Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour 5D

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Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Availability : Every Day.
Depart: K'airahuiri Alto
Destination: Pacchanta
Min Age : 10
Max People : 12

About the 5 Day Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour

Looking for a heart-pumping, adventurous Rainbow Mountain tour from Cusco? We have a 5 day Ausangate Rainbow Mountain trek that combines the untouched wilderness around Ausangate with an insider’s peek at the recently popularized Rainbow Mountain, known locally as Vinicunca

Note: due to the high altitude, you must have at least 3 days of acclimatization at high altitude before embarking on our 5 day Ausangate Rainbow Mountain hike. See our FAQs below for more details on how to prepare for the altitude.

See Full Description

    Rainbow Mountain Peru has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Known locally by its Quechua name, Vinicunca (also spelled Winicunca), Ausangate’s Rainbow Mountains went from a completely unknown attraction near Cusco to an over-touristed hot spot in just a couple of years. Now it is second only to Machu Picchu in number of visitors per day!

    And it’s no wonder. The colourful striations that characterize the Ausangate Rainbow Mountains – the result of naturally-occurring minerals – are an amazing sight to behold. Who knew a mountain could contain so many colours!

    Most visitors opt for a 1 day Rainbow Mountain tour from Cusco, but we think you get a much better experience when you spend at least 2 or even 5 days. The great thing about our 5 day Rainbow Mountain tour from Cusco is that it lets you witness this natural marvel while staying out of sync with the crowds.

    Day by Day Overview of the Ausangate Rainbow Mountain 5 Day Tour

    We start by heading out from Cusco towards Checacupe, a quaint town that features bridges from three different eras: Incan, Colonial and Republican. From there, we keep going until we reach the trailhead for our Cusco Rainbow Mountain tour and climb for about 2h until we reach the first night’s campsite.

    Day 2 is the highlight on this Rainbow Mountain trek as we reach the lookout with spectacular views of Vinicunca.

    On Day 3 we meet up with the Ausangate Circuit, normally a 5 day trek on its own. We face some challenging high altitude passes today, including the first of two passes over 5000m (16,500 ft) on this trek.

    The Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour is filled with a series of stunning glacial lakes on Day 4. We finish the day with a special treat: a chance to soak in the Pacchanta hot springs! Our 5 day hike then ends with a short hike from Pacchanta to Tinki, before our private transport returns us to Cusco.

Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour Highlights

  • Remote, untouched wilderness and stunning high-altitude scenery
  • Turquoise lakes, flocks of aquatic birds, and herds of roaming llamas and alpaca
  • Climb up to the Rainbow Mountain viewpoint to see Vinicunca in all its glory
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Price
Prices are per person in USD, based on group size. We do not have fixed-date group departures. If you do not want to book a private trek, please see our Trekkers Wanted page for a list of open departures within your dates.

2 people

$1409

4-6 people

$765

7-8 people

$645

9-12 people

$605
WHY BOOK WITH US?

High quality personalized experience

Unique, off-the-beaten track routes

Experienced staff

Verified sustainability practices

$20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Important Details About the 5 Day Rainbow Mountain Trek

What is Included?

Accommodation

  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
  • Toilet tent

Meals

  • Cook and cooking equipment, plus assistants for larger groups.
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary. Our professional cooks prepare a combination of traditional Peruvian and Western cuisine. Talk to your guide if you have certain preferences! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
  • Boiled water provided for drinking water on the trail (which you can carry in your own reusable water bottle)
  • Bottled water provided during the drive to the trailhead on the first day

Transport

  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the 5 day Rainbow Mountain trek trailhead and return at the end of the trek

Trekking Team

  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Horses and horsemen, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 10kg/22lbs per person).
  • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals

Safety

  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle

Additional inclusions

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Entry fee to Ausangate & Rainbow Mountain

What is Not Included?

