Travelling to the Rainbow Mountain while in Cusco is definitely a great choice if you like hiking and exploring nature and special sites, which you can find in Perú abundantly. Perú has great options especially when it comes to special and interesting sites like nature phenomena, and the Rainbow Mountain is definitely not an exception. The site got recently discovered by the people of the native local community and just got promoted last year in the tourism industry In Peru and Cusco; therefore the site is very new and unexplored.
The trip to the Rainbow Mountain is much more than experiencing colors and the mountain, the area is also full of Andean animals like alpacas and llamas. The local native community is also a really interesting part of the tour, as you will be close to them and will see how they live; you can even speak to them and not to mention the really amazing and beautiful Andean nature that will be around you during the trek. While hiking, there will be an amazing snow-capped mountain peak shinning behind the closest mountains. Once at the end of the hike you will reach the top of a hill, from there you will get a 360º view of the whole valley and its surroundings. Behind you, a huge snow capped mountain-peak will stand beautifully behind the mountains, to your right a beautiful valley with small lagoons appears, to your left another amazing valley that shows Andean animals and local stone houses, and in front of you, of course, the incredible Rainbow Mountain with all its amazing colors.
Here are a few good tips that I would recommend to the future travelers who are planning to go on this trip.
- What to bring: I will advise to bring clothes for cold and warm weather, snacks and water, however it is also possible to rent a horse that can carry your stuff for you for 60-70 Peruvian Nuevos Soles ($20) and can be shared between 3-4 people. It is not that necessary to bring walking sticks or hiking boots, but will of course make the trek easier.
- The Season: The best time of the year to visit the Rainbow Mountain is in the dry season of Cusco, which is from April to September and is at the same time also the sunniest season. When the sun is out, the colors of the Rainbow Mountain also get stronger, while the rain and clouds make the colors weaker. So in order to get the best experience as possible at the Rainbow Mountain, it is very recommendable to visit the site in the dry season, -bar in mind, however, that those months are also the coldest months of the year.
- The weather: The mountain is located at around 5100 m.a.s.l. and therefore it is extremely cold in the morning and you will need several layers of clothes, gloves and a hat to keep the cold away. But around 10:00 in the morning, if the sun is out, it gets really warm and a sweater should be enough. Once you arrive to the Rainbow Mountain, you will be on the top of a hill with valleys all around you and the wind from the snow-capped mountain will really get to you, a sweater plus a jacket will be necessary to keep the wind out. If you choose to take a 2-day hike with one overnight stay in a camp, the temperature lowers to -10°C while sleeping in a tent.