Rainbow Mountain Hike

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The Rainbow Mountain Hike is an incredible 3-hour hike covering 7 kilometers/4.3 miles up to an altitude of 5036 m /16,000 ft. Appropriately called Rainbow Mountain, or Winicunca, its beautiful layering of minerals has been formed over many years through sedimentation. This creates the breathtaking display of colors you’ll encounter on the Rainbow Mountain Hike.

Rainbow Mountain Hike starts with a short ascent at Fulawasipata, then takes a break with the longer, flatter stretch before finally preparing you for the short, steep climb to the top. The Rainbow Mountain Hike in Peru can be challenging, but totally worth the visit if you’re up for it. You can also go by horse and walk the last section as an alternative. Horses are not allowed at the lookout point, but walking to this point is a must to be able to take the best photographs and enjoy the amazing surrounding landscapes this area has to offer.


Rainbow Mountain Hike length: 3 hours RT, based on regular pace.

Rainbow Mountain Trail Distance: 7 km. (4 miles)

Rainbow Mountain trailhead: 4,328 meters (14,200 feet) above sea level. – Summit: 5,036 meters (16,486 feet) above sea level.

Rainbow Mountain Weather: Always cold and changeable.


Rainbow Mountain Hike

Rainbow Mountain used to require at least 5 days, but now you can get there in a 1 day hike! This treasure of Peru had remained under thick layers of Andean glaciers for centuries. Now these colorful stripes are a must see in the Andes. The Andes also houses the Ausangate Mountain, the tallest point in the region. Ausangate Mountain is the deity of Cusco and has been considered a holy place of worship by indigenous Peruvians for a millennium. The tradition of prayer and making offerings continues to this day. Its valleys are also populated by wild and domestic camelids. With some luck, you might be able to spot them on your hike!

The Rainbow Mountain is Peru’s second most famous attraction after Machu Picchu and deserves a place on your bucket list when you visit Cusco. To get the most out of your trip and for a perfect Rainbow Mountain Hike, choose a private tour specialist company like ours!


Rainbow Mountain Day HikeTrailhead: 4,328 meters (14,200 feet) above sea level.

Summit: 5,025 meters (16,486 feet) above sea level.

When you take the Rainbow Mountain Hike, the altitude is something you should put into consideration. Trail is not too steep and wouldn’t be difficult if it wasn’t for the altitude. We suggest that you take this hike at the end of your trip to allow a good acclimation.

The symptoms of high altitude sickness (“soroche” in Peru) can include headache, nausea, dizziness, tiredness and shortness of breath. In some cases these symptoms can develop into more serious situation. This can happen when you climb quickly to high altitudes and generally above 10,000 ft / 3,050m.


The peruvian Andes offers two different seasons: dry (May to november) and wet ( December to April). And the best time to take the Rainbow Mountain Hike is during the dry season. 

If it’s a clear day, the views at the top are incredible. We don’t recommend the Rainbow Mountain Hike on a rainy, cloudy day because you wouldn’t see anything. Also, the hike could be harder as the trail becomes muddy and slippery.