- Rainbow Mountain
The Wonderfull Mountain of Colors
Get ready to discover one of the most impressive natural wonders on the planet in the middle of the Andes of Peru. If you visit Cusco, you have to do it! Our one-day tour to Vinicunca, or Rainbow Mountain, will take you through remote high-altitude deserts and through isolated communities found in the Vilcanota mountain range. In addition, you’ll be able to witness the immensity of the sacred Ausangate mountain (6,300 masl / 20,900 fasl), the highest in the region. Immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the inhabitants of this area, contemplate the walk of numerous herds of llamas and alpacas, and be a first-hand witness of millions of years of geological history.
Before You Go
This tour is designed for travellers with little time and good physical resistance. Its difficulty ranges from moderate to challenging. Despite the fact that the Rainbow Mountain is usually full of tourists, we start our adventure very early to be the first to arrive. In addition, we’ll take you to the opening of the Red Valley so that you can appreciate the endless red hills that rise on the other side of Vinicunca; a clear example of the fine art of Mother Nature!.
Choose Salkantay Trekking as your trusted operator; always on time and with the best guides. We have private transportation, too!
The imposing mountain landscape is sure to be the protagonist of your photographs.
Itinerary at a Glance
Cusco | Llacto - Rainbow Mountain full day tour
Our adventure begins at 4:00 am. We will pick you up from the door of your hotel to head for 3 hours towards the Southern Valley in our private transport. Remember that the starting point of our walk is at 4,638 masl / 15,216 fasl. Along the way we’ll observe picturesque Andean towns, agricultural platforms from the Inca period, fertile valleys, and beautiful rolling mountains. Even in the morning, the herds of llamas and alpacas will entertain you while you enjoy a delicious continental breakfast. We’ll continue our journey until we reach the starting point of the walk. There we’ll head down a meandering path in the middle of the Andean mountains following a beautiful stream. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with the impressive view of the Ausangate Mountain (6,300 masl / 20,900 fasl). Take a few minutes to try to understand why this mountain is a living deity for the Andean people. This whole area is home to many people and you’ll have the opportunity to see them working the land. You’ll surely also be surprised to see the traditional clothing they use that they make themselves thanks to the practice of textile art that they have inherited from their ancestors. In this way, an ancient culture is preserved that refuses to be submitted by the rules of the western world. Your guide will teach you about the meaning of some clothes and, if you want, you can ask him to teach you some words in Quechua. After 1.5 hours of walking, we will arrive at the amazing Rainbow Mountain of Cusco (5,050 masl / 16,564 fasl). Take time to admire the unique beauty of this impressive natural formation and feel the thrill of witnessing a unique natural spectacle. You will explore the surroundings a little while your guide explains the theories that exist regarding the origin of this mountain that seems to be taken from a colourful dream of the gods. Take photographs or simply immerse yourself in the landscape that also shows you the splendour of the great mountain Ausangate in the distance.
There we will take a break between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the speed of your steps and the condition of the weather. If you want to stay longer, inform your guide. Later, there’s the possibility of walking through the Red Valley, if the climate and weather allow it. Don’t miss this valley of completely red mountains! We’ll take between 45 minutes and 1 hour to arrive again at the starting point where we’ll enjoy our box lunch. Once we have filled our stomachs, we’ll embark on our private transport back to the city of Cusco. At approximately 5:00 pm we’ll leave you at the door of your hotel.
- Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Walking Distance: 4.97 miles
- Minimum Elevation: 4400 m / 14432 ft
- Highest Elevation: 5020 m / 16466 ft
Why Take the Rainbow Mountain Trek?
- The Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca, is in the midst of a land full of wild desert landscapes, snow-capped glaciated peaks, herds of alpaca, and pristine beauty.
- Rainbow Mountain is close to the highest sacred mountain in the Cusco region, Ausangate.
- You will trek through one of the most pristine mountain ecosystems in the world and take in beautiful mountain views and wildlife in its natural habitat for two days.
- This two-day route allows you to avoid most crowds and follow little-trodden trails to reach the colorful summit.
- Sleeping relatively close by to Rainbow Mountain in a comfortable tent also avoids the need for a painfully early departure time pre-sunrise from Cusco as a day trip.
- You will be able to reach Rainbow Mountain before most of the crowds descend on the peak.
What Is Included?
High Quality Service & Safety
You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our porters. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.
All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. Also, they speak English. As good cusqueños, they feel a great commitment to transmit the knowledge they have inherited from their grandparents. They are very friendly and professional. They’ll make sure you are safe and happy.
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 emergency situations (altitude sickness, traveller’s diarrhoea, 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.
Customer Service 24/7
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.
Snacks on the trail daily
Local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc. We will give this snack to you at the beginning of each day in your cloth bag.
One cloth snack bag per person
To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we will give you a cloth bag for your snacks.
From Cusco to Llacto (round trip).
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 small sleeping pillow, a foam mattress, a cover to protect your backpack on the road, and a rain poncho.
Our main priority will always be the tranquillity of our clients. While all of our guides are prepared for emergencies in the mountains, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps you feel more secure. Each Salkantay Trekking guides has a satellite phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to call anywhere in the world. You can also use it even if it’s not an emergency.
What Is Not Included?
Tips for our staff
Tips are usual on any excursion to Machu Picchu. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do. Typically, group participants collect their tips to hand out to the porters and chefs together.
Additional costs or delays out of control of the management
Landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.
You can rent a set from our company if you would like.
Personal clothing and gear
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about trekking Salkantay in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Has 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 are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Salkantay Trekking offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
Payment of Trek Balance (in Cusco)
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Storing your luggage at our Office.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to 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 all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, 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. 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, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations:
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent 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 excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
The Rainbow Mountain can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because rainy season & maintenance.
2020 Land Cost
- This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
Online Payment Rainbow Mountain 1 Day
Private Tour - 2020 Land Cost
Private tours are available and priced by party size.
- 2 Trekkers: US$250 per person
- 3 Trekkers: US$220 per person
- 4 Trekkers: US$200 per person
- 5 Trekkers: US$180 per person
- 6 Trekkers: US$150 per person
- 7 Trekkers: US$120 per person
- 8 or more Trekkers: $100 per person
If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to your travel professional.
Extensions & Offers
There are several extensions you can include to your Adventure:
- Sacred Valley: $100 $80
- City Tour: $20
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information