The incredible mountain of colors known today as (Winicunca in Quechua language) or mountain of the 7 colors comes from 2 words ( Wini rumi ) black stone because of the abundance of these stones in this place and the other meaning is ( Kunka which means neck ) because of the shape of this narrow mountain.
This is located to the south of Cusco to 3 hours approximately where you will be able to appreciate the highest snow of Cusco Ausangate and next to the mountain of colors, will be 12 km of round trip hike.
Vinicunca is one of the most popular attractions in Cusco and it has only been rediscovered 8 years ago and today many people visit it if you are in Cusco you should do it because it is an unmissable destination.
The minerals that contain the Rainbow Mountain Cusco are yellow-green ocher, turquoise, mustard and scarlet and the formation of this mountain of colors is due to the movement of tectonic plates that happened millions of years ago and the wind erosion of the mountains of Cusco, according to scholars this mountain was covered by a glacier and global warming melted this place and there is also the option to make the Ausangate trek of 2,3,4,5,6 days.
At 5,200 meters (17. It is a journey of 12 km (8 miles) 6 km out and 6 km back is a total of 3 hours at a very high altitude, Before doing this hike you should do some exercises in Cusco do not have difficulties with the altitude and another important factor is the weather where basically from April to September
The dry months where there are days with blue sky and you will appreciate at its maximum splendor the mountain of the 7 colors and the months of September to March is the rainy season and it is not recommended to come, in general with global warming the climate can change and take the risk and enjoy the extraordinary view even if it is hard the hike will be worth it.
- Elevation: 5,200 meters (17,060 feet) above sea level.
- Duration: 3, depending on pace.or rent a horse
- Distance: 12 km.- 8 miles
- Difficulty: gonna be difficult ( there are horse to rent ).
How to Get to Rainbow Mountain Cusco
In this trek there is the option that you do it on your own that is taking a public bus from the city of Cusco (the direction is the zonal park is about 8 minutes from downtown Cusco) the name of the company is Siwar and there are every 20 minutes and is a cheap price, the trip is approximately 4 hours to the village of Tinki
The trip is direct and there are no stops, once in the place of Tinki there are not many accommodations the recommendation is to leave Cusco very early and get to the first camp of Upis.
History of Rainbow Mountain Cusco
When we talk about the mountain of colors we have to go back to millions of years ago when it was covered with snow, this snow covered the lines of the mountain of colors, and with global warming melted it little by little, the first news was in the year 2013 and during the social networks it was known more and since then hundreds and hundreds of visitors come to this incredible destination.
Rainbow Mountain Peru Hike
The excursion to Rainbow Mountain Cusco offers incredible views and at the same time is a challenging route with a cultural and adventurous mix that will exceed your expectations, especially for trekking and mountain lovers is an epic journey.
Starting at 4200 m (13,800 ft) and reaching an altitude of 5200 m (17,600 ft) the great difference between this hike with the rest of the trekking in the Cusco region, the Ausangate trek is not about Inca archaeological sites, but about incredible and incomparable landscapes, turquoise lagoons, snowy wide valleys, and colorful Mountains.
There are more than 20 species of birds, one of them the condor, alpacas, llamas, vicuñas, are the famous South American camelids, and Andean geese in general this adventure is unique and unmissable you have to be here.
In the last few years, the farmers are charging an entrance fee to the Ausangate Trek and are investing in infrastructure that has made the area more comfortable and safer, the Ausangate Hike is becoming more and more popular every year as the classic Inca trail and the Salkantay trek in the future years will have to be regulated for the next generations.
When is the best Time to Visit Rainbow Mountain Cusco?
The best time for hiking in Cusco, in general, is between April and September with blue skies and incredible views since they are outdoor activities so you have to bring a good camera and it is the high season and for sure you will find hikers on this hike and the low season is from September to March.
But the weather is not very favorable, there is rain and cloudy places and basically you will not appreciate the beauty of the place in general Rainbow Mountain Cuscois open all year round.
How High is Rainbow Mountain? What about Altitude Sickness?
If you visit Peru and south America in general the likelihood of getting altitude sickness is one of the most common concerns of people and specifically in the colorful mountain, It is caused by lack of oxygen according to DR.
there are breathing problems above 2500 masl (8000 feet) and the altitude of the mountain of colors is at 5200 masl (17060 feet) this is a considerable altitude.