Meals

  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last day

Equipment

  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you. Sleeping bags good to at least -15˚C are recommended.
  • Additional horses to carry your luggage beyond the allowed 7kg (15lbs)

Other

  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Flights to/from Cusco
  • Travel Insurance

Optional Extras & Upgrades

We offer you the opportunity to personalize your trek and make your experience more comfortable through our Optional Extras and Upgrades. All options are available during the reservation process; please ask your sales consultant for more information.

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Equipment Available for Rent

  • Extra horse to carry your own things beyond the included 10kg (22lbs)
  • Extra horse for you to ride, and horseman to lead it
  • Sleeping bag suitable for -10˚C
  • Deluxe sleeping bag suitable for -15˚C
  • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
  • Thermarest inflatable mattress
  • Thermarest inflatable pillow

Service Upgrades

Optional Activities

Important!

  • When calculating the cost of renting equipment, calculate using the length of the entire trip, not just the number of trekking days.
  • Please be careful with rented equipment! You are responsible for the cost of replacement if something is damaged or broken.
  • Any upgrades or trip extensions must be requested at time of booking.

What to Pack

See What to Bring for our comprehensive recommendations on what to pack for your trek.

Like many places in the Andes, the weather around Rainbow Mountain is rather fickle. It’s important to be prepared for all kinds of weather: possible rain showers, sun, or even snow. Layering and flexibility will be key!

The 5 day Rainbow Mountain Ausangate hike is a high altitude trek, crossing some very high passes, including two that are over 5000m. This means it can get very cold on the trail, especially overnight (expect nighttime temperatures as low as -15°C / 5°F in the middle of the cold dry season). As you reach each pass, you will need thermals, a winter hat (toque or beanie), mitts, thick warm socks, and a scarf.

You may also want to pack a bathing suit, flip flops and a towel, since there is the chance to visit some natural hot springs on Day 4.

What are the best trekking clothes for a Vinicunca tour?

You want something durable, comfortable and easy to keep clean. We prefer convertible trekking pants made out of a quick dry fabric. Most of these hiking pants have special designs allowing a maximum range of motion, and contain many pockets – a little Indiana Jones-y, maybe, but they can be very useful on the trail! For a cold, high-altitude hike like this one, we definitely recommend wearing thermals under your hiking pants to keep you warm.

When it comes to footwear, tough, waterproof trekking boots with a high top are best. If you’re not ready to invest in specialist hiking boots, hiking shoes will suffice, though these tend to be only water-resistant, less durable and do not provide ankle support.

For more help with what to pack, check out our blog How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru.

Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour Map

AUSANGATE TREK 5D

Available Discounts

  • Students: USD $30 off, in certain circumstances. Please enquire for details about eligibility.
  • Youth 12-17: 5% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 5-11 years: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4 years: Free. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group. Car seats, cribs and other baby needs may not be included and must be discussed in advance. For more information about travelling with infants and toddlers, please see this blog as well as the Age Requirements section of our Booking Conditions.
  • 5% off a day tour listed price when you also book a 3-day or longer trek operated by Apus Peru

Our Guides and Safety on the Trail

Our Rainbow Mountain tour guides are all handpicked for their personality, expert knowledge of the trekking routes and communication skills. All of our guides are formally licenced and receive frequent additional training from Apus Peru, such as mountain rescue and high-altitude first aid.

This is particularly important in the area of Vinicunca Peru as it is one of the trails where people have most felt the effects of altitude. You’ll be happy to have a trek guide with you who is experienced, knowledgeable and quick-thinking, able to alter routes at a moment’s notice if necessary.

Get to know our team!

Apus Peru is one of a small group of trek operators in the Cusco region that put people before profit. For us, safety is paramount. We have a comprehensive risk assessment policy that covers a wide range of topics from vehicle maintenance to illness and evacuation on the trail.

There are many treks, including ones in the area around Rainbow Mountain, Cusco, that we will not operate in the wet season under any circumstances due the safety considerations.

