Hike to the Wonderful Mountain of Colors and Red Mars-like Landscape
If you’re pondering over short trips from Cusco, our Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley 2 Day package is designed for you to discover the incredible scenery of a remote area that seems like something out of a dream. Explore the Andes in the company of our knowledgeable guide and witness unimaginable scenes. The geological formation of Rainbow Mountain is a pure natural beauty, and the Red Valley will feel like you’ve stepped foot on Mars.
You’ll also be able to capture the impressive views of the majestic Apu Ausangate (6,372 m / 20,905 ft), which is the highest and most powerful mountain in the entire Cusco region. This 2-day tour allows you to enjoy a stunning natural setting while challenging you during the trek and exploring the best that the Vilcanota mountain range has to offer.
- Before You Go
- Packing List
- Enquire Now
Do you like the idea of visiting some of Cusco’s most beautiful sites but want to stay away from the large crowds? Are you hoping for another adventure outside of a trip to Machu Picchu? Our 2-Day Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Trek is just what you’re looking for. Join us by yourself, as a couple, or in a group of friends or family.
Get ready to discover this route with the tranquility of being away from the hordes of tourists and the chaos of the city. Let yourself be enveloped by the soft lights of dawn on the spectacular Rainbow Mountain. You’ll be one of the first people to arrive! This gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the place in peace and get the best views with no one else in your photos!
You’ll also walk through the surreal Red Valley, a little-known destination with almost no tourists. Not many people get the chance to venture into this unique landscape, so make the most of your time in Cusco and join us on this epic adventure.
You’ll spend the night in the middle of the mountains and under the beautifully clear Andean sky. The peace, tranquility, and majesticness of the Andean mountains ensure an unforgettable experience.
Itinerary at a Glance
Cusco | Pitumarca - Quesiuno - Puka Pass - Anantapata - Warmisaya Pass (Minasniyuc Pass) - Surineqocha
This morning, hike through stunning landscapes and small communities and see Ausangate Mountain in the distance. See Rainbow Mountain for the first time this afternoon and spend the night by Surineqocha Lagoon.
Surineqocha | Rainbow Mountain, Vinincunca - Red Valley - Llactoc - Cusco
Make your way to Rainbow Mountain this morning and then onto the Red Valley. After, make your way down for lunch and then board our transport to take you back to your accommodation in Cusco.
What's it like
- Hike through absolutely stunning landscapes in the middle of the Andean mountain range and see snow-capped peaks, herds of alpaca and llamas, and pristine beauty everywhere you look.
- Visit the incredible Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca, which’s on so many traveler’s bucket lists. Go early in the morning to enjoy the site with little to no other tourists.
- Sleeping relatively close 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.
- Venture to the rarely-visited Red Valley that looks like to surface of Mars.
- Get some incredible views of Ausangate Mountain, the highest peak in the Cusco region.
- Enjoy a two-day adventure away from the city and without many other visitors.
- Spend the night under the Andean sky and observe the stunning constellations.
Why Travel with us
Cusco | Pitumarca - Quesiuno - Puka Pass - Anantapata - Warmisaya Pass (Minasniyuc Pass) - Surineqocha
Highlight of the day: Hiking through beautiful landscapes and getting your first glimpse of Rainbow Mountain.
Your Adventure Begins Hiking Through Stunning Andean Landscapes
We’ll pick you up very early to start your adventure. We’ll make our way to the starting point in Quesiuno and enjoy some breakfast. You’ll begin hiking through a stunning green valley and see the Ausangate Mountain in the distance. You’ll get to observe rural Andean communities and see how they live off the land. We’ll keep hiking to the Puka Pass. We’ll have a short break and then continue to Anantapata for lunch.
Once we’re full and ready to hike again, we’ll ascend to the highest point of the day at the Warmisaya Pass. You’ll catch your first glimpse of Rainbow Mountain from here! Then, we’ll continue to our camp for the night at Surineqocha Lagoon and enjoy dinner and some well-deserved sleep.
Our exciting adventure starts very early in the morning. We’ll pick you up from your hotel at 4:00 am and drive for two hours to Pitumarca and then another hour and a half to Quesiuno, the starting point of the day’s hike.
While we make our final preparations before we get on our way, our chef will prepare the delicious and nutritious breakfast that’ll give you all the energy you need to face the challenge that lies ahead. Before starting the tour, you’ll need to pay close attention to your guide, who’ll share with you all the details of today's itinerary, as well as safety tips that’ll come in handy the next two days.
