Palccoyo: a striking adventure to the alternative Rainbow Mountain
What's better than just a rainbow mountain? The three rainbow mountains of Palccoyo. This new alternative route is lighter, less strenuous, and with no crowds battling for a picture. If you are hungry for spectacular and remote scenery, come join us on this one-day tour to merge a wide smile with the colors of Palccoyo on a hike that will make you feel like the only one on the planet!
On this guided tour, you will visit Checacupe, known for its emblematic bridges: Inca, colonial and republican. You will hike for only an hour and a half to see not just one but the three colorful mountains of Palccoyo. Then, you will ascend at your own pace up to 4,900 meters to admire the sacred Ausangate, the highest snow-capped mountain in Cusco. In addition, you will feel that indescribable tranquility experiencing the unique silence of the Vilcanota mountain range as you walk through the beautiful Rock Forest. Give it a try and get thrilled by history, culture, and mind-blowing nature.
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- Enjoy a private trip to the rainbow mountains of Palccoyo away from the tourist crowds.
- Visit the bridges of Checacupe belonging to three great historical eras of Peru.
- Feel like an adventurer walking among high Andean mountains with pristine landscapes and views over the Red Valley.
- Witness the amazing rock forest, discover its meaning and its relationship with the Ausangate snow-capped mountain.
Cusco | Checacupe - Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains - The Rock Forest
Highlight of the day: The spectacular view of the colorful mountain Palccoyo from its viewpoint.
Discover the wonderful rainbow mountain of Palccoyo
You will leave Cusco early in our private transportation to the town of Checacupe to visit its emblematic bridges: Inca, colonial and republican. The trip continues for another hour and a half across the beautiful Andean highlands to Palccoyo and to the starting point of the tour. You’ll walk for 50 minutes to its viewpoint to appreciate the colorful mountain Palccoyo and the snow-capped Ausangate in the distance. Then, you will go to the rock forest where you can take amazing pictures before heading to the lunch spot. End off with a drive back to Cusco taking with you the best memories of the trip!
The adventure begins around 4 am when we pick you up from your hotel in our private transportation. You will travel for two hours to the village of Checacupe, where you will stop to visit its iconic bridges from three different eras: the Inca hanging bridge, the colonial, and the republican. The town is also famous for its church and for being the place where the hero Tupac Amaru II was defeated in an endless struggle for independence.
After an hour and a half, you will arrive at the small village of Palccoyo and follow the last stretch to the starting point of the hike; from here, you will have the first views of the main mountain. You’ll walk at your own pace for about 50 minutes to the Palccoyo viewpoint, appreciating some alpacas grazing in the distance, being greeted by some of the locals accompanied by lovely alpacas, often adorned in the ears or heads as a token of affection.
Reaching the viewpoint, the Palccoyo mountains will dazzle you immediately, as you’ll also find the other two colored hills that compose this attraction. From here, you will have time to appreciate the wonderful scenery and contemplate the imposing Ausangate (6,372 m / 20,900 ft). You will even be able to appreciate part of the Red Valley, whose sediments form the Blood River. Then, you’ll walk to the rock forest to take an incredible photo observing a geological sample product of millions of years of thawing. On the way back, we’ll share an open-air meal with the amazing mountain backdrop and finish with the drive back to your hotel in Cusco.
Why Travel with us
At Salkantay Trekking, we specify the included and non-included services under all the tour itineraries listed on our website. We take care of all the logistics, but please pay attention to the details, so you don’t miss anything. Some items may be different for specific programs, so please read carefully before booking with us.
What Is Included?
High Quality Service & Safety
You'll meet your tour guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. The meeting will be at 5:00 pm the evening before the trip begins.
Experienced Tour Guide
English and spanish speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route, including leading your group in ancient ceremonies! He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
Medical Kit or First AID Kit
All Salkantay Trekking guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergencies (altitude sickness, travelers' diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.
Extras Included in our Service
We believe that attention to small details is what sets us apart from other local companies. You’ll receive a pair of walking sticks with rubber tips (or trekking poles) and a rain poncho.
Customer Service 24/7
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication with Salkantay Trekking leading up to your trek.
Breakfast and Lunch
Snacks and water
Before starting your trekking, your tour guide will provide you a cloth bag with local fruits, cookies, chocolate, caramels, etc. In addition, you'll receive a bottle of water.
One cloth snack bag per person
To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we'll give you a cloth bag for your snacks.
