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Ausangate Loop Trek
5 Days

Within the cosmo vision of the Quechua people, the Apu Ausangate is the most important and sacred mountain in the Cusco region

 
About the Trek

The Andes are one of the most extraordinary regions in the world for trekking and walking.  The highlands are dotted with over 15,000 lakes, mountains reaching over 22,000 feet.  The Andes of Peru has the world's deepest canyons, fertile valleys and stunning villages. The entire Andean chain offers unparalleled opportunities for outdoor activities surrounded by pristine nature and native Quechua cultures.

Within the Cosmo vision of the Incas, the Apu Ausangate is the most important and sacred mountain in the Cusco region. Ausangate is located to the south east of the city of Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire. This is a high altitude trek, demanding and will push our physical limits. We will cross-mountain passes that reach altitudes over 16,000 ft. above sea level. Our campsites will be at an altitude of over 14,000 ft. above sea level. The terrain is uneven, rocky and at time muddy. We will trek through some of the most spectacular and breathtaking views of the puna region, where the glaciers surround us in all directions. We walk on the shores of lakes, and Andean cameloids will accompany us on parts of our journey.

The predominant climate will be cold, with nights below 5ºC, and the temperature rising to approximately 20ºC during the day (our Eureka tents are 4 seasons and our sleeping bags from the same brand can handle temperatures as low as minus 10ºC). There is a cold wind during most of the day and the environment is cold and dry but also unpredictable, so we must be prepared for rain and snow. We will follow weather reports in the days leading up to the trip.

It is important to remember that this trek is classified as challenging, and so it is necessary to be in great physical condition, as well as having two days to acclimatise in the city of Cusco. This is Not a program for people looking to do a trek as a way to get in shape.


 
Day 1

Cusco – Tinki
Meet Mondo Verde Expeditions representative at the hotel lobby. Today we have a very early departure and drive on our private vehicle to the village of Tinki. Compared to previous years this is now a very easy drive. We will be driving on the newly built Inter-Oceanic highway and the trip will take approximately 3 hours. This drive will be your introduction to the high Andes and it’s magnificent scenery and culture.

Upon arrival in the village of Tinki, the starting point of our trek, gather our daypacks and get ready for the start of our trek. We depart from Tinki and begin walking south on a gentle pitch, with a magnificent view of the majestic snow-capped peak of Apu Ausangate. The scenery surrounding us is typical of the puna region, where the ichu (local wild grass) and most likely the wind will be our companions. We will reach the pampas of Upis, where we will advance towards the Apu Ausangate and set up our campsite at a advantageous location in order to enjoy the spectacular view.

Distance                                10 km / 6.21 ml
Minimum altitude                3778 masl / 12395 ft
Maximum altitude               4447 masl / 14589 ft
Approximate time                8 hr
Gradient                                moderate

Meals: lunch and dinner


 
Day 2

Upis – Abra Arapa – Ausangatecocha
Early in the morning your wakeup call will be accompanied by hot water bowl to wash, coffee and/or tea to enjoy in your tent. We will also be served a hearty breakfast before we start today’s trek. We begin our trek uphill accompanied by Ausangate on one side and extraordinary geographical features all around us. When we reach the abra (high-mountain pass) Arapa we will have a magnificent view of this mountain chain. Crossing the pass, we walk towards Sonccococha, Pukacocha, Ccomercochas, and beautiful high-Andean lakes.

We will stop for a well-deserved lunch and rest. After lunch, we will climb uphill briefly to cross the Ausangate pass and descend to our campsite on the beautiful Ausangatecocha.

Distance                                16 km / 9.94 ml
Minimum altitude                4447 masl / 14589 ft
Maximum altitude               4650 masl / 15255 ft
Approximate time                9 hr
Gradient                                challenging

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner


 
Day 3

Ausangatecocha – Abra Palomani – Hatunpampa
Once again we start the day with an early morning your wakeup call accompanied by hot water bowl to wash, coffee and/or tea to enjoy in your tent. We will also be served a hearty breakfast before we start today’s challenge trek. Our trek today will take us abra (pass) Palomani. It is a short but at high altitude uphill trek from our campsite to the highest pass of our trek. We will enjoy unique scenery from and altitude above 16,800 above sea level.

