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.

Detailed information

  • Hiking time: 5 – 5:30 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 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

Consider choosing months between April and November to avoid weather complications. However, keep in mind all the recommendations about packing adequate hiking gear. Have fun on your next trip!

ausangate 7 lakes of peru

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 one 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 up inclined Puna trail dotted with gravels 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.

 2.- Cusco – Upis – Ausangate 7 lakes (2-day tour)

The two-day Ausangate 7 lagoons trek starts at the Upis school near Tinki town rather than at the Pacchanta community. 

In wintertime, most likely you will see exceptional sceneries, such as Mount Ausangate lightened up with the last sunlight. And at nightfall, the sky may come out offering its starry world over the Ausangate regions. 

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. 

Detailed information
  • Hiking time: 3 hrs on day 1 and 6 hrs by 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 to set foot on the 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 know that: all the effort, leg aches, the tiredness will fade away, but memories will remain in time. 

Make it to be a lifelong trip in which you have to adore those memories. Some time ago, a man who slipped by one side of a lagoon named Otorongo said the following: “I feel something unusual, it is some sort of a living energy flowing in this very lagoon”. That was special for him because the proximity to the Lagoon made him feel such energy. 

Click on  Ausangte trek and Rainbow Mountain trail for more information. 

  Flora and Fauna

 Because it is a walk on the natural “Puna” region, then automatically, you will see hundreds of alpacas grazing all over as well as Llamas in their natural habitat. On the other side, the abundant puna straw grass that comes back to life in summer and some tiny plants surviving the extreme climate. From time to time, some big birds are chatting and flying across the Puna grassy wetlands and lakes.

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 line 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.

ausangate 7 lakes river

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 some 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.

Recommendations

  • 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.