TREK TO  PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN 1 DAY

from NOV 2021 to DEC 2022 Price from $ 80 USD pp
Trip Type foodCulture & Adventure
Difficulty Level Leisurely/Moderate
Group Size 2-8 people
BOOK NOW ONLINE Or call +51 981488207
Call us +51 981488207

Palcoyo the mountain range of colors or the rainbow mountains 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, framed in almost 9000 hectares of beautiful Andean landscapes, whose attractiveness lies in the similarity that it has to the already famous Vinicunca colored mountain, because like this it has a wide mineral composition that results in Multiple colors that together resemble a rainbow whose background is a landscape of snow-capped mountain ranges, which was once a huge Andean glacier, this impressive attraction is also a gift from global warming, since it was within sight when it thawed.

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. 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. In the same place there is a curious stone forest, which, as its name suggests, is about rock peaks the height of trees that seem a true geological labyrinth.

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 and Box lunch.
  • Snacks for the trek.
  • 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.

  • 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.

The physical effort and the time it takes to get to Palcoyo is much less than to get to Vinicunca, the latter also receives a large influx of tourists that subtracts a lot of beauty from the natural landscape. With this we do not mean that the trekking to the Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca is not worth it, indeed, if what you are looking for is a physical challenge, perhaps visiting Vinicunca makes more sense for you. The grace of the Cordillera de Colores Palcoyo is that it is an excellent alternative for those who cannot or do not want to wear themselves out physically to observe the same landscape that they would observe in Vinicunca.

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.

What to take to the mountain of Palcoyo?

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.

warm jackets
Hydration bladder
wool socks
camera
scarf
first aid kit
hiking shoes
Dry bags
Trekking Poles
sun cream
Snack
sun hat
bathing suite
rain coat
Sandals
insect repellent
Passport
Down Jackets
toilet paper
daypack
Wool cap
head lamp
gloves
sun glasses
cap
extra cash
Trekking pants
  1. Detailed information of the Palcoyo 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)
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Palcoyo and the Red river

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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
FEBUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
MARCH Warm - Heavy Rain
APRIL Warm - Light Rain
MAY Hot
JUNE Hot
JULY Hot
AUGUST Hot
SEPTEMBER Hot - Warm
OCTOBER Hot - Warm
NOVEMBER Warm - Light Rain
DECEMBER Warm - Heavy Rain

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

from NOV 2021 to DEC 2022 Price from $ 80 USD Per Person
Choose your preferred departure date to proceed.
Avalible Dates

Why travel with Andean Great Treks

LOCALLY INSPIRED, DELICIOUS FLAVOURS
There is something magical about artisanal farming in the Andes. The rich soils and unique climate give products an otherwise unattainable flavor. Our chefs serve local and international food. With unparalleled views of the fabulous Andean Mountains, amid the highland forests from your table, you’ll enjoy delicious gourmet food and new spins on classic Peruvian favorites. We use only local produce and fresh ingredients.
OUR PASSIONATE TOUR GUIDES
Unlock the secrets of Peru’s most iconic adventure destination. Our team is passionate about making sure your experiences are unique —some thrilling, some relaxing, all awe-inspiring. Our private guides will let you explore the Andes and rainforest at your own pace, stopping for a snack if you’re hungry, or racing to the top of a hill if you’re up to it.
YOUR SAFETY OUR PRIORITY
We work with certified guides, the latest high-tech equipment and satellite communication, to guarantee your safety every step on the trail. Each year we do the course of rescue and first aid with all our hiking team (guides, cooks, horsemen, drivers). The course is comprehensive and practical, including all of the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments.
ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY
We have deep love and respect for our Mother Earth or Pachamama since we are a 100% Cusco company. We know the importance of our Andean culture, and like good children of the earth, we do everything possible to avoid contamination.
CAMPING EQUIPMENT
It’s essential to have the best equipment when you’re walking in the mountains. Due to the constant climate changes in the region, we use tents suitable for all four seasons.
SMALL GROUPS & BIG ADVENTURES
With a maximum group size is 8 on most tours, it feels more like traveling with friends than being on an organized tour. You'll meet like-minded people where everyone is guaranteed to share a passion for travel.

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