The Rainbow Mountain hike is one of the most popular activities in Peru. It’s even more popular than Machu Picchu, and there’s a good reason for that: It’s stunning! However, this is not just any hike it’s at high altitude and it can be challenging. The scenery alone will make your effort worthwhile though. So if you’re up for some physical effort, then you should include a hike up Rainbow Mountain in your Peru itinerary. Here are some things to know before you go on this trip:
Rainbow Mountain, Vinicunca, or Winikunka?
The mountain is also known as Vinicunca or Winikunka. It is located in the Andes Mountains, near Cuzco, Peru. Rainbow Mountain has become a popular tourist attraction for its natural beauty and for being featured in various films and TV shows.
Rainbow Mountain is a site of natural beauty. At first glance, it appears that the mountain has been painted in vibrant colors by an artist. However, this effect was created over time by a combination of weathering and natural processes.
Things to Know
Rainbow Mountain is a beautiful landmark in Peru. The mountains have different shades of red, orange, and yellow which make them unique to see. There are two ways you can hike Rainbow Mountain:
- Day Tour: This is a half-day trip that takes you up to the viewpoint where you will be able to see Rainbow Mountain. This option is better for those who do not have enough time or energy to complete the longer hike. However, if you want more than just an overview of Rainbow Mountain, then staying overnight could be ideal for you!
- Multi-Day Hike: If you want an unforgettable experience on this tour then this option would be best suited for your trip! You will spend 2 nights at high altitudes (upwards of 4500 meters above sea level). This means that there may be some physical tolls on the body; however, it also means that the views are much more rewarding than any other place in South America!
How to get there
Rainbow Mountain is located in the Calca Valley, a region of the Andes Mountains in Peru. The mountains that makeup Rainbow are part of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range and can be reached by taking a bus from the city of Cusco, which is located an hour away. If you want to travel by plane instead, there are two airports nearby: one in Cusco and one in Santa Teresa, which is where you’ll find Rainbow Mountain itself. However, if you don’t feel like spending money on transportation or simply would prefer not to fly at all (you have options), then there’s also a road that connects both towns it takes about five hours by car but can take up to 10 hours when traffic is bad due to seasonal rains that cause mudslides across roads leading into Santa Teresa.
How high is Rainbow Mountain?
Rainbow Mountain is 4,200 meters above sea level. This makes Rainbow Mountain one of the highest points in the Vilcanota mountain range. Rainbow Mountain is also a popular destination for hikers and tourists who want to experience this breathtaking natural wonder.
Altitude Sickness at Rainbow Mountain
Altitude sickness is a common problem at high altitudes. You may experience symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.
If you start to feel unwell after arriving at Rainbow Mountain in Peru, then please follow these simple steps:
- Drink plenty of water (2 liters per day) – this will help prevent dehydration from occurring.
- Take paracetamol for pain relief Paracetamol is effective for treating headaches caused by altitude sickness because it reduces blood flow to the brain which reduces pain signals.
- Avoid alcohol & tobacco products.
Which way to hike a Rainbow Mountain
There are two main ways to hike up Rainbow Mountain: from the Urubamba side (the one with the highest viewpoint) or the Cusco side. Both approaches are equally beautiful, but each has unique characteristics that make it best for different times of the day.
The Urubamba approach is best in the morning or early afternoon when you’ll have plenty of time to see all of your photos come together at once, and you won’t be fighting against sunset light on your way down. You can also go at night if you want a full moon experience!
What you need to bring with you on the tour
- Bring a daypack.
- Bring a flashlight.
- Bring a first aid kit.
- Bring a map of the area, just in case you get lost or take one of the less popular trails to Rainbow Mountain (which is highly recommended) and need to find your way back.
Is Rainbow Mountain hard to hike?
The hike is not as hard as you might think. It’s a relatively short hike with many rest stops along the way, so most people should be able to complete it without much problem. Many tour groups offer guided tours of the mountain. These tours can be expensive but worth it if you’re worried about getting lost or injured along the way.
Toilets at Rainbow Mountain?
There are no toilets at Rainbow Mountain. The only place to find a toilet is in the town of Cusco, Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes or Puno.
Rainbow Mountain in your Peru itinerary
Rainbow Mountain is a must-do! It’s an easy hike, and you will get to see the Andes in all their glory. You can also see some local culture and wildlife while you are there. For example, you could spot a condor flying high above your head.
One of the most rewarding experiences in your life is hiking up Rainbow Mountain. It’s not easy, but if you are up for a challenge, then you should try it. There are lots of things to know before visiting Rainbow Mountain, so make sure you read our blog post on what to expect when going on this trip!