*2018 Updated Information* Rainbow Mountain Peru is fast becoming one of the most popular treks in Peru. Keep reading to learn about the experience I had at Rainbow Mountain Peru and learn what to expect. The trek can be difficult, but Rainbow Mountain Peru is a wonderful place that can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone with the right preparation and planning.
If you haven’t already seen the pictures making the rounds on instagram and other social media networks, Rainbow Mountain Peru is a unique mountain formation in the Andes of Peru which features all the different colors of the rainbow, an extraordinary and amazing sight which shouldn’t be missed on any trip to Peru. The unique appearance of Rainbow Mountain Peru is due to volcanic activity in the region which creates individual layers rich in specific minerals and corresponding to particular time periods. Tectonic activity is slowly pushing the earth up and revealing the spectacular red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet hues underneath.
Known as Vinicunca to locals, Rainbow Mountain Peru is notoriously difficult to reach, but has become somewhat more accessible in recent years due to glaciers receding which has allowed easier access. The trailhead is reached by a 3-hour drive from the city of Cusco. From here, it’s a 3-4 trek through somewhat difficult and muddy terrain.
The altitude can also complicate things: Rainbow Mountain Peru reaches a height of over 15,000 feet above sea level. That’s almost half the height of Mount Everest and several thousand feet above the level at which altitude sickness can take effect, if you’re counting. Symptoms of altitude sickness can include fatigue, headache, nausea, rapid heart rate and more. I took Rainbow Mountain Travels which is equipped with an oxygen tank on every tour, and I was glad I did because my companion ended up needing to use it. Not all tour companies bring an oxygen tank, so make sure you do your research and book with a safe option like I did.
Anyway, despite the somewhat difficult nature of the trek, it was 100% worth the effort to get there. Rainbow Mountain Peru is an absolutely incredible place, a place that defies description. I took some of the most amazing pictures of my whole journey on my hike there. I definitely recommend a visit to Rainbow Mountain Peru for anyone who will be in Cusco (or even if you don’t have plans already, you should make them!). Here’s a look at what the itinerary is like.
As you can see, the trek takes a little bit of work but it’s not too difficult as long as you make sure to prepare properly and book with a quality tour operator. Make sure to check out the comprehensive information available here at the official Rainbow Mountain Peru page to help you prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime trek!
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