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Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain: Our most recommended tours and activities

Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Tour with Meals

1. Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Tour with Meals

Your professional tour guide will pick you up from your accommodation in Cusco between 4:00 AM and 4:30 AM. After a 2-hour drive, you will arrive in Cusipata where you will stop for breakfast and buy water and snacks for the trek. Following breakfast, you'll travel one more hour to the hike starting point, at 4,850 meters. From there you will start your 3.5-kilometer trek to Rainbow Mountain over both flat and uphill terrain. During your hike, you will enjoy amazing views and encounters with wild alpacas, llamas, and vicuñas. Once you reach the top at 5,010 meters, you can make use of some free time to take a break, and if the weather is good, you will be able to enjoy views over Rainbow Mountain. You'll go downhill to the starting spot for another hour. Then, take transportation back to Cusipata where a local lunch will be waiting for you. Once you finish your buffet lunch you will travel back to Cusco, where you will arrive between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM at Plaza de Armas.

Cusco: Full-Day Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley Trekking Tour

2. Cusco: Full-Day Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley Trekking Tour

After pickup from your accommodation in Cusco, head in the direction of Quiquijana and savor a delicious breakfast buffet in a local restaurant.  Then, continue the journey until you reach the control point in Llaqta and finally arrive in Phulawasipata, where your trekking adventure awaits. Before starting the trek, your guide will recommend starting your adventure towards Rainbow Mountain. Walk for approximately 1.5 hours until you reach Rainbow Mountain at 5,036 meters above sea level.  Take in panoramic views from the top of the mountain from where you'll be able to see the Ausangate Mountain, Peru's fifth highest mountain. Enjoy 20-minute of leisure time to take pictures of the fascinating scenery. Then, continue for a 30-minute trek to the Red Valley. Once again, admire the views of the Red Valley, located 5,038 meters above sea level. After 15 minutes, you'll return to the parking lot where your driver awaits you. On the way back, stop for a break in Quiquijana where you'll taste delicious buffet lunch. Then, head back to Cusco where you'll be dropped off at the Plaza Regocijo, 2 blocks from Plaza de Armas.

Cusco: Full-Day Tour to Rainbow Mountain

3. Cusco: Full-Day Tour to Rainbow Mountain

Witness Rainbow Mountain in all its glory, take some photos and explore the area on a day trip from Cusco with a guide. Set out on an adventure in the early morning with a hotel pickup. Head up the mountain, cross small villages, immerse yourself in the local culture, and have lunch after your hike. Begin your full-day tour in Cusco city, where you will be picked up between 4:15 AM and 4:45 AM. You will then drive in a comfortable van for 3 hours to the town of Cusipata, where you will have breakfast in a local family house. Following breakfast, head to the starting point of your hike. There are approximately 3 kilometers of flat land uphill, leading to the majestic "Mountain of Colors". The hike will take about 1.5 hours, depending on your level of fitness. Along the way, enjoy panoramic views of the valleys, wild llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, as well as of the Andes and the nearby glaciers.  Once here, if the weather is good, get the first views of Rainbow Mountain. At the top, take a well-deserved break, which will also be your chance to catch your breath and enjoy the stunning views. After taking beautiful photos, begin your descent, where you will enjoy a delicious lunch upon your return. You will then take private transportation back to Cusco, where you will arrive at approximately 5:00 PM.

Cusco: Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain (arrive before crowds)

4. Cusco: Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain (arrive before crowds)

Enjoy a hike to discover the colorful landscapes and alpacas of Palyccoyo Rainbow Mountain. Unlike its more crowded and touristy neighbor, Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, a hike on Palyccoyo Rainbow Mountain allows for a more calm and serene setting while also offering beautiful views. Begin the day with 3:45 AM pickup from your accommodations in Cusco. The early start is worth it to beat the crowds. On the way, enjoy breakfast at a restaurant in the area, picked for its quality food and service. After our arrival, you'll be briefed by your guide and receive a hiking stick if desired. Start your hike and admire the colorful landscapes while meeting the alpacas that roam the mountains. Even enjoy the opportunity to take one for a walk. Get ready to leave for lunch just as the tourist crowds are arriving. Enjoy lunch at the same restaurant where you ate breakfast and arrive back at Cusco at around 4 PM. Relax with drop off either right at the airport or at your accommodations.

From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Full Day Trek with Meals

5. From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Full Day Trek with Meals

Depart Cusco and get back to nature on a vigorous approximately 6-kilometer hike in the Andes. Experience the majestic beauty of the Rainbow Mountains as you trek in the foothills of Mount Ausangate. Keep a look out for native wildlife, such as the mighty condor - the largest bird in the world - pumas and different types of camelids. Learn more about the extraordinary geology and the flora and fauna of Peru from your knowledgeable guide. Soak up the stunning views before you return to Cusco for a refreshing cold chicha drink (a fermented or non-fermented beverage usually derived from maize).

Cusco: Full-Day Rainbow Mountain Tour

6. Cusco: Full-Day Rainbow Mountain Tour

Drive approximately 2.5 hours after your pick-up from your hotel in Cusco. Stop in Pitumarca for a delicious breakfast before continuing your way towards the amazing Rainbow mountains. Next, it's time to start your walk uphill that will take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. During the hike, admire the beautiful landscapes with many mountains covered in snow. Walk pass local people wearing the typical dress of the region and llamas and alpacas breeders. Once you reach the top, make use of some free time to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful view. After this, start descending through the Red Valley for about 3 hours (optional) to reach Japura where transport will wait for you. This path will be more special because you may be one of the only groups on this route. Finally, stop for a comforting lunch before returning to Cusco where the tour ends.

