How to get Rainbow Mountain in Peru

Rainbow Mountain Peru

The Rainbow Mountain hike in Peru is one of the most popular day trips in Cusco, Peru. In fact, in recent years it has become the second most visited destination in Cusco.

Rainbow Mountain Peru

It is very important to note that there is no a public transportation company that offers its services to leave you there. The only way to make this tour is with a travel agency or with a private car rented in the city of Cusco.

How to get to rainbow mountain Perú from Cusco?

As mentioned in the initial part there are now up to three (3) ways to get to this mountain one of them is the classic route that begins in Chacacupe – Pitumarca, and the other two begins through Cusipata.


1. Pitumarca – Classic Route.

This was the first access route to the rainbow mountain, you leave Cusco taking the road that leads to the city of Puno, and after 16 miles of route (2 hours) on a paved road you reach the town of Checacupe, where you turn toPitumarca.

In about 20 minutes you will reach this village where the unpaved road starts to the point of the start of the walk (45 minutes approximately).

Upon reaching this checkpoint it is necessary to pay the income of ten soles (S/ 10) per person (equivalent to $ 3 US dollars).

From this point there are two hours of walking until you reach 17,060 ft (5,200 m) above sea level, from where one can have the most beautiful photo of this world famous rainbow mountain Perú.

The return is by the same route, both the hiking and the journey by car.

2. Cusipata – Short route.

This route was opened to the public just a few weeks ago and in this short time it became the busiest route, being a little shorter than the previous one, both transporters and tourists feel more than happy to shorten the route a bit, although this difference is minimal.

As the previous route leaves Cusco taking the route Cusco-Puno and turns in the town of Cusipata.

After about 50 minutes on road we will reach the beginning point where we will start hiking, from here the hike takes one hour and 40 minutes approximately to the highest point.

The downhill route is easier, and like the previous one, and we will return taking the same route that we took to goup.

3. Cusipata – Red Valley.

This route takes us through a second attractive landscape, the intense red of all the mountains that form this valley leaves you with an open mouth.

This natural Peruvian wonder has nothing to envy to any location used in movies like STAR WARS or THE LORD OF THE RINGS (many of these locations made by computer).

To enjoy this experience first you have to get the rainbow mountain Perú, taking any of the two routes mentioned above, and you are going to return instead of returning by the same route is given a turn to the parallel valley to descend through the newly discovered Red Valley, which is the perfect complement to the rainbow mountain in Peru.

This route is pure descent and is longer than the two previous routes, so it is not as busy as the others, most tourists prefer the short or fast route, but this second show is worth it a lot.

Check our amazing Rainbow Mountain Peru Tour for this route.

When to Go to Rainbow Mountain Peru

Lorenzo Expeditions has a tour that leaves around 4 AM. It leaves from Cusco. We arrive at the tip of the Rainbow Mountain trail around 10 AM. It takes 2 hours to get to the top. It is uphill all the way, but not too steep. However, the altitude is very high, and the last 15 minutes are the most challenging. It only takes about an hour to go back down again.

Depending on the month you want to go, the weather can be varied, sometimes it rains, snow falls and other days the sky is clear.


Rainbow mountain in Perú whether.

In the same way as all Peruvian Andes. This area is highly affected in the rainy season months (from the end of December to the end of March) from unbearable rains, landslides, road blockades. There is the very high possibility of not reaching the summit and find everything totally cloudy. For them we recommend NOT to do this walk in this season because the risk is very high. The rest of the year the route is very quiet. May some week in June the mountain is covered with snow at 90%. But still the view is WONDERFUL.

JanuaryNot recommended.
FebruaryNot recommended.
MarchNot recommended.
MayHighly Recommended
JuneHighly Recommended
JulyHighly Recommended
AugustHighly Recommended
SeptemberHighly Recommended

Should You Hire a Horse for Rainbow Mountain Peru?

When you start the hike, a guide will check and see if you should rent a horse to climb the trail. This will depend a lot on your physical condition, but keep in mind that there are many places where you have to get off and walk anyway because the trail is too steep and narrow for you to ride safely. And you have to walk the last 15 minutes (the hardest part) on your own anyway.

The trail is not so difficult that you need a horse, some people prefer to walk. The price is around 80 soles.

Tips for Hiking Rainbow Mountain Peru

Bring Snacks

Lorenzo Expeditions includes breakfast and lunch. You can have breakfast at your hotel, but definitely bring something to eat before you start your walk. It takes 3 and a half hours to get to Rainbow Mountain in Peru, and that’s a long time from breakfast. The hike takes 2 hours and is a bit difficult, so you don’t want to try it on an empty stomach. Take some snacks with you in case you need to stop on the way, and make a sandwich for lunch when you get down there.

Don’t forget the water!

Drinking a lot of water will help with the altitude. We recommend carrying at least 1 litre per person on the hike, and having an extra bottle to leave in the car for when you return.

Wear sunscreen and pack layers

The mountain top is cold and very windy. You’ll definitely need a warm jacket up there! We recommend you wear waterproof walking shoes.

Plus, you’ll burn much faster at higher altitudes, so use lots of sunscreen.

