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Safe Travels Tour to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain 1 Day Secure Payment Tour to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain 1 Day

Tour to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain 1 Day

APR 2023 - DEC 2024 Price from $ 49 USD pp $ 69 USD
Trip Type Walking & Trekking
Group Size 8-20 people
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Safe Travels Tour to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain 1 Day Secure Payment Tour to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain 1 Day Andean Great Treks Since 2007:
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Explore the Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain in Peru

Trip Overview

Palcoyo the new mountain of colors,  the rainbow mountains in Palcoyo are a set of 03 mountains that are located in the Andes mountain range, resting in complete solitude, precisely in the Checacupe district of the province of Canchis in the department of Cusco at a height of 4900 meters above sea level.

The mountain of Palcoyo is composed of ocher and red colors, with green, blue and white stripes, the dazzling Palcoyo Color Range is visited by a few travelers a day. Reaching it only requires a gentle walk of 1 hour and without unevenness, transforming it into a less demanding alternative than the long trek to Vinicunca. During the stratospheric formation of the earth, the minerals falling by their own weight, formed layers one on top of the other and in the transformation of the earth with earthquakes and movements of tectonic plates.

INCLUDED

INCLUDED IN THE TREK TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN

  • English speaking guide, plus an assistant guide for a big group.
  • First aid kit, including oxygen.
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Private transportation to and from your hotel in Cusco.
  • Entrance fees to Palcoyo Mountain.
  • Pick up and drop off from the hotel.
  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any questions.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Gratitudes for the staff.

Trip Highlights

  • The red river of Palcoyo, very close to Palcoyo there is a small tributary of water that during the rainy season increases its flow, dragging with it the reddish earth of the land in which it is located, and with this this river takes on the same color that has caught the attention of multiple visitors.
  • Here you walk away from the crowds of tourists. Palcoyo is about three red mountains that are distributed a short distance from south to north.
  • Discover the stone forest from the top you can see the three mountains together, you have a 360 ° view and the Ausangate mountain range in the background.
  • Experience the sensation of being in a calm and serene place
  • Local people dressed in their native costumes, with one or two alpacas. If anyone dares to take a picture with them, they can ask for it and in return a small tip.

Activities

  • This tour is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Andean Great Treks group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip. There may be up to 16 people sharing the services.
  • This trip will run with a minimum of one person so you may be joined by other travellers (some possibly booked through different companies) booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.
  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Medical and health information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more important details about altitude sickness.

Itinerary

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 4900 m
Hiking Distance 4 km
Approximate walking time 3 hrs

The route to this impressive landscape will begin at approximately 4:00 in the morning, making an approximate journey of 2 hours and 30 minutes to the town of Cusipata where the corresponding food services will be provided. Then we will continue directly for an hour more passing through the town of Pitumarca to finally enter and shortly after arriving at the main attraction, the mountain ranges of colors, a fascinating spectacle, you will not have to do more of a walk, than that necessary to properly appreciate the landscape because the mobility reaches the same appeal in practice. After the reasonable time in the place, you will return on the same route, making the corresponding stop to have lunch.
You will arrive in the city of Cusco at 6:00 p.m.

PACKING LIST

WHAT TO BRING TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN

Good hiking gear is always necessary and however easy the hike may seem. We must never underestimate and be confident because we do not know what can happen. Here are the recommendations, the essentials you should bring for when you go to the Palcoyo mountain.

TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY warm jackets
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Hydration bladder
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY wool socks
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY camera
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY scarf
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY first aid kit
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY hiking shoes
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Dry bags
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Trekking Poles
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY sun cream
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Snack
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY sun hat
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY bathing suite
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY rain coat
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Sandals
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY insect repellent
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Passport
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Down Jackets
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY toilet paper
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY daypack
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Wool cap
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY head lamp
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY gloves
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY sun glasses
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY cap
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY extra cash
TOUR TO PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY Trekking pants

FAQ

QUICK GUIDE TO EXPLORE THE PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN

Before exploring the very famous mountain of colors Palcoyo, travel with the most correct information. And enjoy a day full of adventures in this mountain of colors, not very crowded, but with great natural attractions. If you have any question that is not in this list of questions, you can do it to our online chat, or to the mail.

