History of Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow mountain is the most eye-catching phenomenon of nature, you will ever come across. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. It stands at an elevation of 5,200 meters or 17,060 feet in its uniqueness with many vibrant colors like turquoise, lavender, orange, gold and many more. These astonishingly striking colors are formed by weathering, environmental conditions and sedimentary mineral deposits over time. The beautiful colors in all of the photos are created by minerals such as iron oxide, copper sulfide and more. The Rainbow Mountain is nestled in the Andes mountains in the South Valley of Cusco (about 3 hours outside of Cusco City), with spectacular views of the snow- capped Ausangate Mountain.

Rainbow Mountain was recently discovered in 2015 due to snow melting revealing the hidden gem that lay beneath. The very first guided tour took place in January of 2016. Given how recent its discovery is, it has grown exponentially in popularity over the years. It is currently the second most visited tourist site in Peru after Machu Picchu and it was recently added in the National Geographic list of “Top 100 places to visit before you die”.

There are amazing mountains, peaks and hills all over the world, but whoever sees the Rainbow Mountain will discover the thousands of colors that this famous mountain exhibits. The colorful sandstone mountains are probably one of the most unique natural occurrence of nature you will ever see. Be sure to not miss this one-day trek!

Why do the Rainbow Mountain with Professional Licensed Tour Operators?

Professional Licensed Tour Operators provide security and peace of mind. The provide highly qualified tour guides, small groups, updated info, oxygen tanks, access to horses if needed, safety guarantee, first aid kits, and fresh cooked meals prepared by chefs.
Please review below more details of what to expect when you use professional tour operators:

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These top notch professional tour operators facilitate luxury private tours for a more intimate experience for you and your travel companions. As well, they run small group tours, where you can meet like-minded travelers with which you can share this incredible trekking experience in the Andes Mountains of Peru. All travel is done in private mini-vans and the meals are fresh Peruvian food prepared by their chefs.!

Please explore the best profession tour operators for this tour at this link Top Rated Tour Operators.


If you have particular questions you wish to ask or simply want regular email updates of our Rainbow Mountain tours and info, give us your contact information and we’ll get in touch.

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$35 2 persons $125 pp
3 persons $99 pp
4 persons $70 pp
5 + persons $60 pp

Group Service

* Small group up to 20 people with 1 guide, subject to availability and all the booking need to be done at least 48 hours in advance.
* The Price includes the guide, meals (Breakfast & Lunch), transportation and we do not include the entrances, horse ride and tips.

Private Service

***Private service price is based on the number of peoplen see above the prices. In the group there Will be only your party and the itinerary can be flexible. . It will be completely private with your own guide, chauffeur and private van. No others will be added to the group
* The Price includes the guide, meals (Breakfast & Lunch), transportation and we do not include the entrances, horse ride and tips.

Where is Rainbow Mountain?

The Rainbow mountain is located about 3 ½ hours from Cusco by minibus. Found in the Peruvian Andes, Rainbow Mountain is famed for its natural, multi-coloured beauty created by mineral deposits. It has only recently been discovered by trekkers but is fast becoming one of the places that must be included in a tour of Peru.

Rainbow Mountain Trek Map

Best Itinerary for the Rainbow Mountain Hike

Cusco – Cusipata – Llacto – Rainbow Mt – Llacto – Cusco

The trek starts at 4am, where you will be met at your hotel lobby to being your journey. Regardless of the agency with which you book, your incredible Rainbow Mountain Trek Adventure must start early due to the distance to arrive at the trail head. Relax or sleep on your 3-hour scenic drive through the South Valley, there are amazing views of Inca terraces, valleys and rocky mountains.

Once you reach the trailhead, the hike begins along a flowing stream.  While you are having your breakfast at the trailhead, you will be surrounded by llamas and Alpacas dotting the valleys. As you trek up the mountain, enjoy the continuous views of the Ausangate Mountain. When you pass through different villages be sure to interact with the indigenous people, who are still living their traditional lifestyle. Your guide will assist with that. They are precious people.

After a short 1.5 hour hike up before you stands the mighty Rainbow Mountains at (5,020m /16,466ft) The distance is not great, but the high altitude forces everybody to walk slowly. Don’t be deceived by how easy the trail looks. Even those who are acclimatized to Cusco have to walk slowly. A horse can be hired for majority of the trek. However, the last 600m are too steep for horses and you will have to walk this last part. The cost is about 100 soles roundtrip which your guide can negotiate. You can take pictures and savor the environment. You will spend approximately 30 minutes at the top.

At this point, the hike back down is around 1 hour. When you return to the vehicle, the chef will have your hot lunch prepared. After lunch, we take our van back to Cusco

After lunch you begin your scenic 3-hours drive back to Cusco and your hotel, arriving around 5:00pm to 6:00pm.


What to take with you on the trek?

  • Weather can change in seconds when you’re in the high mountains – so be sure to pack sunblock, sunglasses, a rain jacket, a hat and wear some thick hiking socks – but also bring a spare pair of socks just in case!
  • Coca tea for breakfast, staying hydrated and taking ibuprofen if you have a headache can help you adapt to high altitudes.
  • Be sure to bring a small backpack with lots of water, snacks and a toilet roll.
  • The entrance fee to the park is 10 Soles and usually it isn’t included in most Rainbow Mountain Tour packages.

When is the best time to visit Rainbow Mountain?

The best season to hike Rainbow Mountain is the dry season, which is from April to September every year. During Cusco’s dry season it’s less likely to rain and daily sunshine with beautiful weather is the standard. The peak tourism season in Cusco is between the months of May and August, which is due to the weather and it is summer vacation time for many people.

What should I bring?

  • Sunblock
  • Rain gear
  • Hat, gloves, sunglasses
  • Water (2 liters)
  • Trekking pants and jacket
  • Hiking shoes
  • Snacks, identification, cameras and cash

We also suggest visiting the Red Valley in Pitumarca, really close to the Rainbow Mountain, which is an extra 45 minute hike after reaching the summit of Rainbow Mountain. It is included as a part of the Rainbow Mountain hike if the physical condition of the group makes it possible.

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