The Ultimate Guide to Travel To Rainbow Mountain, Peru
In our childhood, I bet all of you used to wish to touch the rainbow, to feel it too. We used to think there is a magical kingdom above the clouds, where the rainbow starts from. But nowadays, we are all grown up enough to know how rainbows work.
To make that wish come true, Mother Nature has given us a present which will make you want to venture out of this place. This fascinating place is Vinicunca Mountain, dubbed “The Rainbow mountain”.
Was the Rainbow mountain real?
Exactly as we have said before, this unbelievable mountain sits within the south-eastern side of the Cusco region of Peru. To admire this gift from Natura - Mother, tourists must hike for 6 miles! This trip will be fairly challenging if you don’t prepare carefully, so let’s start planning a plan with us to make this challenge become easy like eating a cake.
What makes this mountain special?
Unlike other mountains, Vinicunca - the rainbow mountain of Peru commonly does not leave a mark as the tallest mountain in the region, it was famed for its stripe and color.
Starting from 2015, a newly discovered geological wonder known as Rainbow mountain was added to the must-see destination. Local people have known about this beauty a long decade ago, but they don’t expect it because this is a challenging trip for tourists. However, this mountain has almost been covered by permafrost glaciers. Rising temperatures lead to global warming. Since that phenomenon happened, this place has become more and more famous for its natural, unique color.
As a result of global warming, the water mixed with minerals in the ground and started turning the ground into many colors. These different colors with layers hues of red, yellow, lavender, gold,... Every mixture gives the mountain its striking appearance.
How high is this mountain?
Although this is not the tallest mountain in the area, Vinicunca still impresses people by standing 17.060 feet above sea level which means you’re going to climb almost to the Everest Base Camp in Nepal! Is this high enough to shock you? Besides, not only is it high that much, but this hike is also challenging right from the start. This Rainbow Mountain nowadays is a favorite place for thrill-seekers - those who can hire a mountain bicycle for their new way to see Vinicunca in all its glory!
Taking a trip by hiking to this Rainbow mountain in Peru is kinda challenging but very enjoyable whether you guys prepare all these experiences below!
How to get there?
With those options below, you can choose the best option that is suitable for your trip!
This is the most popular visitor's choice when they come to Vinicunca. With this option, this will take you a 2 hour drive from Cusco and a walk about 5 kilometers. You have to make sure to have good fitness because you will need to climb to high altitudes. Depending on your speed and fitness, it might take you 3-4hour walking.
Drive a horse
For those who prefer not to hike, you can take a journey by horse. You can rent a horse at several points along the trek, so all is up to you!
I promise this trip will be memorable for you! In case you want to give up, just remind yourself that the “ present” just needs a little bit of effort, believe in yourself! The result won’t make you regret it.
When is the perfect time to have a trip?
The Peruvian Andes are separated into 2 main seasons: the dry ( April until October) and rainy ( November until March) seasons. However, even though they are in the dry season, it still can rain or even snow anytime.
The rainy season means the chance of rain will be higher, especially in the afternoon, the heaviest will be in January and February, so during this season, rainfall will result in snowfall in this area because of its high and frigid air. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a sunny day! You can choose to take a trip in November instead.
However, the weather over the mountain can change quickly, so remember to bring clothes for all weather.
We also recommend that the best time to visit is in June - August in the morning or evening hours, you can also visit right after sunrise, or right before sunset.
What Should You Bring When Traveling To The Rainbow Mountain
Check out this list to make sure you don’t forget anything for the trip!
- These options are essential, so don’t forget those: Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Water bottles ( we prefer you to bring at least 1 liter per person)
- Bring your toilet paper
- Bring chips, snacks besides
- Bring money besides in case you want to rent a horse
- Charge your camera fully
- Protein bars and energy drinks
- Bring ( wet ) tissue
- Trash bag
Those are all the basics needed for your trip, you might need to prepare more stuff based on your needs!
Is there any risk when trekking in Rainbow Mountain in Peru?
To be honest, the answer is yes! Let’s check out those risks below here.
The weather in Vinicunca is always unpredictable! Sometimes, it can be changed immediately, so you will need to be well-prepared.
There have been few situations where some visitors have been left disappointed by low visibility. That’s why the weather will be affected, the colors in the rock will be dimmed.
So that is nature, just take time to enjoy what is the wildest, most unsettling of nature whether the bad weather or not.
Good mental health is the most required thing you need for your trip, such as altitude sickness - the common concerns visitors usually get. This sickness is kinda regular so you don’t need to worry. This altitude sickness is caused by a lack of oxygen at higher altitudes, these symptoms might include: headache, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, and shortness of breath.
