Ausangate Trek Without Guide to Rainbow Mountain 4 to 7 Days

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Ausangate Trek | 0 comments

Ausangate trek without guide

Ausangate Trek Without Guide and survive the Andes in Peru. Want to hike the Ausangate Trek but don’t want to pay for a guide? Here’s how to do it yourself on a budget! This trek is one of the most popular in the Cusco region, and for good reason is recognized by lonely planes best botten trek in Peru– it offers amazing views of the rainbow-colored mountain, as well as beautiful crystal lakes and local Inca communities. Plus, what could be more fun than hiking with llamas by your side? Here’s how to make the trek without spending a lot of money

READ: When is The Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

Ausangate Trek Hightlight

If you’re looking for an adventure, and don’t mind a challenge, Ausangate Trek without a guide might be the perfect option for you. Here are some of the things to keep in mind:

  1. The trek can be done in 6 days but is much more difficult than the guided tour.
  2. It’s important to be properly acclimatized before starting the trek.
  3. The route is not always well-marked so navigation can be challenging.
  4. You’ll need to carry all your gear and food with you.
  5. There is no backup if something goes wrong.
  6. Try to Explore Cusco Day trips

Despite the challenges, completing the trek on your own is an unforgettable experience. If you’re up for the challenge, read on for more information on how to complete the Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain independently!

hike the andes of Peru ausangate trek without guide Team
Ausangate trek without guide Team – Solo Hikers

Ausangate Trekking Tour Cost

Are you looking for an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trekking experience in Peru? If so, the Ausangate Trek is definitely for you! This incredible trek takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in all of Peru, including Rainbow Mountain in Cusco Peru.

Here Are Some Things To Keep in Mind When Planning Your Ausangate Trek:

With Travel Agency

The cost of the trek will vary depending on whether you go with a guide or not. Expect to pay around US$680 if you go with a Travel company, which includes transport, food, and tents.

If you decide to do the trek independently, it is possible to do it very cheaply. The only expenses you will have are transport to get there and back, and food for the hike.

Hike Ausangate Trek Without Guide, Per Person

If you do it independently it’s very cheap especially if you have your camping gear; no paid accommodation, no big entrance fees, and the only expenses; are transport to get there and back (public bus) and food for the hike.

Transport  (bus Cusco – Tinqui – Cusco) – 30 Sol/US$6 return.

Shopping (food, gas) – 120 Sol/US$40.

Entrance fee – 15 Sol/US$5 at the exit from Tinqui there is a small kiosk where you pay the park entry fee, not sure what park but looked more or less official.

Gear rental (optional) – depending on what you’re going to rent it will cost you between 180 Sol/US$90 to 300 Sol/US$100. If you’re planning to do several hikes in Peru or South America we’d suggest bringing your gear if it’s only one or two hikes rather rent it there.

-The Ausangate Trek is challenging, so make sure you are prepared physically and mentally before undertaking it. However, the rewards are more than worth it!

Hiking Gear For Hiking in Peru Trek Without Guide

Trekking Gear List for Machu Picchu

The following list is designed for a guided trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Tour companies generally include food for meals, group cooking equipment, tents, and sleeping pads. Check with your company ahead of time to be sure you understand what gear is provided.

Included in this list are many of the Ten Essential Systems you should have on every backcountry trip: navigation; sun protection; insulation; illumination; first-aid supplies; fire; repair kit and tools; nutrition; hydration; emergency shelter. Essentials are omitted from the list below only because you cannot trek to Machu Picchu without utilizing a tour company that will be bringing those items.

There may be an overlap between equipment for travel and equipment for trekking. Keep this in mind when choosing quantities.


  • Airline tickets (confirmation and itinerary)
  • International health card (immunizations listed)
  • Valid passport (needed in many places, including Machu Picchu, where you get a souvenir stamp)

 Travel Equipment

  • Luggage
  • Luggage locks
  • Luggage tags
  • Travel wallet
  • Passport/money belt
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Travel plug adapters (A and B) and converters

Hiking Clothing For Ausangate Trek Without Guide

  • Wicking, quick-dry boxers or briefs
  • Wicking, quick-dry sports bra
  • Synthetic or wool T-shirt
  • Long-sleeve, travel-friendly shirt
  • Lightweight, travel-friendly pants
  • Casual shoes
  • Midweight wool or synthetic socks

Trekking Equipment For Ausangate Trek Without Guide

  • Day pack (21 – 35 liters; double check with your tour company)
  • Pack cover
  • Sleeping bag rated 15°F to 29°F (dependent upon season, forecast, and personal preference)
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • LED headlamp with extra batteries
  • Trekking poles (optional, but rubber tips are required)

