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  • The Traveller Agency

Guide to go to Rainbow Mountain

Updated: Mar 2

If it is commonly called Rainbow Mountain (or Cerro Colorado, Montaña Siete Colores - "Mountain of 7 colors") its real name is Vinicunca, from the Quechua "wini" stones and "kunka" neck, in reference to the particularly narrow summit of the mountain.

For more and more travelers, it has become a must in Peru, almost like Machu Picchu.

Here is my ultimate guide to organize your stay, with all the information and my practical advice for visiting the Vinicunca mountain, how to get there and which excursion to choose.

Plan your schedule well

All tours to Rainbow Mountain from Cusco depart very early in the morning, around 3am. So if you have little time in Cusco, you will have to quickly reserve your place for the next day.

The vans return to Cusco around 6 p.m., so plan a full day to visit Rainbow Mountain in the itinerary.

As it will be a long day with a short night, I recommend that you take a more leisurely visit the next day.

Rainbow Mountain Day Trip

Given the distance from Cusco and the climb, you have to reserve the whole day for the activity and it's a big day!

Here is the typical day:

Important: if you have little time in Cusco, you will have to quickly book your place for the next day very early, since the departure is around 3am.

If you prefer to book your place in advance so that you don't have to worry about comparing agencies (which all offer more or less the same thing, by the way), I recommend this excursion to Rainbow Mountain which includes:

How much does the Rainbow Mountain excursion cost?

The price varies according to the services (lunch included or not, snacks, horses, etc.) and of course if it is a private or group excursion.

With a private guide, prices are around 150-250$ usd. In a group (and these are not small groups), it can go from 40$ to 50$usd.

Namely: it is tempting to always pay less, but remember that the quality of the service is proportional to the price paid. Unless, of course, an agency has been recommended to you.

I heard several stories of people left behind by the guide who had not counted the presence of his group. So be on the lookout!

Is it a difficult trek?


It is considered a difficult trek, considering the altitude (up to 5000m above sea level!), not because of the complexity of the path.

The trek itself is not long, but the ascent is constant and lasts about 4 hours. It is recommended to have a good physical shape and some trekking experience. The excursion is not recommended for people with asthma, heart problems or high blood pressure.

If it is raining, be aware that the path can be slippery, so be careful.

I already said it above, but don't forget to stay at least 2 days in Cusco to get used to the altitude before starting the trek.

On the way, the inhabitants of the community offer you to rent their horse (30 to 70 soles depending on the distance). It can help.

What is the best season to go there?

The best time of year to do Rainbow Mountain is from April to September, the dry season. August is arguably the best month of the year.

The rainy season, from November to March, is not ideal, but the rains are not constant during this period.

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