DETAILED INFORMATION OF THE PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN
  • Driving Distance from Cusco: (76 Miles / 125 KM)
  • Driving time: 4 and a half hours one way, including breakfast time for an hour halfway and 4 hours back, including lunch time.
  • Elevation of the beginning of the Walk: (15,400 feet / 4,700 masl.)
  • Difficulty: Easy.
  • Trail: Dirt trail at the beginning, then there is a cobbled trail that runs down one side of the mountain to the last lookout point. It is mostly flat with a gradual ascent. Then to the top, the stone forest site is a zigzag trail of about 200 meters up to the 20 minute walk.
  • Hiking distance: (2.5 ML / 4 KM round trip)
  • Horse rental: Does not exist.
  • Walking time: Walking to the last viewpoint (with some breaks along the way) is approx. 45 minutes. After all, the return to the bus station takes 30 minutes.
  • Photo sessions: From time to time, locals appear on the road, walking with an alpaca offering a photo session. In return, they just want a tip.
  • Maximum elevation: (16,076 feet / 4900 masl.)
  • Tour duration: 10 hours.
  • Elevation Difference During Hike: (656ft / 200m)
WHEN WAS THE PALCOYO MOUNTAIN DISCOVERED?

When the number of visitors increased greatly to the mountain of 7 colors in 2017, it was when the residents of Palcoyo (an Andean community) realized that they also had an attraction that resembled the mountain of 7 colors. They had the red mountains of Palcoyo, which only they knew about.

They were organized internally. They understood the benefits that tourism activity brought. They began to promote and open the way to those red mountains, which are three in total and still as a plus it has its stone forest that completes the adornment of the landscape. This is how Palcoyo made himself known during 2018, he went throughout Peru and continued around the world. Thanks to its visitors who increasingly recommended as an alternative walk to the mountain of 7 colors.

WHERE IS THE PALCOYO MOUNTAIN?

Palcoyo Mountain is located a few kilometers further south from the famous Mountain of 7 Colors. In the same mountain range of Vilcanota in the District of Pitumarca province of Canchis, more than 110 km.

Palcoyo the mountain range of colors or the rainbow mountains are a set of 03 mountains that are located in the Andes mountain range, precisely in the district of Checacupe of the province of Canchis in the department of Cusco at a height of 4900 meters above the sea level, framed in almost 9000 hectares of beautiful Andean landscapes, whose attraction lies in the similarity it has to the already famous mountain of colors that is about 20 kilometers away, because like this it has a wide mineral composition that result in multiple colors that together resemble a rainbow whose background is a landscape of snowy mountain ranges to which it once belonged. This impressive attraction is also a gift from global warming, since it was within sight when it thawed.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN PALCOYO MOUNTAIN

As in the entire region, Palcoyo is governed by the two defined seasons that Cusco has, it is worth emphasizing that the rainy season is between the months of November and the first days of April, the remaining months between the last days of April and the last days of October, the whole region is in a dry and cold period. Thus, also taking into account the 4900 meters at which this place is located, it is normal to find a frozen landscape whose thermal sensation does not exceed 15 degrees even on one of the hottest days.

THE RED RIVER OF PALCOYO

Very close to Palcoyo there is a small tributary of water that during the rainy season increases its flow, dragging with it the reddish earth of the land in which it is located, and with it this river takes on the same coloration that has attracted the attention of many visitors.

Now let’s see what can happen while it rains and snows in Palcoyo. Basically the water begins to bathe the slopes and red hills of those mountains and when they join in the lower part they give life to the red river. Anyone who enters the Palcoyo mountains upon seeing the red river will always stop and take a moment to look at all that beauty because it is nothing more than a must-see and rewarding option.

This coloration lasts according to the intensity of the rain, that is, the more it rains and the more water gathers on the slopes, it can last longer than when it is only moderate rains. Then the river when entering all that valley of Salqa that means indomitable valley, joins the large river of the same name. When mixed with a lot of water it tends to lose that red color that it shows while it is only a small river in the height.

HOW TO GET TO PALCOYO

On your own: If you do not have a vehicle, what you have to do is take a bus in the direction of Combapata, which you can take from the closed house of youth coliseum about 10 minutes from the historic center of Cusco, and after three hours of travel that you will make, when you arrive at the town you must hire a mobility that takes you to the same attraction that is, by a detour from the same town, almost an hour away, once there, make the walk of around 40 minutes and finally contemplate all the beautiful landscape in the relevant time, and return doing the same route until finally reaching the city of Cusco.

