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Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 21-06-2023

Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of Peru's Andes Mountains, the Ausangate region presents a visual feast for photographers. With its majestic peaks, vibrant lakes, and rich cultural heritage, Ausangate offers a unique opportunity to capture awe-inspiring images that showcase the beauty of nature. In this article, we will delve into the specifics of photography in the Ausangate region, including the best areas to photograph, camping options, logistics, and reasons why this destination is a haven for photography enthusiasts.


Travel photography in the Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain región offers a breathtaking canvas of vibrant landscapes, snow-capped peaks, and rich cultural heritage. To capture the vastness of the landscape and the grandeur of the mountains, use a wide-angle lens.  Make sure you visit on your Peru vacation packages!

Ausangate Mountain Range


Majestic Landscapes and Photographic Hotspots

Explore the grandeur of the highest peak in the Cusco region, reaching an impressive altitude of 6,384 meters (20,945 feet). Capture stunning images of its snow-capped summit, jagged ridges, and ethereal glaciers. Venture into the picturesque valleys adorned with lush grasslands, meandering rivers, and herds of llamas and alpacas. Discover countless opportunities for landscape and wildlife photography.


On Cusco Peru tours, head to the Ausangate region. Here, llamas and alpacas play a vital role in the daily lives of the local people. These camelid species are well-adapted to the high altitudes and rugged terrain of the Andes and are integral to the traditional Andean way of life.

Alpacas in The Ausangate


Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca or Montaña de Siete Colores, is a stunning natural wonder located in the Peruvian Andes. It's vibrant colors and unique geological formations make it a popular destination for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. Rainbow Mountain offers incredible panoramic views, so take advantage of wide-angle lenses to capture the vastness of the landscape. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to create unique compositions. While wide shots are stunning, don't forget to zoom in and capture the smaller details. Rainbow Mountain has intricate color patterns and textures that can make for captivating close-up shots.


Photographing Rainbow Mountain when you visit Peru is challenging yet rewarding. Situated in the Andes, this geological marvel showcases a breathtaking display of colors. See colors ranging from deep reds to vibrant yellows and greens. This creates a natural masterpiece that captivates photographers who visit on Peru tour packages.

Rainbow Mountain


Colorful Lakes

The Ausangate region boasts numerous azure and emerald lakes, including Sibinacocha, Pucacocha, and Q'omercocha. These vibrant bodies of water provide captivating reflections and dramatic foregrounds for your compositions.


The Ausangate Circuit in Peru is renowned for its stunning lakes, each offering a unique and mesmerizing view. As you along the Ausangate Trek, on your Cusco adventure tours, you'll encounter a series of these stunning lakes.  From the deep blue waters of Laguna de Ausangate to the tranquil shores of Laguna Pucacocha, each lake has its own unique appeal and photographic opportunities.

Ausangate Lake


Glacial Fields

Photograph the intricate beauty of glacial formations and icy streams as they meander through the rugged terrain of Ausangate.


The Ausangate Circuit in Peru is a trekking route that winds through some of the most stunning and remote landscapes in the Andes. On your Peru adventure tours, hike the Ausangate Trail that includes Rainbow Mountain and a transfer to Machu Picchu. For the complete Andean trekking experience!

Ausangate Glacier and Clouds


Overnight Stay Options


Considered a popular base for exploring the Ausangate region, Pacchanta offers camping facilities and homestays. Set up camp amidst the tranquil surroundings, enjoy traditional Peruvian cuisine, and witness the starry night sky for breathtaking astrophotography opportunities.


Photographers visiting Pacchanta on their Cusco excursions will find a wealth of opportunities to capture the beauty of the Andes. The village's traditional architecture provides a unique cultural element to your photos. The surrounding mountains and valleys offer endless opportunities for stunning landscape shots.

Lake Near Pacchanta



This picturesque spot near Ausangate Mountain offers camping facilities, with its stunning views and proximity to glacial lakes providing an unforgettable experience for overnight stays. The amazing Anantapata Lodge showcases the dedicated effort that the native communities put into welcoming guests to their land. It’s quite possible that you’ve never experienced such a spectacular star-filled night as this lodge has to offer.


Nighttime photography on The Ausangate Trek offers a unique opportunity to capture the stunning beauty of the Andean night sky.  The Ausangate región is an ideal spot for astrophotography. Capture the Milky Way arching over the mountains by using a wide-angle lens and a tripod.

Evening Glacier Shot


Logistics and Practical Considerations


Acclimatization and Physical Fitness

Given the high altitude of the region, it is crucial to acclimate properly before engaging in extensive photography treks. Gradual ascents, proper hydration, and listening to your body are essential for an enjoyable and safe experience.


The Ausangate Trek when you travel to Cusco Peru, is not for the faint of heart. The high altitude, rugged terrain, and unpredictable weather make it a challenging trek that requires careful preparation. A good level of physical fitness is vital for this high-altitude Trek.



Guided Tours

Engaging a local trekking company such as Valencia Travel is highly recommended. They possess invaluable knowledge of the region, ensuring your safety, providing insights into the culture and history, and helping you navigate the area's best photographic spots.


 Despite its challenges, the Ausangate Trek is a truly rewarding experience. Our Peru private tours of The Ausangate offers trekkers the chance to explore one of the most stunning and remote regions of the Andes. The Ausangate Trek allows for immersion in the rich culture and traditions of the Andean people.

Best Ausangate Photos


Gear and Equipment
Pack sturdy and comfortable hiking gear, including appropriate clothing, footwear, and protection against changing weather conditions. Essential photography equipment may include wide-angle lenses, a tripod for stability, filters for landscape shots, and extra batteries.


When preparing for a photographic trek of the Ausangate Circuit on a Peru, adventure trip, it's important to pack carefully. Take all the necessary gear to capture the stunning landscapes and moments along the way. This is a remote region with limited access to photographic equipment.


Unique Cultural Encounters

The Ausangate region is home to local Quechua communities. Capture candid portraits, traditional attire, and vibrant festivals, immersing yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of the region.


The people of the Ausangate region are known for their artisanal crafts. These include textiles, pottery, and jewelry. You may have the opportunity to visit local artisans and see their work firsthand as you trek The Ausangate on your Peru adventures.

Local Lady Selling her wares


Ever-changing Light and Weather

Ausangate's dynamic weather patterns and dramatic lighting conditions provide endless opportunities for capturing stunning shots. From golden sunrises to moody cloud formations, each moment presents a chance to create truly captivating images.


When photographing on The Ausangate Trek at night, Use a flashlight or headlamp to illuminate the foreground while keeping the shutter open. This technique can add depth and interest to your night shots. This is especially so when photographing the village's traditional architecture.

Night Shot


Unspoiled Natural Beauty

The Ausangate remains relatively untouched by mass tourism, offering photographers a chance to capture the raw and unspoiled beauty of the Andean landscape. Frame your shots with untouched wilderness, unobstructed vistas, and a sense of tranquility that is increasingly rare to find.


While photographing on the Ausangate Trek, consider including elements of the village. This could be using traditional houses or the hot springs. Include them in your night shots to add context and interest to your photos on your Peru adventure vacation.

House in The Ausangate



Embarking on a photography tour to Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain offers a unique opportunity to capture the sublime beauty of these enchanting destinations. The magnificent landscapes, vibrant colors, and cultural encounters make for an unforgettable experience for both professional and amateur photographers. By planning well, equipping yourself with the right gear, and respecting the local environment you can get the most out of a photography tour of the Ausangate and Rainbow mountain regions of Peru. Find out more here!