Day Tour to Rainbow Mountain Perú

Vinicunca Mountain, better known as the mountain of the 7 colors or simply (Rainbow) is one of the new attractions of Cusco. Located more than 90 kilometers from the city of Cusco, at an altitude summit located at 5,200 meters above sea level.It has a mountain formation, naturally stained in various shades of a complex combination of minerals. The Rainbow Mountain in Cusco was surrounded by the imposing Apu Ausangate, not many years ago. Since 2015, this place receives thousands of visitors a day, and along with Machu Picchu, one of the most visited places in Perú.The Rainbow Mountain in Cusco and the top of Vinicunca are stained in various hues, including red, purple, green, yellow, pink and other variations.The Vinicunca Mountain is cataloged as the natural wonder of Cusco and as the second most visited place in our region after the wonder of the Machupicchu world, it is undoubtedly an incredible place.This day tour to Rainbow Mountain Perú will take us all day traveling but it will show us without a doubt that all the people who come to this place are amazed by the beauty of the sector and the ecosystem is incredible, and it is also a challenge for people to reach the summit on their own testing their endurance, courage and courage to reach more than 5000 masl - 16404 fasl.Without a doubt, the hike to Rainbow Mountain Perú will be an incredible adventure which will take you to know this new natural wonder and why not take one of the best photographs in our region

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Short Itinerary:

  • 06:30 – 7:00 am Transfer from the hotel
  • 10:30 am Start of the walk
  • 12:30 am Arrival at the viewpoint of the colorful mountain (free time for photos, etc.)
  • 13:00 am Descent towards the starting point (phulawinpata community).
  • Optional: visit of the red valley (additional s / 10.00 soles income).
  • 14:30 pm We will take the bus to the restaurant.
  • 15:30 pm Lunch in Cusipata.
  • 16:00 pm Return to the city of Cusco
  • 18:00 – 18:30 pm Arrival to the city of Cusco

Full Itinerary:

We will start with the pick up between 6:30 – 7:00 am from the different Hotels or Hostels ready, then we go to the southern area of ​​our city to the town of Cusipata 3,332 masl and we will travel for 1 hour and 30 minutes approximately to Cusipata and then continue for another  hour trip until we reach the viewpoint of Phulawasipata 4633 masl – 15200 fasl, point where we will begin our adventure and prepare to start the hike for an hour and a half, which will be 3.5 km – 2.17 miles of trek to the mountain top and then arrive at the viewpoint where we will get a panoramic view of the sector.

Along the way you will be able to appreciate the snowy Wiñayritty, also the small lagoon “Puka cocha” this part of the walk will be stretched uphill it will not be complicated, we will only need to breathe well since we will find ourselves in a place of great height and even more upon reaching the Vinicunca Mountain of Colors at 5070 masl – 16633 fasl.

Then we will explore the «Vinicunca» mountain with the tour guide. Then you will have free time to enjoy the landscape where you can get wonderful photographs or simply delight in the landscape, Optional, If you want you can continue walking by 20 minutes and visit the viewpoint of the Red Valley, for which you need to pay an additional income, this viewpoint has the view of the valley that is behind the mountain, colored by the most reddish tones in the terrain or for being an immense Valley.

At the end of the tour in the Mountain of Colors we return by the same road to Phulawasipata to take the vehicle to say goodbye to the Apu Winicunca, with which we will return to Cusipata, this time to taste the buffet lunch. Having already had lunch we return to the city of Cusco at 18:00 pm approximate arrival time

It includes:

  • Round-trip transportation
  • Food: lunch
  • Bilingual guide (Spanish – English).
  • First aid box
  • Oxygen balloon.
  • Walking sticks.

Does not include:

  • Entrance ticket to the mountain s /. 10.00 soles.
  • Entrance ticket to the red valley s /. 10.00 soles.
  • Horses.
  • Water and snack.

We recommend bringing:

  • Light clothing for walking and comfortable shoes.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Water and Snacks (granola bars, dried fruits, chocolate, etc.) for the way.
  • Money in Soles (shopping).
  • Camera – camcorder – batteries.

Rainbow Mountain Map


What causes Rainbow Mountains?

In order to understand what causes rainbow mountains, we must first understand how mountains are formed, for this we resort to geology and orogeny and thus have a clearer and of course scientific idea.

The mountain ranges and their mountains are formed by collisions or collisions of different tectonic plates, as these cannot advance horizontally when impacting, they do so vertically, forming mountain ranges and mountains and other geographical features. But not only endogenous agents such as these collisions intervene in this formation, but also exogenous agents such as the vast majority of meteorological phenomena (rain, hail, snow, winds) these cause mountains to form over time and have their particular pyramidal shape.