Products for hygiene
You’ll be provided with a small towel and soap before each meal to clean your hands.
All your transportation is included in this package. We will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the starting point of the hike. Once you complete the tour, we will take you back to the door of your hotel in Cusco.
Permits & Entrance Tickets
Entry Ticket for Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain
What Is Not Included?
Tips for our staff
Tipping is the norm on any excursion in Peru. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do.
Additional costs or delays beyond our control
Landslides, bad weather conditions, itinerary modifications due to a safety concern, illness, pandemia, government policy changes, political instability, strikes, act of God, etc.
Here we leave you with a brief list of extras that you can enjoy during this package.
Huayna Picchu Mountain
Huayna Picchu is the mountain behind Machu Picchu and which can be climbed in 45 minutes. Although this excursion is up to you, our guide will take you to the place of entry. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can assure for you if we have enough time in advance.
Your entry ticket will be purchased to coincide with the dates of your excursion on the Inca Trail. The entry can be done in two shifts: from 7:00 am to 8:00 am or from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. We buy the tickets in the second shift so that our clients can fully enjoy their guided tour of Machu Picchu. Remember, the shifts only indicate the time of entry. You can go up and down Huayna Picchu without haste.
The ticket for Huayna Picchu costs US$ 75.00 per person.
Machu Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu Mountain is another of the mountains that surround the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It offers even more incredible views than Huayna Picchu, but it takes 1.5 hours to reach the top. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can assure for you if we have time in advance.
The excursion entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain is open in two shifts as well, the first from 7:00 am to 8:00 am, and the second from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.
The ticket for Machu Picchu Mountain costs US$ 75.00 per person.
All our tours include the PeruRail Expedition train. This train leaves Aguas Calientes at 4:22 pm. The Vistadome train is a higher category service that offers more comfortable seats, a panoramic design that will allow you to see through the roof, as well as an entertainment show on board. The Vistadome train leaves Aguas Calientes at 4:43 pm and goes to Ollantaytambo train station. From there, we’ll take you on our transport to your hotel in Cusco.
You can access this service for an additional payment of US$ 45.00 per person.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you'll find speedy answers to all those questions you had about hiking in Peru with Salkantay Trekking in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services. Please read carefully the following information – it will help you with any questions you may have about our services.
Have another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line and we will get back to you asap!
Briefing or Informative Meeting
All information meetings and briefings are held in our main office in Cusco (or your hotel) at 5:00 pm, one night before the tour begins. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. If you’re unable to attend, you must coordinate another time by email, by phone or at the Salkantay Trekking office.
Can I store my luggage at your office?
Of course! During the trip, your main luggage can be stored at our office (you can organize it with us on the briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you won’t need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags; put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (in the unlikely case of theft, many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing everything). It’s best to put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Pick up of guests
Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historical Center of Cusco. Your guide will coordinate the pickup time in the briefing session, but please keep in mind that the time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic.
Cusco is an old city, meaning it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people, then physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, the guide will be the one who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if such modifications are possible.
Strikes and demonstrations
Strikes and demonstrations are usually common in Peru, and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked, and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your trip as originally planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be canceled. In case of changes or cancellations, everything will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority, and our decisions will be made to protect it.
Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our transport or restaurant. You’re the only one responsible for your objects during the tour.
The "Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain 1-Day Tour" can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because rainy season & maintenance.
2022 Land Cost
Group Price: US$ 100.00 per person
This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
Notice that PayPal charges a fee of 5%, which we ask the client to cover since it's due to the use of its service. This tax is just for online deposits.
Please, after your payment, send us the transfer number to email@example.com; only after that, we'll be able to confirm your deposit and reservation.
Extensions & Offers
There are several extensions you can include to your Peru Adventure.
- Sacred Valley: US$ 60.00 US$ 50.00
- City Tour: US$ 30.00 US$ 20.00
Once your booking has been confirmed, we guarantee the price won’t increase, whatever the circumstances. So please, before booking, ensure you’ve read all our important tour information.
Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Salkantay Trekking. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.
Our Pledge | Your privacy is respected and protected. The Salkantay Trekking Company will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.
Remember | One of our Travel Experts will contact you soon to confirm the availability of the trip you chose, give you more information, and/or provide you alternative options. Once availability is established, we will ask for a deposit and a completed online registration to confirm your spot on the trek. Please call us at (+51) 958 191 179 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.
Note | Due to the rainy season and trail maintenance, we don't offer this trek during the whole month of february. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, we are working to provide you a better service!