Ausangate Circuit Trek

Superb trekking in Peru`s rugged and remote Cordillera Vilcanota




From $2,420 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Avoid the crowds on this challenging Inca Trail alternative
  • Acclimatise in the historic Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Explore the colourful and vibrant town of Cusco
  • Visit the incomparable citadel of Machu Picchu

South of Cusco, the Vilcanota is one of the most impressive of Peru's mountain groups, with several 6000 metre peaks, including sacred Ausangate (6372m), the highest snowy mountain in the Cusco area. A high and wild trekking circuit winds its way through this rarely-visited range, following lovely alpine valleys which are home to traditional Quechua Indian herdsmen and some of Peru's most rare and spectacular wildlife, including vicunas and the majestic Andean condor. Traversing this pristine and beautiful region, we enjoy a series of wonderful lakeside camps and cross several 5000 metre passes, each providing far-reaching mountain views. Descending to the blissful hot springs at Pacchanta, we trek out via remote Laguna Singrenacocha, which provides a final 3 days of simply superlative walking. During our stay in this enchanting country, we also visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and spend time exploring colourful Cusco and trip to Peru would be complete with out a visit to the the breathtaking lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu. If you are looking for a remote and challenging alternative to the Inca trail trek then this is the holiday for you!

Is this holiday for you?

This trek offers a variety of underfoot conditions from the open meadows of the puna to slopes of boulders and scree. However, most of the walking is on fairly well-defined tracks. The trekking is mostly quite straightforward. We have allowed 1 night at 2800 metres, 2 nights at 3200 metres and a night at 3800 metres before we start trekking and this should provide useful acclimatisation for the group. You should be aware that any trekking at high altitude will make extra physical demands. The location, although only a few hours by road from Cusco, is relatively remote. The crossing of three high passes adds to the challenge of the walking. This trip is only suitable for fit and regular hillwalkers.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the airport in Cusco. A single-timed transfer from the Airport to the Sacred Valley is provided
  • Visit Ollantaytambo and explore the Sacred Valley. Drive to Cusco via Pisac.
  • A full day for sightseeing in the Inca capital, Cusco, including a visit to Sacsayhuaman.
  • Drive to Tinqui (3800m) in the Cordillera Vilcanota, the start point of the Ausangate Circuit Trek.
  • Trek across the open puna gradually gaining altitude to Upis (4400m), where there are hot springs.
  • Cross the Arapa Pass (4850m) and descend past 2 glacial lakes to Laguna Vinococha (4610m).
  • Two high passes today - Apuchata (4900m) and Palomani (5200m). Camp at Pampacancha (4510m).
  • Cross the Campa Pass (5050m). Traverse the south-west slopes of Ausangate to a meadow area.
  • Exploratory walk in the morning then trek downhil to the hot springs at Pachanta (4360m).
  • Trek over the remote highlands to stunning Laguna Armaccocha (4665m).
  • Trek via a high viewpoint at 4940m to Laguna Singrenacocha (4390m).
  • Trek out to the roadhead and transfer to Cusco.
  • A full day guided trip to Machu Picchu, taking the train from Ollantaytambo.
  • Departure day. Cusco Airport transfers are provided.
Sun 03 Jul - Sat 16 Jul Code AUS /01/16/ Adult$2,420 Status Available Book now
Sun 14 Aug - Sat 27 Aug Code AUS /02/16/ Adult$2,420 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 11 Sep - Sat 24 Sep Code AUS /03/16/ Adult$2,420 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Cusco, Peru. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Cusco airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers', and 'Flights' sections in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

Pricing notes

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • pass
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the airport in Cusco. A single-timed transfer from the Airport to the Sacred Valley is provided

    Upon arrival in Cusco (3326m), KE Land Only package services begin with a group transfer to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here we overnight in the picturesque traditional town of Ollaytaytambo (2800m). Spending our first night at the lower elevation of Ollantaytambo will also ease the acclimatisation process as we prepare for our trek up to 5000 metres

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Visit Ollantaytambo and explore the Sacred Valley. Drive to Cusco via Pisac.