However, what causes rainbow mountains is much older than we think. For this we go back in time and we will go back approximately 24 million years, at that time, different layers of rock sediments such as sandstones, halites, gravels, limestone ranging from ocher, green, yellow and white along with others Minerals were compacted one on top of the other to form different layers like plasticine masses, one on top of the other according to the weight of each layer; the heaviest ones in the lower part and the others on top of them. As time passed with the movement and collision of the tectonic plates, new mountains were born, as we explained previously, these colored pressed masses rose while maintaining these typical colors. However, the meteorological factors were in charge of preserving them and especially of keeping it in total splendor and of course respecting its typical colors equally.

And not only that, the altitude also influences since this place is approximately 5000 m.a.s.l. This makes the vegetation scarce to such an extent that almost nothing grows, if there were vegetation, this great colorful wonder could not be visible. All this is a set of curious mixtures typical of our nature because only it could give us landscapes that often escape our own imagination.

What country is rainbow mountain in?

The Rainbow Mountains are located in the country of Perú.

The first mountain is Vinicunca, also known as the Mountain of Seven Colors or Rainbow.

It is located about 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco. The mountain is located in the Cordillera del Vilcanota at 5,200 meters above sea level, in the district of Pitumarca.

Palccoyo is the second mountain of colors that Cusco offers. The Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo is located south of Cusco, a short distance from the snowy Ausangate, in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is currently located in the district of Checacupe, province of Canchis.

The beautiful place covers a natural area of more than 9,000 hectares where, in addition to the beauty of the summit, red, brown and other tonalities can be seen; and a forest of stones.

The third mountain that Cusco offers us is Pallay Punchu.

The Pallay Punchu Mountain or Pallay Puncho del Apu T’akllo Apacheta, located in the Layo district in Cusco at about 4700 meters above sea level. The arrival time is approximately 3 hours, departing from the city of Cusco.

Also in Lima, we find a fourth Mountain of Colors.

The rainbow mountain of Lima is located in the Córdon de los Yuracochas, at an altitude of almost 5000 meters above sea level. It is located 3 hours from Ticlio, in the province of Huarochirí, in the Lima region.

There are also colored mountains in the Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park in China.

Rainbow Mountain China vs Perú

There are times when Nature lets out its most capricious streak and turns something that should fall into the category of normal into a visual spectacle that draws attention and we must protect it. This is the case of two unprecedented corners, one in China and the other in Peru, where it seems that a gigantic palette of paint has been spilled, completely changing its appearance.

Rainbow Mountain China vs Perú Comparison Chart
Rainbow Mountain ChinaRainbow Mountain Perú
AreaZhangye Danxia National Geological Park is in an area of 300 square kilometers, in the province of Gansu, in an area with little rainfall.Vinicunca is in an area of ​​400 hectares between the municipalities of Cusipata and Pitumarca.
CompositionDepending on the type of material, the earth ends up being painted in one color or another. For example, sandstones rich in sulfur minerals give rise to yellow areas, limestone is part of the white sediments, argillites give a reddish touch, and copper oxide gives the greenish color.Greenish tones imply the presence of iron, magnesium and copper oxide; the yellow ones highlight the sulfur, the whites are made up of quartz sand and limestone rock, and the red ones are made up of clay and argillites (mica and quartz rocks).
AltitudZhangye Danxia National Geological Park is located at 1480 meters above sea level.Vinicunca is located at 5,200 meters above sea level.
MeaningThe Danxia Mountains means pink clouds in the local language.«Wini» means «black stone», and «Kunca» means Neck, in Quechua language.
Touristic InfrastructureRestaurants can be found in a nearby town, called Pitumarca. Tours include breakfast and lunch at these restaurants.Located fifty kilometers away, it has a sufficient hotel infraestructure to accommodate the tourists who visit the site.
How to get?From Zhangye, there are three ways to get to the park. The cheapest way is to do it on your own, by bus, from the west station of the town, while for those who do not like to leave anything to chance and want to avoid any unforeseen events, the ideal is to opt for an organized tour. However, the most comfortable formula is to hire a taxi for the whole day. This option is not expensive and allows you to visit with much more tranquility, speeding up time.Due to its location, a little over 100 kilometers from the city of Cuzco, this place is reached by car in the first instance. After a journey of approximately 2 hours along the Longitudinal Highway of the Sierra del Sur Peruano, you will reach Pitumarca. The journey continues along a trail to the community of Pampa Chiri. From there you follow a route through mountain slopes. This journey is 5 kilometers long and can be done on foot or on horseback to finally arrive at Vinicunca. There are tours that offer this service.

