- Availability: Available now
- Group size: 2-10
- Tour Type: Hiking / Adventure
- Max. Elevation: 5200 meters above sea level
Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley
35 USD Per person
Rainbow Mountian & Red Valley
At a distance of 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco, there is a rainbow turned into a mountain. This today famous mountain is known as The Mountain of the Seven Colors, Vinicunca or also as Rainbow Mountain. It is located in the Vilcanota mountain range at 5,200 meters above sea level. The one-day hike to the rainbow mountain allows you to observe hundreds of alpacas living in freedom, the snow-capped peak of Ausangate (the highest in Cusco), the beautiful red valley and beautiful strips dyed in rich shades of fuchsia, turquoise, white and gold.
The rainbow mountain in August 2017, it appeared on Business Insider’s list of 100 places to visit before you die recommended by travel experts. The tourist boom is quite recent, but the history of the mountain and its colors began millions of years ago.
The rainbow aspect of Vinicunca is due to «a complex geological history of marine, lacustrine and fluvial sediments,» according to a report by the Cultural Landscape Office of the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco.
These sediments, transported by the water that previously covered the area, date from between the Tertiary and Quaternary periods, that is, from about 65 to two million years ago. Over time, the sediments formed layers (with different grain sizes) that today are seen as the strips that attract tourists so much. The movement of tectonic plates in the area raised these sediments until they became mountains. Then they acquired their striking colors due to the oxidation of their minerals, exerted by the humidity in the area, and their erosion, César Muñoz, a member of the Geological Society of Peru, explains to BBC Mundo.
Highlights of our Rainbow Mountain Hike & Red Valley
* We wish to give you the best experience on this Rainbow Mountain Hike & Red Valley.
* We have the best and most passionate team of workers.
*Be part of our social and environmental projects.
*Our 1-day Rainbow Mountain Hike has a fair and cheap price compared to other operators.
*In addition to all the above, we prepare food for our hikers and team with 100% organic veggies purchased from local producers.
Rainbow Mountain Hike & Red Valley Trip Overview
- Trek Type:Trekking/hiking, scenic, cultural and nature.
- Good for: Those in moderate shape or better
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Season:From March 1st to January 1st
Day 1. Cusco- Trailhead – Rainbow Mountain – Cusco
- Hiking distance: 3.5 miles/6 km (3 hours)
- Highest altitude: 5.200 meters above sea level
- Considered: moderate to challenging
- Meals:Breakfast,snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner! All served as buffet.
- Weather: Cold and windy
We pick you up at 4:30 in the morning from your hotel to drive you for three hours to the Rainbow Mountain trailhead. Upon arrival, our cook will surprise us with varied and delicious outdoor buffet breakfast. After our meal, we hike for two hours uphill to a marvelous Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley overlook; Along the path your guide will make small breaks, to teach you interesting facts about the place.
Once on the summit, let’s take wonderful photos and learn about the colors composition, snow-capped mountains and andean lifestyle. You’ll also have free time to sit and contemplate the the scenic beauty of the Andes mountain range. Then we hike downhill for one hour and a half to our lunch spot; once there, our support staff will provide us a cold fruit juice and a delicious buffet lunch. Continuing, we’ll be driven for three hours to Cusco; where we arrive around 17:00 pm.
** Our Rainbow Mountain Hike and Red Valley service, is door to door.
Professional local english speaker Guides: all our super leaders grew up in cusco region and studied tourism for five years at cusco’s university, they are friendly, funny charming, knowledgeable, professional and will care your safety into our one day hike
Permits: As soon as we get your details and deposit, we will purchase your permits for the rainbow mountain.
Briefing: you should come to our office at least one day prior to your one day hike to pay the balance, provide exact information about your accommodation and receive some details for the tour.
Transportation: IncaGo Expeditions will be providing all transportation for this one day trek. You will be picked up from your hotel at 5 am. and brought to the trailhead and then you will be brought back to Cusco.
Food: Our one day trek includes expert hiking chefs who will will cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have loved. We honor all food restrictions, so be sure to add any that you have on your booking form and let us know. Food is typically all served as buffet.
Water: We are going to provide you a water bottle of 1.5 liter.
Details: We profess that it is the attention to small details that separates us from other travel agencies. Each hiker receives a water bottle, walking sticks and snacks.
First Aid: Every guide has got training in first aid from a clinic and firemen. We elaborate mandatory training sessions every February on the rainbow mountain hike, which every IncaGo Expeditions tour guide must attend. Your tour leader is going to have always a first-aid kit for basic medical problems.
We would love to tour the Rainbow Mountain with you and your loved ones and take care of immortalizing your visit to Machu Picchu. We can leave any day from March to January as the one day trek is always available
Group Price (2020):
- $40 per person
Private tours are available and priced by party size.