    We start the day with an exploration of the village and the Inca Citadel of Ollantaytambo before we take the spectacular drive via Pisac to Cusco. En route we have stunning views of the Vilcabamba peaks, including Salkantay Este and Huayanay. At Pisac we make a stop to look round the artisan’s market. Arriving in Cusco we check into a colonial style hotel in the city.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • A full day for sightseeing in the Inca capital, Cusco, including a visit to Sacsayhuaman.

    A day for acclimatisation in Cusco. We begin with a relaxing walking tour of the city. Every small street or alley-way that we enter and every corner that we turn, brings another surprise, in the form of superbly constructed Inca walls or the rather more architecturally extravagant Spanish Colonial churches and palaces. The city, once capital of the extensive Inca Empire, has seen many changes since Pizarro took control of the city (with apparent ease) in 1535. The highlight of this tour is our visit to the impressive fortress citadel of Sacsayhuaman, which is set high above Cusco. The remaining stones here (some of the larger ones where used to build modern day Cusco) are 8.5m highest and weigh over 360 tonnes. Returning to Cusco town, the afternoon is free for further independent exploration.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • Drive to Tinqui (3800m) in the Cordillera Vilcanota, the start point of the Ausangate Circuit Trek.

    Today we will make the 3-hour drive to the start of our trek into the Cordillera Vilcanota. From Cusco, we drive first towards Puno, past the Wari site of Pikillacta and the old colonial towns of Andahualillas and Huaro. The road climbs steadily to a viewpoint where the Cordillera Vilcanota appears in the distance, with Ausangate and Colqe Cruz the dominant peaks. The drive takes us through a picturesque landscape and by way of several traditional villages including Urcos, Cattca and Ocangate. The small village of Tinqui is at an altitude of 3800 metres. Here, we meet our arrieros, the local Quechua Indian herdsmen and their mules and llamas which will be carrying our bags and equipment. We will set up camp at Tinqui and following lunch here we will make an afternoon hike to help with our acclimatisation.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek across the open puna gradually gaining altitude to Upis (4400m), where there are hot springs.

    We wake to the sounds of breakfast being prepared and the arrieros rounding up their animals. This is our introduction to camp life. After breakfast, we begin our trek around Ausangate, heading across the open puna or highland meadows and gradually gaining altitude. We may be lucky enough to see viscachas (the long tailed highland rabbit-like creature), condors and Andean foxes during today’s walk to Urpis which will take approximately 5 hours. We set up camp close to the hot springs of Urpis, where we can relax and take in the magnificent view of Ausangate at the end of the valley. After dinner the muleteers ask us to join a ‘Jaiway’ where we can all make an offering to the mountain God the ‘Apu’ for a safe passage around the mountain. Altitude at camp is 4400 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hrs trekking

  • Cross the Arapa Pass (4850m) and descend past 2 glacial lakes to Laguna Vinococha (4610m).

    Continuing up the valley towards Ausangate, we begin a steady climb of approximately 3 hours to the Arapa Pass (4850m). Beyond the pass, we descend to Laguna Uchuy Pucacocha, with its cascading waterfall and onwards to the turquoise Laguna Jatun Pucacocha, which lies at the foot of the western icefall of Ausangate. We will set up camp here and for those with energy to spare it is well worth climbing the small ridge north of the camp for views of Laguna Vinococha, so-named because it often looks like red wine, as a result of inflowing glacial sediments derived from the mountain’s red rock. The views of Ausangate are particularly close-up and spectacular. 6 hours trekking. Altitude: 4610m.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 hrs trekking

  • Two high passes today - Apuchata (4900m) and Palomani (5200m). Camp at Pampacancha (4510m).

