7 LAKES OF AUSANGATE
Are you still searching for a rewarding place in Cusco? Then check out the Ausangate 7 lakes day tour. Although there are a lot more places to go, depending on your time availability, you can undertake from half-day tours to multi-day hikes.
We all want our dreams to come true, and for those of you who are adventure enthusiasts, explorers, excursionists, or whoever you are with a willing spirit and with determination to reach off the beaten tracks; the hike to the Ausangate 7 lakes should be one of your best choices. Only a few traveling people are going out there to experience great happiness when contemplating the awesome landscapes.
Table of Contents
- Hiking time: 5 – 6 hrs.
- Top elevation: 15 200 ft. / 4630 m.
- Trailhead elevation: 14 100 ft. / 4300 m.
- Distance: 6 mi. / 10 km.
- Difficulty: Difficult.
- Entrance fee cost: $ 3 / S/. 10
- Horse rentals: $ 22 / S/. 80 round trip.
- Hot springs: S/ 5
- Elevation gain: 1 100 ft. / 330 m.
Where are the Ausangate 7 lakes?
The Ausangate 7 lakes are located in the southeastern part of Cusco, at 74 mi. / 120 km. Quispicanchis Province.
Why are some lakes turquoise?
Most of these lagoons have turquoise coloration, and that is what makes them look more attractive. The melting waters wash the pulverized minerals and deposit them in the lake waters, and it never sinks at the base. This natural effect of the coloration displays better on those sunny days.
Ausangate 7 lakes weather
The winds, the cold, and the sun’s heat will also say “hi” at that high and make you good company. Weather can be friendly up there, but it soon turns either cloudy or sunny. The nighttime temperatures range between 14 ° F / -10, whereas the day temperature reaches 77 F° / 25° C.
Best time to hike Ausangate 7 lakes
The best time to hike the 7 lakes of Ausangate is from May and September to maximize the number of clear days to take beautiful pictures with amazing landscapes. This is the dry season in the Peruvian Andes, Try to hike particularly in June or July, or August, the driest months of the year. The dry season means the high season in Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Inca Trail. Luckily, the 7 lakes of Ausangate are a unique place where there are no crowds year round – even in peak season.
How to visit the Ausangate 7 lagoons?
The easiest way to make it is on a day tour. However, there are other possibilities as well.
1.- Cusco – Pacchanta – Ausangate 7 lakes (day tour)
This is the shortest way to do it. The objective is first to get to the Pacchanta community at 14 100 ft. / 4 300 m. Later, as you go farther through a slightly inclined Puna trail dotted with gravel and pebbles, you will come across a beautiful meadow and grassy wetlands filled with birdlife. And getting higher, there the panoramic is the best you can imagine, with the towering snow-covered peaks in front and the lakes settled on the mountain foot. When looking back towards Pacchanta, you have a glimpse of the blue obscured mountains disappearing on the horizon. Learn more information about our Day tour to 7 lakes of Ausangate.
2.- Cusco – Upis – Ausangate 7 lakes – Pacchanta (2-day tour)
The two-day Ausangate 7 lagoons trek starts at the Upis school near Tinki town. Then hike for 3 hours to Upis campsite where you will spend the night there.
At the daybreak of the next day, the snowy peak and the multicolored fields come to light. And after breakfast, the hike will already have started on the second day. You must save the effort because the elevation gain is much higher than the first day, and the walk is for over 5 hours. The objective is to get to the Ausangate lakes as soon as possible under the mild sunny morning for a better chance of seeing colored lagoons. After visiting the lakes, on the way to Pacchanta, you might feel tired but know that there is something else waiting for you: the thermal hot springs, a perfect resting and relaxing point where to soak in after finishing the hike. Next is time for lunch and finally get back to Cusco in three hours. Learn more about our Ausangate trek 2 days.
- Hiking time: 3 hrs on day 1 and 6 hrs on day 2
- Top elevation: 155 200 ft. / 4 630 m.
- Trailhead elevation: 13 800 ft. / 4 200 m.
- Difficulty: Easy by day 1 and challenging by day 2.
- Hot springs: S/ 5
- Camp elevation: 14 500 ft. / 4 430 m.
