Putting history and culture aside, Cusco is surrounded by the most visually striking natural scenery where evergreen valleys and towering mountains complement everyone’s experience, whilst renovating their energy with its spellbinding characteristics.
Not everything is about ancient civilizations, the region offers the opportunity of doing trekking activities that lead to otherworldly landscapes, just like the famous Rainbow Mountain. The so-called Montaña de Colores in Spanish is one of the most in-demand attractions in Cusco since it receives over 1,500 visitors per day, positioning it just behind Machu Picchu.
If you love outdoor excursions as much as we do, you certainly wouldn’t like to miss this adventure! On this trek, you’ll be immersed in the exuberan nature of the Andes, surrounded by herds of alpacas walking freely through the Vilcanota mountain range.
In addition to Peru’s signature colored mountain, the region offers a not-so-touristy attraction but as impressive as the mount itself, the Red Valley, a mars-like esplanade with a reddish coloration that expands as far as the eye can see.
For that reason, we have prepared a special itinerary to these natural wonders, where every effort you make will be rewarded throughout the way. Are you up to this adventure? Keep reading and find out everything about this life-time experience!
1. Rainbow Mountain
Also known as Vinicunca Mountain, it is located at an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level. Although the natural wonder had always existed, it was hidden in plain sight since it wasn’t until 2015 that due to climate change, the thick layers of snow and ice melted away unveiling its colors to the world.
However, it wasn’t until 2016 that the Peruvian government decided to commercialize it as a tourist attraction. The natural beauty of this wonder made it viral on the first days of its “discovery,” which is why it is the most sought after attraction in the Cusco Region.
The particular coloration of the Rainbow Mountain is originated by the concentration of sediments and minerals in its soil. According to geologists, it must have taken millions of years for nature to create such a masterpiece, potentially since the tertiary and quaternary periods, about 65 million years ago.
Nonetheless, the whole region complements the scenery with towering mounts like the Ausangate Mountain, located just in front of Vinicunca. Likewise, the entire location is the grazing area to several llamas and alpacas, a spectacle you certainly don’t want to miss!
2. Red Valley (Optional)
For those who didn’t know, the Red Valley is located a few meters away from the Vinicunca mountain, it takes about 25 minutes to get there. The esplanade is famous for its authentic reddish coloration that covers almost the entire valley creating an otherworldly scenery.
Just like the Rainbow Mountain, its color comes from its mineral-rich soil. However, the Red Valley isn’t as popular as the main attraction of the site since the altitude hinders the trek for those who are not used to it.
Quick Tip: There are more rainbow mountains in Peru that you don’t know about! If you wish more information, please check this special blog we have for you.
If you’re interested in taking the trek, keep in mind that you must be acclimatized before committing to this physically demanding activity.
Due to the high altitude of these lands, one may experience altitude sickness symptoms, which is why it is highly recommended to spend some time in Cusco before venturing out to the Rainbow Mountain.
We want you to travel in comfort, therefore, we have structured this itinerary so you can have a fun but also safe experience during your visit:
04:00h - 04:30h | Pick up at the hotel
Our team will pick you up at your accommodation. It will take about 2.5 hours to get to the rainbow mountain from Cusco, but first we’ll have a stop for breakfast.
04:30h - 06:30h | Breakfast stop
30 minutes before arriving at the starting point of the trek, we’ll have breakfast at a cozy restaurant between the mountains.
07:00h - 09:30h | Trek to Rainbow Mountain
Before starting the trek, our guides will give some useful information so you can walk safely to the top of the mountain. The hike will start at 4,800 meters above the sea level, which is why we need to take it calmly and slowly.
09:30h - 10:15h | Free time on the mountain
Once at the top of the mountain, you’ll realize that all that hard work has paid off! Our guides will explain the origin of the mountain and will give you some free time so you can fully appreciate this natural wonder.
10:30h - 12:30h | Return to the buses
Once we’re done, we’ll return to the buses so we can continue to our lunch stop. It should take about 2 hours on the way down to the parking lot.
13:00h - 14:30h | Buffet Lunch
After a whole day full of adventure, now it’s time for a well-deserved lunch. We’ve selected a restaurant where you’ll be able to sample the best of the Peruvian cuisine.
14:30h - 17:00h | Return to Cusco
Once we’ve finished with all the activities, we’ll return to Cusco. Drop off will be at your accommodation or Plaza de Armas if requested.
- Our team is highly capacitated to assist you in case of any inconvenience. In case you’re feeling any altitude sickness symptoms, make sure to talk to any of our guides so they can assist you right away.
- If you want to visit the Red Valley, make sure to let your travel agent know upon booking.
- The day before the trek, our team will give you a briefing about the activity ahead. You’ll also be provided with a walking stick and an identification vest for the trip.
If you wish to experience this trek at its fullest, we have the perfect adventure for you. Keep in mind that you can organize your trip according to your interests, we are here to help you with any inquiry you may have, including assistance during your travel planning process.
The Rainbow Mountain Trek is included in some of our travel experiences. However, if you want to include it in your customized travel itinerary, don’t hesitate in contacting us. Our local expert team will make sure to optimize your time and adventure with a tailored-made travel plan for you.
Likewise, we care to provide top-quality services to each and every one of our passengers, which is why we count with certified drivers, professional guides, and an all-time monitored car fleet with GPS tracking.
- Duration: 13 hours approx.
- Entrance: All entrance fees are included in our travel packages.
- Included: Transport, entrance fees, two english speaking guides, pick up at the hotel, breakfast, buffet lunch, identification vest, walking stick, oxygen tank, first aid kit.
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