    A lot of ascent today. After breakfast, we continue up the valley and make a steady climb of around 2 hours to the pass of Apuchata (4900m). The beautiful azure Laguna Ausangatecocha lies below and we descend to the lake before climbing to our third and highest pass of the circuit, the Palomani, at 5200 metres. From this pass, we descend steeply to the valley floor and to a small meadow camp, locally called Pampacancha, which is set amongst glacial moraines at an altitude of 4510 metres. Here, we are close to the basecamp for expeditions to Mount Ausangate (6372m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 hrs trekking

  • Cross the Campa Pass (5050m). Traverse the south-west slopes of Ausangate to a meadow area.

    Today we follow the valley down to a junction with the main Pitumarca Valley and then climb steadily to the small Laguna Ticllacocha. This is one of the best places to see vicunas, the rarest member of the llama family and also viscachas. The lake area is also rich in birdlife. We climb out of the broad green valley on slopes of red scree to the Campa Pass (5050m), the last on our circuit of Ausangate. The summit of the pass is adorned with small cairns which guard against evil intruders from the spirit world. We traverse the south-west slopes of the pass and begin a descent toward the valley, bejewelled with different coloured lakes. At a meadow area one hour below the pass we will set up our camp at an altitude of 4850 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 hours trekking

  • Exploratory walk in the morning then trek downhil to the hot springs at Pachanta (4360m).

    We will have an exploratory walk below Campa Peak in the morning. Group members who want some down time can relax in this beautiful spot or do some independent exploring in the environs of the camp. After an early lunch the continuation of our trekking route involves walking downhill for around 4 hours to our camp beside the welcome hot springs at Pachanta. (4360m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek over the remote highlands to stunning Laguna Armaccocha (4665m).

    After an early morning soak in the hot pool, we leave the village of Pachanta. It is a steady climb from camp heading eastwards over remote highlands to the picturesque Laguna Armaccocha. This beautiful mountain lake is situated at an altitude of 4665 metres beneath the snow-capped Nevado Collque Cruz Range. A simply stunning place to spend the night.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek via a high viewpoint at 4940m to Laguna Singrenacocha (4390m).

    After breakfast, we continue our trek towards the north-east, climbing a steep shoulder and crossing a pass to reach a fabulous lookout point at a height of 4940 metres. From this high point, we get commanding 360-degree views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. We also get our first view of the surreally beautiful turquoise lake of Singrenacocha. We will take a detour to see the mountain lakes of Mullucocha in their impressive amphitheatre setting, surrounded by stunning 6000-metre peaks, before continuing down to shores of lake Singrenacocha (4390m). This is one of the most scenic campsites of the trip.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek out to the roadhead and transfer to Cusco.

    This final short day of trekking will take us along the lakeshore to the river flowing out of the lake. We follow this river gently downhill to the trailhead at an altitude of 4230 metres where our bus will be waiting for us. We will have lunch here and say goodbye to our pack animals and some of the trek staff, before setting off on the drive back to Cusco where we will check in to our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • A full day guided trip to Machu Picchu, taking the train from Ollantaytambo.

    An early start as we make the 90min drive to Ollantaytambo and then the 90min train journey on to Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). Our guide will meet us on arrival and will escort us on the short bus journey up to the main site for a full guided tour; we will also have some time to explore the site by ourselves. In the afternoon we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo and drive back to Cusco. On this final night of the trip, most people will want go out into the city to find a pleasant restaurant for a celebratory dinner. The local guide will assist with the choice of restaurants and with group reservations if that is required.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • Departure day. Cusco Airport transfers are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. A complimentary group transfer to the airport is provided. If you wish to extend your stay in Cusco, it is possible to arrange extra night(s) at the group hotel. Please see the extensions section of the trip page on our website for details and prices of all options including visits to Lake Titicaca and the Amazon Rainforest.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English speaking local leader
  • Cusco Airport transfers
  • Machu Picchu entrance fees
  • Accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as described in the meal plan
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • When camping a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel insurance
  • Some meals as described in the meal plan
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

There will be a single-timed transfer from the airport in Cusco to the group hotel in Ollantaytambo on day 1. Clients must provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation. At the end of the trip a single timed group transfer to the airport in the morning is provided.

