Early, around 04:00 AM – 04:40 AM, we will pick you up from the hotel in Cusco to make the trip to Qollasuyo, the southern part of the ancient land of the Quechua people (Cusco). This area played a huge role in the history of the Tawantinsuyo (Ancient Incas).
Firstly, we will pass through the CUSIPATA District where we will stop for 30 minutes to have breakfast. From there, we continue for an hour and a half until passing PITUMARCA where we will be able to admire The Colonial Bridge (Puente colonial). We will then pass through some small villages until we get to the HANCHIPATA – LAMA CHIMPANA- community, a transit station where we will have a brief meeting before starting the walk-up.
We will begin our walk at the foot of the Ausangate mountain range. This will be followed by an ascent of approximately 1 hour to the highest point of the Rainbow Mountain. During this journey, we will have the opportunity to see the different types of South American camelids (relatives of the camel). Upon reaching the red hill, we will have time to soak in and take pictures of the beautiful scenery.
Finally, we will continue our journey with a 1-hour descent into the flat terrain and back to where the walk began, HANCHIPATA. Here, the driver will be waiting for us to return passing through PITUMARCA to the District of CUSIPATA where we can enjoy 1 hour of lunch. Following lunch, we will return to Cusco, arriving at approx. 4:30 PM.
NOTE 1: If you are staying at a location different than that which you selected as your pickup location, the responsibility is explicitly yours to be at the main entrance of the hotel or hostel selected as your pick up location for the entire duration of the pickup time range on the date of your tour.
NOTE 2: After Vinicunca, there is an optional additional trek into the Red Valley. The duration of the walk is approximately 30 minutes, and you will also be required to pay an entrance fee to the area of 20 soles ($7 approx).
RECOMMENDATION: We strongly recommend staying in Cusco for 2 days before the expedition in order to acclimatize. Remember that although the walk is approx. 3 hours if you are not well acclimatized you may have difficulties during the journey.
– Pick-up from your hotel/hostel in the center of Cusco.
– Tourist bus transportation during the tour.
– Professional bilingual guide (Engish & Spanish)
– 1 simple breakfast / 1 buffet lunch
– Entrance to the park
– First aid kit
– Oxygen tanks for emergencies
– Entrance to Cusipata S/5 soles or $1.50 USD (mandatory)
– Travel insurance
– Saddle horse (if required)
– Rain poncho
– Red Valley 20 soles ($7 approx) per person (optional)
– Walking stick
– PASSPORT – very important!
– Hat to protect from sun or rain.
– Sunblock cream
– Waterproof jacket or rain poncho.
– Water bottle
– Small backpack
– Trekking shoes
WARNING: When being picked up, check with the guide to ensure your name is on their list. Many local companies go to hostels and try to persuade you to go on their tour
Cancellation or changes to this tour:
CHANGES: Any changes to the tour date need to be done before 6:00 pm the day before the tour begins.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel the day prior to the tour before 6:00 pm (Lima time) or earlier, a 10% administration fee (+ the card fee) will apply. After this time, there is a 100% no-show or cancellation fee.
For cancellations or changes to your tour please email firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m so glad I chose Rainbow Mountain Travel. I struggled with the altitude along the way and ended up unexpectedly using the oxygen tank! Don’t know what I would have done if I had gone with another operator! Thank you so much to my guide Carlos who was amazing the entire time! And thank you Rainbow Mountain Travel!”
“Rainbow Mountain was stunning, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I didn’t go with Rainbow Mountain Travels. From the second we booked to the moment we were dropped off in Cusco, they made sure we had the ultimate experience. So professional, and made it a truly pleasant trek!”
“Rainbow Mountain Travels was the perfect company to hike with! I’ve done many treks with a lot of different operators but they were truly among the best. Extremely organised and punctual and our guide was fantastic! So informative and a really amazing guy!”
This operator only offers pick-ups from the hotel and hostel accommodation listed, this covers over 90% of the accommodation providers in the area. They do not provide pick-ups or drop-offs at private residences, Airbnbs, bus terminals etc. Select an alternative close by and be ready there for pick-up at the time on your booking confirmation
Yes, you can rent a horse for 90 soles approx for approximately 3 hours, but there are some parts that you will need to walk (approx. 20 to 40 minutes). If you want to hire a horse, you will need to inform the guide at the beginning of the tour and it is subject to availability.
It is not possible to reserve a horse in advance, it must be done the day of the tour.
Altitude sickness can catch many travellers a little bit off guard. Not everyone gets sick in high altitudes, and it is difficult to predict who is likely to be badly affected by it. For most people, it is nothing more than a headache and a dizzy sensation that diminishes over a short period of time, 1 to 2 days for most people. If you want to limit your chances of getting sick, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, do not fly directly into high altitude – proceed slowly, allowing your body time to acclimatise as you ascend gradually. However, for many that is not possible, so it’s important to drink lots of water, and to slow down! This sounds simple, but both of these things are very important. Your body is struggling because you don’t have enough oxygen, so avoiding any strenuous activity is a good idea. Chew some coca leaves – the native people of South America have been chewing coca for centuries, thanks to its ability to alleviate mild altitude sickness symptoms. Coca leaves can be bought in any supermarket, and even souvenir shops or street stalls. Take altitude sickness pills (Soroche): these are sold over the counter all over Peru and Bolivia, and are just a few dollars. If you are flying straight into altitude over 2500meters without spending any time at an intermediate elevation, and you’re worried about getting sick, you can ask your doctor for more specific and stronger altitude sickness medication in advance. In the rare case that your symptoms are more severe than a headache and mild dizziness, you should descend in altitude and seek medical assistance.
You should be reasonably fit to undertake the trek. The trek is not particularly steep, but at this altitude the gradual climb is difficult.
Common symptoms of altitude sickness (sometimes called acute mountain sickness) can be similar to a bad hangover and may include a headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. A severe headache that is not relieved by medication, nausea and vomiting, and increasing fatigue or shortness of breath may indicate more serious problems – seek medical attention.
Take Soroche (Diamox) pills, eat small meals, drink coca tea, drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol (it’s a dehydrator). The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to acclimatize yourself. The recommended approach for acclimatization is to ascend gradually, spending at least 24 hours at every 2,000 ft increase in altitude.
Not necessarily, but as you will spend several hours hiking up and down through the canyon, we recommend that you at least wear stable and comfortable shoes.
Breakfast: Coffee, tea, chuta bread (traditional bread made in Cusco), butter, jam, a glass of fruit juice, oats, pancake
Buffet lunch: Salad (lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers), corn soup (only 1 dish per person), potato, sweet potato, rice, noodles (red noodles or sautéed noodles), quinoa, meat (chicken, beef, sautéed, or some stew), a drink and a small serving of dessert.
The amount of people per tour can vary. We operate buses with 13 or 18 seats, each bus has one guide.
Here at Rainbow Mountain Travels we always try our best to ensure all our clients can visit the summit of the mountain. However, at these altitudes, the weather can change suddenly without warning which due to safety can cause delays or in some rare cases, cancellation of the tour. Should there be any weather-related issues, we are not liable for any shortening or failure to complete the tour as it is something out of our control.
If you have particular questions you wish to ask or simply want regular email updates of our Rainbow Mountain tours and info, give us your contact information and we’ll get in touch.