Bring cash & Toilet Paper!

The entrance to this place costs 10 soles. You will also need some coins in case you need to use a bathroom or buy some water.

We can find several bathrooms along the way, which have a minimum cost, you should know that these bathrooms are very basic, do not expect a luxury one.

The rainbow mountain in Perú – Top 5 frequently common questions.

You probably heard about rainbow mountains around the world, and you wanted to go one of them, in this article we are going to talk about the rainbow mountain in Perú (Vinicunca), also called Montaña de siete colores (Mountain of seven colors).

The trip to the rainbow mountain Perú, is for today the most famous activity after Machu Picchu.

An average of 2000 tourists looking for adventure and see the wonders landscapes, initiate this physical and spiritual challenge every day.

The majority of them reach 17,060 feet of sea level (5200 m) (this is the rainbow mountain Perú altitude), with the heart in the hand and lungs to burst, another part of them require the help of a horse or mule to reach the highest point and unfortunately a small group fails to reach the summit because of the difficulty of hiking at this height with the smallest amount of OXYGEN.

Thanks to the investment of the local communities such as: giving money or giving their time to work fixing routes, they opened three different routes to reach the rainbow mountain in Perú.

Here we have some frequent questions (faqs) that travelers ask when they want to travel to the rainbow mountain in Perú.

Where is rainbow mountain in Perú located?

The rainbow mountain is located in the Andes in the Cusco region of Peru about, 62 miles southeast of the city of Cusco.

What to bring for the Rainbow mountain in Perú?

Snacks, Jackets, Sunglasses, Hat, Trekking Shoes, Warm clothes.

What is the best time of the year to visit this rainbow mountain in Perú?

The best time to visit the rainbow mountain in Perú are from months may to september. Because the rain season doesn’t affect these months.

How far is Rainbow Mountain from machu picchu?

If we take the city of Cusco as a reference, it is in the middle of both.

Where is rainbow mountain in Perú located?

The rainbow mountain is located in the Andes in the Cusco region of Peru about, 62 miles southeast of the city of Cusco at three hours in private transport and two hours of hiking. It belongs to the district of Pitumarca in the province of Canchis.

What to bring for the Rainbow mountain in Perú?

Remember that this is a trip that takes a whole day, most companies leave Cusco between 3 and 4 am. And they return between 6 and 7 pm.

Both when leaving and when returning the weather in Cusco is very cold and dry. During the walk the weather is very unstable, everything depends on the clouds and the sun. If it is a cloudless day during the walk we will have a lot of heat but as soon as an asome cloud begins to bring the icy wind typical of the Andes.

Recommended things to bring:

  • A pair of shirts (preferably long sleeves).
  • A walking pants.
  • 01 set of thermal clothing (second skin).
  • Trekking Shoes.
  • Cap or hat.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Rain jacket or rain poncho.
  • Hat for the cold.
  • Gloves.
  • Scarf.
  • Water.
  • Snacks and cash (in the local currency SOLES)

Remember that in this tour there is no service of porters, so you will have to carry all your things, we recommended to carry a comfortable backpack of 30 to 50 liters.

What is the best time of the year to visit this rainbow mountain in Perú?

The best time to visit the rainbow mountain in Perú are from months may to september. Because the rain season doesn’t affect these months.

How far is rainbow mountain from machu picchu?

Starting from the city of Cusco, Machu Picchu is in the jungle and rainbow mountain is in the Andes. You can do Machu Picchu in one day and rainbow mountain in another day.

We recommend do the rainbow mountain as one of the last activities in Cusco.

Rainbow mountain Perú History

Many people say that this mountain was exposed (from the ice) because of global warming in recent years. But after investigating with the local people who were here for generations. They tell us that this mountain has these colors (and NOT the white one) since time ago.

Few explores visited it before 2015, because its not had a easy access and it was a very dangerous height.

Thanks to social networks and its great power of influence. These year begins what we call the FEVER OF COLORS. In 2015, a Gearjunki article already talked about this destination in the post: You’ve Never Heard Of These 10 South American Adventure Travel Gems.

The pigmentation of this mountain with Turquoise, Lavender, Red and Golden colors at first glance seems to be made with PHOTOSHOP. But in reality these colors have been here for millions of years and it is due to the different minerals that exist in the area. That little to little they were printing their color in the land of these mountains.

The local economy of their communities.

The agriculture and livestock is the local economy in Vinicunca. Many local people din’t remunerated very well to their workers. Mostly young people (between 18 and 35 years old) have migrated to larger cities such as: Urcos, Sicuani, Cusco, Arequipa, Puno, Puerto Maldonado and Lima. Looking for a better future.

After the discovery of this tourist attraction many of them have returned to work as: cooks, waiters, muleteers and even local guides. This is a little worrying because to exercise the guiding fence in Peru, you need a professional degree issued by a university or institute accredited by the government.

Thanks to tourism have increase the economic. There are three different communities that have been highly benefited with income of up to 20,000 soles per month.

Another direct income that the natives have: for their horses or mules. They charge between 50 and 70 soles for the “rise” service. Considering the number of people who take this service. A net income of 3200 soles per month is calculated for each driver.

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