Pallay Poncho of Apu Tacllo mountain (also called condor sayana) is one of the new tourist destinations in Cusco that was discovered in full quarantine. Located more than 194 kilometers from the city of Cusco, on an elevation summit located at 4,791 meters above sea level, it is a great mountain formation tinged with different tones as a result of the complex combination of minerals. Slopes and summit stand out in various colors, including red, brushed, purple, green, pink, white, and more. Since 2020, this place has received visitors.
With this new destination, we would have 3 colored mountains in the Cusco region: The Vinicunca mountain of 7 colors that is close to the Ausangate mountain, the Palcoyo mountain and the Pallay Poncho mountain.
Our Adventure begins in the City of Cusco picking you up at 4:30 am (time we will pick you up at your hotel) by our Guide together with our carrier. Then we go to the small town of Cusipata, where we will have breakfast. We will continue the trip to the beautiful Laguna de Langui and the small town of Layo. During the tour, we will see beautiful landscapes and animals, such as llamas, alpacas, and some towns in the region.
When we get to Layo, we’ll start climbing the mountain; The approximate walking time is 3 to 4 hours, and above 4 thousand meters, we will enjoy the panoramic views, such as the flora and fauna that this beautiful region offers us, finally we will arrive at our destination “Pallay Poncho of Apu T’ acllo or Mountain of sharp points”. Once there, we will have considerable time to enjoy this incredible place.
After visiting Pallay Poncho of Apu T’acllo, we will return to the small town of Layo, where our transport awaits us, back to the city of Cusipata, where we will have lunch, we will make some stops at the viewpoints to see the landscapes that this region offers us. .
The trip ends in the city of Cusco at night 18:00pm.
To carry out these adventures in the Andes of Peru, you should always be very well prepared with the most appropriate trekking equipment, that means having the most comfortable implements, such as good trekking shoes, feather jackets, and rain jackets. Gloves and scarves to protect yourself from the cold. Remember that this route crosses places at more than 4000 meters, where most of the year the temperatures during the mornings are only 5 C°, and during the winter months they reach -8C°. A very important piece of information is to have your travel insurance that covers spaces at high altitude, in cases of emergency this insurance will be very useful at the time of your evacuation.
Always try to be well informed before starting any trekking activity in the Andes of Peru. Since each trekking circuit has different characteristics, in terms of climate, height, accessibility, etc. That is why we provide the answers to the most frequently asked questions by our community of travelers. If any question is not on this list, you can send us to our mail, and our collaborators will be happy to help you.
The Pallay Poncho of Apu T’acllo is located in Peru, in the Cusco region, Canas province in the town of Layo.
This mountain is a natural formation that shows the whims of nature through kilometers of terrain that change their color due to the richness in minerals and it is from the Pallay Poncho viewpoint, from where you have a spectacular view of the entire Cordillera de the Andes with their capricious colors that resemble the Rainbow Mountains of Vinicunca.
The highest point is 4,790 meters above sea level; However, the route starts from the city of Cusco, passing through towns such as Layo and Sicuani until reaching the starting point of the walk is at 4,500 masl.
The Pallay Poncho Mountain is located 194 km from the city of Cusco and it takes approximately 14 hours to go and return.
The recommended age to hike the Pallay Poncho Mountain is from 12 years old. In the case of traveling with a minor as a companion, it is suggested that they go under the care of a responsible adult.
Throughout the trip you will be able to observe beautiful landscapes and animals of the area. In addition, very close to the Pallay Poncho mountain you can see a beautiful lagoon, this makes this mountain look spectacular and is a very attractive destination.
The best season to visit the Pallay Poncho mountain is from April to October where the climate is dry and without rain. In the month of November to March it is recommended to always wear a rain poncho and dress warmly.
Cusco is located at about 3300 meters above sea level, which is why people who travel from lower levels suffer from altitude sickness “Soroche”, this originates because at higher altitudes less oxygen is contained than those found at sea level, so the body works harder to get the oxygen it needs, which is why for long walks it is recommended at least two days in Cusco to start.
The symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, sleeping problems, loss of appetite, breathing problems. Most of the time the symptoms will be mild, but if they get worse, consult a doctor or contact our offices.
Coca tea is a recommended infusion for this illness, so inside the accommodation it is always offered to counteract altitude sickness.
You must remember that you come to enjoy a trip through wonderful trails with people who will always be willing to help you, so you can relax and enjoy every moment.
To protect your trip, it is recommended to buy travel insurance, having insurance before the trip is highly recommended, we have agreements with companies that provide this service that will make your trip more peaceful and pleasant in Peru.
According to various investigations carried out on the site, the multicolored tones of the mountain are similar to the ponchos used in Peru. The poncho is an ancestral and contemporary garment that crosses borders and times. This garment is made by both men and women, with very striking colors and geometric designs that explain their thinking and ideology of the people of the Andes, in these ponchos they capture their plants, gods, birds, and daily life.
Normally the ponchos are woven from the wool of sheep, llamas, alapacas. They are dyed with natural dyes extracted from minerals and wild plants. In the case of the Apu ta’cllo Mountain, it is similar to the poncho of the Andes of Cusco, whose warping style is called Pallay.
The colors of the Pallay Poncho mountain are due to its mineral composition: the pink color is due to the red clay, mud-stones (mud) and arilites (sand). whitish, due to the white quartz sandstone. The different browns and purples, due to limonites and marls, rich in calcium carbonate.
The red is formed by clays (iron) and clays belonging to the upper tertiary. The green is due to the compound of phyllites and clays rich in ferro magnesium. The earthy brown is a product of the fanglomerate formed by rock with manganese from the Quaternary. Finally, the mustard yellow color due to the calcareous sandstones rich in sulfur minerals.
Walking for 3 or 4 hours (depending on the physical condition of the walker) is not dangerous and requires moderate-high physical effort. There are sections of steep slopes up and down. However, one of the biggest difficulties is the cold weather and the icy wind. The altitude of the area can cause altitude sickness or soroche. 2 days in the city of Cusco are recommended to acclimatize.
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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.
To book this tour, a minimum of $ 150 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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).
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.
‘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.
Explore the Vinicunca rainbow mountain tour, walk through the most beautiful mountains in Peru, surrounded by large snow-capped mountains, and herds of alpacas. Enjoy great views of the Red Valley, which will give you a feeling of being on the planet Mars.
Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, is one of the most fascinating cities in South America. Just walking through the city center you can see the incredible mix of Inca and colonial architecture, watch the merging of indigenous and Spanish influences, and feel the history that flows through every cobblestone street.
Singrenacocha turquoise Lake Day Hike is located about 3 hours away from Cusco City. This stunning lake offers up a great day trip option for those looking for amazing mountain views and gatorade blue water without much effort. The drive takes you right to the lake where you can walk small trails exploring different vantage points with the company of local farmers and their alpacas