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Rainbow Mountain

Not Rated


12 Hours

Activity Type

Small Group

Group Size

16 people




Known locally as Vinicunca (cunca means “neck” in Quechua, the local indigenous language), this hidden gem near the Ausangate circuit goes by a lot of nicknames: Rainbow mountain, Painted mountain, Colored mountain, montaña de 7 colores, and even Stripy mountain – all of which speak to its unearthly and radiant colored peaks.

Made famous by Instagram, Rainbow Mountain has exploded in popularity in recent years. What was once a well-kept secret near Ausangate is now the second-most visited attraction in Cusco – second only to Machu Picchu!

The Rainbow Mountain is a small group shared guide activity and operates with a minimum of 2 travelers and maximum group sizes of 16 travelers. Solo Traveler booking accepted. For a private guided tour please contact us.

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  • Magnificent views of snow-capped Ausangate.
  • Hike up the rainbow mountain and admire its natural colorful beauty.
  • You’ll be able to observe unique species such as the condor, the largest flying bird in the world, or the vicuna, the most beautiful non-domesticated pre-Hispanic animal.
  • Trek across the remote Andean valleys and visit the breathtaking Rainbow Mountain.

What you will do

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Day 1: Cusco - Rainbow Mountain - Cusco
Day 1: Cusco - Rainbow Mountain - Cusco
You will be transferred from your hotel in Cusco at dawn. towards Valle Sur, driving for 3 hours until reaching Cusipata and take the road to town Phulawasipata (4,626 MASL /15,177 ft.). Arriving to this community you will take a break to prepair and the start the trek skirting the route of a beautiful stream. In the ascent, you will start to enjoy beautiful landscapes and see flocks of Andean camelids as llamas and alpacas.
The highest Mountain in the region, “Apu Ausangate”, will show its majesty and you will be amazed by the mystique of the place making you feel the all the magic and energy, also, you have the opportunity to interact with the community members to learn more about their daily life.
After approximately 1 and a half hours, you will arrive to the main attraction of this experience: Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain (5,020 MASL / 16466 ft.) you will have enough time to explore the area, take photos and renew your energy that will help you start your way back (The time in the mountaintop will be 30 minutes)
After the visit to the mountain of Colors we prepare to continue the trek, for the return. The walk back will take between 1 hour until reaching the Phulawasipata community from here you will be transferred back to Cusipata for the lunch in a local restaurant , after lunch continue to Cusco.

Total walking distance: 8 km
Minimum height: 4652 m.a.s.l.
Maximum height: 5,020 m.a.s.l.
Walking hours: 3.5 hours


  • Transport
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide
  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Entry fee Vinicunca Mountain
  • Boxed lunch (includes bottled water). Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available
  • Tips and other personal expenses
  • Any extras not mentioned in the program
  • Horseback riding (available on-site)

Activity Location


What to Pack for your Rainbow Mountain Day Trip?
Despite being just a day trip to Rainbow Mountain, you should note that this trek is particularly cold. The temperatures can be as low as 5°C (41°F), so make sure you have enough very warm layers with you! We recommend a windbreaker, fleece, woolen hat, gloves and a scarf. A thermal underlayer below your durable trekking pants will also help keep you warm from the cold wind.

Be prepared for changing conditions. Weather in the Andes in fickle and there is always a chance of rain or even snow at high altitude, especially during the rainy season months (Nov-Mar).

Don’t forget to pack a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, too. At such high altitude, the sun’s rays are very intense and you will burn easily, even if it is cloudy and overcast.

You will be hiking for 2-3 hours, so make sure your footwear is comfortable, sturdy and well worn-in. Hiking boots or trekking shoes are always preferred, but a good quality trainer will suffice in a pinch.

Lastly, you will appreciate bringing a thermos with you! A steaming cup of coca tea or hot coffee at the summit is a great way to warm up on a cold windy day!
How prices are based?
Prices are "from" per person based on a minimum of two travelers. Solo Traveler booking accepted.
Limited seat / spaces available.
The Rainbow Mountain is a small group shared guide activity and operates with a minimum of two participants and maximum group sizes of 16 like-minded travelers.
For a private guided tour please contact us.
How can I avoid altitude sickness at Rainbow Mountain?
Rainbow Mountain altitude is very high – you will reach OVER 5000m (16,404 ft) on this hike. Altitude sickness is serious business, so to avoid getting sick on the trail, it’s important to acclimatize.
How can you acclimatize to the altitude before hiking to Rainbow Mountain? Actually it’s very easy: spend time at a high-altitude place like Cusco! Altitude is something that your body needs to adjust to so all it really needs is time. The more time you can spend at altitude before starting any hike, the better. Because of the very high altitude of Rainbow Mountain, we think 3 days is the minimum acclimatization period for this day trip.
In addition, being kind to your body helps your body deal with the extra pressures that altitude creates. This means eating healthy, light meals; staying away from alcohol; resting; and drinking lots of water.
What is the best time of year to do a Rainbow Mountain day trip?
The best time of the year to do a Rainbow Mountain day trip is during the dry season, from May to August. These months are actually winter in the Andes so it can feel quite cold, but it usually means there is little to no rain. Clear sunny days and dry trail conditions are perfect for hiking!
December through March is the rainy season in the Andes and hiking to the Rainbow Mountain is not recommended. Sustained, heavy rains can make the trail unsafe. Rain quite often means snow at higher elevations, too, which is not only unpleasant to hike through, but could dramatically affect your views the striped mountains!
Trekking during the shoulder season (April, September, October) is weather-dependent. We are willing to book a Rainbow Mountain 1 day trek during this time, but if conditions are poor we reserve the right to cancel or modify your trip.
What will the food be like on this day tour?
Our Rainbow Mountain day trip includes a delicious boxed lunch, packed in eco-friendly biodegradable boxes or reusable glass containers. It includes bottled water, a piece of fruit, a sandwich and other snacks. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available upon request!
Do I need a special permit to hike to Rainbow Mountain?
You do not need to purchase any additional permits to do this day trip. The local community around Rainbow Mountain charges an entrance fee to access the mountain, but this fee is included in the cost of your trek.
What do I need to carry with me on the trail?
All you need to take with you is a day pack. In your day pack, you should carry things like your water bottle, some extra layers, camera, sun hat, gloves, beanie, sunscreen and sunglasses. You may also need to carry your boxed lunch in your day pack, so don’t forget to leave room!
Water on the trail is very important. Your boxed lunch includes a bottle of water, but you might want to bring another empty water bottle that you can fill up (we will provide boiled or filtered water for the car ride) before beginning the hike.
Can I rent a horse during this trek?
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.
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Organized by

Nicolas Samuel

Member Since 2021

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