Climb Ampato volcano in Peru, a mountain that went from obscurity to world fame when a mummy was found at its summit.

This is a challenging trekking peak because Ampato rises up 6,318m/20,728ft into the sky.

Ampato is one of the largest in the chain of volcanoes which master the landscape of Arequipa.

The final summit requires use of an ice axe, crampons and ice boots – our guide will give instruction.

More on Ampato volcano

In 1995, a group of archaeologists found at the summit Momia Juanita (Mummy Juanita) – a mummified young Inca woman.

This maiden of Ampato was in much the same condition as when she was sacrificed 500 years ago, and can be seen in the Arequipa city museum of Santuarios Andinos Universidad Catolica Santa Maria.

We off three more volcanoes – Chachani, Misti and Coropuna – and all are an adventure site for climbers and walkers and offer great views from the summit.

The dry season (April-November) is the best time to scale Ampato and the other volcanoes.



Trip Highlights

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  • Scale one of the highest volcanoes in Peru.

  • Reach a 6,000m peak with instruction on how to use ice axe and crampons.

  • Spectacular views from the summit over the volcanoes of Arequipa.

  • Professional, qualified guides to help you get to the summit.

Thank you for organising such a splendid trip for us. Overall we were happy with how it turned out.

V. Harris

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Full Itinerary

Day 1: Depart Arequipa for Sallalli, at base of mountain, camp at 4,700m (L,D)

Leave early from your hotel in Arequipa to Sallalli, at the base of the mountain.

En route we may see big groups of alpacas, llamas and vicuñas as we enter the national reserve of Aguada Blanca y Salinas.

Once the vehicle has dropped us off, we have five hours of trekking to get to our first camps at 4,700m/15,420ft.

Day 2: Trek to Camp 1 at 5,400m (B,L,D)

It’s a five hour walk to camp 1, but not overly strenuous, giving plenty of time enjoy the views around.

Camp at 5,400m/17,716ft.

Day 3: Climb to summit (6 hours), descend to camp 1 (B,L,D)

Summit day.

We set off early to climb to the summit, which may take up to six hours, but we have great views once the sun comes up.

At the top, you can visit the archaeological site where the maiden of Ampato was found.

Having celebrated the summit, we then descend (2 hours) to camp 1 for the night OR for those who wish, trek out and meet our vehicle and drive back to Arequipa.

Day 4: Descend to base camp, rendezvous with vehicles, return to Arequipa (B,L)

A two-hour descent to base camp and then rendez-vous with the vehicles for the drive back to Arequipa.


Prices From $800 / £640 per person

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What's Included?

Guide, transfers to and from Arequipa-Ampato-Arequipa, meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 4, communal camping equipment and climbing equipment, support team

What's Not Included?

Flights, insurance, personal items and clothing, tips, Arequipa hotels and meals, acclimatisation walks in Arequipa, alcoholic or soft drinks, snacks


Accommodation

Camping.

You will carry your personal items such as clothes, sleeping bag etc. You need to take a backpack for the items you want to carry. This MUST be waterproof – or pack your things inside plastic bags. Keep the weight down as much as possible. You can take a small backpack too, for the summit attempt.

Tour Staff

Local drivers will take you to and from the mountain, and all logistics are taken care of in Arequipa.

Your guide will be a professional, qualified and English-speaking guide, who knows the route well and how to get you to the summit.


Meals

Vegetarians and many other dietary requirements are catered for without problems. Please let us know in advance of any requirements you have.

On trekking days you wake early, usually around 06.00. Breakfast is served in a dining tent, and consists of hot drinks, porridge, toast, jams and bread, and your guide will explain the day’s trekking plans. It’s usually cold in the morning mountain air, and, after eating and then packing your backpack, we set off walking, usually for a couple of hours at a time, with breaks to rest.

On summit days, breakfast will be a basic snack as we leave the tents around 01.00-03.00, depending on conditions.

Lunch is usually around 13.00 and can feature soups and pasta, with vegetarian options and hot drinks too. We aim to get to camp about 16.00 on most days, and your tent will be set up for you, although you may be asked to help out if conditions have been bad and the team needs help. It’s hard for gas to burn at high altitudes, so meals tend to be basic.

Dinner is served around 19.30, and will feature pasta, mashed potatoes, rice and/or vegetarian options, followed by hot drinks and a pudding. Most people go to bed fairly early after a long day trekking, to recover energy for the morning, or to be ready for the early summit attempt time, where we leave the tent around midnight to 03.00, depending on conditions.

Activity Level

In order to get the most out of the tour you should be in very good physical condition and very well acclimatised to high altitude.

It is preferable to attempt Ampato after a long, high altitude trek such as Huayhuash.

It is not easy to grade the fitness level required for the trek, since it is a subjective matter.

However, we have classified this trek as strenuous.

We trek approximately five to eight hours per day with several long ascents and descents at very high altitudes.

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Practical Information

Introduction to Peru

Peru is the perfect holiday destination for adventure travellers that want an amazing variety of activity, geography and cultural travel experiences.

The breadth of travel experiences in Peru is breathtaking – from trekking in the Andes to Machu Picchu to the tropical jungle of the Amazon, and plenty in between.

The people of Peru make it a special destination too, with its colourful and traditional street life and friendly locals.

Kit list

Good kit is vital for every trip.

Book with Andean Trails and get 15% off Páramo’s fantastic ethical and high performance outdoor gear.

When planning for the extreme climatic conditions encountered on high peaks in the Andes, layering is the most practical and versatile clothing system. It’s worth remembering that our clothing keeps us warm by retaining and isolating the heat we ourselves create.

To best maintain body heat, several layers of lightweight, warm and quick-drying clothing are far more efficient than one or two thick layers.