A typical day starts with an early morning brew and a bowl of hot washing water brought to your tent at about 6.30 a.m. After a hot breakfast (which includes fresh fruit, porridge, pancakes or omelette with plenty of toast and home-made jam) during which camp will be struck and the porters will be given their loads, we start walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. We usually walk for about 3 hours in the morning. Lunch is usually a picnic - and a chance for more excellent food from our cook team - fresh fruit, salad and bread, cheeses, cold meats, avocado and plenty to drink. Lunch takes about an hour or so and offers a chance for a little siesta! We aim to pitch camp for the night well before dusk. Dinner is served in the mess tent and is a delicious three course meal. During dinner is a good time to socialise and to talk over the events of the day. We are usually in bed by 9.00 pm - plenty of time to re-charge the batteries before the next day's walk.

On arrival in Ollantaytambo the group will spend one night in comfortable lodge accommodation, and thereafter 2 nights in a centrally-located tourist class hotel in Cusco. The group will have a further 2 nights in hotel accommodation in Cusco at the end of the trip. There are 8 nights camping. All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. This must be arranged 8 weeks ahead of departure and is subject to availability. (Please note that single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels). Depending on availability, it may be possible to pre-book single hotel rooms. For additional hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

On trek the food provided is a mixture of local and European-style, all purchased in Peru and cooked for us by highly trained staff cooks. In Cusco there is a wide range of restaurants cafes and bars serving excellent and varied cuisine.

In Cusco, Ollantaytambo, and Aguas Calientes below Machu Picchu, there is a wide range of dining options and while staying in these cities and towns it makes sense to give you the choice of where and what to eat. We have therefore not included in the trip price, meals (other than breakfast) whilst staying in hotels throughout this tour. Clients will be expected to pay for these meals (5 lunches and 5 dinners - see itinerary for details) and you should allow approximately £6 - £15 per meal. While trekking a full trek service including all meals is provided.

We estimate that £200 to £300 will be sufficient to cover your requirements including the non-included meals and incidental expenses such as tips for drivers, trek crew and local guides. There is no need to purchase local currency (Peruvian Soles) prior to travelling. It is possible to withdraw your money in local currency from ATMs in Cusco. If you are bringing your travel money with you we recommend you bring it in the form of US dollars in cash as this provides for the easiest exchange. Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and to pay for meals in Cusco and Ollantaytambo.

On this trip the group will be accompanied throughout by a first-rate, English-speaking local guide In addition while trekking the group will be supported by a full crew of camp staff and porters.

Tipping is common in Peru, however you must remember that it is voluntary, and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received. Airport baggage carriers are the only exception and tipping is compulsory. These people are unwaged and make a living by carrying your luggage. The general rule is 1 or 2 soles per bag. For hotel staff, tipping is not expected, but is welcome. For hotel porters 1 or 2 soles per bag is reasonable. Drivers of standard taxis do not usually expect a tip. As with most countries, it is usual to tip in restaurants and 10% is expected for good service. For the support crew on trek (guides, cooks, porters etc.), it is recommended that each client contributes around £50 to £60 to a group tipping pool.

Please note that baggage allowance on internal flights is 20 kg and that this limit is strictly enforced. Your baggage on trek will be carried by pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs/33 lbs. Items not required for the trek may be left at the group’s hotel in Cusco.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

At the present time, nationals of countries that are members of the European Union and nationals of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa need only a valid passport (with at least 6 months of validity) and a return or onward journey ticket for entry into Peru. A visa is not required. A Tourist Card is issued on arrival in Lima and this is valid for a 90 day stay in the country. Nationals of other countries should contact the High Commission of Peru in their own countries for information on how to obtain their visa.

Passengers intending to travel via the USA, please note the following:

Your passport must have a machine readable bar code if you are transiting through the US. You must complete an online application form to travel to, or transit through the USA.

Under the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), all travellers, including children, from the 27 countries under the US visa waiver programme will have to fill out an electronic travel authorization form online ( prior to boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship. You can also use this site to check whether your country is part of the visa waiver scheme.