Our descent will take us to the settlement of Huchuy Phinaya where we will have lunch. After a short rest, we will continue our trek on a gentle gradient towards our campsite at Hatunpampa. We will enjoy the high altitude Andean “flatland” surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Dinner and overnight at our camp.

Distance                                16 km / 9.94 ml
Minimum altitude                4650 masl / 15255 ft
Maximum altitude               5125 masl / 16814 ft
Approximate time                9 hr
Gradient                                challenging

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner


 
Day 4

Hatunpampa – Abra Janca – Pacchanta
Another challenge today after our early morning routine. We trek up to the second high pass in our trek located at above 16,600 above sea level. It is called abra Janca. Beautiful Andean scenery. High mountains and high altitude pastoral land, which is ideal for the raising of cameloids. Traditional Quechua families tend to their herds in some of the most challenging conditions. Today we will enjoy spectacular views of the mountain range and in particular the snow-caped Colquecruz peak. We follow the path downhill to our lunch spot, and then continue on to the town of Pacchanta and its relaxing thermal baths. Without a doubt this is a superb way to end a hard day of trekking.

Distance                                14 km / 8.69 ml
Minimum altitude                4300 masl / 14107 ft
Maximum altitude               5070 masl / 16633 ft
Approximate time                8 hr
Gradient                                challenging

 Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner


 
Day 5

Pacchanta – Tinki - Cusco
We return to the town of Tinki where we enjoy a delicious Pachamanca, an Andean way of cooking. After a typical Andean lunch, we take our transport back to the city of Cusco, where we will have a transfer back to our respective hotels. End of our services.

Distance                                10 km / 6.21 ml
Minimum altitude                3778 masl / 12395 ft
Maximum altitude               4300 masl / 14107 ft
Approximate time                5 hr
Gradient                                moderate

Meals: breakfast and lunch


 
What you need
  • Water-resistant trekking shoes and sandals
  • Warm clothing (thermal underwear, fleece, hat, gloves, socks)
  • Waterproof clothing (poncho)
  • Synthetic or cotton clothing (socks, trousers, shorts, t-shirts)
  • Sunhat and sunglasses

 
Included
  • Private transportation Cusco - Tinki
  • Guide service in Spanish/ English
  • Sleeping bag per person (-10 ºC - Eureka - Cimarron - mummy form, our sleeping bags are cleaned after every use)
  • Sleeping liner
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable sleeping pad (Therm A Rest)
  • Cook and assistant
  • Cooking equipment
  • Snacks
  • Daily tea service
  • Dining equipment including chairs and tables (Travel Chair)
  • Cooking, eating and bathroom (The Pett) tents
  • Portable environmental toilet (The Pett)
  • Food (4 breakfast, 5 lunch, 4 dinner) - nutritionally balanced menu
  • Vegetarian menu at no extra cost
  • Two person tents (3-people capacity tent used as doubles - Eureka - K2 XT - 4 seasons)
  • Single tents available for extra cost
  • Mule-handlers
  • Mules
  • Saddled horse (for every 6 passengers there is one saddled horse)
  • One Mondo Verde Expeditions kit of 100% biodegradable products (toiletries)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • Mondo Verde Expeditions water resistant duffel bag for carrying personal stuff (on loan)
  • Pre departure briefing
  • Private transportation Tinki - Cusco

 
Not Included
  • Not mentioned meals
  • Extra expenses
  • Optional tips for field staff
  • Evacuation expenses

 


 
Basics

Pricing upon request

No fixed departure dates. You choose when you want to go. There can be just two of you or a group of friend. You can also plan it as a family vacation. Private guide and services throughout the program. We are flexible and able to make adjustments to the program in order for us to meet all your needs and expectations.


