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Apu Ausangate Trek – Independent Hiker’s Guide

If you are a hiking newbie, the Apu Ausangate trek will prove to be challenging in the most remote hikes in the Cusco region. The tour is a high altitude hike in the Peruvian mountains where the average altitude is above 4000 m (the highest points being Arapa Pass at 4850m and Palomani Pass at 5265m).

Unlike Other Hikes in the Region

The Ausangate circuit is quite different from the other hikes in the region as it is not about exploring Inca ruins. Whether you choose a guided tour or an independent trek, your efforts would earn breathtaking scenic landscape views, snow peaks, colourful mountain lakes, glaciers, and the Rainbow Mountain– a real feast for nature lover’s eyes.

Ausangate Trek

If you are an adventurous soul, you can settle on this challenging hike around Cusco as an independent hiker. You would be exploring extraordinary off the beaten track on Ausangate Trek.

Indeed, 95% of the hikers you will come across on this trail would be part of a guided group. Although with the necessary gears and backpacking experience, you can hike independently with no issues.

Keep reading as we guide you through a trekking expedition on this trail if you have made up your mind to climb alone – surely, this is going to be such a thrilling hiking experience.

Overview of the Ausangate Trek

The circuit traverses four high altitude passes. It covers the total distance of 70 km, and you would require 4 to 5 days or 3-4 days, depending on your fitness level.

Ausangate trek requires good acclimatization, a fit body, and a light pack.

Apart from the above, the starting and finishing point for the trail is Tinqui, which is also its lowest point at 3800 m.

The best time to trek on this trail is the dry season, between May and October. And here if we talk about the nights, they are always chilly (going -5°C mostly), and the days, on the other hand, are clear.

Most of the climb is relatively gradual on this trek, and you can follow the trail quickly.

Note- Avoid acute mountain sickness issues trying slightly lower altitude treks like Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, or Lares Trek.

Ausangate Trek

Ausangate Trek Guide for Independent Trekkers

Before beginning the hiking spree, your previous day in Cusco should be restful with sound sleep. Do not walk too much; don’t exercise before trekking. 

1) Make sure you drink enough water while hiking. There are many creeks and rivers on the route, so it is recommended to bring a life straw bottle or water purifying tablets as many alpacas walk over the mountains, contaminating the free flowing water.

It will be a severe issue if you get sick at high altitude personal faces running stomach.

Locals in Peru and Bolivia prefer drinking a lot of Coca tea, which helps acclimatization. Borrow some from them.

Ausangate Trek

2) There are no lodges or established campsites with facilities. So, it is important to make sure that you are self-sufficient on this trail.

3) A good map or GPS navigation would prove to be a great asset on this trek. There is very limited or almost no cell phone reception in this area.

4) Your camping gear must be double-checked for reliability and suitable for low temperatures. As stated earlier, the night temperature can freeze you. Be prepared in advance.

5) You might find many tourists in the Rainbow mountain part. Rest, it is one of the less touristy hikes around Cusco. So beware, you won’t find much company on this trek.

6) Follow the Golden rule of trekking- Climb high, sleep low. Try to sleep at a lower altitude and does not go any higher if you skip acclimatization.

7) It is always recommended to have travel insurance that covers your period of the hike.

8) Your Trekking Packing List Should Include:-

  • A tent that should not leak or break in strong wind
  • A synthetic sleeping bag that dries quickly, lasts long, and is comfortably warm and lightweight. Couple it with an inflatable sleeping mattress.
Ausangate Trek

Final Words

An Independent hike on Ausangate trek is a much cheaper, flexible, and adventurous plan. Go for it, but proper acclimatization cannot be skipped ever.

About the author

Machu Picchu Tours is a unique local Tour Operator that runs small groups ideal for the young and young at heart!

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