Trekking Clothing for Ausangate Trek Without Guide

  • Wicking, quick-dry boxers or briefs
  • Wicking, quick-dry sports bra
  • Midweight long underwear bottoms
  • Midweight long underwear top
  • Synthetic short- and long-sleeve T-shirts
  • Midweight fleece or soft-shell jacket
  • Midweight down or synthetic jacket
  • Convertible hiking pants
  • Fleece pants
  • Lightweight waterproof/breathable rain jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof/breathable rainpants
  • Midweight fleece gloves or wool gloves
  • Midweight fleece/wool winter hat
  • Sun-shielding hat or cap
  • Swimsuit
  • Midweight wool or synthetic hiking socks
  • Liner socks (optional)
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana

Ausangate Trek Without Guidefor Personal Items

  • 1-liter water bottles (2)
  • 2-liter hydration reservoir (optional)
  • Watch with alarm (altimeter feature is optional)
  • Compass (optional on a guided trip)
  • Signaling whistle (optional)
  • Action camera (or regular camera; optional)
  • Spare camera battery and spare camera memory card
  • Camping pillow
  • Camp towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Pocket knife or multi-tool
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Eye shade (optional)
  • Earplugs (optional)
  • Journal andpen (optional)
  • Book or e-reader (optional)
  • Small binoculars (optional)
  • Cash in local currency (nuevos soles)
  • Large plastic garbage bags

Toiletries for Ausangate Trek Without Guide

  • Compact roll of toilet paper
  • Personal wipes/hygiene items
  • Washcloth
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush (travel size)
  • Toothpaste (travel size)
  • Dental floss
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
  • Lip balm (SPF 30 or higher)
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Skin lotion
  • Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Prescription medications for traveler’s diarrhea, altitude sickness, malaria


Guide companies generally provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinking water during your trek. You’ll want to add to this by bringing snacks, drink mixes, and energy foods. Check with your guide company to see what food is provided.

  • Energy bars
  • Energy gels
  • Electrolyte replacement drink mix
  • Snacks (cookies, GORP, Snickers, etc.)

How to Get to Ausangate (Tinqui) From Cusco?

The Ausangate Trek is one of the most popular treks near Cusco. It takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the area, including Rainbow Mountain definitely you can hike Ausangate Trek Without a Guide for 4 to 7 days.

– The trek starts in the small town of Tinqui (sometimes spelled Tinki), 100km from Cusco. It’s very easy to get here by public bus from Cusco.

– The bus leaves from Terminal Paradero Livitaca (easy to find on Google Maps), which is near Coliseo Cerrado, a modern stadium. The ticket costs 10 Sol/US$3, and the ride takes about 2.5 hours.

– Once you’re on the trek, you can expect to see some amazing scenery, including glaciers, lakes, and of course, Rainbow Mountain.

– The trek takes about 4 days to complete, and you can camp along the way or stay in one of the many available lodges.

– Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a first-timer, the Ausangate Trek is an amazing experience that you won’t want to miss!

Ausangate Trek Map

You can use this Ausangate Trek Map to help plan your hike through the Ausangate region. This map shows the main trails and attractions in the area, as well as some of the best camping spots.

6 Days Ausangate Trek Altitude And Itinerary

-The Ausangate Trek is a 6-day trekking itinerary that is quite demanding, requiring good physical condition and acclimatization.

-The whole route is above 4000m, with two passes over 5000m. So it is recommended to do one of the easier treks first, for example, Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain Trek 4 Days, Salkantay Trek 5 Days, or Choquequirao Trek 5 Days

-What is especially liked about the trek is that there were no tourists, actually no people at all, some days we met one or two local shepherds.

-Drinking water is not a problem once you have purification tablets or a Lifestraw, there are many lakes, rivers, and creeks.

-To prevent getting lost it is highly recommended to ask the way every person you meet and have GPS or an old-style compass. If you meet a group with a guide just follow them, it’ll make you’re wandering around much easier.

Day 1. Bus Cusco – Tinqui, walk Tinqui – Upis, 100km drive/7km walk

We will pick you up at 6 am and go by private van to the trailhead of our hike at the base of the majestic Mountain Ausangate. We will start the hike From Upis Pampa. You will hike through many remote villages with many stream crossings until you get to the Upis Campsite. Here we spend the night in our private Camping spot.

While you are exploring Our cook will prepare a delicious lunch. After eating, you have the option to hike to Upis Lake which takes 2 hours or you can take a bath in the hot spring all afternoon. At night you will have a chance to enjoy the first starry night, and you will remember it for life.

