Day Hikes Highlights
- Visit Vinicunca, the “Mountain of Seven Colors,” located in the Andes of Cusco
- Hike to the highest point of Rainbow Mountain, where you can enjoy terrific panoramic views of Ausangate
- Get a personalized experience with an excellent local expert and professional trekking guide.
Where exactly is Rainbow Mountain located?
As part of the Vilcanota mountain range, it’s located in the middle of the communities of Cusipata and Pitumarca, in the provinces of Quispicanchi and Canchis respectively, in the Cusco region, southern Peru.
Its exact coordinates are as follows:
- 13 ° 52’8.51 ″, south latitude.
- 71 ° 18’12.76 ″, west latitude.
How long does it take to get to Rainbow Mountain from the city of Cusco?
It depends on the route you choose:
- If you travel through Cusipata, you’ll drive 102 km for 3 hours until you reach Phulawasipata. From there the walk will take 1 hour to the Rainbow Mountain.
- If you travel through Pitumarca, you’ll travel 139 km by car for 4 hours until you reach Pampachiri. From there the walk will take 1 hour and 20 minutes to the Rainbow Mountain.
Final recommendations to visit the Rainbow Mountain
Follow our recommendations to enjoy the majestic Rainbow Mountain without issues!
- Visit the mountain during the dry season, that is, from April to November.
- Stay in good health and in excellent physical condition.
- Bring a hat, special hiking shoes, warm clothes, sunglasses, hiking poles. and a rain poncho.
- This hike is not suitable for children under 12 years old.
- Remember that to avoid altitude sickness you must go through a minimum acclimatization period of 2 days in the city of Cusco. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
What should I bring to Rainbow Mountain?
To know exactly what you should bring, consider that you’ll leave the city and that you’ll walk in the cold and at high altitude. Some indispensable things are:
- Your original passport or other official identification document.
- Cash in small denominations for any unforeseen expenses.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, cap or hat, and a rainproof poncho.
- Special hiking shoes, hiking pants, jacket, windbreaker, and gloves.
- Camera with extra batteries.
- Water and snacks.
- Coca leaves to combat altitude sickness and invigorate you.
What is the difficulty level of the Rainbow Mountain excursion?
The difficulty level of this route is challenging. Most of the trail is in good condition; however, you must ascend an intense slope towards the end, thus exceeding 5,000 masl / 17,000 fasl.
Remember that you’ll be walking at high altitude and that you may suffer from altitude sickness. The higher you go, the less oxygen there will be in the air. So you’ll feel your breathing a little agitated.
Due to all that, to fully enjoy this excursion you must be in excellent physical shape and have undergone a process of acclimatisation. That’s why we recommend you arrive in Cusco 2 days in advance to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of altitude sickness: severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
There’s always the option of renting the service of a horse that can take you. The approximate price is S/. 50.00 soles one way and S/.90.00 soles round trip.
What kind of flora and fauna can I see at the Rainbow Mountain?
During your walk to the Rainbow Mountain you‘ll reach the two highest altitude levels in Peru: the Puna and the Janca where no animal species lives permanently. Over 5,000 masl few things grow, but you’ll be able to get to know the ichhu, a type of straw that serves as food for alpacas, llamas, and vicuñas. You’ll also be able to see kestrels and if you’re lucky, some majestic condor will open its wings for you.