Carabaya Trek 9D

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Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights
Availability : Every Day.
Depart: Puno or Cusco
Destination: Ausangate
Min Age : 10
Max People : 12

About the Carabaya Trek 9 days

The Carabaya trek is offered by very few companies, making it one of the most off-the-beaten-track and challenging treks in the region. This is a high altitude trek and you should be well acclimatized.

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One of the most adventurous treks around takes you into Carabaya, a remote and incredibly scenic province with unmatched opportunities for true high-altitude exploration. We offer this Carabaya Trek starting in Puno, but for an extra cost you can depart from Cusco instead, making this a round trip journey, starting and ending in Cusco. If you want to depart from Cusco, the trek will be extended by one day, making it a total of 10 days / 9 nights, including one overnight in Puno.

During this high altitude adventure you’ll pass over four high mountain passes at more than 5,000m (16,404 ft), including the famous and unequaled Condor Pass at 5235m (17,175 ft)!

Immerse yourself into this spectacular and unique adventure and don’t miss the opportunity to trek one of the truly off-the-beaten-track available in the Cusco area.

Carabaya Trek 9 Days Highlights

  • An adventure-filled trek with high mountain passes, snow-capped peaks and Andean tundra
  • Observe an abundance of Andean wildlife, including llamas, alpacas and vicuñas
  • You can depart from Puno or even Cusco and make it a 10 days / 9 nights trek


Prices are per person in USD, based on group size. We do not have fixed-date group departures. If you do not want to book a private trek, please see our Trekkers Wanted page for a list of open departures within your dates.

2 people

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3 people

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4-6 people

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7+ people

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High quality personalized experience

Unique, off-the-beaten track routes

Experienced staff

Verified sustainability practices

$20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Details About the Carabaya Trek 9 Days

What is Included?


  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • Camping pillows
  • Basic foam mattress. If you would like greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
  • Toilet tent


  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • Cook and cooking equipment, plus assistants for larger groups.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary. Our professional cooks prepare a combination of traditional Peruvian and Western cuisine. Talk to your Travel Consultant if you have certain preferences! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
  • Boiled water to drink on the hike (which you can carry in your own reusable water bottle)
  • Filtered water provided during the drive on the first day
  • Buffet lunch on route


  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your Carabaya trek departure
  • Private transport from Puno to the trailhead

Trekking Team

  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Horses and horsemen, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 10kg/22lbs per person).
  • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals


  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower

Additional inclusions

  • Pre-trek briefing

If you depart from Cusco, the following will be added to your total prior to booking:

  • Private transport from Cusco to Puno
  • Guided visits (entry fees not included)
  • Buffet lunch on route
  • Dinner in Puno
  • Overnight in Standard Puno Hotel

What is Not Included?


  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last night


  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • Additional horses for your personal luggage or to ride


  • Tips for the guide, cook and muleteers
  • Flights to/from Cusco
  • Travel Insurance

Optional Extras & Upgrades

We offer you the opportunity to personalize your trek and make your experience more comfortable through our Optional Extras and Upgrades. All options are available during the reservation process; please ask your sales consultant for more information.

Equipment Available for Rent

    • Extra horse to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 10kg (22lbs) per person
    • Llamas to carry your own things. Note that this traditional Inca beast of burden can only carry about 10kg (22lbs), and will only walk in groups. The cost of hiring llamas includes a small group of 3-4 llamas and a llamero (llama driver)
    • Extra horse for you to ride, and horseman to lead it
    • Sleeping Bag suitable for -5˚C
    • Deluxe sleeping bag suitable for -15˚C
    • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
    • Thermarest inflatable mattress

Service Upgrades

Optional Activities


    • When calculating the cost of renting equipment, calculate using the length of the entire trip, not just the number of trekking days.
    • Please be careful with rented equipment! You are responsible for the cost of replacement if something is damaged or broken.
    • Any upgrades or trip extensions must be requested at time of booking.

What to Pack

We recommend that you bring the following items with you:

  • A fleece or down jacket is an essential item at this elevation;
  • Hiking trousers with zip off shorts are a good idea, as day time temperatures can be quite warm, yet temperatures plummet as soon as the sun goes down. You can supplement these with leggings or thermals to wear underneath;
  • A rain poncho or waterproof jacket is also important. It can rain or even snow at certain times of the year!;
  • Water-resistant trekking boots are advisable. The trail on this hike can sometimes be muddy and wet, so we also recommend to bring extra socks!;
  • A warm sleeping bag, rated to -15°C (5°F). If you prefer, you can rent one from us;
  • A headlamp or torch;
  • A high factor (SPF) sunscreen, a sun cap and sunglasses. The sun can be really strong, especially in dry season. Sun protection is essential!;
  • A small daypack to carry your necessary items for each day’s hiking.

