Rainbow Mountain: Pallay Punchu, Vinicunca and Palccoyo, 3 options not to be missed

montaña de colores
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Do you know there is more than one Rainbow Mountain in Cusco? Yes!

¿Sabías que hay más de una montaña de colores en Cusco? ¡Sí! Belonging to the Vilcanota mountain range, Palccoyo, Pallay Punchu, and Vinicunca mountains are options that you should have in count if you plan to be dazzled by the colorful mountains that we have in Cusco.

Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountain is indeed the most popular option and maybe the most “full”, is not a unique mountain with these colorful formations. So near the mountain are Pallay Punchu and Palccoyo, here we gonna tell you more about these particular alternate routes.

Alternative Colored Mountains
Vinicunca Palccoyo Pallay Punchu
Between Pitumarca and Cusipata – Cusco Distrit of Pitumarca province of Canchis -Cusco Distrit of Layo Cusco
Cost of tickets 15 soles for Peruvians and 25 soles for foreigners 10 soles general 10 soles general
Walking time 3 hours round trip 45 minutes around the viewpoint 1 hour round trip
Distance by car 3 hours to the hiking point 3.5 hours to the hiking point 3.5 hours to the hiking point

Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca

Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca is one of the natural attractions more beautiful that you can appreciate on the road to the Apu Ausangate. It is said that the energy of the Rainbow Mountain is so big that represents a new opportunity for all the visitors.

The majesty of this mountain is so incredible that it is listed by National Geographic magazine as one of the 100 places touristic for visit before you die.

100 km to the southeast of the city of Cusco, located between the districts of Cusipata, province of Quispicanchis, and Pitumarca, province of Canchis, reaches an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level and is undoubtedly one of the best destinations to visit. You travel by car for 3 hours and walk there and back for almost 3 hours, a challenge for those who love hiking.

rainbow mountain

Generally, it used to be full of visitors, that’s because we recommend you to go early so you can avoid the multitude. If you want to know this incredible destiny, in Machu Picchu Peru Tours we offer you the tour of a perfect day for you can enjoy a day full of adventure.

Palccoyo: The alternative colorful mountain

The Mountain of Seven Colors of Palccoyo is located in the town of “Palccoyo” to 4 900 m.a.s.l.

The Palccoyo mountain range, as well as Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), has its origins thanks to an impressive geological process in which the earth’s strata are aligned creating layers of different colors with a surprising effect. Near Palcoyo you can also find a mysterious forest of stones, where whimsical rock formations give shape to a geological labyrinth.

Arrive at the Palccoyo Mountain Range, is extremely gentle compared to the hike to Vinicunca because there are no slopes so it will only take you 01 hour of trekking to reach this beautiful destination.


The journey is almost the same, you must travel for 3 and a half hours by road and walk to the highest point for 1 hour and that’s it, you will be able to see this beautiful alternative mountain.

Pallay Punchu: A little-known option

This third option that we gonna present to you is named Pallay Punchu or sharp mountain of colors. This is a new option recently discovered in 2020 since this is popular.  His highest point is 4791 m.a.s.l. His formation highlights the colors: Red, pink, green, white, and others.

This hard walk of 1 hour (depending on the physical condition of the passenger) is considered a moderate to challenging hike. It’s not a dangerous hike and there are sections of steep slopes up and down. Perhaps the worst enemy of the route will be the cold weather or the altitude that can cause altitude sickness.

The main route is through the district of Layo, we go by bus 3 hours, and from there we walk for almost 2 hours to reach the viewpoint of the area able to dazzle us with this forest of colorful mountains.

pallay punchu

What to bring to visit these colorful mountains?

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses.
  • Hat or cap.
  • Coat, gloves, windbreaker, trekking pants and trekking shoes.
  • Camera with extra battery.
  • Water, snacks and some fruits.
  • Personal medication, in case you require it or are under medication.
  • Extra money

Expectations wherever we go are always high. Therefore, this wonderful route will be no exception. Multicolored landscapes, animals in their natural habitat and local people that connect us with the real living culture of the place, will allow us to have a complete experience. What do you say! Are you ready?

Explore many more tourist destinations and facts about Peru in our travel blog and plan your next trip with us!

Picture of Nicole Maxdeo
Nicole Maxdeo
Comunicadora, viajera y amante de los gatos 😍

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