Explore Rainbow Mountain in small groups with exclusive tour guides, chefs, and porters. Amaze yourself with the beautiful scenery of the colored mountains, local villages, llamas, alpacas, and the Ausangate Mountain glaciers. We have daily departures to Rainbow Mountain, which include picnic meals and private transportation!

Our Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley premium tour is the perfect way to see these amazing natural wonders up close! This tour includes a guided tour to Rainbow Mountain, where you'll see the stunning views of the colorful landscape. You'll also explore Red Valley, home to some of the world's most beautiful red rock formations. This tour is perfect for anyone who wants to experience the beauty of the Andes firsthand!

Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Full-Day Tour with Picnic Meals

The Rainbow Mountain in Peru has recently become one of the most popular one-day hikes in the Cusco region. With more than 5,000 meters (16,000 ft), Rainbow Mountain and the Red Valley are truly two unforgettable attractions in the Ausangate region.

Vinicunca, Rainbow Mountain, or the Colored Mountain are some of the few names of this fantastic place, a relatively new tourist attraction in Cusco. We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco and drive for 3 hours to the trailhead, where your local chef will serve a picnic breakfast with amazing views of the Vilcanota Mountain range. After breakfast, start a 2-hour hike to the top of Rainbow Mountain. The walk is challenging due to its high altitude, but it's absolutely worth it once there.

The Red Valley is just meters from Rainbow Mountain; you can reach the iron-rich soil landscapes after enjoying it. Then, you will continue to hike down to the trailhead, where your trekking chef will be waiting with a fresh picnic lunch prepared with local products.

TreXperience’s tours provide door-to-door service (we pick you up from your hotel and drive you back to your hotel), private transportation, an exclusive tour guide, trekking chefs, picnic meals, all entry fees, and the necessary equipment to hike this painted hill of Vinicunca.

Tour Highlights:

  • Explore the Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley in 1 day.
  • Visit the local Andean communities and interact with them.
  • Hike along with llamas and alpacas.
  • Enjoy our picnic meals prepared by expert chefs.
  • Travel in small groups with an exclusive tour guide.
  • Book with Confidence and Flexibility

Tour Schedule:

  • 4.30 am - Pick up in Cusco City from any hotel, Airbnb
  • 3.5 hours drive to the Trailhead
  • 8:00 am - Arrival at the trailhead for Breakfast
  • Fresh Picnic Breakfast, around 45 minutes
  • 9:30 am - Start hiking to Rainbow Mountain 
  • 11:30 am - Arrival at the top of Rainbow Mountain
  • 12:00 pm - Start hiking to Red Valley
  • 12:30 pm - Arrive top Red Valley viewpoint 
  • 1.00 pm - Start returning to the trailhead for lunch
  • 2.00 pm - Lunch and return to Cusco
  • 5:30 pm - Arrival back at your hotel

Included:

  • Transportation: TreXperience offers a door-to-door service (pick up and drop off at your hotel)
  • Professional tour guide (all our tour local tour guides speak fluent English)
  • Picnic Breakfast  & Lunch
  • Snacks, water, hot drinks
  • Entrance tickets to Rainbow Mountain
  • Entrance ticket to Red Valley
  • First Aid Kit, Oxygen tank, Satellite phones
  • Trekking poles
  • Trekking chef, porters
  • Picnic equipment (Tents, chairs, tables)
  • Private portable toilets
  • All taxes and booking fees

Not Included:

  • Optional horse riding

Know before you book:

  • You can book the Rainbow Mountain tour as a private service.
  • For larger groups, send us a request, and we will send you a unique quote.
  • You can rent a horse to hike to Rainbow Mountain.
  • Only 70% of the trail is suitable for horse riding. The remaining 30% requires hiking.
  • Returning down the hill is not recommended when renting a horse. 
  • Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals are available on request.

Full Itinerary of the Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Tour

We will pick you up at 4:30 in the morning from your hotel in Cusco City at any location near the city center (hotels, Airbnb, apartments, or hostels) and drive you for 3 hours to the trailhead. Upon arrival, our chef will prepare a delicious breakfast with multiple options. You will have time to admire the scenery of the surrounding mountains while enjoying a cup of coffee or coca tea in preparation for the 5,000-meter mountain hike ahead of us.

