The Rainbow Mountain is a natural geologic formation near Apu Ausangate and is now the second-most visited site in Cusco after Machu Picchu! This breath-taking mountain in Peru goes by many names: Rainbow Mountain, Coloured Mountain, or Vinicunca Mountain. It is one of those places where the whole journey is as amazing as the destination. The scenery along the trek is just like the pictures!
Very early in the morning at approximately 4am, you will be picked up at your hotel in Cusco. We will drive to Cusipata for a large breakfast and our professional guide will give you first information about the course of the day and additional safety precautions. Later, you will arrive at Llactoc, the starting point of our 2-hour hike to Rainbow Mountain. The first part of the trail is at a normal incline and then greatly increases to a steeper climb for the last 30 minutes. When we reach the top, we will admire a colourful and impressive mountain landscape at 5,000 meters (16,404 feet), as well as the beautiful snowy peak of Apu Ausancate (6,400m/ 2,100ft). We can even continue hiking along the red valley, but this will depend on the weather conditions and the rest of the group. On our way back to Cusco, we will stop again at a local restaurant to enjoy a delicous lunch with our group. We will arrive in Cusco at 5:00pm-6:00pm and drop you off at Plaza San Francisco.
LOCAL GUIDES & TEAM
TICKETS & BRIEFING
There are two aspects that affect the difficulty of this day hike: the altitude and the steep uphill climb.
The trek starts at an altitude of 4,650m and you will hike for 1.5 hours up to Vinicunca Pass, which is the classic viewpoint of the colourful Rainbow Mountain, located at 5,040m.
The hike is not long, but a very steep, uphill climb, with an elevation gain of approximately 400m. This can be very demanding. Of course, others will find the return trip down even more challenging! Steep inclines can be very hard on the knees.
Please make sure you are well acclimatized before beginning the hike. We also recommend hiking poles that improve posture, making hikers more upright as they walk and in turn this can help breathing.
Rainbow Mountain has a very high altitude – you will hike over 5,000m, which is why acclimatization is very important!
The best way to prepare yourself for this trekking experiencee is easy: spend at least 2 to 3 days at a high-altitude place like Cusco, so your body gets used to the high altitude. If you have already been to a high altitude destination before arriving to Cusco, we still recommend you spend at least one full day in Cusco to rest, recuperate from your trip, and enjoy the beautiful views of the city before your trek.
Additionally, taking good care of your body helps deal with the extra pressures that altitude creates. We recommend you to eat healthy food, drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol. Chewing coca leaves, drinking coca tea helps to alleviate any discomfort associated with the altitude.
We have two main seasons in the Andes Moutnains, the rainy season (November-March) and the dry season (April-October).
During the rainy, warmer season temperatures average around 15°C / 60°F during the day and 5°C / 40°F at night. However, these temperatures may feel a lot colder to you.
During the dry season the weather is sunny and clear, and on average 20° C / 70 °F during the day but much colder at night, around -3 °C / 26 °F.
I traveled with KB Adventures to Rainbow Mountain and I had a wonderful experience! The company was so organized and efficient with booking our trip, I spoke to Brian and he answered all my questions and gave me great recommendations. He’s the best. Everything was conducted smoothly on our trip too; they picked us up on time and provided information every step of the way. I’m SO happy I traveled with them, next time I’m in Peru I will definitely do the 5-day Salkantay trek with KB!
Amazing Salkantay trek and Rainbow Mountain 🙂
I could not recommend this tour more. It was so well organised – the food was amazing. The guides especially were incredible – Raul and Bryan were so helpful with any issue we had. The campsites were very comfortable and sheltered – our tents were always under a cover so it was not too cold in the night. The group size was really good, about 20 of us. It was amazing!!!
We also booked the rainbow mountain tour with them, again it was amazing!