Remember that it is pertinent that you start your activity very early in the morning, around 4:30 in the morning. Do not forget to take dried fruit, cookies and water with you, it is very likely that the local food is not the best option.

With the services of a travel agency: With the services of a travel agency you can do this tour quietly, with all services included, there are many companies willing to provide you with the service, in our case we have the following itinerary.

The route that undertakes the journey in the direction of this impressive landscape will begin at approximately 4:00 in the morning, making an approximate journey of 2 hours and 30 minutes to the town of Cusipata where the corresponding food services will be provided. After the prudent time in the establishment, we will continue directly for one more hour passing through the town of Pitumarka to finally enter and shortly after arriving at the main attraction, the colored mountain ranges, a fascinating spectacle, you will not have to do more walking than necessary to properly appreciate the landscape as mobility comes in practice to the same attraction. After a reasonable time in the place, you will return on the same route, making the corresponding stop to have lunch.

The city will be reached by averaging 6:00 p.m.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VISIT PALCOYO

To make a visit to Palcoyo either on your own or with a travel agency, follow the advice below.

  • Wear shoes suitable for walking, or at least thick-soled shoes, the terrain on which the activities will take place is steep and irregular, preferably high-top shoes.
  • Do warm-up exercises prior to the start of the walk, this will prevent possible muscle contractions caused by the physical effort that you will make along the way.
  • Take into account the prevailing weather at the time you perform the activity, whether it is the rainy season, or the cold period, you should wear something more or less warm, in addition to the rain coat that will be essential, read a little more in detail about the weather in Cusco in the next post.
  • About the height of the final destination that we will arrive at, which as we already mentioned is at 4900 meters above sea level, take into account that it is preferable to leave this activity for days after your arrival, imagine your body rising from sea level to 4,900 meters from one day to the next.
  • For this reason, we advise you to acclimatize, which implies that you follow up on the effects that the altitude produces on you from the first moment you step on Cusco soil, so that after more than a day of your stay, launch yourself on a new adventure, everything depends entirely on you, each organism is different from another.
  • Take something extra to eat, because despite the fact that you have a contracted service, the physical activity you will undergo will expend more energy than usual, and some cookies, water and some dried fruit will be the best answer to your physical needs.
  • Bring a change of clothes to use at the end of the activity, as sweating may leave you with a feeling of permanent humidity. It will be very comforting to be able to change at least the clothes that are in direct contact with your body.
  • Warm and light clothing is the best response to the changing climate that reigns in Cusco, in such a way that, in any situation, it does not represent a hindrance.
  • Use trekking poles, they help a lot with the physical effort you make in the ascent to the Palcoyo Mountain.
  • Be sure to use sunscreen, throughout the Cusco region solar radiation is very high and this activity is carried out almost entirely outdoors.
  • Do not drink alcohol the day before the activity and get a good night’s sleep to be fully fit.
CAN GO CHILDREN AND OLDER ADULTS?

A walk through the mountains of Palcoyo is ideal for everyone. This place is suitable for children and seniors for a family trip, proposing a walk through Palcoyo would be doing them a favor. It is known that the distance of the walk is less compared to the similar Mountain of 7 colors and therefore less demanding as well. So when you walk the first 30 minutes you will be able to see the three different colored mountains.

To be clear about this distance, in Palcoyo 4 km are covered. In two hours including stops while the mountain of 7 colors requires 6 hours for everything and about 7 km there and back. In case you were still looking for this difference that exists between the two now you already know.

WHAT COLORS MAKE UP THE PALCOYO MOUNTAIN?

The colors that make up the Palcoyo mountain are:

  • Fucia pink Mixture of red clay, osfango and reana.
  • Whitish Quartz sand and limestone.
  • Purple or lavender A mixture of clay and calcium carbonate and silicates.
  • Red Argillites and clay.
  • Green Clays rich in ferro-magnesium, (mixture of iron and magnesium and copper oxide).
  • Yellowish brown, mustard, golden Sulfur calcareous sandstones combined with sulfur.
HOW WAS THE MOUNTAIN OF PALCOYO FORMED?

During the stratospheric formation of the earth, the minerals falling by their own weight, formed layers one on top of the other and in the transformation of the earth with earthquakes and movements of tectonic plates. The sedimentary layers in formation were turned into mountains and slopes, exposed to the elements and from there with the passage of time the oxidized minerals gave attractive color tones as seen today.