Trekkers Wanted

Want to join an Ausangate Rainbow Mountain trek? Ready to confirm a departure date of your own, but interested in having others join you? Then Trekkers Wanted is for you! Our innovative Trekkers Wanted system matches people up who are interested in hiking the same trek, bringing costs down and multiplying the fun for everyone!

Read More about Trekkers Wanted, post your trek or search for confirmed departures!

Important Info

  • Each guide has their own preferred Vinicunca tour route and so the route you trek might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group, and the guide may change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group.
  • The Ausangate Rainbow Mountain tour is a totally off-the-beaten path trek, and tourist infrastructure is very limited. Instead, we’ll be making use of local facilities where possible.
  • Please note: this is a true adventure and things may not go exactly according to plan! Keep an open mind and let yourself enjoy the cultural differences you may experience. There is always an opportunity to learn something!

Ready to Book?

  • Does this trek sound like just what you were looking for? If you’re ready to book or just want to find out a bit more information, fill out the Inquiry Form in the top right-hand corner of this page to get the ball rolling. You’ll be connected with one of our amazing sales people who will be able to turn your dream of hiking in the Andes into a reality. For more information on the entire booking process, please see our How To Book page.
  • Travel insurance is a must! World Nomads offers travel insurance for adventure activities.

5 Day Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Trek Itinerary

Day 1Cusco - Checacupe - Hanchi Pacha - K’airahuiri Alto

      • Total Walking Distance: 10km
      • Total Walking Time: 5h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4400m (14,435ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5050m (16,568ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4700m (15,419ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -15°C

We start our Rainbow Mountain tour from Cusco, leaving early in the morning and heading towards the quaint village of Checacupe. Traveling on a paved road across the altiplano in the direction of Puno, we make our way through the fertile Vilcanota Valley. Our departure time means that we are out of sync with the crowds (the standard bus tours typically leave at 3am!) and will have plenty of time to enjoy an undisturbed experience of Vinicunca later on.

Arriving at Checacupe, we have a chance to visit the Colonial Church of the Immaculate Conception and the three interesting bridges before we hit the road again, and start our climb out of the Pitumarka Valley.

In Pitumarka, we can rest and buy some snacks. As we head out again, we leave the highway and get onto the dirt roads that wind through scenic valleys and canyons until we reach Hanchi Pacha. Along the way, we will stop to take photos of interesting rock formations.

After about 4 hours on the road, we’ll have an open air lunch to refresh and refuel before meeting up with our muleteers and beginning our 2h afternoon hike. We will climb steadily until we reach K’airahuiri Bajo (4300m / 14,925 ft) where we will have spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and magnificent valley below.

From there, it’s just another 40m to our first Vinicunca trek campsite at K’airahuiri Alto (4400m / 15,420 ft), with views across the verdant valley. It’s going to be a cold night, so make sure you have lots of warm clothes and a high quality sleeping bag, good to at least -15˚C (5˚F)!

Day 2K’airahuiri Alto - Rainbow Mountain - Pucacocha

      • Total Walking Distance: 16km
      • Total Walking Time: 8h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4600m (15,091ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5040m (16,535ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4600m (15,091ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -15°C

After an early breakfast, we will walk for about 1.5h towards Vinicunca Pass (5040m (16,535ft), the site of the famous Ausangate Rainbow Mountains! Our breathing will become increasingly labored as we gain altitude. Once we arrive at the top of the pass, there may be some frigid gusts of wind, so be sure you are wrapped up warmly and that your head is protected with a woolly hat!

Here, we are rewarded for all our efforts with the first views of the spectacular Rainbow Mountains, with its vibrant multi-hued layers of rock sediment: turquoise, orange, brown, and red. For an extra treat and if the day is clear, we will also have majestic views of the snow-capped Apu Ausangate mountain, the tallest and most important mountain in Andean cosmology.

