After (and despite) having visited the mountain of 7 colors and the Hornocal (14 colors) in Argentina, I couldn’t resist to the temptation to visit the rainbow mountain in Peru.
Thus, newly arrived to Cusco, I visited a few agencies to compare programs and prices, and booked my trip for the next day with Perú Nature Treck.
The day was extremely long and the transport time (8 hours in the bus) endless compared to the time spent on the spot, but it was totally worth it!
Unfortunately, the day was a little cloudy, a few clouds remained at the superior mirador but the view of the mountain got cleared as the hour progressed.
To reach the top of the mountain, you have to climb for 5 km. Agencies devote 2 hours to that, but it can be done in a little less (1:40 in my case). It’s not that easy, we start at 4,480 m to finish at 5,000 m altitude, an average slope of 10% with flat parts and others much more demanding!
Once at the top, you forget the fatigue, the altitude, the sun, the cold and the smell of horses, you appreciate the show!
In addition to the mountain and its colors, the landscape is pleasant throughout the walk and the final panorama is breathtaking!
- About tips
- 1 € = 4 soles in May 2018.
- Trip price: 70 soles including transport, entrance, breakfast and lunch.
- The climb of 5km is a little demanding but not impossible! At this altitude, all coca products are good to take (leaves, sweets, tea …).
- The other unconditionals in the backpack are the bottle of water, the lip stick and the sunscreen, the sun hits hard when there are no clouds!
- People who can’t climb to the top on foot can be transported on horseback for 50 soles one way, 90 soles round trip
- In case of discomfort due to altitude during the trip, the guides always carry a bottle and an oxygen mask
- Downstairs at the entrance of the circuit, there is an ambulance that takes care of people suffering from altitude sickness, and it seems that it can even bring them back to Cusco for free
- For those who aren’t necessarily attached to the cliché of the rainbow mountain and look for a pretty landscape away from the tourist crowds, there is another tour recently created, the Palccoy, which costs 100 soles, in which we can see the mountain from another perspective, and where there are almost no tourists! One of my friends did this tour and highly recommends it. Here is one of the pictures she took.
Here is the course of my day
The agency picked us up at the hotels between 3.30am and 4am in small cars, and passengers from various agencies met in a bus of 28 places common to several agencies. Departure at 4am.
7:40 am: arrival at the restaurant in Hanchipacha (4,200m above sea level)
7:40 – 8:30 am: very basic breakfast.
8:30 – 8:50: We took the bus again for 20 minutes until the bus parking. Group photo and ticket control
9 – 11: 2 hours of uphill walking to reach 5,000m altitude.
11 – 11:30: Half hour (more for those who arrived earlier) on site to admire the landscape and take some pictures between 2 tourists
11:30 – 13:30: 2 hours of downhill walk to get back to the bus
13:30 – 13:45: We came back to the restaurant to have lunch (45-60 min)
14:45 – 18:00 : Back to Cuzco.