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Palcoyo Mountain Tour

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    Tierras Vivas Travel > Palcoyo Mountain Tour

    Palcoyo MountainDuring the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, you will discover the second rainbow mountain hidden in Cusco, which stands out for its easy accessibility and beautiful natural landscapes. Have you ever heard about the Vinicunca?, also called the Mountain of the 7 Colors or Rainbow Mountain. This natural attraction is located in Cusco and grows in popularity every day. But know? Today, there is another similar attraction called the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palcoyo. This is the destination that we will discover during the Palcoyo Mountain Tour in the Andes of Peru and enjoy a unique view of Ausangate Mountain. Beyond the splendid panorama with which one is, on Palcoyo Mountain Tour you will enjoy different activities that you can perform.

    In this Palcoyo Mountain Tour, you can also appreciate a forest of stones that gives a mystical attraction to the place and that is perfect for lovers of nature and trekking. On the way to Checacupe, you can visit the colonial temple that has fine works of wood carving, gold leaves, and houses paintings of the Cusco school. In addition, you can learn about the Inca, Colonial, and Republican ancestral bridges. So, are you ready to discover Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain?

    Palcoyo Mountain Tour

    Code: PAL1


    Palcoyo Mountain Overview

    Trek’s Difficulty: 2 – moderate; a low-altitude hike, accessible to healthy travelers.
    Age Requirement: 4+. Please note: all participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
    Palcoyo permits: It is included in your trip to Palcoyo.
    Crew: A professional Biligual Tour Guide.
    Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch.
    Transportation: Tourist transportation.

    Quick Itinerary:

    04:30 am: Pick up from your hotel in Cusco
    07:00 am: Transportation from Cusco to Checacupe
    10:00 am: Visit of the Palcoyo community
    10:30 am: Arrival at the parking lot (view of the first mountain of colors) + briefing
    11:00 am: Visit of the second mountain of colors “Palcoyo mountain
    10:30 am: Visit the third mountain of colors + pause with coca tea
    11:00 am: Hike to the Stone Forest (optional) with a spectacular view
    12:30 am: Return to car
    01:50 pm: Lunch in a restaurant
    05:00 pm: Arrival at Cusco
    Note: All times are approximate.

    About the Excursion:

    Start of the Tour in Cusco

    04:30 am – 05:00 am

    Return to Cusco

    from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Maximum height

    5040 m.s.n.m.

    Total walk distance

    5 km

    Duration of the trek

    45 – 60 minutes

    Difficulty level

    Easy – Moderate

    Group size

    2 – 8 passengers

    Best time to visit

    May – Nov


    4:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Palcoyo Private tour:


    Palcoyo cost

    01 Traveler

     U$ 180

    02 – 03 Travelers

     U$ 100 per person

    04 – 06 Travelers

     U$ 80 per person

    05 – 10 Travelers

     U$ 50 per person

    11 – 15 Travelers

     U$ 45 per person

    Note important: In the private service included a profesional English or Spanish speaking tour guide and a pair of the hiking poles.


    What is different between to Palcoyo and Rainbow Mountain?

    All travellers ask about “What is the difference between Palcoyo and Rainbow Mountain“. These mountains are similar, only the difference is the distance to visit it. To find a less challenging alternative to Vinicunca Mountain, you can put on your hiking boots and head to Palcoyo Mountain, this mountain is a sister of the Rainbow mountain Peru is ubicated in Ausangate. The Palcoyo tour have a the best scenic trail and a beautifully mountains.

    Unlike the Instagram phenomenon that is the Rainbow Mountain, Palcoyo is an insider secret among locals. Thanks to its short and gentle climb, Palcoyo is suitable for everyone. Also, Palcoyo is far less crowded, making it the best place to enjoy the multicolored mountains without waiting for that perfect split second for a photo.


    Palcoyo Mountain

    Rainbow Mountain

    Visiting Traveller  50 – 100 per day 1000 – 2500 per day
    Distance to walk  45 min – 1 hr  1 hrs 30 min
    Activity Level  Easy/Moderate  Moderate/ Difficult
    Distance of the trail   7 km  6 Km
    Altitude 4971 m 5102 m
    Driving to the head trail  4 hrs 20 min  4 hrs
    Rainbow Mountains  3 1
    Attractions Hiking to the red river, Llamas and Alpacas, mountains Hike with an Alpaca or Llama, local people with traditional clothes, red and rainbow mountain

    Addition trips to Palcoyo Tours

    If you want to have more experience in your holidays, we recommend you add extra trips to Palcoyo mountain. Trekking & Hiking offer you adventure packages to enjoy the beautiful country of Peru, live the adventure of an incredible trip, and get to know why this style is great for you. As travelers move on foot through rural areas often, trekking gives them an up-close view of incredible scenery. The most popular hike in Peru is Inca Trail, in case it sold out, the alternative hike is best option for you::

    If you don’t want to hike to Machu Picchu, we recommend you to take the trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu. in this trip involve the driving to the train station, train and bus up to Machu Picchu, guide tour in the lost city of the Incas or spend a night and wake up early and visit Machu Picchu early morning, see the sunrise and climb up to the Huayna Picchu mountain.

    Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Full Day Tour

    We will pick you up at your hotel around 04.30 am. Then we will left Cusco and start our adventure going to the south of the city. Passing through valleys, rivers, mountains and some smaller communities, we reach our starting point at 4900 meters above sea level. We walk uphill for approximately 45 minutes to the highest point of our excursion that is 5000 meters away, passing through the unique formations of the rainbow mountain range.

    The incredible view of the Ausangate mountain covered with snow is really impressive!!! Once we are at the top of our point of view, we will have the Vilcanota Mountain Range in front of us. You will have all the time to rest and take amazing pictures. Then, we will descend for approximately 30 minutes to the starting point to finally take the bus to the place where we will have a delicious lunch and then return to Cusco where we will arrive around 5:30 p.m.


    • In our shared services, we will pick-up our clients from your hotel as long as it is located in the downtown.
    • In our shared services, at the end of the tour, we leave our clients in a place close to the Main Square, because is easier go walking instead the car for the traffic jam. If your hotel is far from the downtown, take some cash with you in order to take a taxi.
    • Pick-up and drop off times are referential, this will depend on the traffic that can be found in the streets or delay of the other clients, our assistant will be on time but sometimes the transport could delay a few minutes.

    What is included in this tour?

    • 1x breakfast and 1x Lunch
    • If you are a vegetarian, please advise us in advance. A vegetarian meal option if for NO extra cost.
    • Pick up from your hotel or downtown in Cusco
    • Transfer by tourist transporation to the initial point of the Palcoyo Mountain Tour
    • Transportation back to Cusco city
    • Entrance fee to Palcoyo Mountain
    • First aid kit with oxygen tank
    • Experience bilingual Tour Guide

    Not Included

    • Snack and water
    • Emergency horses during the hike to the Palcoyo mountain
    • Tips and souvenirs

    Important Note: Once you finished the Palcoyo mountain day tour, our driver will drop off you near the main square of Cusco. You can walk to the hotel or take a taxi


    Important Facts about Palccoyo

    What is the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo?

    The Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo is a set of colored peaks similar to Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), due to a mineralization process over millions of years.

    Where is Palccoyo, the Rainbow Mountain Range?

    The Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Range is located 124 km southeast of Cusco, at an altitude of 4,900 meters above sea level.

    What to see in the Palccoyo mountain?

    In addition to being a natural attraction of incomparable beauty, the Mountain of Seven Colors is the natural habitat of various types of animals such as llamas, alpacas, vizcachas, condors and more.

    On the route that connects Cerro Colorado there is a stone forest formed naturally millions of years ago. From there you can closely appreciate the beauty of the Ausangate mountain, the largest in Cusco.

    How high is the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo?

    Palccoyo is located at 4,900 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.), 300 meters at a lower altitude than the Mountain of the 7 Colors Vinicunca (5,200 m.s.n.m.).

    Why do you have those colors?

    As with Vinicunca, the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Range has such striking colors due to the minerals found here, such as red clay, sandstone or copper oxide. It is believed that millions of years ago, this area was completely covered with water, which brought all these sediments that give Palccoyo these characteristic colors.

    What other places can be visited in the surroundings of Palccoyo?

    Although the main goal of Palccoyo is to visit the Rainbow Mountain Range, the landscape will surprise you with other wonders of nature. On the one hand, on the way to Palccoyo you will find an impressive stone forest, with truly huge rocks and with striking shapes.

    On the other hand, this Rainbow Mountain Range is accompanied by an impressive deep red valley that will make you feel like on Mars.

    And as if this were not enough, you will do all the trekking with llamas and vicuñas as traveling companions. Doesn’t sound bad at all, right?

    Also, if you want to make the most of your trip to Palccoyo, we recommend taking a walk through the district of Checacupe. Here, you will be able to appreciate in one place three bridges from different eras: Inca, colonial and republican.

    How to get to the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Range?

    As always, we recommend doing this route with an authorized travel agency. The Palccoyo tour takes just one day. Normally, the route departs at eight in the morning from Cusco and returns the same day at seven in the afternoon. In addition, many companies stop at other tourist attractions in the area, such as the Raqchi Archaeological Complex, the Four Lagoons or Checacupe. So you can take advantage of every minute to get to know different places along the way!

    What to Bring?

    • Copy of your passport
    • Extra money in soles
    • Cold Jacket
    • Gloves
    • Hiking poles
    • Bottle Water and water
    • Hiking boots
    • Sunglasses
    • Some snacks: dry fruit, lemon candies, chocolete and others

    Tips for Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain Tour


    The walk to get to Palccoyo requires regular physical effort, so it is necessary that you acclimatize in Cusco for at least two days prior to the excursion. This will help to condition the body for altitude, and avoid acute mountain sickness. The route does not present slopes and passes through terrain without many slopes so the difficulty is less compared to the ascent to Vinicunca.