Because of the strain placed on the heart by lower oxygen levels, those who have a history of heart problems should not hike Rainbow Mountain! In case you are not sure whether or not you should hike Rainbow Mountain, make sure to discuss your sickness and mental health with a doctor before coming to Peru.
However, keep following those below tips in mind to keep safe for your tour:
- Step-by-step take time for yourself to be suitable with the elevation
- Get ready by taking medicine for altitude sickness such as Acetazolamide ( Diamox)
- Remain drinking tea, an herbal remedy for altitude sickness
- Avoid heavy meals, alcoholic
- Make sure to maintain your hydration
Last but not least, remember to take your full breakfast before getting on the trip!
What should you wear for the trip?
It’s very important how you choose your clothes for this challenging trek. As we said before, the weather in Vinicunca can suddenly change anytime without prediction.
First, choosing an outfit that allows you to feel comfortable is a wise choice. So the best suggestion here is to bring several light layers to prepare for any kind of weather including wind, rain, and sunshine.
However, do not disregard bringing a waterproof layer either because there is a lot of rainfall in Peru, the storm can easily gather at high elevations anytime. I guess you won’t want to get wet and cold, so this choice is essential. Don’t forget to choose comfortable hiking shoes with good traction for your trip.
Towards the beginning of this trail leads to Rainbow Mountain, it's still rocky and uneven, so it's also a good idea to remember to bring waterproof boots.
For the most complete trip, remember to bring a warm hat with you. It can prevent you from the heat of the sun when you reach the top, or it can protect you from the cold of the rain at any time.
Plan for your trip
If you are now excited about this incredible mountain but still don’t know where to start your planned trip properly? Then take some notes and write those down.
How long should you stay?
These are several choices based on your demand, such as a 1-2days tour is fine. But a 1-day tour will make you have to spend several hours trekking and return. With this plan, it sounds quite exhausting and rushed even for those who have a fitness physical.
Generally speaking, if you have time, the 2-days tour will be the best solution for you. In this plan, you won’t have to break down the long roundtrip, you can choose camping closer to Rainbow Mountain, it also is the best solution for altitude sickness than in Cusco. So it will give you the best experience trip ever.
Booking tour online
Unlike in 2018 and 2019, booking tours online are now approaching, and well-rated fully licensed tours available since this mountain became a publication. The tour price in those times ranged from $40 - $100 / £45 - £78 per person for a full-day Rainbow Mountain tour.
But nowadays, you can look for a lot of prices based on your demand. There might be a few tours that are a little more expensive than others but convenience, higher standards, and dependability also have to be factored into that price difference. Those tours can range from £25 / $31.50. In case you are looking around and booking the cheapest tour, the approach prices range from $18 / £15. Besides, in some high seasons, all the book tours can be sold out, so pre-booking online is very convenient
However, you must make sure the operator you booked is trusted and enable you to change the date of the tour because as I said before: the weather can change any time! Besides, remember to check all the website reviews or other guests.
Should you go on your own ?
This is the most popular question we get, the answer is yes! You can absolutely go on your own alone or with a small group without a tour guide. With this option, you can be comfortable in hours, choose every break you want and be independent on your trip. Thus, this will avoid the crowd.BUT, you can only do it when you’re intermediate or advanced.
With a beginner and visitors, we suggest you should hire a tour guide, this will decrease intension in your hike trip. With this choice, you will find that not only a tour guide will lead you to the mountain. A good guide also provides much more information about the hike, helps translate, and also ultimately haggles donkey prices on your behalf. More importantly, they can provide emergency tools in any case.
How much is the predicted price for Rainbow Mountain ?
To help you can easy to imagine, please check those obligatory prices below:
- Roundtrip transportation ( ~83$)
- Entrance ticket ( 2.44 $)
- Roundtrip horse ( ~21.98$- might be less if you walk on your own all the way)
- Guide tour ( based on your choice)
- Chips, snacks, and water ( based on your choice )
- Hotel ( based on your choice )
There can be more price costs during the trip without planning, such as buying souvenirs, food or even clothes,... Please make sure you have a suitable budget to have a relaxing trip.
The stunning view in Rainbow Mountain in Peru
During the hard-working walking, you’ll see the green valleys with traditional local villages. Moreover, the local villagers around those regions keep a lot of herds and cutie alpacas, so you can take your time here to have a photo or cuddle them. So make sure to take a lot of photos here.
We hope this article has provided all the information you need about Rainbow mountain in Peru. If you have any questions, please comment below and we can answer them for you. After this article, all you need is to make a plan and pack your stuff for your “ adventure”!