We’ll start this impressive and little-known walk through a green valley from where you can appreciate the majestic Ausangate glacier in the distance—the highest peak in all the Cusco region. Along the way, you’ll observe several peasant communities and discover the deep connection with nature that characterizes the Andean culture. Hundreds of alpacas and llamas will watch you every step of the way!
We’ll continue our journey to the first pass known as Puka Pass (4,870 m / 15,978 ft). From there, you’ll enjoy a truly stunning panorama where you’ll spot the crystal clear waters of the Pukaqocha Lagoon and the gigantic Ausangate glacier right in front of you—you’re bound to be impressed! You’ll see how the waters of the lagoon originate from the snow of this sacred glacier. This spectacle is true to awaken your senses, and you’ll feel profound energy deep inside. Don't forget to charge your camera! There are many spectacular photo opportunities along the way.
After a short break, we’ll keep hiking for another hour and a half downhill to Anantapata, where we’ll stop for lunch. Once we’ve regathered our energy, we’ll ascend for two more hours until we reach the highest point of the day’s route called Warmisaya Pass (4,955 m / 16,257 ft). From there, you’ll get to see, for the first time and in the distance, the spectacular colors and dreamlike image of Rainbow Mountain known as Vinicunca.
We’ll descend for a final 45 minutes until we reach our camp located next to the Surineqocha Lagoon. Upon your arrival, we’ll welcome you with our happy hour of snacks and hot drinks to curb your hunger. Later, you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner before a well-deserved night of rest.
Surineqocha | Rainbow Mountain, Vinincunca - Red Valley - Llactoc - Cusco
Highlight of the day: Exploring Rainbow Mountain and the Red Valley with very few other visitors.
Visit the Incredible Rainbow Mountain and Out-of-this-World Red Valley
You’ll wake up at 4:00 am and enjoy a hearty breakfast before we make our way to Rainbow Mountain. You’ll get there before the rest of the tourist groups and avoid the large crowds. Spend some time taking in the incredible landscapes and capturing some photos before continuing on to the Red Valley. You’ll be astounded by the views and uniqueness of the scenery.
It’ll then be time to make your way down from the mountains and enjoy some lunch. From there, our private transport will take you back to your accommodation in Cusco.
We’ll wake you up very early this morning, at 4:00 am, to be precise, with a hot coca-leaf tea in your tent. This will give you the energy boost you need to get going and warm you up in the middle of the chilly mountains. Then you’ll enjoy a delicious, nourishing breakfast prepared by our chef. Get ready because you’ll soon discover Rainbow Mountain and the spectacular Red Valley!
We’ll ascend for 2 hours to the viewpoint of the beautiful Rainbow Mountain 5,100 m / 16,732 ft. You'll have time to explore on your own and witness mind-blowing views not only of Rainbow Mountain itself but also of the mighty Ausangate Glacier and other snowy peaks that surround that area. The 360° from here is fantastic, and you’ll enjoy it before the large groups arrive. Open your heart to the mountains. They’ll know how to reward you for all your efforts.
After enjoying this gem amidst the Peruvian Andes, we’ll begin our trek towards the fascinating Red Valley (5,050 m / 16,568 ft). This is a place that feels like you’ve stepped foot on another planet and that’s visited by very few tourists. You’ll be surprised not only by its amazing beauty but also by the immense tranquility that’ll surround you. It only takes 30 minutes of walking to reach the viewpoint from where you’ll get the best views of the valley all around.
Finally, we’ll embark on a 2-hour descent, passing through ancient Andean communities and, alongside, herds of llamas. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across some vicuñas, a beautiful non-domesticated animal that’s coexisted with the inhabitants of Peru since pre-Inca times. After the delicious final lunch, our private transport will wait for you and take you back to the door of your accommodation in the city of Cusco.
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 to avoid missing anything. Some items may be different for specific programs, so please read carefully before booking with us.
What Is Included?
Permits & Entrance Tickets
Entrance for the Ausangate Trek
Entrance for Rainbow Mountain Peru
Entrance for Red Valley
High Quality Service & Safety
You’ll meet your trekking guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. There, we’ll provide you with the duffle bags, which our horses will carry. The meeting will be at 5:00 pm the evening before the trip begins.
Experienced Tour Guide
English and spanish speaking official tour guide. All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. We choose them for their professionalism, experience, responsibility, seriousness, unbridled passion for exploring, and sincere desire to proudly share in our culture and history. He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
Private Camping Equipment
You’ll have spacious dining and kitchen tents where you can enjoy your food without problems. In addition, tables, chairs, and cooking equipment (all carried by our horses).
One Duffle Bag
On the trek, you can carry your personal belongings up to a maximum weight of 7 kg / 15.4 lb (this weight includes your sleeping bag).
