The trip to the Rainbow Mountain is a must-see excursion. If you enjoy trekking in the most breathtaking landscapes, this is one of the most impressive challenges. Even if you don’t like it, it will always be worthy of what you will find when you reach the top of Vinicunca Mountain.
About four hours by bus from Cusco, the Rainbow Mountain deserves a visit from all who are passing through Peru and we could never leave the country without the mandatory stops.
We hadn’t begun the trail yet and we were already blinded by the incredible colors of those valleys. We don’t know how, but it looks like the greens fluoresce down from the hillsides. Do you know the curiosity bug? It appeared here. We just wanted to get to the top to see, with our eyes, all that landscape.
The trail is long, about 6 km to the top, and there is a factor that no one can ignore: the altitude. We are talking about a trail that takes us to 5200 meters high, and therefore we can only advise you to take a few days for adaptation in Cusco so that later you can enjoy much more the whole trip and the walk to the top will be less unpleasant.
Of course, not everyone does it on foot. The native population that lives in the region provide horses along the whole trail, mostly to help people reaching the top without much effort. The price isn’t too high, about 20 euros per person, and the experience should also be very interesting.
It is very pleasant to get in direct contact with the population along the way. They are friendly people and they encourage who passes to go on horseback than on foot, of course, even though they guide whoever needs about the distance to reach the top. They also have water and food to sell along the way, to the most unprepared or when the energy begins to run out. We advise to take only enough quantity of groceries, after all our own weight it´s more than enough to carry along the three hours of climbing and the other two to come back. However, do not ever go without water or energy drink, cereal bars, and a piece or two of fruit, perhaps banana is the best option. Your muscles will thank you.
As for clothing, along the way, it may start to feel warmer, but at the top, the wind blows icy. In other words, leaving the coats in the car or bus is prohibited. You can always adapt and be warm and comfortable.
The scenery is breathtaking all along the way. The snow in the mountains, the greens that seem to fluoresce from the hillsides, the local animals that we saw in the meantime, and then the people, dressed in the typical Peruvian costumes, which only embellish more that incredible place. It’s the exaltation of nature and its people in the purest state.
Obviously getting to the top is a burst of surprise and satisfaction, it seems like we were only a few feet away from touching a rainbow. We just wanted to absorb it all for us and into the pictures, so we won’t ever forget that place.
In our opinions, this is a must see to everyone visiting Peru. Furthermore, no one needs to worry about buying tickets online, because if there is a city in which you can find a travel agency at any corner, is called Cusco. There are hundreds, yes hundreds, distributed throughout the city and all with good prices and combinations with other possible points of interest throughout the stay in Peru.
If there’s a place not to miss in this country, Rainbow Mountain is the one, and the only thing you need to prepare is your muscles for the trail and your heart for the immense experience, you’ll be rapt.