Cusco to Rainbow Mountain: How to Get There

Cusco to Rainbow Mountain: 2023 updated information about schedules, safety, and the best tour company to take!

Rainbow Mountain has quickly become a MUST-DO for many travelers who visit Cusco. And for all of them, an important question comes up: how they will make the journey from Cusco to Rainbow Mountain?

Cusco to Rainbow Mountain – the basics:

  • No direct public transport to the mountain
  • Strongly recommended to go with a tour operator, unsafe to go on your own unless highly trained
  • Top-rated tour operator and most recommended by travelers: Rainbow Mountain Travels
  • Search for tours that leave early as you’ll be one of the first groups to arrive
  • Cusco to Rainbow Mountain distance: 85 miles (137 km) – roughly 2 hour drive

Although relatively close, there is no public transport to Rainbow Mountain due to the difficult route which not everyone can drive through. Due to this, it’s not recommended to go on your own without a tour operator (like with many other treks/trails in Cusco). Without correct trained assistance, it can be an unsafe journey for most.

Add to that the altitude of the mountain (over 5,000 meters), uncertain weather, and the trail itself, it’s easy to see why going on your own is not the best option. This leaves us with one option: traveling with a registered tour operator.

When picking between the tour operators available, it’s best to have in mind 3 aspects: safety, departure time, reviews.


The safety guarantee that a tour operator offers is highly important for Rainbow Mountain. Make sure that it’s a registered operator which provides first aid kit, a qualified tour guide, oxygen tanks, etc.

It’s common for travelers to struggle with the change in altitude and accidents can happen, so, having a tour operator that is reliable is a must.

Departure time

Something important to consider about the journey from Cusco to Rainbow Mountain is what time you wish to arrive. If you want to get the classic shot of you and the mountain, without hundreds of people in the background trying to do the same (remember, almost 2000 visit PER DAY) then it is in your best interests to get to Rainbow Mountain from Cusco as quickly as you can. The best way to do this is simple, just take an earlier tour. If you want to commemorate your visit with a perfect picture then an alarm 30 minutes earlier will be your best friend.

Figuring out how to get to Cusco? The best way to get to Cusco is by using Peru Hop. A unique hop-on, hop-off bus designed to take the stress out of traveling. Visit all the most popular cities, get free stops and exclusive discounts, all at unbelievable prices!


Last but not least, the reviews left on sites like Tripadvisor are the best way to truly know how the experience with the tour operator is. Have a look when choosing between different options to make the best decision posible for your once-in-a-lifetime adventure.


With all the aspects explained and after years of surveying travelers who have visited Rainbow Mountain, we recommended Rainbow Mountain Travels as the best option to the colored hill. They have hundreds of positive reviews on Tripadvisor, depart at the earliest time to ensure first arrival and have an impeccable safety record due to their team assistance and trained guides all of whom are equipped with oxygen tanks. Definitely the best choice!

At Rainbow Mountain Peru we work hard to make sure that you have an easy, simple and stress-free experience of Rainbow Mountain. From what to bring, to advice on safety and how to handle the changes in altitude, there is a lot to think about! We try and make that easy and simple for you.