Peru: Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Full Day Tour

7. Peru: Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Full Day Tour

Be stunned by all the colors of the rainbow as you take in the sights of some of the Andes' prime real estate, the much-celebrated Rainbow Mountain and its counterpart, the Red Valley. After a very early pickup and breakfast at Cusipata, continue to Phullawasipata (4,626 m./15,177 ft.) the trail head where the hike starts. Along with sightings of locals, see groups of Alpacas, Llamas and sometimes wild Vicuñas, and small lagoons created by the thawing glaciers. Arrive at the summit of Vinicunca (5,020 m./16,469 ft.) and grab a photo opp of breathtaking scenery. Then take the Red Valley route, so-named for the red color of the mountain soil. Enjoy the peace and quiet found here. Hike downhill through the red landscape to Phulawasipata for a well-earned lunch. Then be taken back to Cusco main square again in the late afternoon for the colorful journey's conclusion.

From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain and Humantay Lake 2-Day Tour

8. From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain and Humantay Lake 2-Day Tour

Day 1 – Humantay Lake Have a morning pick-up from your hotel in Cusco and continue on a 2-hour ride enjoying the beautiful landscapes until reaching Soraypampa. Enjoy breakfast prior to the trailhead. Begin your adventure along a photogenic path called the “Camino Real,” as you gain altitude. Continue for another hour and a half, ascending 360mts/1,200 feet in just 2 miles up a steep path. After conquering the last hill, you'll gaze down on a turquoise lake below, which is surrounded by steep peaks and an impressive glacier. The hike is dominated by Salkantay Peak, one of Peru’s most sacred mountains, towering more than 6,000mts/20,600 feet with a sheer and snowy face. The equally impressive Humantay Peak, rising 5,900mts/19,412 feet, is also within view. Once on the shores, enjoy, relax, and take pictures. When ready to hike back, descend to Soraypampa for lunch. After lunch, it’s time to take the transportation back to Cusco downtown arriving in the late afternoon. Day 2 – Rainbow Mountain Today, you'll visit the trendy Rainbow Mountain, famous for becoming viral on social media. Located in the southeast of Cusco in the middle of the Andean mountain ranges. After a morning pick-up from your hotel, venture on a 3-hour drive passing valleys, rivers, mountains, and some smaller communities. Reach Hanchipacha, to enjoy breakfast, then head to the starting point which is already at 4900 meters above sea level. From here you will hike uphill for about 45 minutes to the highest point of the excursion at 5000 meters. Pass the unique formations of the rainbow mountain range and enjoy the breathtaking views at the snow-capped Ausangate, the second-highest in Peru. Once on top of the viewpoint, you'll have the Vilcanota Mountain range in front of you. Have all the time to rest and take pictures. After the exploration, back to Cusipata and enjoy a rewarding lunch. Take the bus to return to Cusco arriving in the late afternoon.

From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Trek

9. From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Trek

Be collected at your accommodation in Cusco around 4:00 AM. Travel about three hours to the Hanchipacha community and stop for breakfast. Then drive 15 minutes more to the Quesiuno community at 4,326 meters (14,189 foot). Start the trek and over three hours enjoy amazing landscapes with alpaca and llama herds, the Ausangate Mountain, many red mountains, and traditional local houses. The rainbow mountains are one of the spectacular places of the Vilcanota mountain range. The natural coloration is due to the presence of sedimentary stones in erosion. The impressive thing is how the stones have been formed to form a set of seven colors.  Reach the rainbow mountains at 5,020 meters (16,466 foot) and have time to explore the area and take photographs. Spend between 30 minutes and one hour here, depending on your trekking speed and the weather conditions.  The return hike takes two hours. At the Quesiuno community, take transportation to the Hanchipacha community, where you will have lunch. Then be driven to Cusco and dropped off at Regocijos Square, which is two blocks from the Main Square.

From Cusco: Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Day Trip

10. From Cusco: Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Day Trip

You will be picked up from the hotel between 4:30 in the morning, then you will travel about 3 hours to Cusipata's place so you can enjoy an American-style breakfast. Head to the starting point of the tour after breakfast. Start on the path that leads to the "mountain of colors", pass the checkpoint and pay an entrance fee to continue. Admire panoramic views of the nearby valleys, Andes, and glaciers along the trail, as well as wildlife: wild llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, as well as Andean condors if you catch a glimpse of them Reach the top and take some time to rest, breathe, and admire the spectacular views. Take beautiful photos and videos, then begin the descent to the base with the group. Enjoy a tourist buffet lunch upon arrival at the restaurant at the end of the trek, before embarking on the journey back to Cusco to be dropped off near the main square, the end point is Calle San Bernardo.

Other Sightseeing Options in Rainbow Mountain

Want to discover all there is to do in Rainbow Mountain? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rainbow Mountain

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,228 reviews

Everything fitted. However, one should keep in mind that we Europeans are not used to this altitude. It can be done in a relaxed manner, but you should take sensible breaks. The view is insane. fantastic.

This tour was incredible, our guide Dona also amazing. My personal opinion, better experience than Machu Piccu. I recommend to purchase Oxishot in drugstore in Cusco. My wife was very happy for that.

Cesar was our guide, he was great! We were one of the first groups to get to the mountain that helped avoiding the crowds for the pictures on top of the mountain. Highly recommend it!!

All great but as is the custom in the various tours we have done in Peru, the food is not really worth it.

It's hard to breathe at the top, but it's worth it