After some time to rest and take photos, we’ll head on to Pucacocha Lake over the 4900m (16,076 ft) Menos Ponco Pass (altitude is approximate). It should take between 4 and 5 hours to get to our campsite where we will rest for the evening.

Day 3Pucacocha - Palomani Pass - Huchuy Phinaya

      • Total Walking Distance: 15km
      • Total Walking Time: 9h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4500m (14,763 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5200m (17,060 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4500m (14,943 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -10°C

We start off Day 3 of our Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour with a stunning morning walk. With the great Ausangate Mountain on our left-hand side, we passing clear glacial lakes, herds of local alpacas and llamas and, if we’re lucky, maybe even some wild vicuña.

We will first reach Apacheta Pass (4600m / 15,091 ft) before ascending to Palomani Pass (5200m / 17,060 ft), the highest point on the Ausangate trek to Rainbow Mountain. As we cross the pass, we will be met with spectacular breathtaking views of the southeast mountain range, including Mariposa (“butterfly”) and Caracol (“snail”) Peaks.

From here we follow the trail into the valley where we’ll rest and have lunch. During the afternoon we can enjoy views of the snowcapped Tres Picos and Puca Punta mountains.

Then, we will continue through the broad green valley of Pampa Jutunpata and up the Rio Q’ampa Valley, where we will spend the night.

Day 4Huchuy Phinaya - Pacchanta

      • Total Walking Distance: 18km
      • Total Walking Time: 9h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4010m (13,152 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5000m (16,400 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4010m (13,152 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -10°C

Day 4 and our last full day of hiking on our Ausangate trek to Rainbow Mountain. We start by hiking through the small community of Q’ampa. From there, we head northwest to the last pass of our journey, the Q’ampa Pass (5000m / 16,400 ft). We will pass by many different colored lakes and lunch beside the sparkling Q’oma Q’ocha Lake (4704m / 15,429 ft).

After several hours of hiking through the Andean landscape we reach Pacchanta (4010m / 13,152 ft). This traditional, high altitude herding village has been transformed by tourism in recent years, and has adapted its activities to include various community rural tourism initiatives, including homestays and cultural demonstrations.

We take in our incredible surroundings as we finish up our Ausangate Rainbow Mountain tour, with superb photo ops of Ausangate mountain in the distance. We also have the opportunity to soak in the local hot springs, and even treat ourselves to a well-deserved beer!

Tonight, we camp in Pacchanta.

Day 5Pacchanta - Tinki - Cusco

      • Total Walking Distance: 7km
      • Total Walking Time: 3h
      • Minimum Altitude: 3800m (12,467 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4350m (14,261 ft)

It’s Day 5 and our final day trekking Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca Peru. From Pacchanta, we hike for three hours to Tinke where we will have free time to explore this traditional Andean village before taking our private car back to Cusco.

The scenic drive winds up and over a pass for a last glimpse of the imposing Mount Ausangate. Take in the view as you marvel at your accomplishment, having just spent 5 days trekking through the Rainbow Mountain wilderness in this incredible, remote region of the Andes, where few have gone!

We arrive to Cusco between 4 and 5pm, and leave you at your hotel.

Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour FAQs

How difficult is the 5 Day Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour?

    • Remember all Cusco trekking tours are challenging for most people due to the high altitude and steep mountains. You must be well-prepared.

We rate this 5 day Ausangate Vinicunca trek as moderate. (See how we rate all of our treks in the Cusco region!)

Despite this being a very high altitude trek, the ascents and descents are not as steep or difficult as they are on the treks we rate as “challenging”. There also are no stone steps, as there are on the Inca Trail, which can be hard on the knees for many.

The main challenge on this Ausangate Rainbow Mountain hike is the altitude. The hike will take you across two passes that are over 5000m; as a result, you must be well-acclimatized prior to beginning.

What level of fitness or training do you recommend for this trek?