Following breakfast, we will set off on the 2-hour hike to the peak of Vinicunca Mountain (also known as Rainbow Mountain). The trail is gradual uphill with a steep incline in the last part before reaching the summit, which is more than 5000 meters high.

Hike along the snow-capped peaks of the Ausangate Mountain range, the highest mountain in the Cusco region. Along the way, you will encounter hundreds of llamas and alpacas. Every meter we ascend brings us closer to the summit, with a more breathtaking panorama than the last.

You will need a warm jacket, headwear, gloves, and a great camera to record the beautiful views during this trip. The temperature will be freezing at the summit, so you need appropriate clothing.

At the peak of Rainbow Mountain, your tour guide will explain the origin of the colorful hills, the Andes, and the significance of this mountain to the native people of the area.

After taking in the fantastic landscapes of the Peruvian Andes and Vinicunca's summit, which offers a breathtaking panorama in every direction, we will continue our journey by hiking an additional 30 minutes to the Red Valley, an area that tourists rarely visit due to its remote location. Here, you will find awe-inspiring landscapes that will take your breath away.

We will return to the trailhead; the hike is about 1 hour downhill, where our special picnic lunch will be waiting for us. After lunch, we will board the bus back to Cusco, arriving around 5:30 pm.

Our chefs will prepare the best traditional dishes of Peruvian cuisine using fresh local ingredients from the surrounding areas.

Times are approximate as they depend on the weather conditions, your speed, and many other external factors.

Price for Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Tour

Price per person:

  • Group Tour: US$ 160 
  • For 4+ Travelers, contact us to get a special price: info@trexperienceperu.com

To book Rainbow Mountain, you need to make an initial payment of US$ 50 per person; the remaining balance can be paid online or at our office in Cusco with any card and without booking fees. 


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Rainbow Mountain Packing List

With the Rainbow Mountain and the Red Valley in Peru, you'll be on an adventure with beautiful scenery, high elevations, and weather that can change quickly. For your convenience, here is a full packing list to help you get ready for your trip:

Clothes for the hike: 

You'll need to dress warmly, as the weather can drop below 0°C at the top of Rainbow Mountain. Make sure to bring warm jackets, hats, gloves, and also be prepared for potential rainy days.

  • Clothes: The weather in the Rainbow Mountain can change suddenly, so wear layers that you can add or remove.
  • Hiking pants: Wear comfortable pants for hiking and bad weather.
  • T-shirts: Long-sleeve T-shirts are recommended. If possible, bring a spare T-shirt in case of rain.
  • Hiking boots: Waterproof Hiking boots are necessary, or shoes with good traction
  • Gloves and Beanie: A warm beanie and gloves for cold mornings, especially in the early morning or late evening.
  • Sun hat or cap: The Sun can be strong on sunny days.
  • Socks: Wool or a blend that is good for hiking. Bring extra pairs of socks, just in case.

Hiking Gear: 

The hiking is about 6 hours round trip at high altitude; you must have everything you need in a backpack. You will be carrying this backpack. 

  • Backpack: Comfortable backpack for hiking to carry the things you need.
  • Hydration systems or water bottles: Take a container for 2 liters of water
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses: On a sunny, you need to stay protected.
  • First Aid Kit: Bring a small kit with medicines, bandages, antiseptic, and rubber bands.
  • Camera or smartphone: Make sure your phone is fully charged; take a portable charger if necessary. 
  • Headlamp or flashlight: We don't need it during the hike; however, it is recommended to have it with you. 
  • Snacks: Bring energy bars, nuts, jerky, or dried fruit.
  • Trekking Poles: Provide by TreXperience
  • Rain Poncho: Especially during the rainy season, avoid taking umbrellas.
  • Toilet paper or wet wipes: There are basic facilities
  • Hand sanitizer: keep with you all the time

Documents and others: 

Keep important documents sealed in weatherproof containers or plastic bags to prevent them from getting wet.

  • Passport: Keep your original passport in a safe place.
  • Cash: Bring cash for souvenirs, snacks, and tips, as no ATMs are nearby.

