Tourist walking in the direction of the rainbow mountain with its intense colors

Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Trek

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3 Days / 2 Nights
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from US$300
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Max. Altitude
5050 m / 16568 ft
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Group Size
Up to 12 people
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  • Upis
  • Pampa Arapa
  • Abra de Pukaqocha
  • Anantapata
  • Rainbow Mountain

The Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Trek 3D

Get ready to discover the magic and the impressive colours of the Rainbow Mountain of Peru, also known as Vinicunca. This great spectacle of nature is located in the Vilcanota mountain range, near the highest snow-capped peak in the Cusco region, the Apu Ausangate (6,350 masl / 20,833 fasl) considered an important sacred deity for the Andean cosmovision. From pre-Inca times until today, this mountain has been a place of worship and offering.

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Before You Go
  • Pricing
  • Enquire Now

The Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Trek 3D offer you an unforgettable experience relatively quickly. You will travel deserted roads and deep valleys. You’ll enjoy the company of herds of alpacas and llamas while you contemplate crystalline lagoons at the foot of this imposing sacred mountain. In addition, you’ll challenge your physical resistance to reach the majestic Rainbow Mountain.

Let yourself be enveloped by this surreal landscape in the Andes of Peru in the company of the best adventure travel specialists in the city. Imagine that a mountain covered in intense colors appears in front of your eyes: magenta, turquoise, yellow. It’s not a dream, it’s a true natural wonder! So get ready for an amazing trip on a route not yet saturated by travelers.

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 0

    Pre-Departure Briefing


  • Day 1

    Cusco | Upis - Pampa Arapa

  • Day 2

    Pampa Arapa | Abra de Pukaqocha - Anantapata

  • Day 3

    Anantapata | Rainbow Mountain - Cusco

Why Take the Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley?

  • This area is simply stunning, with sparkling lagoons, Mars-like red valleys, and dramatic landscapes.
  • If you enjoy hiking, this region certainly merits more of your time. You will quickly realize that while Rainbow Mountain may have become a popular tourist attraction for backpackers and daytrippers, few realize this part of Peru's true beauty.
  • Everyone dreams of wanderings off the beaten tourist path, discovering hidden gems in a world region.
  • The earthly rainbow of vibrant colors is an indescribable visual feast, and the fact that it is also one of the least-known wonders of South America certainly adds to the appeal for discerning explorers.
  • It's incredible to discover that this is one of Peru's remotest and least-visited regions, although it's found only a hundred or so km from Cusco, as the crow flies.
  • Cusco Expeditions arranges a wide range of treks to Rainbow Mountain and the other natural highlights surrounding Ausangate.
Day 1

Cusco | Upis - Pampa Arapa

At 5:00 am we will stop by your hotel to pick you up and transfer you in our private van for 3 hours to the starting point of our trek in the town of Upis. There you’ll enjoy the first breakfast prepared by our chef and you’ll be able to contemplate an amazing landscape. After a short time, we’ll start this exciting adventure. We’ll gradually ascend during the first 3 hours towards the place where we have lunch. During the journey we’ll be able to observe the majestic Ausangate Mountain in the distance. We will be waiting for you at our first stop with a hot herbal tea and then you can satiate yourself with a delicious lunch. You’ll have time to take a short rest before continuing our tour. The last portion of the trek is a gradual ascent for 2 hours until you reach the camp where you’ll arrive at approximately 5:00 pm. You’ll be at the very foot of the mighty Ausangate Mountain! From there, you’ll have the option of taking a short tour to succumb to the beauty of a glacial lake. It will be the perfect opportunity to enjoy the scenery without any other tourist. When you return you can serve yourself chocolate or coffee and, later, dinner will be ready.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hot drinks.
  • Accommodation:  Camps
  • Difficulty:  Moderate
  • Walking Distance:  6.21 miles
  • Campsite Elevation:  4600 m / 15091 ft
Day 2