You will be required to answer questions about criminal records, communicable diseases, past history of visa revocation or deportation, and basic biographical data such as name, birth date and passport information. Changes in address and itinerary can be made online after the ESTA form has been first submitted.

You will not be allowed to board any US bound aircraft without completing the online ESTA form.

If you have a criminal record (including criminal driving offences), you will be required to obtain a visa in advance of entering or transiting the USA.

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

  • The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs. – 33lbs.
  • You must bring the following items:

    • Hiking boots
    • Socks
    • Trekking trousers / trekking pants
    • Waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants
    • Underwear
    • Baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
    • Casual shirts and/or T-shirts
    • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Warm jacket (down)
    • Sunhat
    • Warm hat
    • Eyewear - Sunglasses
    • Lightweight thermal gloves
    • Warmer over gloves or mittens
    • 4 – 5 season sleeping bag*
    • Daypack 30 - 40 litres / 1800 – 2500 cu in.
    • Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries
    • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).
    • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
    • Water bottles 1 Litre / 1 quart (x2)
    • Washbag and toiletries
    • Antibacterial handwash
    • Travel towel
    • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
    • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

    The following items are optional:

    • Trainers / sneakers or similar for travelling and camp use
    • Spare laces
    • Gaiters
    • Shorts
    • Long johns (thermal underwear)
    • Sleeping bag liner
    • Thermarest (inflatable mattress)*
    • Travel clothes
    • Trekking poles
    • Nailbrush
    • Insect repellant (DEET)
    • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
    • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
    • Camera, film / memory cards, batteries


    • *Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel
    • A foam camping mat is provided (issued in Cusco), but it is recommended to supplement this with a thermarest style mattress for extra comfort.

    A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

    Visa Peru

    UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays. Keep the immigration paper given to you on arrival in a safe place, as you will need to show this on departure.

    Transit via USA

    You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$14 and you should apply for it at

    NOTE: This is required if you are transiting through the USA

    Transit via Canada

    From 15 March 2016

    All citizens (except for USA citizens) will require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any Canada-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is CAD$7 and you should apply for it at

    NOTE: This is required if you are transiting through Canada

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Our treks can be physically demanding, but more as a result of altitude and terrain than distances walked. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Running, cycling and swimming are good for developing aerobic fitness and better stamina. You should gradually increase your exercise leading up to departure, and in the month before setting off, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

    You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    The climate of Peru is very varied across different regions. There are three major influences on the climate of any particular region, these being: its general geographical position as part of equatorial South America, its proximity to the cooling effect of the Humbolt current and most significantly, its altitude. The climate of the Andean valleys which corresponds to the region between 3000 and 4000 metres is characterised by hot wet summers and cool dry winters. The Southern Hemisphere winter season in the Andes runs roughly from April through to October and this is the optimum period for trekking in this part of Peru. At this time we can expect the days to be warm and generally sunny, with temperatures between 12 and 20°C. Above c. 3500m during this season, the night-time temperatures will fall below freezing. At our highest camps we might experience night-time temperatures as low as -5°C at any time and in mid-winter (July and August) temperatures may dip to minus10ºC overnight.

    Trekking and Climbing in the Andes. Val Pitkethly and Kate Harper. Exploring Cusco. Peter Frost Inca Kola. Matthew Paris Inca Gold. Clive Cussler The last days of the Incas. Kim MacQuarrie Conquest of the Incas. John Hemmingway Into the forests of the night. John Simpson Realm of the Incas. Max Milligan


    Peruvian Survey mapping, by the Instituto Geogrfico Nacional, is of a very high quality and at a reasonable scale for following the trek route on the ground. Contours are given at 50m intervals and peak altitudes and other spot heights are also shown. The legend includes all the standard information (e.g. settlements, roads, etc.), plus a great deal of terrain and vegetation detail. For the technically minded, the projection used is Transverse Mercator and a UTM grid is overlaid on the maps. The maps can be purchased outside Peru but may require tracking down.

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