WHEN DOES IT SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN OF PALCOYO?

Knowing this is fundamental, the behavior of the climate in the area where the Palcoyo mountain is located. The snow seasons are generally in the rainy season, which is considered between November and April, but pay close attention to this. The weather is usually changeable at these heights of 4000 meters above sea level, which is why an extemporaneous and unexpected snowfall could occur anticipating November or passing the month of April. From now on we will see what happens when there is rain and snow in Palcoyo, which is not bad at all, but gives rise to a temporary attraction to be able to appreciate it, just join us.

WHAT TO DO IN THE PALCOYO MOUNTAIN?

Visiting the mountains of Palcoyo is also a great experience, of all the attractions that are in Cusco. Here you walk away from the crowds of tourists. Palcoyo is about three red mountains that are distributed a short distance from south to north. All visitors from the beginning of the walk go up a path in the same direction until they reach the viewpoint of the third mountain. From that point there is the possibility to continue walking towards the striking peaks of sharp rock, known as the stone forest and if not only to return by the same path.

If you want to get to the stone forest which is the highest point on this route, 4900 meters above sea level. You must follow the path that leads to it. The walk is partially light, only that to get to the stone forest requires a greater effort, but it is not far, everything is possible. From the top you can see the three mountains together and you have a 360 ° view. If the day is clear, the snowy Ausangate will appear in the distance. So the experience of being in a quiet and serene place is the best. What you will find is the presence of local people dressed in Andean costume with one or two alpacas. If anyone dares to take a picture with them, they can ask for it and in return a small tip.

FLORA AND FAUNA IN PALCOYO

For some, the presence of the alpacas and their beauty, plus the elegant landscape suggests that it is a small paradise. The llamas (lama glama) but mainly the alpacas (vicugna pacos) are the ones that inhabit this area in greater numbers. It is not that they live their wild life, but they are raised by the locals and serves as a livelihood for them. There are also foxes (dusicyon culpaeus) and chinchillas that appear very rarely and birds, such as the Cara Cara (phalcoboenus megalopteros) Huallatas (chloephaga melanoptera) Etc. And speaking of vegetation in Palcoyo and surroundings it can be mentioned about the abundant wild straw (stipa ichu) and grasslands that are food for camelids, also some cacti and all kinds of herbs that grow at ground level.

IMPORTANT INFO OF PALCOYO MOUNTAIN
  • Don’t go to the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain in the afternoon in the rainy season because of lighting. Since the high concentration of mineral. There is a high chance to get stricken by lighting.
  • You will enjoy the beauty of the área without flocks of other tourist so that sounds rather appealing to you as well.  Of course you will see Quechua-speaking herders tending to their llamas and alpacas grazing on the land.  don’t hesitate, just go for this alternative tour- before it is too late.
  • The walk grants some spectaculars views of the range. Every 100 meters another gorgeous red or Green valley or unique rock formation is to be seen. This another advantage over Classic Rainbow Mountain; you won’t see one beautiful multi-color Mountain. But Many.
  • This tour will also incorporate a cultural stop in Checacupe where our guest can walk across a traditionally created Inca Bridge.
  • On the alternative Rainbow Mountain hike, the van stops at 4900m (16.076 ft). From the parking you can already see the colorful mountains and you only have to hike up for another 150m (492 feet)or so, along a nice and easy path.
  • If you want a better view, at a slow pace you can reach the viewpoint of the Palcoyo mountain range in 45 minutes.
  • If you see the Mountain covered with snow in rainy season, just wait! and the snow will melt. However, If you see Mountain covered with snow in dry season. The snow will melt slow beacuse it is frozen.
  • The local community have already organized basic infrastructure to welcome visitors. They have proper toilet!.
  • The journey begins at a more “prudent” time, around 5 a.m. It is also a 3.5 hour drive and 3.5 hour return trip.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS
  • It is recommended for all ages and all genres, It is also a great option for those travelling with their kids.
  • We don t recommend to go early to Alternative Rainbow Mountain(Palcoyo). when it is cloudy its colors will be dimmer or darker and if the day is  sunny it will be vibrant colors.
  • It is better to visit Machu Picchu and Cusco first, giving you time to adjust to the mountain air.
  • If you’re short on time and want to tick-off impressive landscapes in a hurry without committing to much hiking, then Palcoyo is a very interesting option as a day trip.

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

BEST SEASON TO TRAVEL

The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.