Where is the Rainbow Mountain in Perú?

As a Mountain of 7 Colors it is possible that you will find several, even the Mountain Range of the Seven Colors, but we are referring to Vinicunca or Winicunca.

What are the rainbow mountains in Perú called?

In Peru we find 4 Mountains of Colors, below what are the rainbow mountains in Perú called

  • Los Yuracocha, Lima: It is known as the Vinicunca Limeño, due to its impressive resemblance to the Rainbow Mountain of Cusco.
  • Palcoyo, Cusco: Of ocher and red colors, with green, blue and white stripes, the dazzling Palcoyo Color Range is visited by a few travelers a day.
  • Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca, Cusco: The queen of the colored mountains in South America, Vinicunca was only discovered in 2015.
  • Pallay Punchu Mountain from Apu Tacllo, Cusco: It is one of the new and best attractions in Cusco, the multi-colored hues of the mountain resemble the ponchos that are used in Peru.

Are the rainbow mountains of Cusco Perú real?

At the beginning of 2018, Instagram users made Vinicunca viral.

Recently, through the distribution of spectacular photos on Facebook and Instagram, more and more travelers want to discover the new tourist magnet for themselves and get their own Instagram image.

But, are the rainbow mountains of Cusco Perú real?

Thanks to the magic of Instagram, the mountain of seven colors has become one of the most crowded attractions in Peru. It is very likely that you will not find the magical and spiritual place that some try to sell on their social networks.

Even though many of the photos are heavily edited, the natural colors of the colored mountains are still very impressive in real life.

Facts about Rainbow Mountain Perú

Here I present you these facts about Rainbow Mountain Perú, Before! Did you know that the Mountain of 7 Colors was covered with snow for thousands of years, today due to warming, it is discovered and exposed to the eyes of the world.

  • Vinicunca is said, but also Winicunca
  • Due to its mineral wealth and scenic marvel, it was listed by National Geographic magazine as «one of the 100 places you must visit before you die.»
  • The Coloration of the Mountain of the 7 Colors, is appreciated according to the state of the day. If the weather is tense the colors become dimmer or darker, however, if the weather or the state of the day is sunny, the colors become lighter and more noticeable.
  • On the first days of August, payments are made to the land in the MOntaña de 7 Colores, a ceremony of offerings to the Pachamama.
  • The Apachetas in Vinicunca are highly respected, these are stone mounds, one on top of the other, they are considered «stone offerings.»
  • His path is part of the old road of the Q’ollas, the highland muleteers.
  • If you visit their market, you will see that many residents are exchanging products.
  • The thaw is the consequence of global warming, therefore, the Vinicunca mountain was discovered.
  • During the journey many groups of alpacas, llamas and vicuñas are observed. In addition, you can also find foxes, skunks, huallatas, partridges, deer, vizcachas, condors and osqollos or field cats.
  • The daily activity of the inhabitants is agriculture, sowing and harvesting. His family livelihood is livestock.

Geology of Rainbow Mountain Perú

Vinicunca’s rainbow appearance is due to «a complex geological history of marine, lake and river sediments,» according to a report from the Office of Cultural Landscape of the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco.

These sediments, transported by the water that previously covered the area, date from between the Tertiary and Quaternary periods, that is, from about 65 to two million years ago.

Over time, the sediments formed layers (with different sizes of grains) that today are seen as the stripes that attract tourists so much.

The movement of the tectonic plates in the area raised these sediments until they became mountains.

Later they acquired their striking colors due to the oxidation of their minerals, exerted by the humidity of the area, and their erosion, explains César Muñoz, a member of the Geological Society of Peru (SGP), to BBC Mundo.

Acoording to a study of the geology of Rainbow Mountain Perú, each color is composed by:

  • Pink or fuchsia: a mixture of red clay, mud and sand.
  • Whitish: sandstone (quartz sand) and limestone.
  • Purple or lavender: marl (mixture of clay and calcium carbonate) and silicates.
  • Red: argillites and clays.
  • Green: clays rich in ferro-magnesium (a mixture of iron and magnesium) and copper oxide.
  • Yellowish brown, mustard or golden: limonites, calcareous sandstones rich in sulfur minerals (combined with sulfur).

Elevation of Rainbow Mountain Perú

The elevation of Rainbow Mountain in Perú is 5,200 meters above sea level, compared to Cusco which is 3,399 meters above sea level.

How to get to Rainbow Mountain in Cusco Perú?

Our recommendation is that you visit it after spending several days in Cusco to be better acclimatized to the altitude, and not have problems with altitude sickness. Think that the Mountain of 7 Colors is the highest point where you are going to be these days.

