information from your guide the night before your departure.
- Pick up from your hotel on your departure.
- Private transportation with a nice views to Tinki ( trail head )
- The first breakfast on the way, at the beginning of the trek.
- English speaking tour guide.
- One professional chef who will prepare delicious food.
- The chefs assistance and some porters.
- Horse men and their assistants.
- Horses to carry all hiking gear such as, tents, food, gas, your bags etc.
- One emergency horse in case you get tired or you want to try to ride.
- 4 man tents per pair (very comfortable)
- Three main course meals per day (very nutritional) including a happy hour every evening (tea time)
- Kitchen tent, dining tent, table, chairs and a gas lamp to enjoy the evenings.
- Boiled water is provided in the morning, at lunch time, tea time, and dinner time, there is even hot water to keep your bed warm.
- Extra warm water for washing proposes every meal time.
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Visit to traditional houses at Ccasccara camp.
- Bomb fire in some nights with hot wine sangria.
- Extra blankets during night time.
- Roll mattresses which are taken by our porters.
- Vegetarian/special diet options available
- 10 kl (20 pounds) of your stuff included in the price for that we provided to you a duffle bag the night before of your departure.
- A certificate that your survived the CONDOR pass with your guide signature.
- Some help for the local people and the kids.
- Local transportation to cicuani and back to Cusco.
- Sleeping bag (you can rent from the company $ 30 for entire trek -10 degrees)
- Walking stick (you can rent it from the company $ 12 each)
- Entrance to the hot spring 5 Soles.
- Extra drinks like beer
- Tips for your guide, chef, horse men and the porters are optional.
- Good day back pack.
- Copy of your passport.
- Good hiking gear like hiking boots, warm jackets, gloves, hat warm fleece and socks.
- Sleeping bag
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Hat and gloves
- WARM CLOTHES: LAYERS for variable temperatures specially at night.
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun protection cream
- Insect Repellent
- Re-usable plastic or metal water container or camel bags.
- Water (only for first 4 hours of trek, then we will provide you with drinking -previously boiled- water).
- Personal medication
- Camera and films
- Torch with spare batteries
- Walking stick.
- BATHING CLOTHES for the hot springs.
- EXTRA MONEY FOR SOUVENIRS, DRINKS & TIPS.