- 2 Trekkers: $105 per person
- 3 Trekkers: $85 per person4
- 4 Trekkers: $70 per person
- 5 Trekkers: $60 per person
- 6 Trekkers: $55 per person
- 7 Trekkers: $50 per person
- 8 or more Trekkers: $45 per person
We suggest you to carry lightweight backpack that the is key to feeling good during this one day hike
- Original Passport ,
- STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles) remember that the one day trek is entirely dirt soil
Inside Your Daypacks:
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Some items are listed below
- Rain gear
- Music (IPhone)
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
Where do we pick up the hikers for the Rainbow Mountain?
Pick up will be from your hotel at 4:30 a.m. Please provide clear contact information of your place of accommodation when approaching our office in Cusco.
Where to pay the remaining amount for the Rainbow Mountain?
Most hikers arrive in Cusco 2 or 3 days before the one day hike or a 4 day trek for proper acclimatization. Once you are in Cusco it is imperative that you come to our office to review the last details of your excursion and also pay the remaining amount of your rainbow mountain.
Reserve for the Rainbow Mountain?
We try to make the booking as easy as possible in Incas Path. We prepare a reservation form where you will complete and include all the details for the excursion, and then a deposit of $ 50 per person. Once we have all the deposits and details, we will reserve your permits. Once the one day hike permits are in our hands, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% organized. All excursions once confirmed, are guaranteed.
Permissions for the Rainbow Mountain?
Only tour operators licensed by the goverment, such as Incas Path, can obtain the corresponding permits from the government. Once we have obtained your one day trek permits, the name and start date cannot be changed under any circumstances. The only information that the government allows us to change are passport numbers.
Passport Number Update?
The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and the old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any identification document that you have in your hands will be accepted while the name is the same as in your passport.
Where to stay in Cusco?
You can stay in a hotel that you consider convenient, however you must have the account of the location of the hotel because the traffic within the city has become stressful in the last 5 years. Many roads are up to 100 years old; Especially near the main square the roads are only for pedestrians. We will notify you if it is not possible to pick you up by car from your hotel and coordinate another nearby pick-up point. For a list of recommended hotels, consult your Incas Path sales representative.
Where do I store my luggage?
All luggage not necessary for the hike must remain in Cusco. All hotels are very helpful and are quite accustomed to storing luggage of their guests, or if you wish you can store it safely with our customer service team in our office storage
Can I stay in the sacred valley?
Not, as the driving route to get the trailhead of the rainbow mountain does not go through the sacred valley of the incas.
During the trip, how challenging is the Rainbow Mountain?
Remember that this one day trek, it is challenging because you will ascend from 4200 to 5200 ma.s.l.; if rains, the dirt soil path could be muddy (don´t worry if you have good hiking boots).
Will I need extra money on the Rainbow Mountain?
Of course, if you want to buy some type of drinks, snacks, souvenirs «also remember that along the days of hiking into the rainbow mountain just cash is accepted».
How many people will be in my group on the Rainbow Mountain?
We require a minimum of 2 people for our tour, and if you are traveling alone, we invite you to join our groups that start each day. We can have up to 8 hikers with a guide and if our groups are between 9 and 16 people, we have 2 accredited guides with a lot of experience in this one day hike. During the low season it is most likely that the groups are small and during the high season the groups are probably much larger.
Do you need hiking boots for the Rainbow Mountain?
We always recommend hiking boots, since if it rains a little the one day trek can become a bit muddy and slipery. Please make sure they have good soles.
Are trekking poles really necessary on the Rainbow Mountain?
For the one day trek we recommend the use of trekking poles for everyone, especially for those passengers with knee problems or older people. There are several sections during the tour where you will need to use the walking sticks, either climbing or descending the dirt soil path.
Are there any toilets along the Rainbow Mountain?
Along the one day hike there are 2 places that has toilet. Firstly at the hiking start, then at lunch. Please carry a roll of toilet paper in your daypack.
What should I expect from the weather on the Rainbow Mountain?
Please understand that this is a very difficult question to answer. Historically, from April to October it is the dry season, from November to March it is the rainy season, but in recent years our weather has been affected by climate change and today it is very difficult to predict. Remember that in the mountains the radiation and heat are very high during the day and in the evenings always cold. We always recommend a short sleeve shirt for this one day hike, long pants to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, rain jacket and a fleece jacket and for the night a down jacket.
Can Incas Path please my dietary needs? What kind of food will there be?
For us it is an honor to please all kinds of dietary needs, just let us know at the time of booking. If you are vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant or any type of allergies, we have a team of chefs with a lot of experience in the preparation of all types of diets on the rainbow mountain hike. Also remember that we want to pamper you during your trip to Humantay Lake and for that reason we use 100% organic vegetables for the elaboration of our buffets.
What type of outlet is used in Cusco and Machu Picchu?
Most hotels and even homes in Peru now have the standard US output and also that of South America.
What is the standard procedure when it comes to tip?
Tipping is part of the tradition of any trip in Peru and, although we pay good salaries to our entire team, We always appreciate any extra appreciation. Keep in mind that this is not mandatory and that you should never feel pressured for this reason.
In general, participants in a group show their appreciation as a group for their porters and chef and a personal appreciation towards their tour guide, which will be according to their degree of satisfaction with the service provided.