While the whole Ausangate (pronounced Ow-saan-gah-tay) Trek package to Machu Picchu is 6 days/5 nights, technically the “Ausangate” portion is only the first 4 days of the overall experience.
Over the 4 days hiking and 3 nights camping, you will start by traveling 3 hours south of Cusco by car to the trailhead. From there, the hike takes you around a portion of the Ausangate peak and glacier – the 2nd tallest mountain in Peru and the highest mountain in Cusco. Along the way, you’ll see pristine glacial lakes, rural villages where farmers are still practicing the traditions of Incan times, and the biggest draw of the region, rainbow mountains and the red valley.
While the trail itself is not rough terrain, not many people choose to hike here due to the high altitude, so you will have the trail and views mostly to yourself as a reward for taking it on. The trek ends with an early morning arrival at Rainbow Mountain so you can enjoy it before all the crowds arrive from Cusco with day trip passengers.
To round out the package, we continue on to the Sacred Valley and the tail end of the classic Inca Trail so you can hike into Machu Picchu the way the Incan people did. You will return to Machu Picchu the next day for a longer tour and the opportunity to tell all your friends you visited Machu Picchu twice. This trek is an adventurer’s best option to see all of Cusco’s big landscapes and cultural treasures in under one week.