This alternative route to the classical circuit around Mount Ausangate still offers the most spectacular views of this sacred Andean mountain before it deviates towards the impressive Sibinacocha Lagoon, leaving tourist crowds behind and entering an almost uninhabited area where you can truly commune with nature.
Level: Diffucult/ challenging with some high passes, you should be well acclimatized Duration: 7 Days / 6 nigths Departure Dates: any day with two people. Not available during the rainy season. (December through March) Acclimatisation: Minimum 3 days at altitude recommended Highlight: Ausangate mountain, Sibinacocha lagoon, remote mountain scenery, high mountain passes
We leave the city of Cusco in a private transport, in the direction of Tinki (3800m/12464ft). On the way we stop in Urcos, where we may visit a beautiful lake with the same name. We then go on to Cattca, where we can appreciate the region’s spectacular views and finally pass through Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name and only half an hour away from our destination. After an approximated of 6-hour drive, we arrive at Tinki, Tinki will be our first campsite and start the trek the next morning.
After breakfast, we will spend some time visiting the Tinki public school and will have the chance to meet the children of the neighboring communities that study at this place. Then We then leave Tinki and start a 2,5h walk towards Pacchanta (4100m/13448ft), where we stop for lunch. Pacchanta is a rural community that boasts some well-known hot springs where we can enjoy a nice dip, offering awesome views of Ausangate Mountain. In the afternoon we follow our trek through a slight climb up the Pacchanta valley, having the chance to spot llamas and alpacas, until we reach the beautiful Qomercocha lagoon where we set our camp and have dinner. Our campsite will be set in a spectacular spot with amazing views of Ausangate.
We leave Qomercocha lagoon around at 7.00 am and continue on towards the first mountain pass of our trek, the Abra Q´ampa at 5000m/16400ft, which we will reach after about 4h. then We will descend towards the Ticllaqocha Lagoons, a beautiful group of little turquoise lagoons next to which we have lunch. In the afternoon we continue our hike for an additional 2-3h until we reach Yanamayo where we set our camp in an impressive valley overlooked by the impressive Tres Picos.
We leave camp and start a gradual climb up toward Yanaqocha or “Black Lagoon” its name being due to the dark color of its waters. We will go over Yanaqocha mountain pass (5050m/16564ft) to then discover a surprisingly beautiful valley with an explosion of colored mountains, three spectacular lagoons and the presence of llamas and alpacas, which we will cross to head towards our next mountain pass (5100m/16728ft). From this point, an additional hour of hike leads us to Condor pass, our next campsite, located very close to the mountain pass of the same name which will be our challenge for the next day.
After breakfast, we continue on a gradual climb up the valley that takes us to the mountain pass Abra del Condor (5200m/17056ft) after an approximated two hour walk. We have spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range and the Sibinacocha Lagoon, our next milestone, where can see wild vicuñas. Immediately. we continue our hike for 3 hours, crossing another mountain pass on the way and then descending into the valley of the Sibinacocha Lagoon’s source. We will camp next to the lagoon and very close from its source. The lagoon boasts a wide bio-diversity, where we can see Andean Coots, “Huallatas” or Andean Geese as well as Andean Ducks from our camp.
Today, we depart early to walk along the shores of the Sibinacocha Lagoon for 3h until we reach the Yayamari community, (5500m/18040ft). We then continue accross a pampa where we will most probably see hundreds of llamas, alpacas and hopefully vicuñas, to then follow towards the Abra Ccascana at 5000m/16400ft, which will lead us to the lagoon of the same name, in where we will set our last camp and we may have the chance to spot ¨Huallatas¨ or Andean geese and maybe even flamingos.
After our breakfast, we leave Ccascara to walk for 3 and 30 minutes towards Phinaya. This is a small Andean community with a beautiful little church, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon, we meet our private transport that will drive us back to Cusco, where we expect to arrive after nightfall.