On this tour, you'll get to see one of the Andes' most breathtaking sights. In the native language of Quechua, Vinicunca means “seven color mountain.” It is also commonly referred to as “Rainbow Mountain” because of its striped pattern of red, green, and lavender. These colors come from different types of sediment and are due in part to the high altitude.
- 11 hrs
- Available Days:
- Every day
- 3:00 AM, 6:00 AM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
This tour leaves before dawn, with a pickup time of 4:40 AM or 06:00 AM from your Cusco hotel. Your transportation will begin the 3-hour journey to Chilca, which is 14,763 feet (4,500 m) above sea level. As pick up time is very early in the morning, we will arrange a box breakfast.
Then, the hike through the Ausangate mountain region begins. The hike to Vinicunca Mountain takes 3 hours and covers close to 3 miles (4.5 km). Once you reach the mountain, you will be 16,076 feet (4,900 m) above sea level. The altitude necessitates an easygoing hiking pace.
On this trip to a remote part of the Peruvian Andes, you’ll have the chance to see more camelids than you ever knew existed. Llama and alpaca live in this area, as well as more rare species like guanaco, vicuña, and Andean deer. Other rare animals to look for on the tour include puma and the Andean condor.
After you’ve had your fill of the view, the tour returns to Chilca for lunch. Then you’ll begin your drive back to Cusco, where you will arrive between 6 and 7 pm.
Please note that it is best to acclimate to the high altitude before attempting this trip. It’s recommended that you spend at least 2 to 3 days in Cusco before the start of the trek. The hike is difficult, but you have the option to ride a horse instead for an extra fee.
What to Bring
Money for personal expenses, comfortable clothes, hiking shoes, sun glasses, sun screen, and a water bottle.
Transportation, entrance fee, breakfast and lunch, and bilingual guide.
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.
We loved this tour! It was a very difficult hike at the high elevation but worth it. We knew it would be busy with a lot of tourists, so that didn't bother us. I would HIGHLY recommend that anyone hiking Rainbow Mountain add the Red Valley. It was our favorite part of the hike as the views are AMAZING! We were not aware that we would have to hike up to a second peak, and that was a bit tiring, but it was worth it as there are amazing views of Rainbow Mountain with the snowcapped Andes behind it at the top of the second peak. The hike down through the red valley is beautiful and peaceful and we were the only hikers there for most of it, which is much better than hiking back down the busy side of Rainbow Mountain. Our guide was great and let us go at our own pace. I highly recommend this tour.
Simply amazing! No words can describe what I found at the end of this long trail. Now, this is not an easy hike for a low altitude dweller so be prepared to be short of breath. Take your time, move slowly, but get there and enjoy what you find at the end of the rainbow. Though, a long drive from Cusco (approximately 3 1/2 hours), Anywhere.com breaks it up by offering a breakfast buffet before and a lunch buffet after the trek. Bring lots of water, be prepared to go from hot to cold weather, and wear good hiking boots for the approximately 2-3 hour/6 mile round trip hike. Do not let that scare you...it is worth it.
It’s a good idea to have a horse. Wear a warm hat to prevent headaches, I also recommend in addition to the coca and muña tea to tell guest from USA to take Tums for the digestion problems. My family would have felt better with them as well.
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This tour allows you to experience beautiful views of the Palccoyo “Rainbow” Mountain. The colorful stripes on the mountain are layers of sediment exposed by erosion. How bright the colors appear depends on the weather — the colors can be more dull on cloudy or rainy days, but no matter what the conditions on the day of your tour there’s still plenty to see on this one-day trek.
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