- Full day of guided hiking
- Andean Blessing (Ancestral Ceremony for protection with a local shaman)
- First aid kit including oxygen
- Transport: Cusco – Trailhead – Cusco
- Breakfast, Snack, Boxed Lunch
- Professional, bilingual Trekking Guide (English – Spanish)
- Emergency horse and wrangler for groups of 5 people or greater.
- Entrance fee
- Gratuities for the guide and driver
- Optional services for hire: horse and wrangler $35USD (round trip), Hiking Poles $ 4 usd per pole, Rain Poncho $ 5usd per day.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Rainbow Mountain trek (Vinicunca Mountain) is one of Peru's most popular choices among self-challenging travellers. The simple act of walking in a landscape with high altitude for a day and enjoying the nature of a mountain will make you feel alive and connected with the land. Vinicunca Mountain provides us with a natural coloured palette that is hard to find anywhere else on earth.
Your experience will be safe and enriched by Peruvian flavours and cultural sustainability designed by the tour provider. You may also choose to go up to Vinicunca Mountain with an easier alternative option of horseback riding for an extra cost.
This route offers the best that Rainbow Mountain has to offer. What most people are unaware of is that it’s the journey to the peak that provides some of the more spectacular views. But there are multiple paths to the top. So we want to make sure you see everything Rainbow Mountain has to offer.
A new road was recently created for Rainbow Mountain which has made the older route less favoured among most Rainbow Mountain tour operators. The new route takes you to Rainbow Mountain faster but it comes at the expense of missing out on some beautiful landscapes. You also have to contend with heavy traffic and many tourists walking shoulder to shoulder intruding on your camera shots. That's why this tour route was designed to give you the best of both worlds. To make it to the summit in time and with less effort, we will start on the easier trek. This should save you breath on the way to the top. On the way back down, we will take the less used path. This path offers much more scenic opportunities and has been ignored by other tour operators. So you can enjoy the spectacular views at your own leisure.
The tour will begin bright and early with a 3:30 am pick-up from your hotel. You will travel roughly 2.5 hours along a paved road to the community of Pitumarca before turning onto a dirt road for another 45 minutes until we reach its end and our beginning. After stretching our legs for a bit and having a light breakfast, you will start the hike towards Rainbow Mountain. The first half of your walk is a 9km, roughly 4-hour ascent to an elevation of 5,029m (16,500ft). This section will vary from moderate to very difficult. Once you arrive, you will be treated to unparalleled views and a huge sense of accomplishment. You will stay long enough to truly savour it and take some photos before descending to lower altitudes and warmer climes. On the way back, you will take a bit more time to see the glacial lagoons, where you will stop for lunch and take in the wide-open landscapes of the area before returning to the starting point. Your driver will be waiting to take you back to Cusco, arriving between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm.
This trek’s difficulty level is moderate. If you haven't been at altitudes over 2000m (6561ft) in the previous 2 weeks, we suggest that you take a few days to acclimatize before doing this trek. If you are not used to hiking, we suggest that you hire one of our horses (see above). This is a round trip service going at a slow pace and which you can stop at any time to get off and hike. You can also use and even share the horse service to carry your backpack or other things. The maximum weight is 90 kg (202 lb).
We suggest that you use hiking poles if you are not used to hiking or have any foot or knee injuries. This trek can be hiked by people of almost any age, from 11 to 65. Get some coca leaves to chew and also to give to the locals along the way (we can tell you where to buy them). This is a traditional Andean way of greeting and exchanging gifts, and the locals will be very appreciative.