3.- Ausangate trek plus rainbow mountain included (6-day tour)
Besides visiting only the Ausangate 7 lagoons, this multiple-day hike covers the complete Ausangate route and allows one to set foot on Rainbow Mountain. For sure, the effort of the walk will drain your energy because you have to cross several mountain passes and challenge the high-altitude climate. Indeed, it is a challenge but knows that: all the effort, leg aches, the tiredness will fade away, but memories will remain in time. Learn more about the Ausangate trek 4 days and 6 days one.
What animals do I see in the Ausangate 7 Lakes area?
There are many domesticated and wild animals in this área. Along the hike, you’ll surely see many alpacas, llamas, and Viscachas(Andean chinchillas). If you are lucky, you might see Condors flying over you. Also, this area is the hábitat of Pumas and vicuñas, although they are a rare sight and they tend to run away if they encounter any type of noise.
Does it snow in Ausangate 7 Lakes Peru?
Yes, during our summer(rainy season) it snows heavily in the Ausangate 7 Lakes area. For the most part, hiking to the Ausangate region during the rainy season(December – March) is not the best idea.
Are Ausangate 7 Lakes Difficult?
In the beginning, the Trail is almost flat so it is quite simple. After 40 minutes the Trail becomes steeper and more difficult. In general, the hike to the 7 lakes is considered a medium-difficulty hike.
Is the hike to Ausangate 7 Lakes worth it?
Definitely, it is worth it, because of the tranquility of the area. When you go to explore new places, you want to find something different, and impressive. That’s what Ausangate 7 lagoons offer to you. Hiking to the 7 lakes of Ausangate, you also have a chance to connect with some of the local people of the remote places. In Addition, you will take a bath in the hot spring after 6 hours of hiking.
How to get to the Ausangate 7 lakes on my own?
Cusco is where travelers from all over the world settle first and set it as their base. From Cusco, they depart in all directions. So, do you want to venture into the Ausangate 7 lagoons on your own? so head to Av Tomasa Titto Condemayta near the IPD ( The Peruvian Sports Institute) en board the local combis running Cusco – Ocongate – Tinki. The car drive is for about 3 hours through a paved road by paying $ 3 / S/. 10 per person. Once you step into the Tinki population, get ready, and buy some extra water or some other booster you may need because this is the last town with supermarkets and drugstores. If not necessary, deal the pricing with anyone offering taxi service to the Pacchanta community.
The little cars usually make lines one after the other in an avenue near the main square. The next stop is Pacchanta, within 30 minutes after leaving Tinki. The pricing would vary slightly between taxis. (On average, it rounds S/. 30). And once at Pacchanta, ask someone for the trailhead. Now the trail is signaled, so you can´t get lost until reaching the vantage point. Also, know that it is a loop trail, and it will intersect at some point. Whatever path you take, you will get to the lakes. After a while, depending on how you feel, you can head back to Pacchanta to soak in the thermal hot springs.
How to get to Ausangate 7 lakes with a travel agency?
If you want to travel with a tour company rather than on your own, it´s fine too. There are a whole bunch of tour companies in Cusco leading groups to every tourist destination. Based on some tourists’ testimonials, taking a guided tour is more convenient because it optimizes the time on the trip and avoids loose of time while waiting for a car or communicating in a foreign language. Let us help and plan your Trip at AB Expeditions to get to know the Ausangate region you are anxious to go to.
- Spent at least a couple of days in Cusco city, while you get used to the altitude.
- Higher elevation also means cooler and almost freezing temperatures, so be prepared. If you plan a multi-day tour, be sure to wear warm clothing.
- Be sure to be hydrated. When walking at high altitudes in cold climates, you will sweat much less than you are used to. It is often too late when you realize you are dehydrated. Mixing dehydration with altitude sickness can be an unpleasant combination. It is recommended to drink at least two to three liters per day at high altitudes like in Ausangate.
- While walking at higher elevations, It is vital to drink enough water. There are many streams and rivers on the route, but we recommend bringing a life straw bottle or water purifying tablets. Because of the large number of alpacas and llamas throughout the mountains, the water is not always clean. It would be the worse experience of getting sick at high altitudes or having stomach troubles.
- Get good trekking equipment when you hike the Ausangate 7 Lakes. Remember that you are hiking over 4000 meters when the weather change, it starts snowing and hailing sometimes with lighting.