Altitude sickness is very common in Peru, especially among people who come from sea levels and do not have adequate preparation, the symptoms of altitude sickness or commonly known as (SOROCHE) are vomiting, headache, loss of strength, dizziness, and shortness of breath, it is very important to know if you have heart
Problems or had heart surgery is not recommendable to make this trek to the mountain of colors could have a bad experience, the recommendation is to talk to your Doctor before visiting Peru.
Once you are sure you are ready to make the mountain of colors, be sure to keep in mind the following advice
- The recommendation is to arrive one or two days before the excursion to be able to acclimatize better and not have difficulties in doing the Colored Mountain.
- You should ask your personal physician what medications to take in order to facilitate your acclimatization to the altitude.
- Drink plenty of water, coca tea (the Andean people use it a lot since a long time ago).
- Drink coca tea, an herbal remedy for altitude sickness used by local people for thousands of years.
- Avoid heavy meals, alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes.
- Be sure to stay well hydrated.
AUSANGATE TREK FOR SOLO OR IN GROUP SERVICE?
The safest way to do this excursion is to book this excursión with a travel company to have a better experience, although you can do it on your own you run the risk of getting lost and suffering some accidents since there is no phone signal because you reach more than 4000 masl and know the Spanish and Quechua language to have better communication with the local people because they speak Quechua and you will also have to learn the language.
The advantages of going on your own are that you can make your own route and it will be much cheaper without a guide, cook or muleteer, but you will have to pay the camp fees and at the same time help the villagers economically
RAINBOW MOUNTAIN CUSCO WEATHER
The climate of the Andes in Peru is very varied due to the geographic conditions, in the Ausangate trek there will be very different climates because of the high mountains of this place, ranging between 10-20º C (50 – 68 °F) during the day if it is sunny, and between 05-10º C (41 – 50 °F) during the day if it is not sunny.
Given the high altitude of the camps, temperatures drop significantly in the afternoon and especially at night, where they can drop to -10º C (14°F) or even lower in the dry season. Therefore, it is necessary to bring warm clothing for this trek.
Due to global warming, you can carry a waterproof bag for your backpack because during the day you will carry the most important things, all the equipment is transported on horses or mules and has blankets to protect from the rain and the recommendation is to carry your clothes in plastics as a precaution.
AMAZING SCENERY EVERY DAY?
For lovers of photography this hike is very beautiful where the days there are views of snowy mountains and incredible lagoons and at night with the milky way, in general, will not regret the Ausangate trek to the mountain of colors.
HOW HARD IS AUSANGATE TREK?
The main reason why it is considered difficult is the altitude, but if you have been above 4000 masl before, you should already have experience and should have no problems on this hike.
RENTING TREKKING AND CAMPING GEAR FOR RAINBOW MOUNTAIN
there are many places to rent trekking equipment in Cusco, especially around the Plaza de Armas but the most recommendable are these 2 because they have quality stuff and lower price than the rest of the others.
- ROSL, is located on Procuradores Street #394, Cusco 08000, Peru
- SPEEDY GONZALES, is located on Procuradores Street #393, Cusco 08000, Peru.
WHAT WE RECOMMEND BRINGING:
- A backpack with a change of clothes.
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho.
- Sturdy footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
- Sandals or sneakers for comfort during the camping trip
- Warm clothing, a down jacket is especially recommended for this trek, as it is at high altitude and temperatures can easily drop below freezing in the afternoon and at night.
- Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
- Camera and extra batteries (batteries are consumed more quickly in cold conditions)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain, and cold
- After-sun cream or moisturizing cream for face and body
- Toilet paper
- Snacks: cookies, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits.
- Water container and water for the first morning.
- Optionally: water sterilizing tablets in case water is collected from streams or rivers along the route.
- Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problems so far.
- Small towel
- Bathing suit (if you wish to take a dip in the hot springs along the route)
- Cash in soles and/or dollars
- Copy of original passport
- Optional: walking sticks or poles
THERE ARE TOILTES ON AUSANGATE TREK
in this hike there are no toilets, there are only the so-called Inca toilets, basically, they are dry toilets, the recommendation is to hire a travel agency that has portable toilets to avoid having some problems.
THERE ARE SHOWERS ON AUSANGATE TREK
In this excursion, there are no hot showers, but there are companies that have portable showers and the other option is that you take wet towels and gel basically depending on the days you want to do, in general, there are also thermal baths where you can enjoy and you can enter our tours where you will have many options of Ausangate trek.