We offer a 2-day program to the amazing Rainbow Mountain. Our program will allow you to enjoy of a nice journey with stops in places such as the village of Pitumarca and the archaeological site of Machupitumarca.
After a day traveling by bus, we will have a walking to the colored mountain the second day. Getting there we will enjoy of the view and we will relax surrounded by an impressive scenery. Trek to the amazing mountain.
08:00 we will collect you from your hotel in Cusco by a private vehicle with driver, guide and cook.
We will drive south on the main road to Sicuani/Puno, turning off at the attractive small town of Checacupe with its beautiful bridges and continuing to Pitumarca (105 kilometers / 65 miles). After a welcome glass of barley chicha in the main square of this indigenous town, we will visit the ruins of Machupitumarca. This impressive pre-Inca archaeological site is well looked after and has undergone considerable restoration but so far it remains off the tourist track and is a place of tranquility, interest and beauty. Like many of the sites it is positioned above the ‘modern’ town and is surrounded by stunning mountains and agricultural fields.
After the visit, our lunch will be served ‘al fresco’ in a pleasant spot with beautiful views.
We will continue from Machupitumarca along a smooth, unpaved road (22 kilometers / 13.6 miles) with dramatic rock formations towering above, dropping into deep canyons. At the end of the road, at 4,300 meters /14,107 feet, the tents will be set up for the night as the sun sets behind the snow-capped Ausangate Mountain, with just herds of alpacas and llamas to keep you company.
After a delicious, hot dinner it will be time to drop into our tents, wrapped up in extra-thick sleeping bags for a night under the stars.
Traveling time: Cusco – Pitumarca: 105 kilometers / 65 miles; 2 hours. Pitumarca – Ramal Pitumarca (Chillca) 80 kilometers / 49 miles
Altitudes: Cusco: 3400 meters / 11,159 feet; Pitumarka: 3570 meters / 11.713 feet; Machupitumarca: 3465 meters / 11,368 feet
Meals: Lunch, dinner
05:30 wake-up call to find the ground and even the inside of the tent frozen! This will be a good incentive to get dressed quickly and tuck into a hearty, cooked breakfast.
The sun comes up at around 6am and it will be time to start the 11 kilometers / 6.8 miles uphill walk to the Rainbow Mountain. The slope will be gradual on firm ground through pastures, passing small settlements and herds of alpacas. Accompanied by our guide who greets the locals in Quechua and tells us stories about the area, it will be a spectacular walk with views of Ausangate and the other snow peaks.
It is highly recommended to hire a horse (payable locally) if you need to rest. The walking will be not hard but many people will find the altitude challenging as they reach over 5,000 meters /16,404 feet.
Nothing can prepare us for the spectacular sight of Vinicunca with its beautiful colours spreading across the horizon. At 5,100 meters /16,732 feet. We will have a 360 degrees view of the Ausangate snow-caps on one side and the multi-coloured Vinicunca on the other side – it is pure magic!
The descent down the other side will be easy and as the oxygen returns, we will have a chance to breathe deeply and reflect on our amazing experiences over the last couple of days. Another wholesome, hot lunch will await at the bottom after which we will climb wearily into the vehicle for the return to Cusco, arriving at around 7pm.
It is highly recommended to do this excursion in 2 days with a night’s camping. This gives you the chance to visit Pitumarca and Machupitumarca, experience camping in the wilderness and enjoying the walk to and from Vinicunca at a leisurely pace. It is not a difficult walk, however the altitude can be problematic for some as you are climbing gently from 4,300 meters /14,107 feet to 5,100 meters /16,732 feet. It is imperative that you have a few days in Cusco first to acclimatize.
Trekking distance: 15 kilometers / 9 miles (6-7 hours)
Altitudes: Vinicunca: 5100 meters /16732 feet, Checacupe: 3.446 meters / 11,306 feet
Meals: Breakfast, lunch