Discover the incredible Red River in Cusco

Rio rojo
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Many of Cusco’s new tourist destinations have recently been unveiled and the famous Red River is no exception. In 2019, it became known very close to what is the Rainbow Mountain of Palccoyo.

This new tourist destination known as Rio Rojo was discovered in 2019 near the Mountain of 7 Colors of Palccoyo and Vinicunca, the place from where the beautiful hike to this unusual river begins.

Red river in Cusco
Location Canchis province, 100 km south Cusco
Distance from Cusco by car 3 hours approx
Weather Cold
Activities trekking and pictures

Like the turquoise pools of Muñapata, this attraction went viral on social networks and also draws a lot of attention from travelers and explorers. If knowing new places in Cusco is one of your plans, you should not stop thinking about this destination.

Red river location

This colorful river is located more or less 100 kilometers from Cusco. It belongs to the Vilcanota mountain range, close to the monrañas de 7 colores and Palccoyo. From the town of Pitumarca you start on foot for 2 or 3 hours until you arrive at the red river.

red river

Fotografía: LR/Machu Picchu

How to get to the Red River?

To be able to visit this natural attraction, it is possible to do it in two ways:

From the mountain of 7 colors

The mountain of 7 colors is located within the territories of the Pitumarca district, and to get to this place it is necessary to take a bus (Cusco-sicuani). These buses leave every 20 minutes from the bus stop on Av. Huayruropata, Cusco.

This first section will take us approximately 2 hours, then the trip continues in a collective car to the district of Pitumarca, for about 10 more minutes. Arriving in Pitumarca, he has to hire a car that will take him to the community of Japura.

The entire road is unpaved, so you should take your precautions.

red river

From the Palccoyo mountain

To get to the red river of Palccoyo, follow the same steps that we described for the red river of the mountain of 7 colors. Only in this case, instead of getting off in the Checacupe district, you will have to go down a few more kilometers later, exactly in the town of Combapata.

Travel time to this town is approximately 2 hours and a half. From the town of Combapata you have to take a local transport to the community of Palccoyo where the red river is located.

red river

When can we visit the Red River?

When dealing with the flows and colors of a river, we have to take advantage of our visit in the rainy months, that means between November and April, because, in the rainy season is when we can really appreciate the beautiful colors.

red river

Photo: Domingo Atao

Why is this river red?

The phenomenon that produces this peculiar red color is the product of the erosion of the rains that have led to the decline of the red mountains and valleys. The water carries the peculiar argillites and clays due to their red color, which in turn stain the river, thus generating a unique and colorful spectacle throughout the valley.

Did you already know about the existence of this natural wonder? What are you waiting for to visit it? A red river is not seen every day, so pack your bags and take a detour to visit the rainbow mountain.

Visit us and check out our tours to Rainbow Mountain!

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

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