If you’re planning a trip to Peru, you likely plan to visit Machu Picchu. This mysterious attraction is a must-see for travelers and no one should leave the country without exploring this location.
But Machu Picchu is far from the only attraction in Peru. Another wonderous experience lies in the Montaña de Colores, also known as Rainbow Mountain.
In this article, we will address some common questions about Rainbow Mountain, showing you why this destination is well worth your time.
In order to access Rainbow Mountain, you’ll first need to get to Cusco. This can be done in one of two ways: by bus or by plane.
While traveling by plane can save a significant amount of travel time, it is often not the best option, as you’ll miss out on many of the sights that you can catch while traveling throughout Peru.
Once in Cusco, another bus (generally about a 2-4 hour ride) can then transport you to the start of the Rainbow Mountain hike, which begins in Qesoyuno or Lama Chimpana. These two destinations mark the start of the long hike and short hike respectively.
Cusco – Cusipata – Rainbow Mountain:
This 2022, 90 % of people and tours take road number one because of the better road bus conditions.
Cusco – Checacupe – Rainbow Mountain:
Route number 2 was one of the first access to Rainbow mountain, but the bus road is not in the best condition by now.
Rainbow Mountain is truly hard to describe in words. It is one of the most breath-taking destinations on Earth and there is nothing else like it.
The vibrant color patterns found throughout the mountain look as if a painter designed it. However, the mountain is completely natural. To make a long answer short: yes, Rainbow Mountain is worth the effort.
One of the biggest safety concerns regarding Rainbow Mountain is altitude sickness. In order to become accustomed to the height and avoid any unwanted symptoms, it’s a good idea to spend about 3 days in Cusco. This will allow your body to gradually adjust to the altitude so that the hike does not create such an extreme shock to your system.
Make no mistake: Rainbow Mountain is not an easy hike. This hike will test your physical fitness and you should ensure that you are in good cardiovascular shape before considering the Rainbow Mountain hike.
The trail is completed by most people in roughly 6 hours (3 hours up, 3 hours down). Therefore, you should be prepared to be exercising for most of the day if you’re planning on hiking this route.
The distance from Cusco to Rainbow Mountain is a little over 60 miles. Most tour groups will be instructed to be ready to leave from Cusco by about 4:00 am on the day of the hike in order to allow enough time for viewing the mountain in all its glory.
While both attractions are located in Peru, they are not very close to one another. Therefore, you’ll want to allow plenty of time during your trip to fully enjoy both locations.
Both of these sites have earned their place in history and should be rightfully considered amongst the most amazing attractions in the known world.
Depending on what experience you want from your Rainbow Mountain hike, you can spend very little money, or quite a bit of money. On average, however, most tours of the mountain cost about 30 USD (100 Soles).
Due to the climate and unique changes the area has experienced over time, Rainbow Mountain developed its layered color appearance. The combined effect of volcanic activity, erosion, and other forces over the millennia has led to the absolutely stunning spectacle that is Rainbow Mountain.
On the mountain, and in the nearby area, you can find a number of creatures. From smaller critters such as squirrels and birds, to larger creatures such as mountain lions, sheep, llamas, alpacas and Condors; there’s no lack of diversity in the fauna surrounding Rainbow Mountain.
Tours of Rainbow Mountain have become extremely popular over the last few years. therefore, you’ll often find hundreds upon hundreds of people swarming about the trails. For some people, it’s worth it to have an experienced tour guide leading the way and providing insight on different parts of the hike.
Other travelers, however, may prefer to hike the trail on their own or with a small group. You are not required to have a guide for the hike and, in some instances, you may prefer a solo experience to a guided tour.
Large groups of people can often make for a distracting experience, which may take away from your enjoyment.
If you do plan to brave Rainbow Mountain by yourself, just ensure that you take all proper safety steps. There are real risks to this experience and without the help of an experienced tour guide, you may find yourself in a tough position at points during the journey.
Again, this is a long, arduous hike which can take as long as 6 hours in total. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you have all of the following items with you, at a minimum:
Of course, there are other, individual considerations that you’ll want to make before you start your hike. The importance of training and getting in shape before attempting this hike cannot be overstated.
Make sure you have the endurance for a hard hike up a mountain, the proper materials to keep you comfortable, and a good camera for capturing the views. If you follow all of these steps, we know you’ll have an unforgettable experience that you’ll be talking about for years to come!
Learn more about rainbow mountain in the following blog: The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Your Rainbow Mountain Day Hike