RAINBOW MOUNTAIN PERU 1 Day / 2 Nights
Rainbow Mountain (known locally as “Vinicunca”) is on the must-see list for most visitors to Peru. The magnificent colourful display, created by thousands of years of unique geological activity is a spectacular sight seen almost nowhere else on earth.
Situated near the magnificent Ausangate Mountain, it is generally considered the end point of the Ausangate Trek, a 5-day excursion. We have however come up with this 2 day/1 night route that allows you to reach Vinicunca quicker, and with far less effort! Highlights of our hike include walking alongside herds of llamas and alpacas, passing many native communities and farmers working in the potato fields, and uninterrupted views of the Apu Ausangate glacier and Surine Mountain.
Apu Ausangate is the holiest mountain in the region, the deity of Cusco, and is the highest in the Cusco area standing at over 6,000m (20,000 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 every year.
This itinerary includes one night of camping in a beautiful remote spot in the Andes. Looked after by our team of professional porters and chefs, you can be assured of a comfortable nights rest under the most magnificent starlit skies.
With uninterrupted beauty and solitude found only in the Andes, 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
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)
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