If you can get to this place on your own, it is something that we do not recommend, unless you go with someone who knows the route or hire a taxi from Cusco with roundtrip service.

How far is the Vinicunca Mountain from Cusco and how long does it take to get there?

From Cusco to Vinicunca Mountain it is only 140 kilometers, but in time, which is what really matters, it takes about 2 hours to Quesino (at 4,200 ms), the first stop for breakfast, and another hour until the start of the hike to reach Rainbow Mountain (at 4,400 ms).

So with 3 hours from Cusco to Vinicunca Mountain one way and another three back, plus the 4-hour trek to Rainbow Mountain, it is a full day excursion. But super recommended, do not throw this data back.

Cost of the Tour to Rainbow Mountain Perú

This tour to Rainbow Mountain Perú leaves from the city of Cusco at 4 in the morning and has a cost of approximately 30 dollars.

What is included in the tour to rainbow mountain peru cost

  • Pick up at the hotel and transfer back to the hotel in Cusco.
  • Guide in Spanish or English.
  • Transportation by minibus.
  • Entrance to the Mountain of Colors.
  • Buffet breakfast and lunch.
  • Poles for trekking.
  • Emergency oxygen and first aid kit.

Can you do rainbow mountain Perú hike without a tour?

Yes, you can do the rainbow mountain Perú hike without a tour. To get Vinicunca Mountain from Cusco and buy the entrance to the Mountain of the 7 Colors you must follow the following steps:

Hire a taxi or take a bus from the city of Cusco to the town of Cusipata. The buses leave from the Closed Coliseum on Huayruropata Avenue (cost 5 soles). The trip lasts 2 hours, approximately.

Once in the town of Cusipata, you can rest before continuing the journey to the community of Pampachiri. There are ‘collective’ taxis that do this service (cost 10 soles). The trip takes approximately 1 hour.

In the community of Pampachiri you can buy tickets to the Mountain of the 7 Colors. You can also hire a horse or buy products before the walk.

The walk to Cerro Colorado lasts 2 hours depending on the physical condition of the visitor. The ascent is difficult but worth it.

How much does the entrance to the Mountain of 7 Colors cost?

The entrance to the Mountain of the 7 Colors has a cost for Peruvians and another for foreigners. Payment is with an identity document or passport.

How do I get to Vinicunca Mountain trailhead?

If you go to the mountain of colors on your own, the most recommended is through Cusipata since there are more transport options and not like in the other routes that it is difficult to find transport, and if you go with a travel agency the best route is through Quillilli for being the shortest.

To get to Vinicunca Mountain trailhead in Cusipata follow the next steps:

  • 05.00 a.m. To go you must go to Av Huayruropata where the buses leave (Price of ticket about 8 soles, 2.5 dollars approx), here ask which bus is the next to leave and go through Cusipata, after about 2 hours of bus travel you should get off at Cusipata.
  • 07:00 a.m. Arrival Cusipata and breakfast in a restaurant.
  • 07:30 a.m. From Cusipata take a car for 1 hour to Pampachiri (Ticket price about 10 soles, 3 dollars approx) this price may vary depending on the number of people and the type of mobility, if for example there are 2 people but there are no more tourists to go towards Pampachiri you will have to pay about 35 soles for the 2, 10 dollars approx
  • 08:30 a.m. In Pampachiri the control point is located where you will have to pay the entrance.
  • 08.30 a.m. Start the walk for 1 hour with 30 minutes one way.
  • 10.00 a.m. Arrival at the mountain of colors and then return by the same route.

To get to Vinicunca Mountain trailhead in Quillilli follow the next steps:

  • 06.00 a.m. Depending on the location of your hotel, you will have to leave Cusco for Tintinco in a private car for 2 hours.
  • 08.00 a.m. Breakfast in a restaurant 08.30 a.m. After breakfast it is time to go by vehicle to Quillilli for the time of 50 minutes, at this point is the control for the entrance to the mountain in which S / 10 national or foreign tourist soles is paid.
  • 09.10 a.m. Passing the checkpoint
  • 09.10 a.m. Start the walk 40 minutes one way, the first 10 minutes of the route is of medium difficulty, after this route you can choose whether to continue walking or go up on horseback, the remaining 20 minutes is easier, the route is semi-flat and the 10 minutes Before reaching the mountain of colors it is more difficult because it is steep and sometimes there is mud or mud.
  • 09.50 a.m. Arrival at the mountain of colors where you can stay for 1 hour or more and then return by the same route.

How much does the trip to Vinicunca cost on your own?