Layers should have the following qualities:

 

  1. Breathability (able to wick away the humidity produced by sweat);
  2. Isolation (able to keep in the warm air our body produces); and
  3. Impermeability (able to impede the passing of wind and water).

 

First (base) layer: This layer wicks the sweat away from our skin, thus helping keep the body dry and warm. To this end, synthetic fabrics such as polypropylene should be used.

Mid layers: These isolating layers should also be synthetic (e.g. the known polar linings such as polartec or windblock, which are light and insulate twice as well as wool). Very important layers for retaining body heat.

Outer layer / shell: Finally, the vital layer which protects us from climatic adversities. A breathable, wind-proof and waterproof anorak, such as Goretex.

 

Note that it’s our extremities that stand to suffer the most, and on high Andean peaks the poorly-equipped mountaineer is at risk of becoming frostbitten. Hence, much thought should be given to deciding how best to protect hands, feet and head.

Give plenty of thought to kit selection, and try to keep weight down.

Below is a more detailed guide.

 

Feet

  • 2 pairs synthetic inner socks (e.g. polypropylene, thermastat, coolmax)
  • 4 pairs thick loop-stitch/wool socks for cold.
  • Trekking boots – should be well broken-in, waterproof and provide good ankle support. Given the extreme cold, plastic mountaineering boots (e.g. Koflach) are also required. These are indispensable. (see ‘TECHNICAL KIT’ below)
  • Gaiters (1 pair), heavy and large enough to fit over plastic boots.
  • Trainers/sandals, for city-wear, evenings at lower camps & river crossings.

 

Legs

  • Base layer leggings (1-2 pair).
  • Thick fleece leggings (or salopettes) (1 pair).
  • Goretex-type over-trousers (or salopettes) (1 pair).
  • Trekking trousers (1 pair).
  • Shorts – wear sparingly in early stages at altitude, as sun burns.

 

Body

  • Thermal base layer shirts (2).
  • Microfleece mid-layer shirt (1).
  • Shirt/T-shirt 1 or 2 for lower altitudes. Long-sleeved, collared shirt protects against sun.
  • Fleece jacket or similar (1).
  • Warm jacket (down or synthetic) with hood. For camp and upper slopes.
  • Waterproof Goretex-type jacket.
  • 1-2 sports bras/tanks (for women)

 

Head and neck

  • Broad-brimmed sunhat, essential.
  • Warm hat, fleece or wool. (N.B. Up to 30% of body heat can be lost through the head).
  • Balaclava/full-face ski mask (1)
  • Sunglasses with UV filter and nose and side-pieces.
  • 1 pair of glacier compatible sunglasses (full coverage – ask salesperson if you are not sure)
  • Scarf for cold.
  • Bandanna  – to protect neck from strong sun.
  • 1 cap with visor

 

Hands

For the extreme cold, we recommend a 3-layer scheme:

  • 1 pair of Gore-Tex shell gloves
  • 2 pairs of removable fleece glove liners
  • Mittens allow you to keep the fingers together, and better conserve heat (though they also make it difficult to perform certain tasks).

 

Technical kit

  • Large backpack (80-90 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • You will need another bag to store belongings left at hotel during expedition.
  • Daypack (at least 30 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • Plastic mountaineering boots (you can rent these)
  • Crampons, strap-on or step-in (can be rented)
  • Walking ice axe (can be rented)
  • Pair of telescopic trekking poles. (can be rented).

 

Other expedition kit

  • Sleeping bag – a good warm bag (‘4-season’, minimum) and liner will be necessary for high-altitude camping.
  • Sleeping mat, a foam mat is provided
  • 2 x water bottles (2 litres each approx).
  • Pee bottle.
  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, anti-biotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Sunscreen (factor 40+) and lip salve.
  • Head-lamp (Plus spare bulbs and batteries x 2 at least).
  • Penknife.
  • Thermos flask (1 litre) Stainless steel.
  • Alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!).
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other for free time.
  • Binoculars.
  • Spanish/English phrasebook.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.

 

All other non-personal trekking and camping equipment is provided, e.g. tents, cutlery etc.

Altitude

Being at altitude, especially in the tropics, is usually a pleasure as it isn’t so hot, there are few insects and the air is clear.

However, when gaining altitude, air pressure drops and the amount of oxygen reaching the lungs is reduced. Although we build plenty of acclimatisation time into our itineraries, certain ill-effects are possible. Nevertheless, all of these can be minimised or prevented if care is taken.

On reaching heights above 2,500m (approx. 8,200 ft), especially when ascent has been straight from sea level, heart pounding, mild headache and shortness of breath are normal, especially on exertion.

Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a syndrome known locally as soroche, whose symptoms can include of bad headache, dizziness and nausea).

To avoid AMS, you should:

  • Rest for a few hours on arrival at altitude and take it easy for the first couple of days. Note: you may feel fine on arrival and tempted to exert yourself as normal. Don’t be fooled: you might be benefiting from oxygen brought in your blood from sea level.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (altitude is a diuretic). Coca tea (mate de coca) helps alleviate symptoms.
  • Eat light meals, with high carbohydrate and low fat and protein content. Dine early, allowing digestion time pre-sleep.
  • Avoid over-exposure to the strong highland sun (UV rays are very powerful) – especially in the early stages – making sure you wear a broad brimmed sunhat. Apply lip-salve to prevent chapped lips.
  • Avoid or minimise consumption of cigarettes and alcohol. Avoid sleeping pills.
  • If you do get AMS: Rest, take non-aspirin painkillers (for headache) and coca tea. Symptoms should subside after a day or two.
  • Pregnant women, people with a history of heart, lung, kidney or blood disease or blood pressure problems, should consult their doctor before traveling to high altitude.

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.

 

What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.

 

Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.

 

I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

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