    • If you’re relatively young, fit and already on a regular workout schedule prior to trekking, you will still likely find a Vinicunca Peru tour like this one somewhat of a challenge. This is mainly due to the altitude, the impact of which many hikers underestimate.

If you are a bit older or not as fit, you should definitely plan on getting into a fitness training program prior to coming. You should undertake a fitness training program in consultation with your doctor and a fitness professional to make sure that your training is tailored to your needs and level.

Generally speaking, though, the fitter you are, the easier and more enjoyable your Ausangate Rainbow Mountain trek will be! And that’s what you want while on holidays!

See our Tip #3 for how to get ready for your trek.

Rainbow Mountain Peru Altitude: What can I do to prepare?

The best way to prepare yourself for Rainbow Mountain Peru’s altitude is very easy: spend time at a high-altitude place like Cusco!

For this 5 day Rainbow Mountain trek, you should spend at least 3 days at altitude prior to trekking. Generally speaking, the more time you can spend acclimatizing, the better you will feel on the trek.

While hanging out in Cusco or another high-altitude place (like Puno), be sure to be kind to your body. Altitude puts extra pressures on the body, so make sure you don’t do anything to overdo it while you’re trying to acclimatize. Eat light, healthy meals, drink lots of fluids (water or herbal teas are best), avoid alcohol and get plenty of rest.

Read more about Altitude and How to Acclimatize before starting your trek.

What is the best time of year to do the Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour?

    • The best time of year to plan your Rainbow Mountain 5 day trek are the dry winter months from May to August when there is little rain. The downside to dry season is that it’s also winter, and night-time temperatures are very low, well below freezing on this Rainbow Mountain trek!

December through March is the wet season in Peru and trekking around Rainbow Mountain Cusco is not recommended for safety reasons. Given the high altitudes encountere, the rain can actually turn to snow, particularly in the shoulder seasons. Trekking during these months (April, September, October) is strictly weather-dependent.

Read more about the best time to hike and take note of our wet season trekking policy. We reserve the right to cancel or modify any trek if the weather conditions render it unsafe.

What are the average hours of trekking per day?

    • The average walking time per day on this Cusco Rainbow Mountain tour is 7 hours, but it is not evenly distributed. While Days 1 and 5 are relatively easy walking days (3-5 hours), Days 2, 3, and 4 all feature long days of 8 or 9 hours of hiking.

See the day-by-day Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour itinerary for exact hiking times per day.

Can I charge my devices en route?

    Yes! Our guides take solar-powered chargers with them during the Ausangate trek to Rainbow Mountain so that you can charge your phone or other device along the way.

What kind of food and accommodation can we expect on the Rainbow Mountain Cusco Tour?

The 5 day Ausangate Rainbow Mountain hike includes 4 nights of camping, with the option to stay in a local hostel on Night 4.

Our camping equipment is top notch, including 4 season North Face tents that our field team sets up for you at each campsite. On a high altitude trek such as this one, you will be grateful for these high quality tents!

Temperatures frequently fall below freezing, and can even get as low as -15°C / 5°F in the middle of dry season. It’s not uncommon to see snow at certain times of year. Whatever the conditions, you will be well protected!

Go luxe! You can also choose our Comfort Camping option for a full-on luxury camping experience.

We provide delicious meals on the trail, prepared by our highly trained trail chefs – freeze-dried, packaged lentils this is not! Our chefs upgrade their training and meal repertoires every, resulting in some really stunning culinary creations on the trail!

We have a lot of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free travellers and our cooks know how to cater to their needs. With adequate preparation and clear communication, we can accommodate all other types of dietary requests.

Read more about What to Expect on the Trail, including more about meals and equipment.

Do I need any permits?

    There are no government-issued permits required to hike in the Ausangate Rainbow Mountains area. Any fees charged by the surrounding communities to hike to Vinicunca are included in the price of your trek.

Is it possible to customize this Vinicunca Tour?

