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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.