    Acute Mountain Sickness

    Tips for traveling to the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo

    • It is recommended to acclimatize to the climate of Cusco before visiting the Palccoyo Mountain. Otherwise, the visitor may suffer from so-called altitude sickness.
    • This mountain is a tourist attraction that receives few visitors every day. It is recommended to follow the indicated route and avoid looking for a different path.
    • It is advisable to find out how the weather is in Palccoyo before booking a tour to the Mountain of the 7 Colors. The cold can cause the entire enclosure to be covered in snow and ruin the tour.
    • The trekking route up this mountain is not as challenging as the Vinicunca. That is why the Palccoyo is a great option for people who do not feel capable of doing the difficult trek to the Mountain of the 7 Colors.

    Vinicunca vs Palcoyo

    Vinicunca vs Palcoyo

    Do you want a Group Hike? Or do you enjoy more a Solo Hiking: This is the first question that you should think before make a decision beetween Vinicunca or Palcoyo rainbow Mountain visit. Many say that the Vinicunca mountain and the Palcoyo Cusco mountain range are very similar, but one landscape can never be identical to the other, the difference always exists whether in temperature, altitude, landscape beauty or other, because each landscape is made up of a multitude of essential elements without comparing their little details that sometimes tend to be the most significant. Discover Palcoyo Mountain Tour with us and amaze yourself with a unique experience in Peru!!!

    Here 3 Facts of Palcoyo vs Vinicunca:

    • The popular Vinicunca Mountain due to its majestic and amazing colors is one of the favorites destinations visit in the city of Cusco, so Vinicunca will likely be more crowded with tourists than the beautiful isolation of Palcoyo, know that Palcoyo is a recent trek that no many explore.
    • Both walks require some physical effort, but remember hiking will  make your experience unique and will help to connect you with nature. Hiking can also help you to connect deeply with yourself.
    • Vinicunca might not allow the experience of self-reflection, peace, and contemplation along the hike as you will be hiking alongside other groups hoping to reach the top for its incredible views. On the other hand, Palcoyo offers you a unique colorful views and the best? You will feel like the King of the mountain because there are not many tourist to hike Palcoyo Mountain.



    Vinicunca Mountain Palcoyo Mountain Range
    Height: 5,200 m.a.s.l 4,900 m.a.s.l
    Difficulty: Moderate Trip Easy Trip
    Walk distance: 5 km 2 Km
    Walking Time: 3 h. at 2 h. 1 h.
    Landscape: Spectacular Spectacular
    Visitors: Many Visitors Few Visitors
    Duration of the Trip in Transportation: 3 Hours 3 Hours

    Vinicunca tour cheap: USD 40

    Vinicunca tour private: USD 200

    Palcoyo tour cheap: USD 80

    Palcoyo tour private: USD 320

    RELATED: Palcoyo Mountain vs Rainbow Mountain

    When to hike the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Full Day Tour?

    The best time to visit the Palccoyo Mountains is between April and December, during the dry season. During these months the weather is much more pleasant and sunny unlike the rainy season, which runs between January and March.

    The place is characterized by having cold mornings and hot sunsets, so we recommend that you prepare yourself with light and warm clothing. Also, a cap or hat, sunglasses, a waterproof jacket and gloves for the cold are essential. We recommend you take into account the outdoor clothing layering system.


    Outdoor Layering Clothing System

    Frequently Asked Questions about Palcoyo Mountain Tour

    How is the weather on the Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain?

    The Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain has a cold climate due to its proximity to the snowy Ausangate. The temperature can drop below 0 ° C. That is why, at certain times of the year, the slopes are covered with snow.

    What is the admission schedule?

    Due to the cold weather, visits to the Palcoyo Cusco are only in the mornings and part of the afternoons. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. at 3 p.m.

    When is the best time to visit the mountain?

    The best time to visit the Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain is during the dry season (from April to October). In those months, rains occur much less frequently, making the trip easy.

    How much does a tour to the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo cost?

    The tour to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain costs approximately 70 dollars (USD). The price varies according to each travel agency and the quality of the service they provide.

    How to visit the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo without a tour?

    Visiting Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain is also possible without a tour. To do this, you only have to make the trip on your own to the town of Checacupe. From there, you can purchase the entrance tickets directly. The visit without a tour is without a tour guide.

    How much is the entrance ticket to the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo?

    To visit Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain on your own, you must purchase the entrance ticket in the town of Palccoyo. The cost for foreigners is 10 soles (3 dollars). National tourists pay 5 soles (2 dollars).

    What does a tour to the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo include?

    Tours to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain vary according to the tourism agency. In general, tours include the following:

    • Tourist transport from Cusco to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain and vice versa.
    • Tour guide service.
    • Entrance to the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo and the attractions around it.
    • Lunch.
    • First aid implements.

    Rainbow Mountain Peru Tour

    At first glance, this mountain in the Andes of Peru, with stretches of turquoise, lavender, red and golden earth, seems to be an illusion created by tools such as Photoshop.

    However, this attraction, at 5200 meters above sea level, is very real. The nearby inhabitants call it Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain.

    This variegated mountain, which has mineral sediments dating back millions of years, was discovered only about five years ago, according to local inhabitants. Since then it has become an unmissable attraction for many hikers. Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Tour

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    April 2, 2023
    Tierras Vivas - Travel Agency