There are millions of reasons to explore Peru and we are not saying this because we, the Cusco Peru Travel team, love this country. Unquestionably, the diverse geography of Peru and the vestiges of its Inca civilization seduce any type of traveler. One of these good reasons is that Cusco is the gateway to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. Many travelers from all over the world come to our country every year to be dazzled by this Wonder of the World. But in recent years, a geological wonder has gained increasing popularity. We are talking about the Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca. This “newly” discovered mountain has become a must-see destination in Peru. In fact, it is one of the most visited attractions in recent times. But many people do not know that Rainbow Mountain is only a few hours from Cusco. Perfect for a great day trip.
Everything about the Rainbow Mountain in Cusco, Peru
- What is the Rainbow Mountain?
- Where is this beauty found?
- Book your excursion
- Climbing to the top: Prepare for the height
- Helpful tips
WHAT IS THE RAINBOW MOUNTAIN?
It is a spectacular, colorful, and particularly magnificent mountain found in the high Andes of Peru. What distinguishes Rainbow Mountain from other Andean mountains is its vibrant variety of colors. This mountain is rich in rare minerals that cause the coloration of the rainbow. Rainbow Mountain is full of layers of yellow, orange, red, and turquoise. Each color comes from a different mineral, for example, yellow indicates iron sulfide and red comes from iron oxide. Completely impressive, like a dream landscape on Earth.
Although the other Andean mountains probably have similar colorations underneath their exterior, Rainbow Mountain stands out. This is because its exterior has been literally erased. According to locals, the mountain was completely covered in snow, but due to weather changes, the snow melted. So the mountain’s unique mineralogy exposed the colors to the world creating this rainbow effect. We believe that Rainbow Mountain belongs to a fascinating fairy tale. So there is no doubt that your tours in Peru will surprise you more than you expect. In case you are on solo travel, you can also enjoy this wonderful attraction.
WHERE IS THIS MULTICOLORED BEAUTY?
Rainbow Mountain is located within the Peruvian Andes, about a three-hour drive from Cusco. During the hike, you will hike through picturesque villages, fields full of llamas, alpacas, and snow-capped peaks. In addition, you will have magnificent views of the Ausangate mountain, the highest mountain in the Cusco region.
To get to the main viewpoint, you have to walk about 15 km. It takes most people about three hours to climb, but trust us, the breathtaking Andean views will make it easy for you to forget the “fight.” Also, the walk back will be a piece of cake. But if you wish, there are options to go up on horseback as well. A great option for children or adults. If you are looking to plan a luxury vacation, you can think about including this wonderful destination in your itinerary.
BOOK YOUR EXCURSION
We always recommend our readers to book their tours well in advance, but this is not the case with Rainbow Mountain tours. The reason? There are countless local tourist offices that sell excursions to Rainbow Mountain every day. You can easily reserve one the day before without any problem. But keep in mind that tours can sell out quickly during peak tourist season (June to September). So to secure a spot on this adventure, book at least a few days in advance.
Tours cost an average of 100 soles ($ 30 USD approx.). They include transportation, breakfast and lunch, and an expert local guide. Some tours start at 3 am to arrive at sunrise time, others even earlier to avoid the huge crowds later in the day. Well, you should check your tour operator’s itinerary.
The entrance to the Rainbow Mountain Park has a cost of 10 Soles. It is generally not included in most tours to the colored mountains. So, just in case, bring some extra cash. There are many reasons to visit Peru, but this hiking trail is without a doubt one of the best.
CLIMBING TO THE TOP: PREPARE FOR HEIGHT
Rainbow Mountain is set at 5,200 meters above sea level. This height is no joke, so you should never underestimate the altitude and its impact. Especially if you come from places that are at sea level. Remember that the higher you go, the thinner the air becomes, so you can quickly feel out of breath during your walk. For this reason, one of the first things to do in Cusco is to properly prepare for altitude sickness. Getting acclimated to the altitude will make the difference between a wonderful experience and an unhappy one.
Be aware that altitude sickness manifests itself with headaches, nausea, and fatigue. This can be felt when traveling to a high altitude too fast from a lower altitude. So, we do not recommend doing a Rainbow Mountain tour within at least the first 48 hours of arriving in Cusco. It is a good idea for the first few days to avoid great efforts such as heavy meals.
In addition, to prevent or treat altitude sickness, it is advisable to drink plenty of water, coca tea, or chew coca leaves. The coca leaf is considered an ancient medicine that was used by the Incas since time immemorial. You should also avoid alcohol, caffeine, and preferably salty foods.
The Rainbow Mountain hike is challenging but rewarding. It is suitable for all types of audiences. Even if you are not in great physical condition, you can take this wonderful route. It is one of the most magical Peru tourist attractions. But any magical experience must be accompanied by some advice, right? So we bring you some little tips to keep in mind.
- The weather in the Andes is unpredictable. It can change considerably in seconds, so be sure to prepare for all types of weather. Bring layers of clothing, such as a waterproof jacket, hiking boots, and a hat. Also, bring a small backpack with some snacks and lots of water.
- At high altitudes, you can get badly sunburned, even on cloudy days. Therefore, a strong sunscreen is as essential as sunglasses.
- Also make sure you hydrate well before starting your hike, as well as bring a bottle of water for when you go up.
“IT TAKES SUNSHINE AND RAIN TO MAKE A RAINBOW. THERE WOULD BE NO RAINBOWS WITHOUT SUNSHINE AND RAIN.”
In conclusion, for those looking for an exciting adventure, consider all that the Inca city of Cusco has to offer. Cusco Peru Travel is completely sure that the Rainbow Mountain, with its natural and multicolored beauty, will be everything you expect and even more! We hope together with our team to have been helpful for your future plans. If you want to know more about our different available tours, then you can consult with our qualified advisors. They will be happy to help you plan your dream trip and make it come true! We will be waiting for your soon visit to Peru!
Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here in Cusco Peru Travel, our speciality is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your tailor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.