  • Distance: 7 km/ 4.34 miles.
  • Campsite elevation: 4400 m/ 14,450 ft.
  • Hiking time: 3 hours.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accommodation: Tents

Day 2: Upis – Puca Cocha

Upis (4100m) – Arapa pass (4850m) – Puca Cocha lake (4600m)

We will begin the day with a delicious breakfast served in your tents at 5 am. You will then hike up to Arapa Pass (4968m) with an English-speaking guide who will point out the local flora, fauna, and landmarks along the way. With Ausangate snow-capped on your left, you might also be lucky enough to spot condors, chinchillas, and vicuñas during the journey.

Later, we will find ourselves at Pucacocha surrounded by high mountains and unbelievable hanging glaciers. Tents inside the Mountain huts are going to be set up for us to change clothes, take a nap, and have our lunch and dinner prepared by our professional chef. In the afternoon, you have a chance to go down to the lakes or hike to the viewpoint of Pucacocha from where you will snap an amazing photo of Ausangate Mountain with all of its beautiful surrounding lakes.

  • Distance: 15 km.
  • Campsite elevation: 4600 m/ 15,100 ft
  • Hiking time: 7-8 hours.
  • Difficulty: moderate.
  • Accommodation: Camping in huts


  • Several turquoise color lakes; Puca Cocha, Japu Cocha
  • A couple of waterfalls
  • Hundreds of alpacas
  • Beautiful sunset from the campsite


  • Ascend to Arapa Pass from Upis – 700m up.
  • Descend to Puca Cocha lakes – 300m down.

Day 3: Puca Cocha – Ananta – Qeullacocha

Puca Cocha (4600m) – Puca Cocha Pass (5051m) – Ananta (4400m)

Puca Qocha Pass (5051) is our first stop today, and the very colorful mountains will surround you. In addition to having a spectacular view of Mount Ausangate, we’ll also see glacier lakes in vivid colors. We’ll enter the Red Mountain Valley next, which is an intact landscape with vibrant hues all around us. You might even see llamas eating grass close by as we approach the lunch spot! And once we’re there, you can enjoy lunch while taking in Rocky Mountains views at Ananta.”

After lunch, we’ll make our way up to Surini Pass at 15,090ft (4500m or 14,000 feet), where you’ll see Rainbow Mountain in the distance. But don’t get too excited – there’s still some walking! We’ll go downhill and circle the lake before making camp for the night. If you’re feeling energetic after all that hiking, you can head over to Rainbow Mountain for sunset.

  • Distance: 14km / 8.65 miles.
  • Campsite elevation: 4900 m/ 10,090 ft.
  • Hiking time: 7-8 hours.
  • Difficulty: difficult.
  • Accommodation: Camping in huts


  • Colorful mountains on the way to Puca Cocha Pass
  • Many viscachas and alpacas
  • View from the pass; Ausangate mountain, colorful Cocha lakes
  • Rainbow Mountain


  • Steep ascend from Puca Cocha campsite to the pass, 500m up
  • Long descent to Ananta campsite, 600m down

Day 4: Qeullacocha – Rainbow Mountain – Alqatari – Ausangate Lake

Ananta (4400m) – Ananta Pass (4500m) – Vinicunca valley (4300m) – Rainbow Mountain (5000m) – Vinicunca valley (4300m) – Ananta Pass (4500m) – Ananta (4400m) – Ausangate lake (4300m)

Today is the day you have been waiting for. We will wake you up at 6:00 am with coca tea delivered to your tent then you will hike for about 45 minutes until Rainbow Mountain. You will have time to explore the area and take pictures.

The trek will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your speed and the weather conditions. After enjoying Rainbow Mountain for about one hour, we’ll go to visit the Red Valley, which is another 1-hour round trip. Then we’ll hike down for 3 hours to Alqatari campsite where we have lunch and spend the night in our Campsite.

  • Distance: 14 km / 8.69 miles.
  • Campsite elevation: 4500 m / 14,790ft.
  • Hiking time: 5-6 hours.
  • Difficulty: moderate.
  • Accommodation: Camping Tents


  • Rainbow Mountain
  • Ausangate Mountain and Lake


  • Ascend to Ananta Pass from the campsite – 100m up
  • Ascend from the valley to Rainbow Mountain – 700m up
  • Descend from Rainbow Mountain to the valley – 700m down
  • Ascend from the valley to Ananta Pass – 200m up

Day 5: Alqatari – Lake Ausangate – Palomani Pass – Jutumpata

Ausangate lake (4300m) – Palomani Pass (5200m) – Jutumpata (4400m)

After a delicious breakfast, you will begin your ascent to Palomani Pass, the highest point of today’s hike. Along the way, you can expect to see stunning colorful lakes, lush green pampas, small villages, and friendly locals in traditional dress. Alpacas and llamas are also common sights in this part of the world!