Rainbow Mountain Travel Information

Rainbow Mountain is a popular destination for hikers, campers, and nature enthusiasts. The mountain is known for its vibrant colors and stunning views. However, before you head out on your next adventure, you should know a few things.

Location

Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca or Winikunka, is a peak in the Peruvian Andes near Cusco. Its name is from the stripes of red, purple, yellow, and green minerals covering the mountain's surface. The mountain is about 5,200 meters (17,060 feet) above sea level and is part of the Ausangate Region, located on the eastern side of the Andes in the Vilcanota Mountain Range.

It is located about 3 hours southeast of Cusco by car. The region is home to many indigenous people who have lived there for centuries. The area is also popular with tourists, who come to see the fantastic landscapes and learn about the culture and history of the site.  

History

Rainbow Mountain gets its name from the colorful stripes that run down its sides. Mineral deposits cause the mountain's unique colors in the rocks, including iron oxide and clay. Weathering and erosion have exposed these minerals, resulting in the colorful appearance of the mountain. Locals first discovered Rainbow Mountain, then slowly, travelers going the Ausangate treks posted photos on social media. Since then, it has become a popular tourist destination, with thousands of visitors each year.

Weather

The weather on Rainbow Mountain is one of the most varied and exciting in the world. Situated in the Andes, the area experiences a wide range of climates with some of the most extreme weather conditions.

The average temperature is 15°C during the daytime; at night, the temperatures would drop below 0°C. The warmest months are December and January when the average temperature is 20°C. The coolest months are June and July when the average temperature is 10°C.

Rainbow Mountain experiences two seasons: a dry season and a wet season. The dry season lasts from May to October, and the wet season lasts from November to April. During the dry season, there is little to no rainfall, and the days are sunny and dry; however, the temperatures could be below freezing at night.

During the wet season, rainfall is more common, and the days are cooler and damper. Also, at night, the temperatures will not drop too much. 

Altitude

Rainbow Mountain sits at an altitude of 5,200 meters (17,060 feet), making it one of the highest mountains in Peru. Trekking to the top is no easy task; the high altitude and challenging terrain make for a strenuous hike. However, the views from the summit are more than worth it. You can see the surrounding mountains and red valleys from the top. If you're planning on trekking to Rainbow Mountain, take proper precautions.

  • Make sure to acclimatize to the high altitude before embarking on your hike.
  • Drink plenty of water and pack plenty of snacks to keep your energy levels up.
  • And most importantly, be sure to wear proper clothing and footwear.

With a bit of preparation, you'll be able to conquer Rainbow Mountain and enjoy one of Peru's most incredible natural wonders.

Difficulty

At 5,200m above sea level, Rainbow Mountain in Peru is one of the highest day hikes in the world. Most people who sign up for the hike are unprepared for the challenges they will face. Most people underestimate the climb's difficulty, and as a result, many people turn back before reaching the summit. If you are considering hiking Rainbow Mountain, being prepared for a tough challenge is essential.

  • Make sure you prepare for this hike
  • Arrive a few days before the hike to acclimatize
  • Follow the tour guide's instructions 
  • Travel with a reputable company

Rainbow Mountain Tour map

Rainbow Mountain vs. Humantay Lake

Regarding natural beauty, few places in the world can compare to Peru. And when it comes to Peruvian destinations, two of the most popular places to visit are Rainbow Mountain and Humantay Lake. So, which one should you see? Here's a breakdown of what each has to offer:

  • Rainbow Mountain: Located in the Cusco region, Rainbow Mountain is one of Peru's most popular tourist destinations. The mountain gets its name from its colorful striations, caused by a combination of mineral deposits and weathering. At an elevation of over 5200 meters, Rainbow Mountain is not for the faint of heart. The hike to the summit is challenging, but the views are more than worth it. Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with sweeping panoramas of the surrounding landscape.
     
  • Humantay Lake: Humantay Lake is another popular destination in Peru. The lake is lower than Rainbow Mountain, at over 4200 meters. The hike to Humantay Lake is challenging, but unlike Rainbow Mountain, the trail doesn't offer many views. However, when you reach the lake, you'll be blown away by its turquoise waters and scenic setting. 

