The Rainbow Mountain, officially named “Vinicunca,” offers amazing views and is a bucket list destination for many. Situated near the incredible Ausangate Mountain, it is generally the end point of the Ausangate Trek, a 5-day excursion.
Apu Ausangate is the holiest mountain in the region, the deity of Cusco, and the highest mountain in the Cusco area (6,385 m / 20,945 ft). Since pre-Inca times the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings. This tradition continues today, with more than 25,000 people completing the Qoyllur Riti pilgrimage annually.
We have come up with this 2 day/1 night route that allows you to reach Vinicunca much more quickly. The hike up itself is amazing and features herds of llamas and alpacas, many native communities, potato fields, and non-stop views of Apu Ausangate glacier and Surine Mountain.
With uninterrupted beauty and solitude, this is a spectacular trip for trekkers who love a truly unique, picturesque adventure.
You will have a thorough briefing with your guide 1 or 2 days before your trek. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you can take this opportunity to ask questions and make any final preparations.
Cusco – Urcos – Quesiuno – Llamachimpana village
We will pick you up early from your hotel and set out on a drive through the South Valley. The drive to the trailhead at Quesiuno, (4,308 m / 14,189 ft) is 3 hours long. Once we reach the Inkintuyoc bridge, our chef will cook us an amazing breakfast.
After breakfast, we will load all the gear on the horses and begin our hike uphill. Our path follows a lovely stream, and you’ll quickly come face to face with herds of friendly alpacas and llamas. Along the trail, you’ll have nonstop of the Ausangate Mountain. We will hike through villages and interact with the local residents. We have the opportunity to see chinchillas and vicuñas. Vicuñas are the national animal of Peru, a smaller cousin of the alpaca, and the only non-domesticated member of the llama family in Peru.
After a hike of 3 to 4 hours, we will reach our camp Cayrabiri, near the village of Llamachimpana. Our chef will make us a fantastic lunch when we arrive. After lunch (time permitting), we will go to the village and have the chance to interact with the residents. They love to share their history and local customs with trekkers. They will tell us about the fields of potatoes that surround the area.
We then return to camp where we will have happy hour and dinner. When night falls, we will have a serene night’s sleep under the stars.
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner + snacks
- Lowest Elevation: 4,326 m / 14,189 ft
- Highest Elevation: 4,598 m / 15,082 ft
- Distance to walk: 4 km / 2 ½ miles
- Approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours
- Level of Difficulty: difficult
Llamachimpana – Vinicunca – Quesiuno – Cusco
We wake up to a cup of hot coca tea and a gorgeous sunrise. Our chef will prepare a delicious breakfast to start the day. Our destination today is Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain. This is a 2-hour uphill hike.
On the way up, we will have consistent views of the Red Mountains, the Ausangate Glacier, and Surine Mountain.
Finally, we reach our destination, what we came to see…. the Rainbow Mountain (5,150 m / 16,466 ft). After getting over the shock of its beauty, we will have time to explore the area, take pictures and soak in the environment. We will spend approximately 30 minutes at the top.
We hike downhill the way we came. The hike will take 4 to 5 hours. Our chef will be waiting for us at the bottom with a hearty lunch.
Following lunch, we will embark on the 3-hour drive back to Cusco and drop you off at your Cusco hotel. Approximate arrival time is 7pm.
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch + snacks
- Lowest Elevation: 4,326 m / 14,189 ft
- Highest Elevation: 5,020 m / 16,466 ft
- Distance to walk: Uphill: 3.5 km / 2 miles; Downhill 7 km / 4 ½ miles
- Approximate walking time: 2 hours up; 4 to 5 hours down
- Level of Difficulty: Difficult
- English-speaking tour guide (Additional tour guide for groups of 8 people or more)
- Pre-departure Briefing at your Hotel 1 or 2 days before your trek
- Pick-up from your hotel and transportation to Quesiuno
- Return transportation with hotel drop-off
- Four-person tent for every 2 people
- Inflatable mattress and pillow
- Kitchen tent
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Toilet tent and portable toilet
- Professional Chef and assistant chef
- Wranglers and horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc)
- Horse to transport 8 kg of your personal gear
- Duffel bag for your personal gear
- 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
- Hot water for washing
- Boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles
- Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit
- Sleeping bag – you can rent from us
- Trekking poles – you can rent from us
- Gratuity for the crew (guide, chef (2), horsemen (6)
- Travel/Health/Emergency insurance
What to Bring:
- Original passport (if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking, bring both)
- Down or synthetic feather sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
- Clothes (warm/winter jacket, rain pants, hiking boots, poncho, winter hat, gloves)
- Toiletries (toilet paper, wet wipes, personal towel)
- Sunblock (35+ SPF recommended)
- Sunglasses and sun hat
- Camera with spare batteries – batteries run down faster at high altitudes
- Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us), must have rubber