the 7 lagoons of ausangate 2 days / 1 night
Enjoy the alternative rainbow mountain for yourself in a unique expedition away from the huge crowds.
Photograph the milky way with Ausangate mountain in your composition (depending on the weather conditions).
Enjoy the natural hot springs in the village at the foot of Ausangate.
Photograph the beautiful 7 lagoons in the shadow of Ausangate.
Improve your photography skills with photography tips and assistance from your guide every step of the way.
This expedition begins by taking you to the alternative rainbow mountain, away from the busyness of the more popular Vinicunca, here you can photograph the unique landscapes without the massive crowds spoiling your shot. After the rainbow mountain we stop for some lunch before we head to a beautiful village in the shadow of Mount Ausangate, here we spend the night at a local accommodation. Use this opportunity, if weather conditions allow, for some astro-photography as there is zero light pollution in this area, the stars are incredible! An early start the next morning to photograph sunrise from the village, after sunrise we eat some breakfast before getting on our horses to ride to the lagoons. After we reach the lagoons we explore on foot these amazing scenes before heading back down to the village for some lunch. After lunch we begin the drive back to Cusco.
05h00 - Pick-up from your hotel or hostel in Cusco.
06h00 - Stop for sunrise at the Inca ruin of Rumicolca, the pre-Incan Southern gate to the Cusco Valley
07h30 - Stop in Checacupe to visit the Inca bridge.
10h00 - Arrival at the Alternative Rainbow Mountains
10h10 - Start the walk to the rainbow mountain, actually going through several different coloured mountains. Be ready to cross paths with the local wildlife, many Llamas and Alpacas!
11h00 - Reach the top of the rainbow mountain. time for pictures.
12h30 - Stop for lunch.
13h30 - Begin the 3h30 drive to the small village at the foot of Ausangate.
17h00 - Arrival and free time. Mingle with the locals or enjoy the hotsprings.
19h00 - Time for dinner, cooked by our host there.
22h00 - If the weather allows, have an astro photography workshop.
05h00 - Wake up and head out to shoot sunrise from the village, here we can find a great compostition including a river leading to the snow-capped peak of Ausangate, bring tripod for long exposures!
07h00 - Eat breakfast prepared by our host.
08h00 - Begin the 1h30 horseback ride to the lagoons
09h30 - Arrival at the lagoons, time to dismount the horses and explore the area on foot.
12h00 - Begin the horse ride back down to the village.
13h00 - Lunch in the village with our host.
14h00 - Departure to begin the journey back to Cusco.
18h00 - Arrive in Cusco. Drop-off at your Hotel/hostel
The horse ride is optional, if you are comfortable with hiking up we would recommend this so you can have more freedom to photograph along the route to the lakes.
This tour takes you to altitude, acclimatisation is incredibly important so we recommend booking this tour after having already spent some time in Cusco.
Nights in the Andes get COLD, we stay in a very simple, rural accommodation where there is no heating, plenty of blankets are supplied on each bed but if you feel the cold may be an issue for you then we recommend you bring your own sleeping bag to use in addition to the blankets or extra layers of clothes you can wear in bed.
Weather conditions in the Andes are unpredictable so there is always a chance of bad luck, we wish we could control the weather but unfortunately we can not! Be aware that the months December through to March are the worst for rain, if you do book in this time frame, cloudy and wet conditions are almost inevitable.
feeling more adventurous?
As an alternative to heading to the main lagoons area there is another trail that leads above the lakes to an incredible viewpoint overlooking the whole scene, not just of the 7 lagoons but of 6 more on the opposite side of the mountain. This is a more strenuous uphill trail and for that reason we only recommend it for those clients confident in their fitness and hiking ability, this is a spot that the usual tourists don’t know about! If you want to get there for sunrise it will require an early start (2h30 am) to reach the viewpoint for the best light. Horses are not an option for this trail. If you request this route but we feel you may struggle to complete it we reserve the right to decline, this is for your safety and wellbeing.
Pick-up and drop-off at hotel in Cusco.
Private Transport the whole way.
Entrance fees to the Rainbow Mountain.
Food: Lunch and dinner on day 1, breakfast and lunch day 2.
One night at a local accommodation. (Shared dorm)
Professional photography guide every step of the way
Landscape, Environmental Portraiture and Astro Photography (if the weather allows for it)
Horse rides to the lagoons.
What to bring
Your Photography gear.
Warm clothes for the night and the morning ( gloves, beanie, winter jackets, winter socks ) Rain coat in case of bad luck. Good comfortable walking shoes.
Headlamp for walking in the dark, essential!
Sharp eyes and your smile!
Mid-range zoom to cover a variety of focal lengths
Wide angle for landscape opportunities and astro-photography (f 2.8 or wider works best)
Tripod for landscape shots and astro
Filters for landscapes (ND, Grad ND and CPL recommended)
Private workshop ( 1person) : $660 USD
2 people : $390 USD per person
3+ people: $330 USD per person