JANUARY
Warm - Heavy Rain 20 °C / 7 °C
FEBUARY
Warm - Heavy Rain 20 °C / 6 °C
MARCH
Warm - Light Rain 20 °C / 5 °C
APRIL
Hot - Warm 21 °C / 4 °C
MAY
Hot 21 °C / 0 °C
JUNE
Hot 20 °C / -5 °C
JULY
Hot 21 °C / -3 °C
AUGUST
Hot 21 °C / -1 °C
SEPTEMBER
Hot 21 °C / 3 °C
OCTOBER
Hot - Warm 22 °C / 5 °C
NOVEMBER
Hot - Warm 23 °C / 6 °C
DECEMBER
Warm - Light Rain 21 °C / 7 °C

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

APR 2023 - DEC 2024 Price from
$ 49 USD Per Person $ 69 USD
Note

To book this tour, a minimum of $ 49 USD per person is required, the remaining balance will be paid upon arrival in Peru, at the Cusco office.

Any other additional information, please coordinate with your travel agent.

Choose your preferred departure date to proceed.
Select passengers Amount
2 Quantity Limit!
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Reviews

recommendations of La mejor Montaña de Colores
El recojo fue puntual desde nuestro hotel a las 4:00 am. Luego tuvimos un desayuno copioso y delicioso, al llegar a las montañas de colores de palcoyo disfrutamos de las hermosas vistas, con un horizonte lleno de nubes y paisajes unicos. Lo que mas me encanto fue ver a los pobladores locales con sus llamas. Nuestro guia estuvo muy atento y siempre explicandonos de los paisajes por donde exploramos. Es muy recomendable visitar este lugar unico en cusco, ya que no es muy concurrido.
Rocio Lorenzo
recommendations of Excellent, a must do excursion when in Cusco!
I had an incredible experience with Andean Great Treks and our guide. The hike was amazing, Ernesto's explanations were insightful, and the overall adventure was fantastic. The good food and comfortable bus added to the enjoyment of the journey. Highly recommend this company for a memorable expedition!
Laura Godes

What to expect from our

Cusco Tours

Nothing gets you closer to a country than walking through it, and we’ve got trips to suit walkers of all levels and interests.

HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?

 Andean Great Treks

All our Walking trips are graded from ‘Easy’ through to ‘Challenging to Tough’. On our online trip itineraries you’ll find a chart showing the daily walk distances, timings and information on the route including the terrain, altitude. Generally, no specific training is needed but you might feel more comfortable if you’ve got out walking a few times in the lead-up to your trip.

WHAT WILL THE GROUP BE LIKE?

 Andean Great Treks

As with all our trips, every group is different but the ‘average’ group consists of roughly half couples and half solo travellers – all sharing a passion for exploring the world on foot. You’ll always have someone to keep you company along the route, but you don’t always have to walk together. Wherever possible your Andean Great Treks leader will allow everyone to walk at their own pace, regrouping regularly along the route.

IS PERU SAFE TO TRAVEL

 Andean Great Treks

Like many other countries in developing destinations, the region’s beauty and uniqueness are countered by inequality and lack of investment. This has led to crime rates (mainly theft and scams) not being uncommon in the larger cities. We know this doesn’t sound very attractive, but it’s important to mention it regardless. Most experienced and well-traveled visitors will understand this well and not be too concerned. However, having said this, it is our duty to take care of you during your visit. That’s why we present you here with a few recommendations to be extra safe. Avoid walking alone at night on empty streets. Don’t flaunt valuables! If going for a walk or going on public transport, be sensible and avoid showing off expensive items such as expensive watches and jewelry. Be careful of pickpockets! Don’t leave your bags anywhere that doesn’t look safe, and make sure to take them with you.

MAY I SUFFER THE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS IN CUSCO?

 Andean Great Treks

Soroche, or mountain sickness, is a reality for most people arriving in Cusco by plane from sea level and needs to be treated with respect. It’s vital to take it easy, not eating or drinking much on arrival, even sleeping a whole day just to assist acclimatization (coca tea is a good local remedy). After three days at this height most people have adjusted sufficiently to tackle moderate hikes at similar or lesser altitudes. Anyone considering hiking the major mountains around Cusco will need time to adjust again to their higher base camps.

If you do encounter altitude-related health problems, many hotels and restaurants have oxygen cylinders to help; alternatively, for serious cases, try call any of the clinics that are in Cusco, most of them have staff that speak English, for a greater facility in your attention it is recommended to have a travel insurance that covers medical expenses.