For our full packing list for treks in the Andes, see What to Bring.

Our blog How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru will also give you some great tips for how to get ready for your trek, before you even leave home.

Available Discounts

  • Students: USD $30 off, in certain circumstances. Please enquire for details about eligibility.
  • Youth 12-17: 5% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 5-11 years: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4 years: Free. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group. Car seats, cribs and other baby needs may not be included and must be discussed in advance. For more information about travelling with infants and toddlers, please see this blog as well as the Age Requirements section of our Booking Conditions.
  • 5% off a day tour listed price when you also book a 3-day or longer trek operated by Apus Peru

Guides & Safety on the Trail

Our whole trekking team know the Carabaya region like the back of their hand! They are some of the warmest, endearing and wonderful people you are ever likely to meet.

Our guides are all licensed and receive regular training. They share their experience, professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm with our passengers on every trek.

Get to know our team!

Trekkers Wanted

Want to join a trek? Ready to confirm a departure date of your own, but interested in having others join you? Then Trekkers Wanted is for you! Our innovative Trekkers Wanted system matches people up who are interested in hiking the same trek, bringing costs down and multiplying the fun for everyone!

Read More about Trekkers Wanted, post your trek or search for confirmed departures!

Important Info

  • Each guide has their own preferred route and so the route you trek might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group, and the guide may change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group.
  • The Carabaya Trek is in the Ausangate region which is at very high altitude, and you’ll be hiking close to glaciers and snow-covered mountains. Translation: it’s very cold! Temperatures can fall well below freezing at night. We strongly recommend using a sleeping bag good for at least -15˚C (5˚F).
  • This is a totally off-the-beaten path trek, and tourist infrastructure is very limited. Instead, we’ll be making use of local facilities where possible.
  • Please note: this is a true adventure and things may not go exactly according to plan! Keep an open mind and let yourself enjoy the cultural differences you may experience. There is always an opportunity to learn something!

Ready to Book?

  • Does this trek sound like just what you were looking for? If you’re ready to book or just want to find out a bit more information, fill out the Inquiry Form in the top right-hand corner of this page to get the ball rolling. You’ll be connected with one of our amazing sales people who will be able to turn your dream of hiking in the Andes into a reality. For more information on the entire booking process, please see our How To Book page.
  • Travel insurance is a must! World Nomads offers travel insurance for adventure activities.

Carabaya Trek 9 Days Itinerary

Day 1Puno - Veloyuc

    • Total Walking Distance: 209km or 386 km
    • Total Walking Time: 5-6h
    • Minimum Altitude: 3800m (12,467 ft) / 5000m (16,404 ft) / Maximum Altitude: TBC
    • Altitude of camp: 4536m (14,882 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: -5 ˚C to +5˚C (23˚F to 41˚F)

We leave Puno early for the 4h drive to the Carabaya Trek trailhead. There’s plenty to see as we pass rock gardens, giant bromeliads and locals tending their crops and animals. We’ll look down into the stupendous river canyon of the Corani River before turning off onto a back road with incredible views of the glacial valley that takes us to Aimaña. Here we’ll stop to check out the amazing rock formations before driving another 10 minutes to our first campsite, Veloyuc. With any luck we’ll spot vizcachas (Andean chinchillas) and views of snow-capped Quelqaya peak.

Departing From Cusco
The trip is 10 days / 9 nights if you depart from Cusco. Day 1 of the Cusco itinerary is as follows, with the rest of the itinerary being the same.

Day 1 Cusco-Puno
We pick you up around 8am in our private car and begin heading south towards Puno.
The trip to Puno takes about 10 hours and includes a buffet lunch. Our first stop will be Pikillacta (a pre-Inca city whose name means ‘Place of the Flea’ in the Inca language, Quechua!) where you can stand in an Inca gate that demarcated Collasuyo, one of the four quarters of the Incan empire known as Tawantinsuyo. After this, we continue on to the colonial church of Andahuaylillas, the ‘Sistine Chapel of the Americas’; it has to be seen to be believed! The spectacular Inca ruin of Raqchi is another highlight, and the incredibly ancient remains of Pukara round out the day.

Tonight, your meal is included at a Puno restaurant, and accommodation in a Standard Hotel. You should enjoy an early night and hot shower before setting out for the Carabaya Trek the next day!