 
Hard

It is important to remember that this trek is classified as challenging, and so it is necessary to be in great physical condition, as well as having two days to acclimatise in the city of Cusco. This is Not a program for people looking to do a trek as a way to get in shape.


 
Predeparture

Activity level
All participants must be in excellent physical condition and be well coordinated. This is a challenging trek. Journey requires hiking long hours at high altitude. Trails are uneven, steep and slippery when wet. The archaeological sites are exposed to the elements; the steep steps do not have railings and steps are not uniform in size.

Travelers with health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and weight problems should consult their physician before traveling. It is very important and your responsibility to provide us with accurate information in order to make available to you proper advice. The length of walking activities may fluctuate from 4 hour to 7-hour walks according to distance and personal pace. Always ask your guide before departure what to expect.

Before you depart for an extended vacation, you should consult your physician. Make the doctor’s appointment no less then 8 week before departure. You will need some prescriptions, inoculations and perhaps some special advice that relates to your own physical condition.

If you have any special conditions or allergy that might require attention overseas, have your physician write a letter describing the nature of the condition and the treatment. Carry the letter with you. You should be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip.

Important: Be sure to bring enough of the prescription medication that you are currently taking. When you pack, make certain that you have ALL your medication in your carry-on luggage. NEVER pack any of your medications in your checked luggage.

Altitude
Travelers to the Andean region of Peru, including the Sacred Valley, the Salkantay trek, Cusco and Machu Picchu need to take common sense measures in regards to altitude acclimatization. Cusco is located at about 11,300 feet above sea level. Machu Picchu is located at above 8,600 feet above sea level. Visitors are encouraged to limit exertion for the first few hours and maintain themselves adequately hydrated. Avoid all alcoholic beverages at least for the first 24 hours. Coca tea is available at all hotels and assists in the acclimatization process. Individuals with coronary or other health problems should consult their physician before deciding to travel to Cusco and other high altitude locations.

High Altitude Medication: If you have issues with altitude or suffer from high blood pressure, ask your doctor about the use of high altitude medicine. Diamox is the most popular and tested drug for altitude sickness prevention and treatment. Increases the amount of bicarbonate excreted in the urine, making the blood more acidic. Acidifying the blood drives the ventilation, which is the cornerstone of acclimatization.

For more information on medical considerations please contact the:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

http://www.cdc.gov/travel/tropsam.htm

It is vital that persons with medical problems or special diet requirements make them known to us well before departure so that land operators are properly informed.

Climate
The climate in Peru is generally divided into two seasons. The dry season and the rainy season. Because of resent unpredictable weather conditions everywhere in the world predicting is very unpredictable. We highly recommend that our clients visit a weather website to get the latest weather information before departure.

http://weather.yahoo.com/regional/PEXX.html

Andean Region:
In the mountain regions of Peru the dry season is from May to September. The days are for the most part clear and sunny and the chances of rain are minimal.

From October to April the weather is less predictable since it is the rainy season. Normally the sun shines in the morning and rains late in the afternoon. The average day temperatures in the Andean region are between mid 60s and low 70s and nights in the low 40s with occasional freezing at high altitudes.

Cloud Forest – Machu Picchu:
Machu Picchu is located at 2,020 meters above sea level (6,627 feet) at a lower altitude than Cusco in a pleasant cloud forest region with a subtropical highland climate: warm and humid. Orchid season is from November to April and dry season is from May to October. The temperature during the day is typically 18°C (64°F) with a small drop at night.

Dry Season:               May – October
Orchid Season:         November – April
Annual Rainfall:        400 - 1000 mm/ 16 - 39 inches
Temp. Range:            8 - 22 °C/ 47 - 74 °F
Average Tem:           18 °C / 64 °F

Luggage
During your Peruvian flights you will be allowed to check-in 25 kilosand your carry-on bag have to meet international standards for size and weight. If you travel business class you are allowed 30 kilos and one carry-on.