Pampa Arapa | Abra de Pukaqocha - Anantapata

We’ll wake you up very early with a hot cup of coca leaf tea that will help you acclimatize and start the day in the best way possible. As soon as you open your tent door, you’ll get to observe the magical lights of dawn on the huge glacier. Then we’ll enjoy the delicious and nutritious breakfast. Our walk will start uphill for 1 hour towards the Arapa Pass (4,800 masl / 15,744 fasl). Along the way you’ll be able to see an amazing eroded mountain, beautiful high Andean valleys, and, if you’re lucky, the majestic flight of the condor. In addition, you can vibrate with the beauty of several glacial lagoons such as Yanaqocha (black lagoon) or Pukaqocha (red lagoon). Take advantage of these locations to take some great photos. Later we’ll descend for 2 hours to the lunch spot and then ascend for 1.5 hours to the Pukaqocha Pass (5,000 masl /16,400 fasl) where you’ll be able to appreciate a new angle of the sacred mountain of Ausangate, as well as the endless Vilcanota mountain range. From there 2 more hours walking await us on the descent to Anantapata (4,650 masl / 15,252 fasl) where our camp is located. There we will greet you with a hot drink. What a dream day! Before a deserved night of rest, you’ll enjoy the dinner prepared by our chef and his assistant.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hot drinks.
  • Accommodation:  Camps
  • Difficulty:  Challenging
  • Walking Distance:  7.45 miles
  • Campsite Elevation:  4650 m / 15252 ft
Day 3

Anantapata | Rainbow Mountain - Cusco

Today we’ll also get up early to start our adventure. After having breakfast we’ll head to explore the famous Vinicunca, or Rainbow Mountain. We’ll start ascending for 1 hour to the pass located at 5,000 masl / 16,400 fasl. From here, you will get the first view of the spectacular Rainbow Mountain; a landscape taken from the most hallucinated dreams imaginable! After a short break, we’ll continue descending for about 25 minutes to the flattest section of the trail. We still have 1 hour to walk. Once we reach the Vinicunca Mountain we’ll have time to enjoy this spectacular scenery before it fills up with tourists. Here our guide will explain why these mountains are so special. Its impressive colour display is due to sedimentary layers of minerals that were exposed by erosion. Remember that this type of phenomenon can only be seen in two places around the world: Peru and China. Take advantage of your time to connect with the energy of the mountains. After having enjoyed this surreal landscape we will walk for 2 hours to the lunch spot where a van will be waiting for us. The 3-hour journey will end at the door of your hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch.
  • Difficulty:  Challenging
  • Walking Distance:  7.45 miles
  • Highest Elevation:  5020 m / 16469 ft

What Is Included?

  • High Quality Service & Safety

  • Pre-departure briefing

    You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our porters. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.

  • Experienced Guide

    All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. Also, they speak English. As good cusqueños, they feel a great commitment to transmit the knowledge they have inherited from their grandparents. They are very friendly and professional. They’ll make sure you are safe and happy.

  • Camping Equipment

    Cusco Expeditions uses the best equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Every 2 people will share Eureka Timberline tents or Mountain Hard Wears with capacity for 4 people. In addition, you’ll have a spacious dining tent where you can enjoy your food without problems.

  • Medical Kit

    All Cusco Expeditions guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergency situations (altitude sickness, traveller’s diarrhoea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.

  • Customer Service 24/7

    We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.

  • Meals

  • Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners

    Our chef prepares the best dishes in the middle of the mountain. Our passengers love our food! We respect all diets so let us know if you have any special restrictions on your reservation form and remind your guide during the briefing. You’ll enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner; in addition to hot drinks and snacks. Every morning we’ll give you your snack so you can enjoy it during the walk. Remember that your last lunch will be on day 4. Dinner on the last day is not included.

  • Water

    From the first lunch to the last breakfast, Cusco Expeditions will provide you with all the water you need. The water is boiled, filtered, and cooled. You must bring your water bottles or a camel bag. We recommend a capacity of 3 litres. You’ll be able to fill your bottles during each meal.