Day 2Veloyuc - Hydroelectric Station

      • Total Walking Distance: 12km
      • Total Walking Time: 5-6h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4536m (14,882 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4700m (15,420 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4655m (15,272 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -5 ˚C to +5˚C (23˚F to 41˚F)

After an early start we’ll head out east, spending five or six hours gently ascending 600m (1970 ft) through open valleys, past immense rivers and more bosques de piedra (rock forests) to the small valley where a scenic campsite near some hydroelectric infrastructure awaits.

Day 3Hidroelectric Station - Chimboya

      • Total Walking Distance: 10,5km
      • Total Walking Time: 5-6h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4655m (15,272 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5122 m (16,800 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 5122 m (16,800 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -5 ˚C to +5˚C (23˚F to 41˚F)

Today we climb to and camp at our first high pass, Chimboya, at 5122m (16,800 ft). It takes about six hours to complete the ascent. At the pass we’ll enjoy well-deserved views of the Vilcanota range against the endless backdrop of the main Cordillera of the Andes, accompanied by curious llamas, alpacas and vicuñas.

Day 4Chimboya - Hacienda Mates

      • Total Walking Distance: 11km
      • Total Walking Time: 5-6h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4773 m (15,660 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5122m (16,800 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4773 m (15,660 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -5 ˚C to +5˚C (23˚F to 41˚F)

We continue to enjoy spectacular views of the glacier-topped Vilcanota range as we make our way through a varied landscape of swamp and open pampa (flat grasslands) to Hacienda Mates, our campsite for the night in a sheltered valley surrounded by steep slopes.

Day 5Hacienda Mates - Cascara

      • Total Walking Distance: 14km
      • Total Walking Time: 6-7h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4773m (15,660 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5000m (16,404 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4900 m (16,076 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -5 ˚C to +5˚C (23˚F to 41˚F)

Today a rewarding 7h walk first brings us up to a breathtaking altitude of more than 5000m (16,400 ft). From here we’ll have equally breathtaking views of the Nudo del Vilcanota (“Vilcanota knot”) and our first glimpses of the mysterious lakes, Sibinacocha and Cascara. We’ll see pink flamingos and vicuñas as we cross the Pucamayu river and make our way to our campsite at Cascara. Here we can fish in the lake and observe migrating ducks and other wetlands birds.

Day 6Cascara - Sibinacocha

      • Total Walking Distance: 13km
      • Total Walking Time: 7h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4900m (16,076 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5100m (16,732 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4900 m (16,076 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -5 ˚C to +5˚C (23˚F to 41˚F)

Another big pass awaits us, Yayamari, at 5100m (16,730 ft). From here we’ll experience the most stunning views yet with lakes, nearby towering rock outcrops, many massive peaks, and the gorgeous Sibinacocha lake, to which we will descend to camp.

For more adventure, check out our Yayamari Scramble Extension, a non-technical climb up Cerro Yayamari.

Day 7Sibinacocha - Killita

      • Total Walking Distance: 15km
      • Total Walking Time: 4735 m (15,540 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5235m (17,175 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4735 m (15,540 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -5 ˚C to +5˚C (23˚F to 41˚F)

After a morning walking through the gentle pampas of Sibinacocha, we’ll ascend about an hour to the important Condor Pass at an astounding 5235m (17,175 ft). From here we’ll see magnificent views which include the even higher, ice-covered Acero Pass (5500m / 18,050 ft), before descending for half an hour and walking another hour or so over gentle terrain to our campsite at Killita.

Day 8Killita - Ninapara

      • Total Walking Distance: 14km
      • Total Walking Time: 6-7h
      • Minimum Altitude : 4656m (15,275 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5080m / 16,666 ft
      • Altitude of camp: 4656m (15,275 ft)
      • Approx night temperature: -5 ˚C to +5˚C (23˚F to 41˚F)

This morning we’ll walk around two hours to Paso Falso (False Pass) from where we’ll take in the magnificence of the towering Ausangate, the highest peak in the Cusco region and its most important apu (mountain deity). Then it’s an afternoon of ups and downs. First, we’ll descend to the community of Ccampa, then climb back up to Ccampa Pass (5080m / 16,666 ft), then descend again to Ninapara where we’ll spend the night.

Day 9Ninapara - Cusco

      • Total Walking Distance: 7km
      • Total Walking Time: 4h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4336m (14,225 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4656m (15,275 ft)

We start our last day with an up and a down on our final walk past the awesome Ausangate, and three hours down to Pacchanta where we’ll enjoy lunch and a soak in the local natural hot springs! After lunch we’ll drive for about four hours back to Cusco, feeling extremely accomplished and proud and of completing this stunning Carabaya Trek!