Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain

Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Full day

Hike to one of Cusco’s most remarkable natural attractions. This itinerary offers the chance to visit Cusco’s Rainbow Mountain and enjoy the walk to and from Vinicunca. It is not a difficult walk, although altitude can be a factor for some travelers, as it involves a steady hike from 4170 m / 1368 feet to 5100 m / 16732 feet. A few days in Cusco to acclimatize before this activity is highly recommended.

YOUR DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY AND SERVICES:

Day 1: Yucay – Pitumarca – Yucay

At 4:30 am we will collect you from your hotel in Cusco for the drive south. We will turn off the main highway at the picturesque small town of Checacupe, with its famous bridges, before continuing to Pitumarca (3574 m / 11725 feet - 105 kilometers / 65 miles), through dramatic towering rock formations, passing deep canyons. At the end of the road, at 4170 m / 1368 feet, we will stop for a nutritious hot breakfast. 

As the sun comes up, it will be time to start the 8.25 km / 5.1 miles uphill walk to Rainbow Mountain. This is a gradual ascent through pastureland, passing small settlements and herds of alpacas, accompanied by your guide, who will greet local people in their native Quechua language. Our spectacular route offers fine views of snowcapped Mount Ausangate and other peaks of the Andes. 

With its beautiful rainbow colors spread across the horizon, Vinicunca is a spectacular sight. At 5100 meters / 16,732 feet above sea level, you will have a 360-degree view of snowcapped Mount Ausangate to one side, and multi-colored Vinicunca on the other – pure magic!

The descent will be easier and as the oxygen returns to your lungs there will be time to breathe deeply and reflect on the amazing experiences during the day. A wholesome, hot lunch will await you at the base of the mountain, after which we will board our vehicle for the return drive to Cusco, arriving in the city at around 7pm.

Please note: Horses are available for hire for those who may need them. The route is not demanding, but the high altitude can affect some travelers as they ascend to more than 5000 meters / 16,404 feet above sea level. 

EXTENSIONS: DO YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND IN PERU?

Other travelers added the following extension to this Peru itinerary...

CUSCO CITY TOUR Half day 
Explore historic Cusco and its major attractions during a half-day excursion: Colonial-era Cusco, with its cathedral and the Inca Temple of the Sun, or Qorikancha. The enormous Inca temple complex of Sacsayhuaman, located at the top of the hill overlooking Cusco’s main square, and other archaeological sites in the hills around the city. 

CHECK TO SEE WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING...

Included
  • Private transport (minivan)
  • First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle
  • English-speaking guide
  • All meals as described in the itinerary
  • Drinking water to fill your water bottle (from natural sources, filtered and boiled)
  • Snacks in the morning and afternoon (fruit, biscuits, chocolate and energy bars)
  • Hot drinks such as tea and coffee
Not included
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal items, including personal medical supplies
  • Tips
  • Please note: Horses are available for hire at the mountain. 
What to bring:
  • Passport 
  • Daypack
  • Warm clothes for the high Andean section of the itinerary
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeved cotton shirts 
  • Shorts for walking (optional)
  • Hiking boots
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block
  • Water bottle for the first day (we will refill your bottle each day)
  • Binoculars for birdwatching enthusiasts
  • Flashlight
  • Camera
FAQs - Frequently asked questions

How far in advance do I need to book a trek or hike?

For trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you should make your booking at least five days in advance, so we can make the necessary preparations, although we recommend that you make your booking up to 90 days in advance. Full refunds (minus administration costs) can be offered 45 days before your scheduled departure date. After 45 days, only partial refunds will be given. 

I would like to trek with my friends, can I book now and my friends book later?
Yes, for trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you can add other travelers to your group before departure. Write to us for more information on the treks, hikes and tours we have available. 

What is the maximum group size? Is there a maximum?
The maximum group size is 16 persons. For more than 16 persons, a second group must be organized. A single guide travels with 8 participants. For larger groups, an assistant guide will also accompany the participants.

If I am traveling alone can I have my own tent / hotel room?
If you are traveling alone and are willing to share a tent, with a member of the same sex or partner, family member or friend, then there is no additional cost. If, however, you would like your own private tent an additional supplement will be payable. Please contact us in advance, because on some trekking and hiking routes this option may depend on the availability of spaces at campsites designated by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

What do we do for water?
Use of plastic bottles on the network of Inca Trails to Machu Picchu is not permitted. Other treks and hikes do not have this restriction, but we always recommend and encourage our travelers to use reusable canteens or second use plastic water bottles. Our cook will provide you with boiled water to refill your bottle at all the campsites.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 

What do I need to carry?
You will need to carry your daypack with all the personal items you need during the day. The rest of your luggage will be transported by us (van / porters). Porters are only permitted to carry 8 kilos for each person (including sleeping bag). As a company, Andean Adventures Peru is committed to the well-being of its porters during treks and hikes, ensuring that they are properly paid, well fed, and comfortable at our campsites. On some of our trekking and hiking routes, pack animals are used. 

What type of camping gear is used for treks and hikes?
We supply all the camping equipment needed for groups to enjoy the great outdoors safely and comfortably: 4-person tents for every two participants; air mattresses; complete table service; dining tent, chairs and tables; kitchen tent; latrine tent; sleeping bags on request (many travelers choose to bring their own sleeping bag; however, we also offer sleeping bags for hire at an additional cost). 

What processes are in place to ensure the equipment is always in perfect condition?
Our full time logistics staff continuously maintain and/or replace all our equipment. To ensure proper use of our equipment, all gear is handled by our trained field crew during treks and hikes.

Do you provide sleeping pads?
Yes.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 


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