The Rainbow Mountain Cusco (also called Vinicunca or simply 'arcoíris') is one of the new and best attractions of Peru. Located more than 100 kilometers from the city of Cusco, on an altitudinal summit located at 5,200 meters above sea level (m.s.n.m.)
It is a mountainous formation dyed in various shades product of the complex combination of minerals. The slopes and summit are dyed in various shades including red, purple, green, yellow, pink and other variations. This tourist attraction was surrounded by ice not many years ago. Since 2016, this place receives hundreds of visitors a day becoming, along with Machu Picchu, one of the most visited places in Cusco-Peru. Below all the information about the Rainbow Mountain Cusco.
This amazing place is located in the Andes of Peru, in the department of Cusco and province of Canchis, at 5,200 m.s., an area of considerable elevation. It belongs to the people of Pitumarca who call it the 'Cerro Colorado'. Because it is located on the way to the imposing Ausangate, this site was known much earlier by adventurers who dared to do the walk. The photos they posted on Facebook and Instagram, made him gain popularity. Since 2016 it is a popular tourist attraction.
Due to its location, a little over 100 kilometers from the city of Cuzco, this place is reached by car in the first instance. After a Rainbow Mountain Cusco trip of approximately 2 hours along the Longitudinal Highway of the Sierra, we reach Pitumarca. The journey continues along a path to the community of Pampa Chiri. From there a route is followed by mountainous slopes. This journey is 5 kilometers and can be done on foot or on horseback to finally arrive at Vinicunca. There are tours that offer this service.
The climate, typical of the highest areas of Cusco, is cold. Rain, wind and altitude sickness (or soroche) can be the biggest obstacles for travelers. Temperatures can drop zero degrees centigrade. The best time to carry out this adventure is during the dry season (from April to October) when fluvial precipitations are less likely. If you plan to visit during the rainy season (November to March) bring a rain poncho with you.
The incredible geography of the place is the scene of typical animals from high Andean areas such as llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. The inhabitants of the area raise horses to offer them as transport to visitors. Due to the height of this region, the ichu or natural boil of the Andes abounds.
This picturesque summit used to be an attractive road to the 4-day snow-capped Ausangate. Over the years, this mountain gained popularity on its own. Today, the most extended way to visit this summit is through a tour. There are 1 day and 2 day services. Most include transportation, food, tickets and professional guide. In the city of Cuzco there are many tourist agencies offering these services.
The walk of 3 or 4 hours (depends on the physical condition of the tourist) is not dangerous and demands a moderate-high physical effort. There are sections of considerable slopes in ascent and descent. However, one of the biggest difficulties is the cold weather and the icy wind. The altitude of the area can cause altitude sickness or soroche. It is recommended a previous acclimatization of 1 or 2 days in the city of Cusco.
Spend a day or two acclimating in the city of Cusco. Wear warm clothes to do the walk. If you do not consider yourself in good physical condition for the walk, rent a horse to one of the locals. That day, do not forget a hat or cap, sunscreen, jacket, pants, shoes ideal for trekking and a poncho for rain.