After we arrive in Palomani and spend 3 hours there, we will see the red lake. The view of Vilcanota from this location is amazing before we hike down to Huchuy Pinaya where we will have lunch. Then, we will keep hiking for 2 more hours to reach Surapampa where we will camp for the night. Our campsite is located close to a rocky place full of viscachas sitting on top of the rocks.

  • Distance: 15 km (9.32 miles).
  • Campsite elevation: 4600 m/ 15,000 ft.
  • Hiking time: 6-7 hours.
  • Difficulty: difficult.
  • Accommodation: Camping in Tents.

Day 6: Surapamapa – 7 lakes of Ausangate – Pacchanta – Cusco

Jutumpata (4400m) – Qampa Pass (5000m) – Pacchanta village (4100m) – Tinqui (4000m)

We set our alarms early to return to Cusco today. 7 Lakes of Ausangate is too beautiful not to enjoy, and the scenery surrounding it is breathtaking. At least once in your life, you deserve the experience of jumping into one of these lakes to cool off.

The journey to the hot springs of Pacchanta will be our last chance to see the Ausangate mount from a close and new angle. Our guides’ purpose is to get us there so we can relax in the hot water and take in views of the mountain above. Today, after our last supper together, we say goodbye to our horsemen and chef and begin heading back to Cusco. We should arrive by 6:00 pm tonight.

  • Distance: 12 km.
  • Hiking time: 5-7 hours.
  • Difficulty: moderate/difficult


  • Ausangate Lake and Glacier
  • View from the top of Palomani Pass
  • Pink lake


  • Steep and very long ascend from Ausangate Lake to Palomani Pass – 900m up.
  • Steep descend from Palomani Pass into the valley – 800m down.


  • Colorful lakes
  • Beautiful green valley near Pacchanta


  • Steep ascent to Qampa Pass – 600m up
  • The long descent from Qampa Pass to the valley – 900m

Places To Stay In Cusco, Peru Hotels

Cusco is a beautiful city in Peru that is rich in culture and history. There are many great places to stay while visiting this amazing place. Here are some of the best places to stay in Cusco, Peru:1. The El Dorado Hotel – This hotel is located in the heart of Cusco and is within walking distance to many of the city’s attractions. The El Dorado Hotel offers comfortable accommodations and great service.

2. The Andean Lodge – The Andean Lodge is a great place to stay if you want to be close to nature. This lodge is located in the mountains outside of Cusco and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The lodge also has a variety of activities to keep you busy, such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

3. The Inkaterra La Casona – The Inkaterra La Casona is a luxury hotel located in the historic center of Cusco. This hotel offers luxurious accommodations and top-notch service. The hotel is also home to a spa, restaurant, and bar.

4. The Palacio del Inka – The Palacio del Inka is a luxury hotel located in the heart of Cusco. This hotel offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains. The Palacio del Inka also has a variety of upscale amenities, such as a spa, restaurant, and bar.

5. The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco – The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city. This hotel offers luxurious accommodations and stunning views of the surrounding area. The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco also has a variety of upscale amenities, such as a spa, restaurant, and bar.

These are just a few of the great places to stay while visiting Cusco, Peru. No matter what your budget or preferences are, you will be able to find a place to stay that meets your needs.

Guided Books

A helpful guidebook for a self-guided walk at Machu Picchu Trek would be The Machu Picchu Guidebook: A Self-Guided Tour by Alfredo Valencia Zegarra (in paper form) or Lonely Planet Peru (both in paper and Kindle versions).

If you’re interested in reading about the discovery of Machu Picchu, check out Lost City of the Incas. It’s available in both Kindle and paperback form.

Another fun read is Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams. This book tries to answer the question “What is Machu Picchu?”Purchase it on Kindle or as a paperback.

Looking to expand your literary horizons and read some works by local authors? Then we recommend picking up a copy of Death in the Andes by world-renowned Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa. The novel tells the story of mystical events that take place in the picturesque Andes mountains, not far from Cusco and Machu Picchu. Available in both Kindle and paperback formats.


There are many great places to hike in Cusco Without Guide, Peru. No matter what your budget or preferences are, you will be able to find a place to stay that meets your needs. Whether you want to be close to the action in the city or surrounded by nature in the mountains, there is a place for you. So start planning your trip to Cusco, Peru today!


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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde Licensed Tour Guide in Peru, owner of Tour Leaders Peru and Travel Advisor. My other side job is a Digital Nomad. I share my amazing travel experiences, stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!


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