Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Lodge Trek

Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Lodge Trek

Alpine Ascent’s trek through the remote and pristine Cordillera Vilcanota provides an exclusive look at Peru’s Andes, in a fashion unlike the more well-known treks in Peru. This relatively new area offers an intimate and unique trek as we get to walk in near silence as we hike around Mount Ausangate, the country’s fifth highest peak. While on the trail, we pass few other people as we walk among hundreds of alpacas and llamas through glacier valleys, sparkling lagoons, and towering moraine walls. Take in panoramic views from high mountain passes and descend alongside glaciers and dramatic peaks to colorful valleys below.


  • An exclusive immersion into Andean culture and ancient traditions
  • Visit Machu Picchu in a unique way, entering through the Sun Gate like the Incas did on a one day version of the Inca Trail
  • Get beyond the typical tourist circuit into a spectacular little-known mountain range
  • Marvel at the colors of Rainbow Mountain at a time when there are less crowds
  • Trek through a biodiverse ecosystem home to several endemic species of flora and wildlife
  • Sleep in cozy high mountain lodges hosted by local Quechua communities
  • Connect with and learn from local communities and see their traditional ways of life
  • See virtually no other trekkers during the trek around Ausangate
  • Trek with llamas and their herders, a more traditional way to travel than with horses

We start our journey by taking our time getting acclimated to the high altitude while exploring nature and culture in the city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley. We will visit and interact with local communities, walk through ancient ruins and hike the final stretch of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, entering the great ruins of Machu Picchu through the famed Sun Gate. We see the impressive complex of Machu Picchu at a time of day when most tourists have left already, then return for a second day to explore both with a guide and on your own. By the time we start our 5 day trek around Ausangate, we are ready for the multiple high mountain passes over 16,000 ft.

Our carefully designed itinerary is uniquely offered by Alpine Ascents and is a top-quality trekking and lodging experience through one of the most beautiful regions of the Andes. Stay at some of the highest lodges in the world built and hosted by members of local Quechua communities. All four mountain lodges face impressive snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and the mighty Ausangate itself.

The pristine environment, dramatic landscapes and connection with the local people are not the only things that make this trip special. The wild remoteness also gives us a rare gift: a total lack of crowds. During our recent scouting trip, we hardly saw any other trekkers out there – a stark contrast to the very popular 4 Day Inca Trail.

About the lodges:

Our trek around Mount Ausangate features four beautiful eco-lodges.

We will enjoy cozy and inviting common areas with roaring fireplaces and freshly prepared dinners featuring local Peruvian dishes and produce. As we arrive to each lodge, we are warmly greeted with hot drinks, snacks, alpaca slippers, and a toasty fire. After hot showers and a candlelit dinner, we slumber in our comfortable beds piled high with down blankets.

This unique experience allows us the chance to truly unplug and immerse ourselves in the nature and culture of this enigmatic region. You won’t find any wifi or electricity on the trek, but the lodges are warm and our hosts warmer. We are treated like family everywhere we go – the hospitality is unparalleled.

It was awesome. Joe and little Joe were awesome.


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