CUSCO DAY TOURS FAQs

HOW TO GET TO CUSCO?

International flights to the capital city of Lima are plentiful but once there, you need to find a way to Cusco which is about 1100 km (684 miles) away. The quickest way to get to Cusco from Lima is to fly – it takes about 55 minutes. I don’t recommend traveling by bus because it takes about 24 hours – only do it if you intend to break the journey along the way, to visit other places.

Renting a car to travel from Lima to Cusco is not recommended. The roads are rough, and you could find yourself lost or face to face with one of the other dangers that come with traveling in unfamiliar territory.

HOW CAN I VISIT THE SACRED VALLEY FROM CUSCO?

The easiest way to explore the Sacred Valley from Cusco is on a guided full day tour that picks you up and drops you off from your hotel. The market in Pisac and Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo are the principal stops, though travelers with more time on their hands will find plenty more to see and do. It’s also possible to take a local bus or taxi into the Sacred Valley and do independent exploration.

HOW CAN I VISIT RAINBOW MOUNTAIN FROM CUSCO?

Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicunca as it’s known by locals, has become a popular hike in the Cusco region. It’s possible to visit Rainbow Mountain in one (very long) day from Cusco or you can divide the trip into a two-day itinerary. While the hike isn’t very difficult and doesn’t have many steep inclines, Vinicunca is in a high elevation region (the highest part of the trail is 17,060 ft or 5,200 m) and you should spend time acclimating before starting the hike.

HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD I VISIT CUSCO?

We are not afraid to say that Cusco is a place where every traveler ends up at least once during the trip around Peru, and it is hard to tell what is the right length of stay.
If your primary reason why to visit Cusco is to get to Machu Picchu, you still should spend here at least two days to acclimatize (despite the fact Machu Picchu is at a lower elevation than Cusco, some people still suffer from altitude sickness), and during this time you can explore the city and Sacred Valley.
From our personal experience, we think that the longer you can stay in Cusco it is better. Some travelers with limited time even revolve their entire itinerary around Cusco – this only proves how rich the city is in terms of sightseeing, architecture, and activities.
Cusco has so many things to see and do, not only within the city limits but mostly outside, that it is not a problem to spend here weeks. If you are flexible, sit down, and write down all one-day and multi-day treks you would like to do from Cusco, and you should get the optimal number of days for you.

WHERE TO STAY IN CUSCO

There are so many things to see and do in Cusco and its surroundings that the city certainly deserves more than one day of your time.

To enjoy your days in Cusco the most, it is essential to choose the right accommodation. The good news is that Cusco has a great network of hotels for every type of traveler, from cheap hostels to luxurious mansions. That’s why your only job is to find a hotel in a location that suits you the best.

We recommend staying close to Centro Historico unless you want to stay away from crowds. We’ve selected the three best hotels in Cusco, so feel free to get inspired.

  • Budget | Cusco Bed and Breakfast – Spacious and clean rooms, comfortable beds, very quiet at night, excellent location.
  • Mid-range | Tierra Viva Cusco Centro – Providing a tranquil environment, beautiful rooms and also has one of the top-rated locations in Cusco.
  • Luxury | JW Marriott El Convento Cusco – The hotel features impressive interiors, has a charming colonial courtyard, luxury rooms, and Cusco’s cathedral or main square are only three blocks away.

WHAT TO EAT IN CUSCO

In recent years, Peruvian cuisine has gained popularity in the world’s culinary landscape, but for the freshest (and most authentic) specialty dishes, Cusco will not disappoint. Most Peruvian dishes carry big flavor not seen in other Latin and South American fare. You may have already tried popular dishes like ceviche (a cold dish of fresh raw fish with spicy citrus flavors) or lomo saltado (stir fried beef with fries). If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, try Cuy (roasted guinea pig – yes, the American household pet) or charbroiled alpaca (also known as llama). Other delicious traditional dishes include adobo (a pork stew with corn beer), tamales, choclo con queso (boiled corn with local cheese) and the vegetarian stew capchi de setas. As far as vegetables go, Peru produces more than 4,000 varieties of potato, so you’ll find many dishes centered on them like papas a la huancaina (boiled potatoes with a spicy cheese sauce) and causa (a potato casserole with a variety of meat). Other staple veggies include corn and avocados. If your mouth isn’t watering yet, check your pulse.