What to expect at Rainbow Mountain?

  1. The hike to Rainbow Mountain is relatively short but very steep in the last part.
  2. You can expect to spend about 1.5 to 2 hours hiking to the top
  3. Once you reach the summit, you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding area.
  4. Be sure to bring your camera!
  5. The descent back down the mountain is much easier than the ascent, but it can still be challenging if you're not used to hiking downhill.
  6. It should take you about half an hour to reach the bottom.
  7. Once you're back at the trailhead, you can relax and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
  8. Last, it's time to head back home and start planning your next adventure!

Tips for hiking Rainbow Mountain

Hiking Rainbow Mountain can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip:

  • Acclimatize: The mountain is located at a high altitude, so it's important to acclimatize before attempting the hike. Spend a few days in Cusco and do shorter hikes to help your body adjust to the altitude.
  • Dress appropriately: The weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and bring rain gear. You'll also want to wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction.
  • Stay hydrated: It's essential to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated at high altitudes. During our tours, we have coca tea and coffee at the beginning of the hike to warm up. 
  • Pace yourself: Take breaks as needed and pace yourself to avoid altitude sickness. If you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, descend to a lower altitude immediately.
  • Respect the environment: Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley are unique and fragile ecosystems, so make sure to stay on designated trails and pack out all of your trash. Avoid disturbing any wildlife or vegetation, and respect the local culture and customs.
  • Hire a reputable tour operator: Look for tour operators with a good reputation and positive reviews from previous customers.

Rainbow Mountain Frequently Asked Questions

Is Rainbow Mountain very Challenging?

Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicunca, is located over 5000 meters – 16000 ft; to reach the top of this mountain without having problems with altitude, you need to acclimate before. We recommend staying in Cusco for a few days before visiting this place.

You should plan your trip to spend a few days in Cusco, travel to Machu Picchu, and, in the end, visit Rainbow Mountain. This way, you will have time to adapt to the altitude while visiting other places. The recommended order is as follows:

  1. City tour in Cusco
  2. Sacred Valley Tour
  3. Trekking to Machu Picchu or excursion by train
  4. Tour to Rainbow Mountain
  5. You can also hike to Humantay Lake

The hike is not very challenging; it’s an easy 2-hike to the highest point of Rainbow Mountain and another similar time to return to the trailhead. However, the altitude can make this hike challenging.

How many hours of the hike is the Rainbow Mountain tour?

You can reach Rainbow Mountain with a relatively easy 2-hour hike from the trailhead and a similar time on the way back.

Can I get altitude sickness?

Rainbow Mountain has over 5,000 meters/16,000 feet, and altitude sickness is a real problem many travelers will face.

To reduce the risk of altitude sickness, you should:

  1. Take time to acclimatize to Cusco before your trip
  2. Start taking altitude medicine a few days before the hike
  3. Drink plenty of water during the hike
  4. Drink Coca tea that will be available during breakfast

There is no way to avoid altitude sickness; however, by following the indications above, you can reduce the chances of having problems with altitude.

When is the best time to hike Rainbow Mountain?

Peru has 2 seasons; the rainy season and the dry season. We recommend taking this tour during the dry season. However, we will have visitors all year round.

Recommend months to visit Rainbow Mountain: April to December

Not recommended: January to March

How large is the group to Rainbow Mountain?

We organize small group tours of a maximum of 8 people. This way, you will have a personalized service.

We can organize larger private groups as well on request. In this case, we will provide 2 or more tour guides.

How far is Rainbow Mountain From Machu Picchu?

Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu are located at opposite sites; while Machu Picchu is located to the North of Cusco, rainbow Mountain is Located to the south of Cusco.

What to wear in Rainbow Mountain?

You need to bring warm clothes to this mountain, the weather is freezing in the mornings and when it is cloudy or raining:

Gloves, fleece jackets, rain gear, sun protection, hat, bennie.

Can I rent a horse?

Yes, you can hire a horse if you struggle or prefer not to hike; a one-way horse ride costs around 80 to 120 soles.

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