The Rainbow Mountain of Peru, also known as Vinicunca, are stunning and can be seen on the spectacular Ausangate Trek. Ausangate mountain itself is considered a holy mountain (or mountain spirit) by local Peruvians and is the deity of Cusco. Since pre-Inca times the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings and this tradition continues today. Most trips that allow you to see the Rainbow Mountains require a trek of at least 6 days. That has changed with this brand new itinerary. We have designed this hike so that it can be done as a day trip!
On this trek you will see quaint villages, beautiful adobe style houses, herds of llamas and alpacas and you will have magnificent views of the Ausangate Glacier (6,385 m / 20,945 ft), the highest mountain in the Cusco region. With uninterrupted beauty and solitude, this is a spectacular trip for trekkers who love a true outdoor adventure.
We will pick you up early from your Cusco hotel and set out on a drive through the South Valley. The drive to the trailhead at Quesiuno (4,326 m / 14,189 ft) is 3 hours long. Once we reach the Inkintuyoc bridge, we will have a fueling continental breakfast.
We then start off on our hike, following a lovely stream. You will be immediately surprised by literally herds of alpacas and llamas. We will have consistent views of the Ausangate Mountain. We will hike through villages and interact with the local residents. We will stop for a deluxe box lunch along the trail.
Back on the trail, we encounter more of the traditional elements of this trek. This includes potato fields and unique fauna. We have the prospect of seeing chinchillas and vicunas. Vicunas are the only non-domesticated animal of the llama family in Peru. Many red mountains are also a highlight of this portion of the hike.
After a total hike of approximately 5 hours, we finally reach our destination, what we came to see….the Rainbow Mountains (5,020 m / 16,466 ft). After getting over the shock of their beauty, you will have time to explore the area. You will have time to take pictures and soak in the environment. We will spend approximately 30 minutes at the top.
At this point, it is time to go back down. We hike downhill the way we came. The hike will take 4 to 5 hours. Our private van will be waiting for us when we return.
We will embark on the 3 hour drive back to Cusco and drop you off at your Cusco hotel. Approximate arrival time is between 8 and 9 PM.
Meals: Continental Breakfast / Box lunch
Lowest Elevation: 4,326 m / 14,189 ft
Highest Elevation: 5,020 m / 16,466 ft
Distance to walk: 15 km / 9 ¼ miles
Approximate walking time: 5 to 6 hours up; 4 to 5 hours down
Level of Difficulty: Challenging
- Professional Bilingual English speaking tour guide (additional tour guide for groups of nine people or more)
- Pre-Departure Briefing at your hotel 1 or 2 days before your trek.
- Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Quesiuno
- Return transportation from Quesiuno to your Cusco hotel
- One continental breakfast, one deluxe box lunch
- Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
Services Not Included:
- Trekking poles – you can rent them from us
- Travel /Health / Emergency insurance
What to bring:
- Original passport (if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking, bring both)
- Rain jacket / poncho
- Winter hat and gloves
- Rain pants
- Sun block, factor 35+ recommended
- Sunglasses and sun hat
- Camera with spare batteries – batteries run down faster at high altitudes
- Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us)
- Our trek rankings are the following