The Ausangate Rainbow Mountain trek is a 5 day wilderness trek that does not include Machu Picchu. You can customize your Rainbow Mountain tour by adding a Machu Picchu Extension.

The Machu Picchu Trek Extension includes one night in a Standard Aguas Calientes hotel. For added comfort, you can also choose one of our upgrade packages which includes not only an upgraded hotel but also luxury train service and meals at the top restaurants in Aguas Calientes.

Another great way to customize your Vinicunca tour is to add on one or more of our Cusco day tours, such as a classic Sacred Valley tour or a hike to Humantay Lake.

There are other ways you can see the Ausangate Rainbow Mountains, especially if you are short on time or don’t want to spend 5 days trekking in Peru! We have a Rainbow Mountain day trip from Cusco, which is a one day tour to hike up to the Rainbow Mountain lookout point and then return to Cusco.

We also have a 2 day Rainbow Mountain tour from Cusco which includes one night camping near Vinicunca.

For an alternative Rainbow Mountain experience, we also offer a full day tour to Palccoyo, the “other Rainbow Mountain”. Our one day Palccoyo hike offers beautiful views of rainbow-coloured hills, an easier hike and no crowds. This is a great way to get off the beaten path and enjoy a unique Rainbow Mountain tour.

What do I need to carry during the trek?

    • All YOU need to carry with you each day on the tour is a light day pack. In your day pack, you should carry:

      • a reusable water bottle;
      • some extra warm layers, beanie, mitts and a scarf;
      • a camera;
      • a sun hat; and,
      • sunscreen.

Water is extremely important while hiking. You should start each day with 2L, knowing you fill up your water bottles at meal times.

Snacks are great to have on the trail, too. We provide an ample supply, but – especially if you have a hollow leg! – you might want to bring some extra snacks of your own.

The rest of your belongings – up to 10kg (22 lbs) – are carried in a duffel bag that we provide, by mules. All of the camping equipment needed on the trek is also carried by mules.

Is the Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Tour 5 Day trek right for me?

    • If you’re debating whether this trek is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

      • Do I have time to properly acclimatize? This is a high altitude trek, with 4 nights spent sleeping at altitudes over 4000m, and two passes that are over 5000m. You must be well acclimatized before beginning this trek. If you do not have at least 3 days in your schedule to spend acclimatizing, you should not do this trek.
      • Am I prepared to hike a series of challenging passes? This 5 day Rainbow Mountain itinerary includes 4 high altitude passes, two of which are over 5000m. You must be both physically and mentally prepared to tackle such a challenge.
      • Am I looking for solitude on the trail and a unique experience? If so, the Rainbow Mountain Ausangate 5 day hike is a good option for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking forward to meeting fellow trekkers on the trail or at campsites and make new friends, you might prefer a more popular trek such as Salkantay or the Inca Trail.
      • Am I most interested in stunning mountain landscapes and Andean wildlife? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Truly, Rainbow Mountain Cusco provides a trekking experience that is just full to the brim with gorgeous landscapes. You are also likely to spot a host of aquatic birds, alpacas, llamas, vizcachas and possibly even some wild vicuñas!
      • Am I looking for a trek that includes Machu Picchu? The 5 Day Rainbow Mountain trek does not include Machu Picchu. If your goal on this trip is to visit Machu Picchu, you can add a Machu Picchu Extension to your Rainbow Mountain trekking itinerary, or consider a different trek like Salkantay or Ancascocha.
      • Am I anxious to visit Incan Ruins? If Inca ruins are your focus, a trek like Choquequiraoor the Inca Trail will be a better choice for you than Ausangate Rainbow Mountain.
      • Am I interested in learning about contemporary Andean culture? If that’s a “yes” then one of our Lares would be a great choice.

For more information about what this region has to offer, check out our Ausangate homepage.

How can I get to Cusco?