For a taste of traditional dishes, head to PACHAPAPA or the award-winning CHICHA (visitors and locals recommend getting reservations well in advance). Peruvian cuisine often mingles with Asian influences, inspired by the culture brought by indentured servants and immigrants who came to Peru dating back to the original Spanish rule in the country. For a sampling of the Asian/Peruvian fusion cuisine, visit LIMO.  If you’re really looking to splurge on a fine dining experience, try MAP Cafe. Located in the courtyard of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum in a glass shipping container, the fare is more contemporary Peruvian cuisine. You can also kick-start your day with coffee and breakfast at Jack’s Cafe, which serves breakfast all day. Many of the most popular restaurants are centrally located near Plaza de Armas.

 ANDEAN GREAT TREKS TOURS DIFFERENCE

ANDEAN GREAT TREKS TOURS DIFFERENCE

UNRIVALLED KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE

Every Andean Great Treks  holiday has been thoughtfully planned and crafted by our specialists. They draw on their own extensive travel experience and the guidance and expertise of our local partners to create superb holidays. Our specialists are committed to making every aspect smooth and enjoyable; they genuinely want to ensure that the holidays they create leave you with wonderful lasting memories.

AMAZING TOURS & AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES

Every Andean Great Treks traveller is accompanied by an experienced tour guide, you will be immersed in Historic cities, ancient ruins and unfamiliar landscapes are all brought to life by our carefully selected local guides. They want to share their expertise and help you make your own discoveries too; their sole mission is to ensure you enjoy every moment.

FLEXIBILITY & CHOICE

Giving you the freedom to make your holiday even more memorable. We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday and we pride ourselves on the choice and flexibility that we offer to enhance every aspect of your experience. Whether it’s getting to the airport, upgrading your room or booking an additional excursion, we can help.

GUIDED BY THE LOCAL GUIDES, TRUE EXPERTS!

GUIDED BY THE LOCAL GUIDES, TRUE EXPERTS!

Our guides are the stars of the show; it is their unrivalled knowledge, passion and expertise that will transform your tour experience from good to truly extraordinary!

Because the have grown up in the area and know it like the back of their hand, so they can help you experience whichever aspects most interest you. They’re passionate about sharing their corner of the world with you, and as you explore together, they’ll open your eyes to the intricate details, provide background to enhance your understanding of what you’re seeing, and share stories that will bring everything to life.

ALL OF OUR NATIONAL TOUR GUIDES…

  • Have at least five years guiding experience
  • Are fluent in English
  • Are born and raised in Cusco, Lima, Manu Jungle, Puno
  • Go through rigorous and ongoing training programmes
  • Are at your service 24 hours a day

OUR TRAVELS SHAPE YOURS

OUR TRAVELS SHAPE YOURS

“Your inspiration for a trip can be a single word or a highly evolved outline, but it’s the conversations we have that help us understand the experience you’re looking for. Meanwhile, I’m looking back on the time I spent at the destination.

‘The great thing about working with a specialist at Andean Great Treks is how they take your  complete jumble of ideas and turn them into  something absolutely spectacular.’

As you begin to share your ideas with your specialist, it will connect them immediately back to a time in their own travels. Conjuring a picture of the ­rest time they made that same discovery, reminding them how it felt.

Your specialist understands that, when the journey is right, it has the power to excite your emotions in the most profound ways after all, that was the effect on them.

They carry a treasure box of moments, captured over many  journeys, into every suggestion they’ll share with you, as  they ask you how you want to feel on your trip.

MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES, REAL CONNECTIONS

MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES,  REAL CONNECTIONS

EXPERIENCES THAT CALL TO YOU

It’s what you do in a destination that helps bring it to life. It’s why we strive to choose experiences that help you connect to a place, absorbing a little of its complex character. Wherever your passions lie, we’ll recommend experiences that speak to you, and we’ll recommend the guide or local expert who’s most qualifi­ed to help you explore. Packing your holiday full of special experiences means some early starts and long days, but you can be sure that you’ll return home with many incredible memories! Read our Tours and check the Physical Ratings to see if the pace and activity levels are right for you.

STAYS WITH DIFFERENCE

We know that where you stay is a cherished part of your travels. So, we go to great lengths to ­find places to stay that exceed expectations, or go above and beyond the ordinary, whether in their character, hospitality, or location. Over the years, we’ve discovered the very best properties, trying and testing them, so we can choose the right one for you. We’ve nourished long-standing relationships with these establishments and the people who founded them, and we’ve stayed there many times often, we’ll even know which rooms have the best views (and reserve them for you).

