Most individuals do not understand that Rainbow Mountain in Peru (also called Vinicunca Mountain, Winikunka, Montaña de Siete Colores, and Montaña de Colores) was nearly undiscovered till 2015 and solely began accepting day excursions in 2016.
Once we first visited South America again in 2010 it hadn’t even been found but. However, since its uncovering (in all probability as a result of local weather change), it has develop into a mecca for lots of people who journey there on a full-day journey from Cusco.
Since that is so well-liked, we needed to let you realize what to anticipate when mountaineering Rainbow Mountain, assist prevent some cash in addition to let you realize whether it is value it or not.
Rainbow Mountain in Peru – What to Anticipate
What are the Rainbow Mountains in Peru?
Rainbow Mountain is positioned a two-hour drive from Cusco within the Andes Mountains. It sits at an elevation of 5200m.
Is Rainbow Mountain value it?
It’s fairly crowded however it’s value it when you acclimatize and are comparatively bodily match. The views are unbelievable.
What’s the finest time of the yr to go to Rainbow Mountain?
One of the best time of the yr to go to Rainbow Mountain is from March to November in the course of the dry season. For fewer crowds go to throughout this time.
How lengthy does it take to hike Rainbow Mountain?
The hike itself is about 7-Eight kilometers lengthy with an elevation acquire of about 1200m. Here’s what a full day itinerary seems like.
1. You must take a tour from Cusco, Peru.
You used to have the ability to the journey to Rainbow Mountain independently but it surely concerned a for much longer hike.
They’ve since constructed a “highway” that really will get you a lot nearer to the bottom so the hike is simply 7km versus 15km.
Chances are you’ll assume that may shorten the time it takes to do the hike however remember that it’s a full-day tour that leaves from Cusco at 3am within the morning!
Because it stands now, you possibly can solely go to Rainbow Mountain from Cusco and you must be on a tour.
2. Verify the Rainbow Mountain climate earlier than you e book.
Stunning colours of Rainbow Mountain Peru
Usually talking, one of the best time to go to Rainbow Mountain is in the course of the dry season which is March to November. That’s if you end up prone to have one of the best likelihood at good climate.
No matter what time of yr you go to make certain to examine the climate outlook.
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There’s nothing worse than spending Four-5 hours driving solely to be greeted with a muddy mess that resembles nothing near what you’ve gotten seen in photos.
If rain is predicted and also you solely have a little bit period of time within the Cusco space then I might counsel skipping it altogether.
3. Must you pre-book your tour?
A horse grazing on Rainbow Mountain
This actually depends upon how a lot you want having executed for you earlier than you arrive. If you’re like us and do not need to trouble going to the journey brokers in Cusco to e book it then, by all means, e book your day journey beforehand.
You pay a little bit bit extra, however you should have the peace of thoughts that it’s all executed for you.
E book Your Rainbow Mountain Day Journey Forward of time for less than $30 USD per individual
For those who e book whenever you arrive then make certain to examine the critiques of tour operators earlier than you lay out any money. The most cost effective is just not all the time one of the best.
We splashed out by spending 70 Soles ($20) to safe a neighborhood operator with a dependable status.
4. What does the full-day Rainbow Mountain itinerary appear like?
It’s a lengthy day, so be ready for extra driving than mountaineering.
three am Decide up at hosel or decide up level. Some excursions depart earlier and a few depart later. Simply keep in mind, the later you permit the larger the crowds on the mountain.Drive for two hoursHearty breakfast cease in a neighborhood village for about 45 minutes.Drive for 1.5 hours to Rainbow Mountain.Hike as much as the point of view. Often 2 hours relying in your stage of bodily health.Keep on the viewpoint for 45 minutes and snap images.Hike right down to bus which takes about an hour.Drive again to Cusco with a lunch cease.
5. The Drive to Rainbow Mountain is lengthy
Arrival at Rainbow MountainFirst-hand accounts by visitor creator Elliott Gresswell. The drive out from Cusco was a skitter throughout snaking mountain roads, below cowl of blackness.
In whole, there have been a couple of dozen folks in our Rainbow Mountain tour group; my get together of six, plus some others the bus had picked up whereas failing to seek out us.
We have been a multitude of nationalities: English, American, Scottish, Dutch, Peruvian and French Canadian, crammed right into a tiny bus, attempting to grab a little bit sleep whereas the car jerked alongside.
I managed a couple of minutes. I ought to have introduced a journey pillow.
Simply because the solar was developing, the bus stopped in a pokey little village snuggled within the crimson valley.
There, the totally juddered passengers have been herded right into a hut by our tour information – a perky girl with a brilliant crimson jacket and a floppy hat.
Round a picket desk, we have been fed a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs and fried bananas, whereas village sheepdogs begged for scraps.
