Travel Guide: Rainbow mountain – Everything you need to know

montaña de 7 colores
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Surely you have heard of a rainbow mountain, or you will have seen on social networks the typical photo of tourists on this incredible mountain that looks like a rainbow. But haven’t you had a chance to visit it yet? Well, here is all the information you need to know so that your visit to Vinicunca is one of the best experiences of your life.

The Rainbow mountain or Vinicunca is one of the most beautiful natural attractions that you will be able to appreciate on the way to the Apu Ausangate. It is said that the energy of the Mountain of Seven Colors is so great that it represents a new opportunity for all who visit it.

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

Rainbow Mountain
Distance from Cusco 3 hours to the point of trek
Ticket cost 15 soles for Peruvians and 25 soles for foreigners
Weather Dry and Cold
Activities Walk through the Colorful Mountain, Enjoy the fauna of the place: Llamas and Alpacas, Try the so famous Alpaca chicharrón
What to bring? Small backpack, water, sunscreen, extra money, warm jacket, camera
Best visiting season
May and October

Vinicunca: History of the Rainbow Mountain

The geographical accident that represents this magical mountain, belongs to the snowy Ausangate, present in the Vilcanota River Mountain Range.

Previously, this mountain was covered by a glacier, which, as a result of global warming, melted until the entire mountainous structure was completely discovered.

When you arrive at the place, you will be able to appreciate a large mountain made up of sediments or layers of different colors that have superimposed one on the other to make a magnificent geological formation.

The slopes are dyed in various shades including red, purple, green, yellow, pink and other variations. Since 2016, the year in which this wonderful mountain became famous through social networks, it receives hundreds of tourists a day.

How high is the Mountain of Seven Colors?

The Mountain of 7 Colors or Vinicunca is one of the largest mountains in Peru and is located at more than 5,200 meters above sea level (17060 feet).

The uphill walk can be a bit challenging, but once at the top, I assure you that your steps will have been worth it and you will feel proud to be able to reach one of the main tourist attractions of Cusco and Peru.

Rainbow mountain

How to get to the Rainbow Mountain on my own?

The Mountain of Seven Colors is located 140 km. southeast of Cusco. To reach the destination, you must travel for three hours to a small town called Pitumarca, located in the province of Quispicanchi. Once in Pitumarca, you must take a trail route to the peasant community of Pampa Chiri, where you will start the exciting walk. After a 4-hour walk, you will arrive at the town of Machuraccay, a point where you will be able to appreciate the colors of the mountain and other beauties such as lagoons and streams.

The journey will end at the top of the Mountain of Seven Colors at an altitude of approximately 5033 meters above sea level. At this point, it is common for travelers to take beautiful pictures to immortalize the moment. If you are one of the people who have difficulties when walking, on the tour you will be able to find locals who rent horses and take you a large part of the way.

Rainbow mountain

To sum up:

We take the bus in the city of Cusco as early as we can, for example 4 to 5 am is fine. This bus will take us for almost 3 hours to Cuscipata, where we can have our breakfast.

Important: We must go to the bus station to Sicuani on Av. Manco Capac 802, these are the buses that go to Sicuani, but we will get off before, in Cusipata

Second journey will be from Cusipata to Llacto for almost 1 hour at a cost of 10 soles.

Finally, from Llacto to the viewpoint of the Rainbow Mountain it is a time of almost 1 hour and a half walking.

Route Price
Cusco to Cusipata (Round trip) 20 Soles
Cusipata to Llaqto (Round trip) 10 Soles
Breakfast Cusipata 10Soles
Lunch Cusipata 15 Soles
Ticket for Rainbow mountain 10 Soles
Horseback riding (Round trip) 100 Soles
total 165 Soles

Is the trek to the Mountain of Seven Colors difficult?

Actually the walk is not hard, however, the difficulty lies in the altitude of the natural site. At the beginning of the walk, you will find yourself at about 4,480 meters above sea level, to later ascend to more than 5,000 meters above sea level.

If what you are looking for is to climb Vinicunca at your own pace, we recommend doing the excursion in a private group, since otherwise, it is difficult to climb coordinated with a large number of travelers.

In addition, another important factor to consider is the fact of traveling accompanied by children or older adults, because they may be more vulnerable to the conditions of the walk.

Rainbow mountain


What is the best season to visit Montaña de Siete Colores or Vinicunca?

In Cusco, there are two very marked seasons, the dry season and the rainy season.

The best season of the year to visit the mountain is in the month of August, since it is the dry season and you will be able to see the colors of the mountain perfectly due to the clear weather.

It is important to avoid the rainy months (December, January and February) or times when snowfall has fallen since the visibility of the mountain is reduced.

In any case, the photographs that you manage to take in this magnificent place will be your own evidence of having reached the goal.

What to do in the Mountain of Seven Colors?

Vinicunca or the Mountain of Seven Colors is a magical place where you can do various activities such as:

  • Live one of the most memorable extreme adventures.
  • Enjoy the characteristic fauna of the high Andean landscapes such as llamas, vicuñas, alpacas, vizcachas, condors and more.
  • Get to know the lifestyle of the communities that inhabit the most extreme places in the Peruvian Andes.

What to take to the Mountain of Seven Colors?

Since you are going to an area with a lot of altitude, for your trip we recommend that you bring the following:

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses.
  • Cap or hat.
  • Coat, gloves, windbreaker, trekking pants and trekking shoes.
  • Camera with extra battery.
  • Water, snacks and some fruits.
  • Personal medications, if you require it or are under any medication.

What to visit first? Vinicunca or Machu Picchu?

Generally, the most visited attraction by travelers tends to be Machu Picchu, however, over time the Mountain of 7 Solores or Vinicunca has gained popularity, which is why many travelers wonder which attraction to visit first.

First of all, we have to consider altitude sickness. After arriving in Cusco, you will begin to feel the soroche little by little, which will make you feel tired and have a headache and/or stomach ache. Therefore, it is best to rest a little before climbing to a higher elevation.

Generally, travelers are recommended to visit Machu Picchu first before the Rainbow Mountain. Because? Well, Machu Picchu has a lower elevation than Cusco, which will allow you to acclimatize better before being able to climb to the elevation of 5200 meters above sea level that the Rainbow Mountain has.

Rainbow mountain

Recommendations before visiting the Mountain of Seven Colors

Spend a day or two acclimatizing in the city of Cusco. Bring warm clothes for the walk. If you do not consider yourself in good physical condition for the walk, rent a horse from one of the locals. You will not have to worry about anything, just enjoy your trip.

Being on top of this incredible mountain is something you will remember all your life, not only for its beauty, but for the unique satisfaction you will feel when you reach the finish line.

The Mountain of Seven Colors opens its doors throughout the year, get ready to discover it!

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