TRAVELLING THE RIGHT WAY

TRAVELLING THE RIGHT WAY

Our style of travel — authentic, thoughtful, and focused on building meaningful connections to the people and places you visit — is inherently respectful and considerate of the destinations we love. We design each aspect of your trip exactly as you want it, which includes its sustainability. That might mean choosing a train journey instead of a flight, staying at eco-friendly wildlife lodges, or opting for experiences that give back to the communities you’re visiting. The choice is yours.

Responsible travel has always been at the heart of what we do. First and foremost, because it gives you the best experience, but, also because it helps to preserve the communities and landscapes you visit. This isn’t new for us we collaborated with local communities and outside experts so we can grow to be better ambassadors.

The most authentic and interesting experiences often directly benefit the local people. We prefer to buy local products that are produced in the organic farms of the Sacred Valley, we also have alliances with local artisan organizations who provide us with souvenir items for our clients, your money directly benefits the local economy.

Our style of travel — authentic, thoughtful, and focused on building meaningful connections to the people and places you visit — is inherently respectful and considerate of the destinations we love. We design each aspect of your trip exactly as you want it, which includes its sustainability. That might mean choosing a train journey instead of a flight, staying at eco-friendly wildlife lodges, or opting for experiences that give back to the communities you’re visiting. The choice is yours.

Responsible travel has always been at the heart of what we do. First and foremost, because it gives you the best experience, but, also because it helps to preserve the communities and landscapes you visit. This isn’t new for us we collaborated with local communities and outside experts so we can grow to be better ambassadors.

The most authentic and interesting experiences often directly benefit the local people. We prefer to buy local products that are produced in the organic farms of the Sacred Valley, we also have alliances with local artisan organizations who provide us with souvenir items for our clients, your money directly benefits the local economy.

WE EXPLORE WITHOUT AFFECTING THE ECOSYSTEM

WE EXPLORE WITHOUT AFFECTING THE ECOSYSTEM

We want travel to change us, and not the World

‘There’s a saying: we don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. When we show you our country, this philosophy guides everything we do. It’s our responsibility to preserve the environment and wildlife, and support communities. That means using slower modes of transport, like cycling, employing local people, and working with communities who’ll benefit directly from your visit. This also gives you the best, most authentic impression of the places we want to share with you.

We prefer to buy local products in ecological bags, to avoid the use of plastic bags, likewise we teach the use of soaps and ecological products in each tour that we organize. We also work on reforestation projects with local communities who take care of landscape resources such as communal reserves, national parks.

We want travel to change us, and not the World

‘There’s a saying: we don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. When we show you our country, this philosophy guides everything we do. It’s our responsibility to preserve the environment and wildlife, and support communities. That means using slower modes of transport, like cycling, employing local people, and working with communities who’ll benefit directly from your visit. This also gives you the best, most authentic impression of the places we want to share with you.

We prefer to buy local products in ecological bags, to avoid the use of plastic bags, likewise we teach the use of soaps and ecological products in each tour that we organize. We also work on reforestation projects with local communities who take care of landscape resources such as communal reserves, national parks.

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TOUR TO QUESWACHAKA INCA BRIDGE  1 DAY

TOUR TO QUESWACHAKA INCA BRIDGE 1 DAY

From $ 210 US $ 190 USD

The tour to the last inca bridge in queswachaka and the temple of wiraqocha is a new route where you can discover unique places and less traveled. Cusco has many things for you, came and enjoy this beautiful inca sites.

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TRAINING HIKE TO DO CLASSIC INCA TRAIL 1 DAY

TRAINING HIKE TO DO CLASSIC INCA TRAIL 1 DAY

From $ 250 US $ 220 USD

Take a preparation walk before starting the classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Explore mountain landscapes in the sacred valley of the Incas with your local guide. We have daily departures all year round.

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SOUTH VALLEY OF CUSCO  HALF DAY

SOUTH VALLEY OF CUSCO HALF DAY

From $ 65 US $ 55 USD

Explore the beautiful South Valley of Cusco, this circuit offers you to appreciate the hydraulic technology of the Incas, the ancient city of the Wari culture. The majestic Sistine Chapel of Andahuaylillas, in a half day tour with the best guides in Cusco.

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