HomeHikingAusangate Circuit: Unbiased Hiker's Information

Ausangate Circuit: Unbiased Hiker’s Information

The Ausangate Circuit is a basic Andean trek that options glaciers, scorching springs, turquoise lakes, and traverses 4 excessive altitude passes. Even if it boasts among the best mountain surroundings in Peru, it receives solely a fraction of the foot site visitors seen on the area’s extra well-known hikes, the Inca Path and Salkantay Trek. I hiked the Ausangate Circuit with Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva in early August 2017. 

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Ryan “Dirtmonger/DM” Sylva approaching Campo Go (5068m).

At a Look

Distance:  70 km (43.5 miles) – Not together with facet journeys.

Avg. Time:  5 days.

  • That’s the usual period of time taken by guided teams. In case you are match, acclimatized and carrying a light-weight pack, there aren’t any huge points with doing the hike in three or 4 days.

Begin & End:  Tinqui

  • As of 2017, just about all organized teams begin at Upis, which is now accessible by dust highway and cuts off round 12 km from the general distance. We determined to start our hike on the conventional trailhead of Tinqui, and hiked from there to Upis through a mixture of path, dust roads and cross-country.
map ausangate

Overview map of the circuit.

Highest Level: Palomani Go 5165 m (16,946 ft)

Lowest Level: Tinqui 3800 m (12, 467 ft)

SeasonPotential all 12 months, although the dry season between Could and October is right. Throughout this era nights could be chilly (-5°C is widespread), however days are usually clear.

Problem:  Average to Difficult. For probably the most half, the climbs are pretty gradual, and the path is straightforward to comply with. That stated, just about all of this trek is above 4500 m (14,764 ft). That is one hike for which it would be best to be properly and really acclimatized beforehand (see under).

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Yama Mountain Gear Cirriform & MLD SoloMid | Campsite Day 1 | Not too removed from Laguna Jatan Pucacocha.

Getting There & Away:

  • Cusco to Tinqui – There are every day buses with Transportes Siwar (Av. Tito Condemayta 1613 – Located behind the Coliseo Cerrado)  from Cusco to Tinqui. They depart early morning, take round three hours, and the price is just 9 Peruvian Soles (round US$3) as of August 2017. The bus will drop you off on the Tinqui plaza, from the place you can begin your hike. To return to Cusco, your finest probability of getting a direct bus is by arriving in Tinqui by 730 / 8 am.
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Llamas, hikers and ominous-looking clouds.

Guidebook / Maps / Common Data:

  • Guidebooks: The latest choice is Alexander Stewart’s, The Inca Path (2013), which accommodates trekking notes and a primary map for the Ausangate Circuit (in addition to different hikes within the area). I’ve not seen this e book in particular person, however for what it’s value, the evaluations on Amazon appear optimistic. Older titles that embrace the Ausangate embrace: Lonely Planet, Trekking in Peru (2008) and Lonely Planet, Trekking within the Central Andes (2003).
  • Topo MapsIn case you are on the lookout for one thing a bit of extra detailed, you may choose up the IGN 1:100,000 Ocongate (sheet 28-t) on-line at Omnimap.com (very expensive). Alternatively, you may be capable to discover a copy on the South American Explorer’s Membership in Cusco.
  • GPS: See AllTrails or  Wikiloc.com for GPS data for the entire circuit.
  • Helpful Web sitesBesthike.com accommodates an outline of the circuit, hyperlinks to a number of journey experiences, and many useful suggestions when you choose to go together with a trekking company.
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A superb wanting llama by any standards | Laguna Caycocha.

  • Permits & ChargesNo permits are wanted to hike the Ausangate Circuit, although hikers do must pay a ten sole (US$3) payment at a hole-in-the-wall kiosk on the sting of Tinqui. Ensure they offer you a receipt/ticket.
  • Meals:  There are a few primary shops in Tinqui, however you might be higher off bringing all provides from Cusco. As soon as you allow Tinqui, there may be nowhere to buy provides alongside the route.
  • Water: There may be loads of water out there all through the route, nevertheless, because of the prevalence of grazing animals (Ausangate is within the operating for being the Llama capital of Peru) it is strongly recommended that each one water needs to be handled.
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DM consuming within the views on high of Arapa Go (4757m)

  • Guided Vs Unbiased: Greater than 95% of hikers that deal with the Ausangate Circuit accomplish that as a part of a guided group. Nonetheless, you probably have the required gear – because of the increased elevations it’s colder than the Inca and Salkantay hikes – an inexpensive quantity of backpacking expertise, and are properly acclimatized (see under) there aren’t any points with doing the hike independently. If you happen to would favor to do a guided journey, as of 2017, you can be taking a look at round US$600 to $800. See Besthike.com for an inventory of really useful trekking companies.
  • Acclimatization: Whichever path you select to do the circuit, chances are high you can be tenting at over 4500m on the primary night time of the journey. You’ll subsequently stay over this altitude for all however the remaining kilometres again to Tinqui. To be able to keep away from potential points with AMS (Accute Mountain Illness), it’s good to be properly acclimatized earlier than beginning the trek. Tip: Along with a couple of days spent wandering across the regional hub of Cusco (3400m), attempt to do no less than one of many space’s barely decrease altitude treks such because the Inca Path, Salkantay Trek or Lares Trek. All of those hikes embrace passes over 4000m. For extra info, see Ideas for Excessive Altitude Mountain climbing.
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Yours really with the MLD Prophet at Campo Go (5068m).

Trekking Notes:

  • Terrain: With 4 excessive passes ranging between 4757m and 5165m, the Ausangate circuit is a topographical curler coaster. That stated, excluding a couple of brief stretches (the preliminary a part of the climb to Campo Go involves thoughts), the gradient isn’t steep.
  • Tenting: In between the passes could be discovered loads of nice tenting areas on the extensive valley flooring.
  • Fauna:  Along with the llamas talked about above, hikers may spot alpacas, vicunas, black-winged Andean geese, and in case you are fortunate, the unbelievable Andean condor. When taking a break on or close to rocky slopes, it’s a good suggestion to thoughts your meals, as there are many opportunistic viscachas (chinchillas) mendacity in look ahead to unsuspecting trekkers.
  • Scorching Springs: There are two scorching springs alongside the route, located close to the beginning and end of the stroll. Getting into a counter-clockwise path, the primary is twenty minutes previous the tiny village of Upis. The second could be discovered at Calachaca, from the place it’s a straightforward three-hour descent again to Tinqui.
  • Aspect Journey to Rainbow Mountain: It’s potential to increase the hike by a few days with a facet journey to one of many area’s hottest vacationer locations, the multi-coloured Rainbow Mountain. For particulars, see Trave2Walk – Ausangate & the Rainbow Mountains.
Ausangate 5 Early morning

Oversleeping on the circuit with Nevado Ausangate (6372 m) looming within the background.

Closing Ideas:

The Ausangate Circuit encapsulates plenty of what I like about mountain climbing within the Andes. Jagged snow-capped peaks, sweeping valleys, beautiful lakes, and the chance to look at the shepherding tradition up shut and private. Throw in some soothing scorching springs and the truth that the path stays comparatively uncrowded, and I’d need to say that that is one in every of my favorite treks in South America.


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