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Rainbow Mountain Peru is one of the most popular mountains to hike on in Peru. It’s famous because of its unique look; which consists of stripes in seven colors. Rainbow Mountain Peru is also notorious for being one of the most difficult hikes in Peru. The mountain is 5,200 meters (17,060 feet) above sea level—an altitude that makes every step taken on top of it a serious feat. When tourists reach the peak of the Rainbow Mountain hike, they do it with the pride of having overcome the difficult walk to get there. Other names used to refer to Rainbow Mountain include Vinicunca, Winikunka, and Montaña de Siete Colores (Mountain of Seven Colors).
The Rainbow Mountain trek can be done in one day as a day trip from Cusco and the trail to the summit and back is approximately 15km which involves around four to five hours of walking/trekking.
You will need to wake up early to enjoy this natural marvel at its best. Between 4:30 am and 5:00 am, we’ll pick you up directly from your hotel to start our ride to the south of Cusco through beautiful landscapes of valleys and agricultural communities. First, we will drive for around 2 hours to the town of Cusipata (3,329m / 12,772 ft.) where we will have an energizing breakfast.
After breakfast in Cusipata, we will continue our trip by van, following a beautiful way between the mountains, accompanied by our first views of Ausangate, the highest peak of Cusco. Along the way, we will pass through herds of hundreds of alpacas and llamas and the occasional shepherd or local people moving about their daily activities.
Our ascent will begin in Phulawasipata and last about 2 hours, bringing us to our final destination and the highest point on our Rainbow Mountain Trek (or Vinicunca trek), at 5,020 masl / 16,470 ft. Once we arrive at the top of Rainbow Mountain, you will have enough time to absorb the majesty of the red mountains that surround this area. You will also see amazing views of the valleys and Ausangate Glacier Peak in front of you. Ausangate is the tallest mountain of the Cusco region (just under 21,000 ft elevation), and is part of the Cordillera Vilcanota Range. While taking in these magnificent views, our staff will bring you some hot drinks and share some information with you about the composition of these mountains and how they became striated in the rainbow of colors.
After taking a few amazing pictures and soaking in the views (perhaps we will even see a few condors floating on the air currents), we will begin our descent with a one and half hour, downhill hike to Phuluwasipata. There our transport will be waiting to take us to a restaurant in Cusipata where we enjoy an energizing lunch. Finally, we return back to Cusco City arriving at approximately 4:30 pm to 5 pm.