Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain) Hike: Full Day

  • DURATION      : 12 hours
  • LOCATION        : South of Cusco – Ausangate Mountain
  • DESCRIPTION: Snowcapped Mountain and colorful mountain – adventure activity
  • LEVEL                 : Need to be in good physical shape
  • DEPARTURES: Every day. Private or shared service.


Very early, the guide will pick you up from your hotel to drive toward the town of Pitumarca located at (3600 m.a.s.l./11811ft) which is the last village where we can buy some supplies or snacks; from this point the route to follow is unpaved path until reach Quesuyuni (4376 masl/14356ft); here you will start the hiking to the rainbow mountain.

Before we set off to climb to Vinicunca Mountain, we will give an offering to Ausangate Mountain (considered as Apu – sacred mountain) and asked him to protect us on our journey.

This journey will help you to experience first-hand how locals live in the mountains; the people of this region are one of the few true shepherding communities left in the world. They raise alpacas and llamas, using every part of the animal to enable them to survive in this harsh climate. The wool is used for clothes, hides are used for sandals (known as ojotas), the meat is eaten and the feces are used as fuel and fertilizer.

After almost 3 hours hiking uphill, we will reach the Vinicunca Mountain (5040m.a.s.l./16535ft) which is a mound of earth striped with intense turquoise, rust red and golden yellow. The colors flow like a wave so perfectly that you would believe they were painted by the Andean Apus (gods).

At the summit, opposite to the Rainbow Mountain, lies stunning views of Ausangate snowcapped mountain, which stands at a towering height of (6372m.a.s.l./20905ft).

Here the winds blow wildly as if to prevent any mortal from staying too long in this unworldly place.

Rest, breathe and take pictures… “This is why we are here” said many people.

After an amazing time, we start to return. The downhill hike last almost 2 hours until reach Quesoyuni where we will aboard the bus to return to Cusco where we will arrive late afternoon.

  • Cusco to Quesuyuni: 135 km (by bus)
  • Quesuyuni – Vinicunca mountain – Quesuyuni: 16 km (hiking)
  • Hiking Time: 6 hrs.
  • Highest Elevation: (a.s.l./16535ft) Vinicunca
  • Lowest elevation: (4376 masl/14356ft) (Quesuyuni, starting point of the hike)



  • Briefing (Orientation meeting, before the tour)
  • Private transportation Cusco – Quesuyuni (starting point of hike) – Cusco
  • Professional bilingual
  • Lunch, snack
  • One seat horse for emergency and a muleteer
  • First-aid kit with oxygen.
  • Entrance fee to Vinicunca mountain
  • Extra services not mentioned in the program.
  • Tips and extra expenses
  • Walking stick (passengers MUST take it)
  • Additional horse