Trek & Climb: Nevado Mariposa

Trek & Climb: Nevado Mariposa: The snow-capped nevado Mariposa is one of the mountains of the Vilcanota mountain range; it’s located to the Southeast of the City of Cusco, in the province of Quisipicanchis.

Leaving from Cusco; in private transportation early in the morning, we’ll drive 3 hours south to the Ausangate region. Following our arrival we’ll take our time to check all of our equipment for the climb. We’ll meet up with our arrieros and their mules; the arrieros loading all of our equipment onto them before setting off on this epic Peru adventure.

In the Peruvian Andes, there are a wide variety of peaks that require a good level of technique, and experience. And without a doubt Mariposa; will test your skills, along with your physical and moral endurance.

The Apu Ausangate is the fifth highest mountain in Peru, and is part of the Central Andes of South America. Being the Snowy Santa Catalina (Mariposa); part of a section of the Vilcanota mountain range.
Mariposa is considered one of the daughters of the Apu Ausangate; and is full of history, myths, and legends. In the expedition you’ll encounter lagoons of different sizes and colors, being the turquoise color that will captivate your senses.

Flora and fauna of the place, such as: yareta, ichu or tall gras; vizcachas, wild and domesticated camelids, foxes, pumas, birds such as the Andean goose, hummingbirds, eagles, hawks, condors, etc.
Local people, crafts, textiles, added to their traditions and customs that they will share with visitors.

Hot springs in Pacchanta.

Apus are the protective spirits, which contribute to give life to men, animals, agriculture, due to their glaciers; lagoons, lakes, rivers and waterfalls, which are a vital source of water for humans, agriculture, etc. Water has always been, is, and will be a very important source of life that contributes to human development. Our ancestors understood the importance of this water resource, which is born from the Apus, and revered them for that reason.

The water played an important role for the pre-Incas and Incas, that is why every year the Willak Umas (sacred heads) came to celebrate rites, rituals, and offerings in gratitude to their Apus Tutelares, Pachamama. The Apu Ausangate, was, is, and will be one of the most revered as long as there are the Altomisayuc or Andean Shamans.

Sustainable tourism

You can help to protect these mountains; lagoons, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and the natural environment by the way we approach the mountain climb. We take care to minimise the footprint we leave & fill ourselves with the energy existing in the Sacred Apus that traditions say are sources of immense power. Your ascension will incorporate respect for the whole environment, along with good health and your own experience of high-mountain climbs.


  • Climb one of the famous mountains of the Cordillera Vilcanota, Ausangate region.
  • Soak in the hot springs of Pacchanta
  • Contribute to the region in a sustainable way
Day 1
Cusco - Tinke - Pacchanta
Leaving at around 8 am from Cusco, in private transport, heading to Tinke. From Tinke heading to Pacchanta, at 4,330 masl (3.5hrs), passing through Andean communities and observing along the route; archaeological sites, lagoons and small farms producing potatoes, corn etc. On arrival you'll rest in the house of a local family, to have additional time acclimatizing. You can go to the geothermal waters (hot springs), nearby, in the afternoon.
  • Dinner is at 6pm, allowing plenty of time for everyone to rest afterwards.
  • Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Day 2
Pacchanta - Base Camp
Today leaving Pacchanta with mules and arrieros to take our climbing equipment, tents, sleeping bags to the base camp, at 4,890 masl. It's a gradual and quiet ascent (3 hrs), and for this day you'll have a picnic midway, where you can view the 4 lagoons, facing the east side of the Apu Ausangate, and you'll also see other peaks and mountains that are part of the Vilcanota mountain range.
  • Walking hours: 3 hrs
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Maximum height: 4,890 masl.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3
Base Camp - Advanced Camp
It is between 3-4 hrs that brings us closer to the Mariposa mountain glacier, and we will carry our climbing equipment to C.A, at 5,250 meters above sea level. It will be a steep ascent during the second and third hour, for which you'll go at a comfortable pace whilst enjoying the views and lagoons. There are some sections; where you'll rock climb at level 4a, and the last hour will be steep between 45 - 50 degrees of inclination.
  • Walking hours: 3-4 hrs
  • Distance: 7 km
  • Maximum height: 5,250 masl.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4
Advanced Camp - Summit - Pacchanta - Hot Springs - Cusco
Today rising at 1am, to leave by 2am. Equipped with water, snacks and our personal climbing equipment, you'll begin the attack on the summit. The first phase will be very quiet; 1 hour of crossing glacier. From this point the last 5 hours has a steep section between 60 to 70 degrees of inclination. Using a combination of screws and stakes, you'll cross the rimaya, located 2 hrs from the summit. Once you have reached the summit, you'll be able to view the entire chain of the Andes Peruvians, the Apu Ausangate being the closest, along with many others. Descending by rappelling the wall, located above the rimaya, taking around 1hr, and after passing the rimaya, you'll continue for 2 more hours to the advanced camp. Taking lunch here, then packing up and starting the descent by 3pm until we reach the hot springs of Pacchanta. From here you'll take private transport back to Tinke, and following the route back to Cusco.
  • For the final day, the climbing hours will depend a lot on the level, physical condition and experience you have. If it is at a good level it will be between 3-4 hours to the summit and the return to base camp, it will be around 2 hours.
  • Climbing hours: between 9 to 11 hours.
  • Maximum height: Mariposa Summit, 5870 masl.
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch


• Detailed itinerary information. • Local or private transportation according to request. • 1 mountain cook-guide for 2 people. • Mountain assistant guide + 2 people. • Climbing equipment (ropes, stakes, screws, etc.) • Arriero and acémila. • Cook, for more than 2 clients • Porter, + 2 clients (camping equipment only) • Food during the expedition and ascension. • Tent. • Matra. • Hot Springs. • First aid medical kit (first aid kit, oximeter and oxygen tank)


First breakfast and last dinner. • Water, (we recommend bringing filters or purifying tablets) • Snacks. • Sleeping bag. • Inflatable matra. • Climbing equipment (crampons, ice axes, harness, helmet, climbing gloves, climbing lenses, descending gear, Atc, or an eight, rigid boots for high mountains, leggings, expedition backpack, 65-75 liters, and a attack, 45 liters, Daysi chain, safety carabiners) • Canes. • Extra carrier. • Tips.


  • Good health & experience will be required to navigate glaciers, ravines, etc.
  • Experience climbing vertical walls between 60 - 75 degrees incline.
  • Handling & use of scaling equipment by your own.
  • AGE RANGE: 16 to 65

Tour Info

Breakfast x 2
Lunch x 3
Dinner x 2
Private Transport – collection & drop-off
Professional bilingual guide
Horsemen & mules
All camping equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Walking sticks)
Hotels before & after (can be organised as part of trip)
Extension trips to Machu Picchu
Tips for crew
Domestic flights (can be organised as part of trip)
Crampons, Ice Axe, Harness, Helmet (can be hired as part of trip)
Any additional extras
There will be a pre-trek briefing held usually the evening before departure, at your hotel, to go over the details of the trek and any specific requirements not already captured
Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Peruvian food can be spicy, it can be strong and rich for many European diets. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, so please avoid at all costs on arrival and stick to bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.
We’ll ensure that we cater for all of your dietary needs, at the point of booking we’ll collect this information from you. We can secure special menu requests also for your trek party.
We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request), and a mountain cook. They become a large part of your trekking expedition and it’s a great experience working together.
This is a really important part of your trip planning process, please find a link below which explains a little more about preparing for altitude.
Attached below are a couple of links which will explain how to prepare for your trip & trek in advance of your arrival. We recommend being prepared in advance to save time & stress whilst you’re in Peru.
From June through to the end of September, we’re offering one person free on all of our treks for group sizes of 3+. If you are a group of 2 you can add one person for free, or if you’re a group of 3 the third person joins free and so on.

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Trek & Climb: Nevado Mariposa (5,870m) – 2 or 4 Days”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Breakfast x 2
  • Lunch x 3
  • Dinner x 2
  • Private Transport - collection & drop-off
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Cook
  • Horsemen & mules
  • All camping & climbing equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Walking sticks)
Not Included
  • Hotels before & after (can be organised as part of trip)
  • Extension trips to Machu Picchu
  • Tips for crew
  • Domestic flights (can be organised as part of trip)
  • Any additional extras
Inquire about tour

    Find Map