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 small sleeping pillow, a cover to protect your backpack on the road, and a rain poncho.
24/7 Customer Service
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication with Salkantay Trekking leading up to your trek.
Our main priority will always be the tranquillity of our clients. All of our guides are prepared for emergencies in the mountains; however, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps you feel more secure. For this reason, each Salkantay Trekking guide has a satellite phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to call anywhere in the world in case of an emergency.
Best Camping Tents
Salkantay Trekking uses the best equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Every 2 people will share Eureka Timberline or Mountain Hard Wear tents with a capacity for 4 people.
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, and 1 Dinner
Our chef prepares the best dishes in the middle of the mountain. Our passengers love our food! We respect all diets (vegetarian, vegan, or special menus are available at no extra cost), so let us know if you have any particular allergies or restrictions on your reservation form and remind your guide during the briefing. You’ll enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to hot drinks and snacks.
Water on the trail
We’ll provide you boiled, filtered, and cooled water during your hike. For this, you need to bring a camel bag or an empty bottle (we recommend a capacity of 2 liters). You’ll be able to fill your bottles during each meal.
Wake up tea
You'll be woken up with a cup of hot coca tea! Our staff will provide you the tea in your tent so that you will be warm from inside out before you start your day.
Tea Time or Happy Hour
The first afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide you popcorn, biscuits/cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you won't have to wait until dinner to relax, warm-up, and enjoy a bite to eat!
Snacks on the first day
Local fruits, cookies, chocolate, caramels, water, etc.
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.
You’ll be provided with a small towel and soap before each meal to clean your hands.
TransportAll your transportation is included in this package. We will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the starting point of the trek. Once you complete the tour, we will take you back to the door of your hotel in Cusco.
Personal Belongings Transportation
Cargo mules will carry all the camping equipment and your baggage allowance (7 kg / 15.4 lb). Muleteers will be responsible for your duffle bag and personal items.
What Is Not Included?
Extras and important equipment
All our travelers need a sleeping bag to camp. Inflatable mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional but highly recommended. If you do not have them, don’t worry, you can rent them with Salkantay Trekking.
- Sleeping bag: US$ 10.00
- Inflatable mattress: US$ 10.00
- Walking poles (pair): US$ 10.00
Day 2 Dinner
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.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as carefree as possible. In this section, you’ll find the answers to all the questions you have about traveling with Salkantay Trekking in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Have another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line and we will get back to you asap!
How many days do I need to acclimate in Cusco before the Trek?
It is very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. We do recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the trek starts to help you become acclimatized and avoid possible problems with altitude sickness while on the trek.
Suppose you have already been in another area of Peru at a high altitude before arriving in Cusco. In that case, we still recommend you have a whole day in Cusco to rest, recover from your travel, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Cusco before departing for the trek.
Here some suggestions for activities to do in the Cusco vicinity before starting your adventure trek:
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.
Trek Balance Payment (in Cusco)
If you still have a pending balance, you must pay it 2 days before your hike/tour. Otherwise, your trip reservation will not be confirmed.
If possible, it would be greatly appreciated if you could settle the remaining balance for the trek/tour in cash, either in US dollars or the local currency, at our office in Cusco. You can withdraw funds from various ATMs located along Avenida Sol, offering both US dollars and Peruvian Soles. Alternatively, you have the option to pay using a credit/debit card or PAYPAL, either online or in person, but please note that a 5% service charge will be applied by our payment gateway (Niubiz) and PAYPAL. We regret to inform you that we are unable to accept bank checks or traveler's checks as forms of payment for the balance.
Duffel Bag or Canvas Case
You’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. Our horses will carry them, and the horsemen will hand them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 60 x 24 x 22 cm (23.6 x 9.45 x 8.66 in).
A maximum of 7 kg / 15.4 lb is allowed for each duffel bag, including the weight of your sleeping bag, sleeping mat, clothes, and other personal items.
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 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, tents or restaurants. You’re the only one responsible for your objects during the tour.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING?
"Ausangate, Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley" can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We don’t operate this itinerary in February because of the rainy season & maintenance of the route.
2023 Land Cost
Group Price: US$ 250.00 per person
Required Pre-payment: US$ 100.00 per person
Balance (Cusco): US$ 150.00 (Commonly paid in Cusco after the briefing).
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 so that you will pay the remaining in cash (the briefing day in Cusco) without charges.
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
There are additional items you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices.
- Sleeping bag:: US$ 10.00
- Inflattable mattress: US$ 10.00
- Walking poles (pair): US$ 10.00
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!