Vinicunca is a mountain pass located about a four-hour drive southeast of Cusco city, in the opposite direction of Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, and the famous Humantay Lake. Known more commonly by locals as La Montaña de Siete Colores(mountain of seven colors) and by travellers as the Rainbow Mountain Peru or Cerro Vinincunca, the geographical wonder is famous for its rainbow tonality- a surreal natural phenomenon of mineral deposits streaked across sandstone rock.
In an area claimed to have one of the most impressive mountain sceneries in the Andes, Vinicunca is close to the snow-capped Ausangate, the highest and most sacred mountain in the Cusco region.
As part of the Vilcanota mountain range, it’s located in the middle of the communities of Cusipata and Pitumarca, in the provinces of Quispicanchi and Canchis respectively, in the Cusco region, southern Peru.
Its exact coordinates are as follows:
It depends on the route you choose:
Follow our recommendations to enjoy the majestic Rainbow Mountain without issues!
To know exactly what you should bring, consider that you’ll leave the city and that you’ll walk in the cold and at high altitude. Some indispensable things are:
The difficulty level of this route is challenging. Most of the trail is in good condition; however, you must ascend an intense slope towards the end, thus exceeding 5,000 masl / 17,000 fasl.
Remember that you’ll be walking at high altitude and that you may suffer from altitude sickness. The higher you go, the less oxygen there will be in the air. So you’ll feel your breathing a little agitated.
Due to all that, to fully enjoy this excursion you must be in excellent physical shape and have undergone a process of acclimatisation. That’s why we recommend you arrive in Cusco 2 days in advance to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of altitude sickness: severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
There’s always the option of renting the service of a horse that can take you. The approximate price is S/. 50.00 soles one way and S/.90.00 soles round trip.
During your walk to the Rainbow Mountain you‘ll reach the two highest altitude levels in Peru: the Puna and the Janca where no animal species lives permanently. Over 5,000 masl few things grow, but you’ll be able to get to know the ichhu, a type of straw that serves as food for alpacas, llamas, and vicuñas. You’ll also be able to see kestrels and if you’re lucky, some majestic condor will open its wings for you.