Traveling to the Mountain of the 7 Colors is easier and cheaper than it seems. Expenses include: food, transportation, tickets and snacks. Here is the detailed cost of the the trip to Vinicunca on your own:

Travel to Vinicunca on your ownPrice in dollars ($)
One-way trip: Cusco-Pitumarca2 USD
One-way trip: Pitumarca-Anchipacha3 USD
Return trip Pitumarca-Cusco3 USD
Local breakfast2 USD
Local lunch3 USD
Foreign entry3 USD
Transfer on horseback*31 USD
Snacks3 USD
Total cost53 USD

* The transfer on horseback up the mountain is optional.

How to get to Rainbow Mountain Perú by different routes?

There are 2 easy access routes and 1 day to reach this mountain of the 7 colors.

Route through Pitumarca

The route through Pitumarca is the easiest, in addition to the fact that the time is short, since this access is closer than Cusipata to Cusco. The walk is 30 to 40 minutes, this depending on your physical condition.

Route through Cusipata

This route through Cusipata was the busiest for some years, but it was a very challenging hike, it took about 3 hours to reach the top, but since the Pitumarca route was created, the people of Cusipata cut that distance, which is now about 1 hour.

Tour to Vinicunca

We have a special tour for you with new routes and better service, which includes entry and more.


Is the Rainbow Mountain in Cusco worth it?

The tour will allow you to see large wild (and domestic) herds of llamas and alpacas; the landscapes change every day, snowy mountains, rocky and desert mountains, swampy pampas, but all these amazing places will lead you to an even more spectacular one; Hidden in the heart of the Andes mountain range, it looks like a rainbow, it is a mountain that is reached by an extreme route, with harsh camping conditions and tiring hikes, so it will take a lot of determination.

However, when you get to the path that leads to the amazing Rainbow Mountain in Cusco and see it for the first time, it will all have been worth it.

is Rainbow Mountain Perú day tour hard?

The rainbow mountain Perú day tour is not hard, it has a moderate – high difficulty. It is recommended to do a little walking or go for a run a few days or weeks before the tour.

The Palccoyo rainbow mountain Perú day tour is easier, shorter and mostly flat. Also, as Palccoyo is a new route, it is not well known and therefore there are not many people.

How hard is the hike to rainbow mountain Perú?

The hike to rainbow mountain Perú has MEDIUM difficulty. With a duration of 3 and a half hours at an average pace, this path requires an acceptable physical state. The hike to rainbow mountain Perú includes slightly steep ascents and plains that gradually ascend.

During the journey there are areas of ascent and others of slight downhill. There are no risk factors such as cliffs or river crossings, so this walk is very safe. Although there are no signs, the path is very clear and you will always find other travelers either on the way or back.

If you require assistance or rest, do not hesitate to go out of the way to sit down for a moment and enjoy the scenery and the pure air of the Andes. The cold is moderate depending on the season, but we recommend you bring a coat since at the top of the Vinicunca mountain you can feel freezing winds.

How long does it take to climb rainbow mountain?

Rainbow Mountain is a unique place to visit in the world. And although it is not considered a long hike, reaching the top can be challenging due to the constantly changing weather conditions and the altitude. The mountain is only accessible on foot (and in some parts on horseback). The climb to rainbow mountain takes about 1.5 – 2 hours to reach the top, depending on your fitness level.

The approximate distance to be walked is 6 km.

How high is the rainbow mountain in Cusco Perú?

The high of the rainbow mountain in Cusco Perú is 5,200 meters above sea level, compared to Cusco which is 3,399 meters above sea level. Machu Picchu is at 2,430 meters above sea level.

Do you need hiking boots for hike to rainbow mountain Perú?

We always recommend wearing good hiking boots for hike to rainbow mountain Perú. But, the most important thing is that the footwear is comfortable, does not fit the foot too much and does not have a heel or platform.

How much time in advance I should book the tour?

We recommend you reserve the Mountain of 7 Colors tour in advance, since we have 2 seasons (High Season and Low Season), the same ones that differ between the number of tourists we operate, this is the reason why reservations are subject to availability.

How much does the entrance ticket cost?

Rainbow Mountain entrance price: PEN S/ 10 (USD $ 3 approximately)

When is the best time to hike the rainbow mountain?

Some tourists return from Vinincunca with the disappointment of seeing it covered with snow without the colors and shades that characterize it.

This happens mainly during the rainy season (from November to March). During those months, the river rains and the weather cause the Mountain of the 7 Colors to be covered with snow.

The best time to visit this natural attraction is in the dry season (from April to October). In those months the sky is clear, the rains are less frequent and the Vinincunca never shows its best colors.



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