Quelccaya Glacier are you ready for this adventure or Are you one of those people who love hiking in the mountains? Do you like to witness the best views of glaciers and lakes? Then, we offer you a two-day mini-program that includes camping in front of a breathtaking view. We will take you through the most spectacular destinations of the southern route of Cusco, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, nature, and lots of adventure. We will visit the Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca and the beautiful Quelccaya Glacier. Let yourself be captivated by its impressive snow-capped mountains, stone cliffs, and beautiful lakes; undoubtedly, wonderful gifts of nature.
We will start this program by heading south of the city of Cusco to reach the picturesque Rainbow Mountain. After exploring this beautiful place, we will head in our private transport to the Sibinacocha lake, the second-largest in Cusco. We will camp in the Ruita sector, from where we will be able to appreciate the great Quelccaya glacier.
Afterwards, we will walk to the White lake and enjoy its crystal clear waters. From this point, we will ascend and admire the largest glacier in the world, Quelccaya (5,200 m), also known as Challpa. At the end of the day, we will return to Cusco, taking with us pleasant moments of this beautiful experience.
Today is the first day of this fabulous program, we will leave Cusco early in the morning to head to the village of Pitumarca, where we will have a delicious breakfast. After gaining energy, we will travel for another hour and a half until we reach the community of Cayrahuiri, considered the starting point of the trek to reach the Rainbow Mountain. We will ascend little by little until we reach the planned objective, the viewpoint of the majestic Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca (5,100 m / 16,732 ft.).
After enjoying the unique views, we will descend until we reach the transportation that will take us for two hours to the Sibinacocha lake. Here, we will be able to appreciate the diverse fauna typical of the Andean region, alpacas, and vicuñas that walk around the mountains. We will take a short walk around the lake to appreciate the scenery and learn about the trout, the main fish of the area. We will enjoy our lunch while contemplating the great Quelccaya glacier and the mountains of the Vilcanota range on the horizon.
In the afternoon, our private transportation will take us for an hour and a half to Ruita, passing through the village of Phinaya. Before dinner, we can take a short hike and explore the area with its beautiful scenery. In the evening, we will rest in our camp to regain strength after a wonderful day.
After warming up with a coca tea and enjoying a refreshing breakfast, we will begin our adventure for the day. We will walk for about 30 minutes to the lake Blanca, also known as Saqracocha. We will enjoy the place to continue with a steep ascent through some stone cliffs that have the appearance of guardians.
As we go up, we will have impressive views of the Quelccaya glacier, also called Challpa. It is worth mentioning that, due to the extension that the glacier occupies, it is located between two regions: Puno and Cusco, has an area of 44 km2 and stands out because its ice mass is not located around any of the peaks of the Vilcanota mountain range, but on a plain.
When we reach the top of the trail (5,200 m / 17,060 ft), we will feel happy to have achieved our goal. In addition, we will discover lakes born from the melting of the glacier. We will return to our campsite and get ready to finish our trip. On the way, we will be able to appreciate parihuanas known as flamingos and vizcachas which are part of the typical fauna of the area. Finally, we will arrive in Cusco after this beautiful experience and we will end our program.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about Rainbow Mountain and Quelccaya Glacier in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the (Peru Hike) offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.
A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike Company can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
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The QUELCCAYA Glacier is one of the largest tropical snow-capped mountains in South America, immersing myself in this adventure was something incredible and unforgettable, we made this trip with the whole family and we were truly amazed by the landscape, and thanks to the support of the Peru Hike team everything was wonderful, I definitely recommend it.