Adventure Tours

Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain

It is highly recommended to do this excursion in 2 days with a night’s camping in between. This gives you the chance to visit Pitumarca and Machupitumarca, experience camping in the wilderness and enjoy 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 4170m/1368ft. to 5100m//16732feet. It is imperative that you have spent a few days in Cusco first to acclimatize.

1

Cusco / Pitumarca / Chillca

We will collect you from your hotel in Cusco, at 08:00 in the morning, with a private vehicle with driver, guide and cook.

From Cusco 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 continue to Pitumarca (105 kilometers / 65 miles). After a welcome drink, consisting 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 crawl 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

2

Chillca / Vinicunca / Cusco

We will have a 05:30 wake-up call, only 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 06:00 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 by 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 the Ausangate and other snow-covered 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-degree 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 19:00.

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

Included:

Transport (in private vehicle) (Minivan)
Camping equipment
Tents
Air mattresses
Kitchenware, tableware, chairs and tables
Dining tent and kitchen tent
Latrine tent
First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle
English-speaking guide
Cook
Delicious meals as described in the itinerary
Drinking water to fill your water bottle (from natural sources, filtered and boiled)
Snacks in the morning and afternoon (fruit, biscuits, chocolate and energy bars, candies).
Hot drinks such as tea and coffee

Not Included:

Sleeping bags. We can rent it for $US 15.00
Hotel accommodation
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Items of a personal nature including personal medical supplies

Things to bring on the trip

  • Passport, (bring additional photocopies of your passport).
  • A big and small backpack.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Warm coat for Andean region.
  • Rain jacket.
  • Long sleeved shirts (cotton).
  • Shorts for walking.
  • Cap and sunglasses.
  • Bathing suit and sandals.
  • Sun block insect repellent.
  • Digital camera or 35mm film camera

Travel Details

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Urb. Lucrepata E-13, Cusco, Peru
(+51 84) 229911 / (+51 84) 263498

Office hours (Local Peruvian Time, GMT -5):

Monday to Friday: 09:00-13:00, 15:00-19:00

Saturdays: 9:00-13:00 (except on public holidays)

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