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12 hours

Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) and Red Valley Tour

Discover and live the experience that the Rainbow Mountain Tour has for you:

Doing the route of the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) with Red Valley is a colorful experience in the Cordillera de Vilcanota. It has become one of the most requested tours of Cusco by giving an experience in the heights 5,200 masl / 17,060 feet.

You will come into contact with the wildlife of the Peruvian Andes, its camelids such as llamas and alpacas, glaciers, and sight the imposing Ausangate whose meaning in Quechua is Awsanqati, the highest mountain in Cusco.

Enjoy the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca), the colorful mountains and the descent through the Red Valley, during a great day of many adventures, culture and surprises.




04:00 – 06:30: Pick up from lodging - Transportation to Cusipata - Breakfast

The tour begins between 04:00 and 04:30, when a representative of Guru Explorers passes by your accommodation for the journey to Cusipata, a town located south of Cusco, where you enjoy breakfast in the community of Tintinco. You can buy last minute items such as drinks, snacks, sunscreen, among others that you consider necessary.

06:30 – 7:30: Tintinco - Phulawasipata - Hike

From the town of Tintico, the one-hour ascent begins, towards the Phulawasipata camp (4,600 masl / 15,091 ft). During the trail you see a beautiful landscape, peasant communities and alpacas in their natural habitat.

08:00 – 9:30: Hike to the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca)

When you arrive at the base, our professional guide offers directions to continue the ascent that lasts an average of an hour and a half in the Peruvian Andes, observing imposing mountains and rocky hills with llamas and alpacas.

At a moderate pace, very early you arrive at the Rainbow Mountain, Vinicunca elevation is approximately (5,200 masl / 17,060 ft). Starting the tour at dawn will give you enough time to take advantage of the day in this place without a large group of tourists and on a clear mountain where you can appreciate the imposing valleys, and the snow covering the mountains crowned by the fifth highest snow-capped mountain in the world., our Ausangate.

10:15 – 13:30: Red Valley - Return to base camp

After enjoying this beautiful experience, you can choose the direct return to the base camp or discover walking at the top of the Vinicunca mountain, you can visit the Red Valley, or "Mars", a desert in the Andean Cordillera with a reddish landscape where wild vicuñas and other camelids live.

After enjoying the place, start the descent for an hour to take our transport to Cusipata.

13:30 – 16:00: Paucarpata - Lunch - Return to Cusco

In Cusipata there is a buffet lunch with Peruvian cuisine (vegan and vegetarian options available). After regaining strength, the return in private transport to Cusco, directly to the center of Cusco in Plaza Regocijo, around 4:00 p.m.

Each experience is unique. Traveling with Guru Explorer makes you discover a new vision not only of Peru, but a connection with what you love to do and a new way of seeing the world.

Additional Information


The price of the Rainbow Mountain Tour includes:

  • Departure from the lodging in the historic center of Cusco.
  • Return to Plaza "Regocijo" (One block away from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco) (Historic Center of the city).
  • Professional guide in English and Spanish (other languages are available on private tours).
  • Buffet breakfast and Lunch (vegetarian and vegan options available upon request).
  • Red Valley Visit (optional and extra)
  • Trekking or hiking poles (on request).
  • First Aid and oxygen.
  • Entrance tickets to the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca).
Not include

Price of the Rainbow MountainTour excludes:

  • Transfer from hotels outside the city of Cusco (for private tours, ask for extra costs to pick up from the Sacred Valley or other places).
  • Tips for the guide.
  • Beverages.
  • Food not specified in the itinerary.
  • Horse or mule rental (approximate cost USD 30 round trip)
What to Bring

What to bring to the Rainbow Mountain hike?

  • Comfortable and optimal footwear for walks, warm jacket, caps or hat, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, bottles of water, clothing or rain poncho (especially between November - April).
  • Passport or DNI.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Devices for audiovisual recording (cell phone, camera, camcorders)
  • Cash (Local currency / Soles (S/.)

Considerations that you should have when taking the Rainbow Mountain Tour:

  • Due to the limitations in the walkability of the City and its narrow streets, depending on the traffic congestion, a nearby point will be suggested to pass looking for the group to start the tour.
  • This tour requires stable physical conditions to carry out the tour; however, people can rent horses for the excursion at their own risk.
  • It is advisable to acclimatize in Cusco before doing the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) and Red Valley Tour. Only then will your body be adapted to the height of the region.
  • This tour is not recommended for children under 12 years old; Adults over 60 years of age should consider that this activity demands optimal physical condition.
  • The Red Valley route is optional for the return to the starting point. This section is made by individual decision - without the accompaniment of the guide - who previously offers the respective recommendations (it is not suitable for people with altitude sickness or soroche).
  • Due to environmental, climatic or other factors, beyond our control, the itinerary of the trip could vary. It will be notified promptly.
  • Guru Explorers values ​​your time and strives to respect the tour schedule; however, they may vary for reasons beyond our control (weather, natural disasters, field conditions, among other demonstrable reasons). We will do our best to offer efficient options and solutions for your enjoyment.

Not allowed:

  • Pets
  • Smoking.
  • Large suitcases or bags.

Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain is not recommended for:

  • People with heart disease, back problems, asthma or high blood pressure.
  • People in wheelchairs.
  • Pregnant women
Terms and Conditions

Cancellation Policies:

  • Within 3 days or less in advance, there will be no refund.
  • Between 4 and 7 days of notification, 70% is refunded.
  • More than 7 days, 90% is refunded.

Date changes:

  • Rates applied for change of date in group tours:
    • There will be no extra charge if you notify more than 5 days in advance.
    • If notified between 3 and 5 days in advance, an additional charge of 20% will apply.
    • If you notify within 2 days or less in advance, it will not be possible to make the change and it will not be subject to a refund.
  • Subject to availability.
  • There will be no refund in case of delayed flights, train delays, bad weather or other external factors.
Why choose us

The experience that makes you witness the beauty of this mountain of colors is inexplicable, it is really a personal encounter between you and nature. We want to be part of the experience that you will have during the tour of the Rainbow Mountain.

If you are still wondering why choose us? We would like you to read 7 outstanding characteristics of our service:


When you go to a teacher, it is because you want to answer all the questions. In a matter of travel, money, time and enjoyment, you have to choose the best options available and that is what “Guru Explorers” is all about, giving you the perfect balance for the adventure you DESERVE.


To become “Guru Explorers”, we are still world travelers, but experts in Cusco, Lima, and the most important destinations in Peru. We lived bad and good experiences, valuing that the main difference lies in the details, so we know what elements are essential for your trip. We are travelers and we strive to enhance your experience!


We are here to provide you with the best and most accurate information and description of our tours. We are not supporters of hidden costs, that is why we provide the necessary information so you can choose the inclusions or upgrades you are looking for.


You entrust us with your time, your money and your expectations and that is why we fine-tune every detail to guarantee the trip you dream of.


Although we have pre-established packages; they can be adapted to your needs and to make plans that are suited to you, so that you can visit any place in Peru, with the expertise of “Guru Explorers”. We adapt trips for special occasions such as your corporate trips, honeymoon, birthday, social, cultural or sports event during your visit to Peru, offering you complete advice to achieve and exceed your expectations.


Before being tour guides, we are travelers, explorers, adventurers; That makes us passionate about creating the best experiences in the time you invest for yourself and those you love.


We promote Responsible and Sustainable Tourism, not affecting the traveler, nor exploiting the communities that receive it or their environment. We create more human and respectful experiences of Heritage.

Do you want a different trip to the Rainbow Mountain? We won't keep you waiting!


¿How difficult is the hike to the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca)?

At Guru Explorers, we rate it moderate. It is not an easy walk, and you must consider two important factors which are the height and the incline. The estimated time for the hike is 1.5 to 2 hours, starting at 4,650 masl / 15,250 ft and reaching 5,200 masl / 7,000 ft. If you think you are not prepared enough to do the trek, you can rent a horse at the base before starting the ascent.

If you want a less complex hiking route as an alternative, check out our spectacular Tour to the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain!

Can I do the Vinicunca tour if I don't exercise regularly?

The hike to the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) requires some effort; however, generally people who are not in good physical condition do this tour to a slower pace.

If you want a more affordable alternative hiking route, check out our tour to the colorful mountains of Palcoyo!

How long does it take to do the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) Walk?

The time depends on the physical condition of each person and the speed of the group. On average, reaching the Vinicunca pass, which is the "viewpoint", takes between an hour and a half to two. The total time, including the descent, is from two and a half to three hours.

Can horse services be hired on site?

Yes, at the base camp you will find several residents offering the services of their horses, they will accompany you as muleteers on the way. In high season it is difficult to find horses available due to the high demand. The approximate price to hire this service up and down the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) is approximately 100 Peruvian soles. (~ 30 USD) (payment is in cash and in soles)

How's the weather?

It should be taken in consideration that the coldest period is between May and October, and the rainiest months are between November and April. However, the weather and altitude can be unpredictable, ranging from sunny, windy, coldy and even rainy from one moment to the next. We suggest you always be prepared with the equipment for all weather conditions. The sun is usually intense during the morning and part of the afternoon and the temperature can rapidly decrease from -5 to 18 ° C.

Are there toilets on the route to the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca)?

Yes, there are bathrooms available provided by the residents along the way to the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca). The cost per use is 1 Peruvian Sol (~ 0.3 USD), which is paid in cash.

At what time of year is the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) covered in snow?

The probability that the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) is covered with snow is during the rainy season; from November to March.

What luggage should I bring?

As it is a full day trip, you are not allowed to carry large suitcases or bags. However, you can carry a backpack with basic items such as water, camera, cap or hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, among others needed items.

What is the difference between group and private service?

The main difference between Group and Private service is the type of experience provided. In the first one you share the experience with a small group of passengers, all departing from Cusco and being picked up at their respective lodgings. In the second one the service is personalized and you have the option of leaving earlier, to avoid other groups of tourists. Also, in private, the tour will be done at your own pace and you can customize the experience on special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, family trips, among others.

What other alternatives do you recommend?

If you want to take to the next level and enjoy the splendor of the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) and its surroundings, we invite you to join the 2-day tour to the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca); with the opportunity to see Ausangate up close, camp in a privileged area, see lakes and impressive landscapes. Also, the next day you will be one of the first to reach the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca), avoiding large groups of tourists.

Need help planning that long-awaited trip?


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