  • Wake up tea

    Every morning at the campsite, you will woken up with a cup of coca tea! Our staff will bring the tea to your tent so that you will be warmed from inside out before you start your day.

  • Tea time daily

    Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide popcorn, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you will not have to wait until dinner to relax, warm up, and enjoy a bite to eat!

  • Snacks on the trail daily

    Local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc. We will give this snack to you at the beginning of each day in your cloth bag.

  • One cloth snack bag per person

    To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we will give you a cloth bag for your snacks.

  • Products for hygiene

    You will be provided with a small towel before each meal to clean your hands.

  • Transportation

  • Transport

    From Cusco to Upis.

    From llacto to Cusco.

  • EXTRAS included in our service.

  • We believe that attention to small details is what sets us apart from other local companies. You’ll receive a small sleeping pillow, a foam mattress, a cover to protect your backpack on the road, and a rain poncho.

  • Satellite phones:

    Our main priority will always be the tranquillity of our clients. While all of our guides are prepared for emergencies in the mountains, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps you feel more secure. Each Cusco Expeditions guides has a satellite phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to call anywhere in the world. You can also use it even if it’s not an emergency.

What Is Not Included?

  • Travel Insurance

  • Tips for our staff

    Tips are usual on any excursion to Machu Picchu. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do. Typically, group participants collect their tips to hand out to the porters and chefs together.

  • Additional costs or delays out of control of the management

    Landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.

  • Sleeping Bags

    You can rent one from our company if you do not have your own. Our sleeping bags are effective and durable to protect from temperatures as low as -18ºC (0ºF). They are mummy form and include a sleeping liner. The bags are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips.

  • Walking Sticks

    You can rent a set from our company if you would like.

  • Day 3 Dinner

  • Personal clothing and gear

  Before You Go

We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.

Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!

Briefing or informative meeting

All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Cusco Expeditions offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.

Duffel bag or canvas case:

ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.

A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.

Payment of Trek Balance (in Cusco)

The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.

It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.

Storing your luggage at our Office.

Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.

Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.


Cusco Expeditions can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.

Group tours:

Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.

Strikes and demonstrations:

Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.

Lost objects:

You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.


The Rainbow Mountain can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because rainy season & maintenance.

  • Group Price

  • Rainbow Mountain Group
  • 2020 Land Cost
    per person
  • Pre-payment
  • Balance
  • This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.

Extensions & Offers

There are several extensions you can include to your Adventure:

  • Sacred Valley:  $100  $80
  • City Tour:  $20

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information

  Enquire Now

Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Cusco Expeditions. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.

Personal Details

Trip Details

Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain 3D
14 years and above
Below 14 years
7 + 3 =
Remember |  One of our Travel Experts will contact you soon to confirm the availability of the trip you chose, give you more information, and/or provide you alternative options. Once availability is established, we will ask for a deposit and a completed online registration to confirm your spot on the trek. Please call us at (+51) 947736747 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.

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Our Pledge |  Your privacy is respected and protected. The Cusco Expeditions Company will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.

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Feel free to reach us via email at or by calling us directly at +51 947 736 747

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Triunfo Street 392, office 212, 2nd floor - Main Square of Cusco, Peru

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Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 8:00 pm
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

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Due to the rainy season and trail maintenance, we don't offer this trek during the whole month of february. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, we are working to provide you a better service!

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Our Focus

Guarantee you the adventure of a Lifetime

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Your Safety is our priority

Cusco Expeditions organized a first aid and rescue course in which all its guides actively participated.

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Expert Local Guides

Our Destination Experts aren't just trip designers, they're true explorers with experience in Peru you won't find anywhere else.

Fantastic Meals
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Fantastic Meals

The food is one of the most important things on the trek, we bring balance and nutritive food along the trail.

Small Groups
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Small Groups

Travelling with us will always feel like travelling among friends and not with a group of strangers in an organized tour.

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Great Experiences & Magical Places

The Journey is the Destination

What better way to explore a magic destination than by following in the footsteps of the people who know it best? To find out the best places to view during your Salkantay Trek, take a look at some of our traveler's favorite places.

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