Clothing
When packing please considers the use of quick drying, lightweight, active wear clothing.   Casual wash and wear clothing is most appropriate during your journey. Rain gear is useful for brief showers. For evenings in the city, dress as formal or as casual as you like. Light/heavy long-sleeve shirts/blouses and sweater and well-insulated windbreaker is necessary for cool nights in the highlands and even the jungle. Avoid packing cotton clothing. Wet cotton does not wick water away from your skin. Also when cotton gets wet, it ceases to insulate your body from the cold.

What to Bring Checklist

Gear

  • Waterproof rain poncho.
  • Long & short sleeved shirts / T-shirts.
  • Pile pull-over or jacket.
  • Well-insulated gore-tex windbreaker or jacket.
  • Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes.
  • Flip-flops or sandals.
  • Socks.
  • Long pants.
  • Wide brimmed cloth hat / bandana.
  • Gloves / mitts.
  • Sunglasses (UV protection type).
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses if necessary.
  • Eyeglass straps.
  • Insect repellent & sunscreen.
  • Hand sanitation cream or towels.
  • Canteen or small water bottle, plus personal toiletries and medicines.
  • Daypack.
  • Powerful flashlight and a headlamp. Highly recommend the use of a headlamp so your hands are free during activities.
  • Binoculars.
  • Camera with flash and extra batteries. Plenty of extra film if you are not using digital technology or memory cards.

Travel hardware

  • Camera screwdriver set & epoxy glue.
  • Swiss army knife & sewing kit with scissors.
  • Travel alarm clock & plastic adhesive tape.
  • Extra camera & flashlight batteries.
  • Duck tape

Optional

  • Extra duffel bag I you plan to do some purchases.
  • Notebook & reading material.

Included during the Ausangate Loop

  • Private tourist transportation Cuzco - Tinki
  • Guide service in Spanish/ English
  • Sleeping bag per person (-10 ºC - Eureka - Cimarron - mummy form, our sleeping bags are cleaned after every use)
  • Sleeping liner
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable sleeping pad (Therm A Rest)
  • Cook and assistant
  • Cooking equipment
  • Snacks
  • Daily tea service
  • Dining equipment including chairs and tables (Travel Chair)
  • Cooking, eating and bathroom (The Pett) tents
  • Portable enviromental toilet (The Pett)
  • Food (5 breakfast, 6 lunch, 5 dinner) - nutritionally balanced menu
  • Vegetarian menu at no extra cost
  • Two person tents (3-people capacity tent used as doubles - Eureka - K2 XT - 4 seasons)
  • Single tents available for extra cost
  • Mule-handlers
  • Mules
  • Saddled horse (for every 6 passengers there is one saddled horse)
  • One Pachatusantrek kit of 100% biodegradable products (toiletries)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • Pachatusantrek water resistant duffel bag for carrying personal stuff (on loan)
  • Pre departure briefing
  • Private tourist transportation Tinki - Cusco

Not Included during the Ausangate Loop

  • Extra food
  • Optional tip for field staff
  • Extra costs not related to the agreed program
  • Evacuation costs. We highly recommend participants purchase travel insurance

Tipping Guidelines
The staff involved in your trip to Peru is well paid, but if you consider that they deserve a special recognition for their services, they will warmly accept a tip.

Although not mandatory, tipping in Peru has turned to be an extended practice. Tipping in dollars is the easies way to go about it. There are some standards that may give you an idea of what are the general uses:

Cusco/Machu Picchu/Ausangate Loop

  • Restaurants: Average 10% -15%
  • Bag carriers: Average US$ 1.00 per bag
  • Drivers: US$2 – 3 per day, person
  • Guide: US$7 – 12 per day, per person
  • Assistant guide: US$5 – 6 per day, per person
  • Mule Handlers: US$ 3-4 per day, per perso

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