    • The Ausangate Rainbow Mountain trek begins and ends in Cusco. Travel to/from Cusco is not included in the price of your trek.

Travel Direct…

      • By Plane – Most international flights land in Lima, Peru’s capital. From here, you can take a domestic flight to Cusco. Some international flights go through other South American capitals, like Bogotá, Colombia, which also has connecting flights to Cusco.
      • By Bus – You can take an overnight bus from Lima to Cusco (it takes about 20-23 hours). One of the benefits of travelling slowly up from the coast is that you are automatically acclimatising as you travel. Not to mention you get an idea of the stunning landscape and mountains as you travel! The top recommended buses are Cruz del Sur, Palomino and ExcluCiva.

…or Take the Long Way

    • Via Arequipa and/or Puno – If you have the time, spend a day or two in Lima and then head to Arequipa or Puno (or both!) to gradually acclimatize to the altitude over the space of several days before you arrive in Cusco for your trek. We offer 3 and 4 day package tours to Arequipa and Puno that you can add onto to your trek.

More Resources on Trekking Ausangate Peru

    If you’re still not sure if Ausangate Rainbow Mountain is right for you, or want to read more about the area or other people’s trekking experiences, check out these helpful articles from our blog:

    • Exploring the Rainbow Mountain Hike – The Apus Peru team went exploring the Rainbow Mountain hike when it was still relatively new. We met with locals who helped us design a unique route that would help keep our trekkers off the beaten path.
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4 Reviews
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Jared W (USA)

Couple Traveller

Definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. The landscape was stark and the colors stunning.

Arturo and I had wide ranging conversation that flowed with my natural curiosity and interests. I appreciate his commitment to sustainable and adventurous life.

All of the meals were creatively prepared, beautifully presented, made with love. Some of my favorite dishes were yucca and quail eggs, quinoa risotto, and the variety of veggie soups.

The highlight for me was crossing the highest pass with vivid rainbow colors and sharp mountains, various breeds of alpacas, the food, the good conversation.

I am glad we got a guide for this trip. There were many potential routes, the local people mostly spoke Quechua, and the elevation could have caused problems. I was able to relax and enjoy the trip. Thank you!

28 August, 2019

Christine (USA)

Couple Traveller

We saw fantastic views, interesting animals and plants and learned so much from our guide about the area and culture. Arturo and the crew really went out of their way to leave no trace. They picked up after not only themselves but also picked up trash from others that had been left behind.

28 August, 2019

Jessica S.

Group Traveller

Apus Peru completely surpassed my expectations for a guided backpacking trip. Our travel consultant was great to work with and quickly answered my many questions leading up to the trip. We chose the 5 day Ausangate Trek and added Rainbow Mountain to the first morning– would highly recommend doing so, it’s totally worth it and Apus Peru arranged the timing so that we missed all of the crowds. We were the only people on the mountain in the morning! Our guide, woke us up every morning in our tent with hot tea, our chefs prepared delicious meals with tons of fresh fruit and veggies, and we had history lessons each night to learn more about Incan history. I also couldn’t believe how remote we were. Over the course of 5 days we only ran into a handful of other tourists. Apus Peru is a very professional company who went above and beyond to make sure we had an incredible time.

20 October, 2017

Mike and Fernanda from Canada

Couple Traveller

Trip of a lifetime! Despite the high altitude and cold temperatures, we truly enjoyed every step of the way.
If you’re thinking of booking a trek, don’t think twice, we highly recommend Apus Peru.
Everything was extremely well organized and professional. The team makes you feel safe, spoiled and comfortable at all times. We also enjoyed that apus is environmentally conscious and supports local communities.
Our guide was amazing; he has the most positive energy, always smiling, encouraging and making jokes along the way. Our chef and his assistant prepared the most delicious and nutritious meals, you couldn’t believe the miracles they worked inside their little tent.

Thank you again Apus for such a memorable experience, we look forward to booking with you again.

14 June, 2017