Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley 1 Day Hike
Price:$160USD per person
Rainbow Mountain is the newest natural tourist attraction located in Cusco region. Specifically, it is located south of Cusco in the Vilcabamba mountain range at over 5100m /16,732ft above sea level. Our tour is very special as you will be hiking Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley in one day.
CUSCO – TRAILHEAD - RAINBOW MOUNTAIN - CUSCO.
We will pick you up at 4:00 – 4:30 am from any hotel, Airbnb, or hostel in Cusco. It will be a 2½ hour drive to the trailhead - we will arrive at around 7 am. Here at the trailhead, our chef will make a delicious breakfast, including coffee, hot chocolate, teas, bread, fruit salad, eggs, and hot drinks. Cusco’s elevation is 3300m / 11,300ft, and the trailhead called Phulawasipata is at 4200m/ 14,300ft. Cusco’s weather is usually quite cold, and the trailhead is even colder, so early in the morning. Be sure to bring a warm jacket, scarf, hat, and gloves. After breakfast, we’ll hike about 2 hours uphill to the Rainbow Mountain range. At a slower pace, it could be 2¾ hours, or if you are really fit quick and acclimatized well, some people can do in 1½ hours. The hike up includes some short breaks where the guide will explain some important information about the mountains and the geography of the area. Perhaps you’ll have a chance to catch sight of some of the locals, including llamas and alpacas that frequent this area. The trail itself is quite wide and helpful for those with vertigo or fear of heights. The trek is best during the dry season as the trails are not paved. The trail can be a bit dusty, and in the rainy season, it can be slippery since it may be wet. However, with good waterproof hiking shoes and trekking poles, it will be just fine.
Upon your arrival to the top of Rainbow Mountain, around 9-10:00am, you will have about 1 hour to explore the spectacular views of the surrounding areas - valleys, mountains and to view the highest glacial mountain in Cusco - Ausangate, whose summit is at an elevation of 6,384m / 20,944ft, making it one of the tallest mountains in Peru. After giving you a bit of time to take some treasured photos, your guide will tell you some intriguing facts about this fascinating place - like why the colors?! – and he will also share some detail about the Inkan history. A few last photos of this spectacular mountain and we will begin our descent. We do this a little differently than other groups. Instead of hiking the same route as they do, we hike to a lookout point to see the Red Valley and continue with our hike. This valley is the icing on the cake, and many of our hikers say that it is even nicer than Rainbow Mountain! It is about 2½ hours mostly downhill from Rainbow Mountain, to the end of the trail, which is near where we started the hike. Here you will enjoy a fresh meal prepared by your chef, which includes cold drinks, appetizers, soup, and the main course. After lunch, it will be another 2½ hour drive to Cusco, where we will drop you off at your hotel at around 5:30 – 6:00 pm.
- Private transportation to the trailhead
- Pick up from any hotel in Cusco
- Breakfast at the trailhead
- Entrance fee into the park and the Red Valley
- English-speaking guide for the entire trip
- Drinking water
- Freshly prepared, hot lunch
- First-aid kit
- Trekking poles
- Porters & cook
- Dining tent, chairs & tables
- Private toilet
Satellite Phones: Our top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While all our guides are prepared and trained to deal with most issues clients have on the mountain. Being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps everyone feel assured that they are safe. Radios, which all our guides have, are limited in how far they can reach, so Alpaca Expeditions has added Satellite Phones to every trek. Every guide will have a fully charged phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to connect us anywhere in the world. And they can be used by our clients for non-emergencies as well. While they are not cheap to use, they are available just in case you need to check in on the puppy you left at home with grandma.
- Tips for your crew
$160 per person
Sleeping Bag (four season): $20 (Maximum size 1.95m / 6'4")
Pair of walking poles (Black Diamond): $15
Inflatable air mattress (Thermarest): $15
* Foam mats and small pillows are provided for everyone.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR OUR DAY TOUR TO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN
1.- Why should I book with Alpaca Expeditions?
Because we have daily departures and we organize small groups to provide a more personalized service - this hike is not an easy trek.
2.- Can I hire a horse?
Yes, you can hire a horse for 60-910 soles, but can only partway up the mountain since they are not allowed at the top. You will then only have about a 20 min walk to the top. The return along the Red Valley is all downhill, and you won´t need a horse for the descent.
3.- If I get Altitude Sickness, what happens?
The trailhead is 4200m / 14,300ft, and Rainbow Mountain is at 5100m /17,364ft, so it is a very high altitude, and there is always a possibility of getting altitude sickness. We always suggest spending two days minimum in Cusco before hiking this mountain to help acclimatize. Bring altitude sickness pills such as “soroche” pills (available in pharmacies in Cusco) or any medication from home for help with altitude adjustment. Our guides will have an oxygen tank in case you need it. In worst-case scenarios, we have satellite phones so you can contact your doctor or any emergency transportation.
4.- How cold is it?
Generally, the morning is cold around breakfast time. It can get below freezing and get warmer when the sun comes out. On top of the mountain, it is cold and windy, with temperatures around 5-15 ̊C / 40-60 ̊F. If it's cloudy and rainy, it's usually 0-10 ̊C / 32-50 ̊F. The best months to go to Rainbow Mountain are from April to November.
5.- Is this hike good for children?
The minimum recommended age for children is ten years old. If the children are younger, then altitude sickness can be an issue. If they enjoy hiking and are well acclimatized, then it should not be a problem.
6.- When is best to hike Rainbow Mountain?
Some months are better than other months, as you can tell bellow. Peru has its dry season and rainy season. We recommend hiking in the dry season instead of the rainy season due to inclement weather. The rainy season is mostly rain, snow, and ice, making the trail slippery and the views compromised.
January: Not recommended
February: Not recommended
March: Not recommended
May: Highly recommended
June: Highly recommended
July: Highly recommended
August: Highly recommended
September: Highly recommended
7.- Where do I start this hike from?
If you are hiking in a group, then you can only start from Cusco. We can pick you up from any hotel, hostel, or Airbnb. If you are doing a private tour, then we can even start from The Sacred Valley, though it will cost more being further away. We highly recommend that you start from Cusco.