Bathroom Tip: It’s Mom Natures rest room so you’ll want to carry your personal rest room paper
6. The Altitude is not any joke!
Village firstly of the trek.
A few of the finest recommendation I can provide you is to be ready for the altitude. The perspective sits at 17060 ft (5200 meters) above sea stage and also you begin the hike at round 4200m.
To place that in perspective, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the best peak in Africa, is 19340 ft (5895 m) above sea stage. So that you WILL be affected by the altitude.
My advice is to not try Rainbow Mountain till you’ve gotten given your self a number of days to acclimatize and get used to the elevation in Cusco.
You’ll have a a lot better time and will probably be a little bit simpler if you’re not preventing the consequences of altitude illness.
7. How laborious is the hike up Rainbow Mountain?
This actually depends upon 2 ; your health stage and the way acclimatized you might be to the altitude.
If you’re already acclimatized and in fairly fine condition it isn’t too troublesome. Sure, you can be out of breath and drained, however a lot of the path up is comparatively flat.
It is not till you get to the final 300m that it will get fairly steep. Right here, it would be best to take your time and go slowly. You can be respiratory closely, however the views are value it.
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I will not be the sprightliest younger athlete, however I made a good panting mess; lagging behind my group to take photos, whereas we clambered up the escalating path.
Tour guides trotted up and down the column with shocking velocity, urging us ahead.
The perky girl guiding my group stored taking pictures me determined smiles and inspiring gestures; she badly needed us to be the primary get together as much as the highest.
The reality is that lots of people actually battle on this hike. They do not observe the recommendation of #6 (acclimating to altitude) and they aren’t actually in fine condition.
I wasn’t precisely within the temper to dash. However a brilliant smile and a floppy hat are laborious to argue with.
8. There’s a substitute for mountaineering to the highest of Rainbow Mountain
You possibly can select to journey if you want
For the actually exhausted, there was an alternative choice. Touts adopted the column, gently promoting horse rides as much as the highest for less than 70 Soles per individual.
70 Soles is a fairly lot of cash, particularly when a variety of the horses look suspiciously like ponies.
For those who do resolve to do that, please be sure that the horse you select is a wholesome one. I do know that is the way in which the native indigenous group makes cash, but it surely additionally our accountability to be sure that it’s being executed in a humane means.
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9. How you can Gown for Rainbow Mountain
Locals on the trek
At instances on the hike, the solar bears down with relentless depth, bringing pores and skin to the boil.
Excessive altitude calls for robust sunscreen, liberally utilized.
However the slightest breeze brings temperatures dropping proper again right down to frigid, so it is essential that you simply costume in layers.
Listed here are the necessities to carry with you:
Damaged-in mountaineering boots or sneakers. Flipflops will not minimize it!Windproof/waterproof jacketA base layer that is not cotton.A large-brimmed hatSunscreenWaterbottleA sweater or mid-layer to placed on on the viewpoint
Being ready for every kind of climate is the important thing to having fun with this hike.
If you’d like extra ideas, make certain to learn our information to Layering for Chilly climate.
10. At The Prime of Rainbow Mountain
The views simply preserve getting higher the upper you go.
Rainbow Mountain is a slab of shifting colours, pinks and greens and greys and yellows struck right into a financial institution of rock protruding upward from the Earth.
The well-known rainbow hump is an element of an entire stretch of coloured mountains, in shades of rose and blonde.
The climax of the Rainbow Mountain hike is a ridge overlooking the entire vary, in all its spectacle. Pair that with magnificent views over Ausangate Mountain and also you see why we are saying it’s well worth the climb.
Alpacas and horses going up Rainbow Mountain
Our group was allowed 45 minutes on the prime, struggling towards buffeting winds as we tried to soak in each second of the view.
Whereas we have been there, a column of llamas and alpacas threaded by, herded by native villagers throughout the radiant mountain vary and over the horizon.
It was like watching a set of cuddly toys trundle over the floor of Mars.
The hike again down was a lot simpler and took us about 45 min to an hour.
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11. The Verdict
When all was stated and executed, I might say that it’s undoubtedly value a day of your journey to Peru to go to Rainbow Mountain, particularly if you’re spending a while within the Cusco area.
It was an arduous clamber, however nicely well worth the early wake-up name and a little bit bodily punishment.
Overtourism on Rainbow Mountain Peru
Sadly, Rainbow Mountain is already seeing the consequences of over-tourism. For those who go, anticipate to share the mountain with as much as 5000 folks per day in excessive season.
Trekking in the course of the offseason is very really helpful. However even then, 500 or extra folks will probably be on the mountain with you.
Elliott Gresswell is a contract author and hopeless traveler. You possibly can observe him at http://travelyouway.net.com and observe him on Twitter at @TravelYour_Way