Information about The mountain of colours In cusco
Its original name is “Vinicunca”, but everybody calls it “rainbow mountain” or “mountain of the seven colours”. It is located in the Ausangate mountain range of the Andes, far from Cusco. This mountain, the fifth highest in Peru, is one of the most important “Apus gods” of the Andean religion. It is a beautiful mountain whose surface is coloured in different colours by minerals and different types of rock.
Its beauty is on the surface, so we are not allowed to walk on it in order to preserve it. If you want to see it in all its splendour, you have to climb the hill in front of Rainbow. From the top of the hill you can see the Apu Ausangate and the whole surrounding valley. But how do you get there? Planning a hike around Rainbow Mountain is easy, but another problem is whether you can climb the mountain itself. Let’s take it step by step.
Where is the Montaña de Colores in Cusco Peru?
The Montaña de Colores is located 100 kilometres southeast of the city of Cusco, in the Cordillera del Vilcanota at 5200 metres above sea level in the province of Pitumarca and district of Quisquipanchis.
What to bring for my trip to the Montaña de Colores?
Our recommendations for your trip to the Montaña de Colores are as follows:
- Thick clothes. It is cold outside and you have to climb up to 5200 meters.
- Coca leaves. If you don’t have any on hand, you can buy coca tea at breakfast or on the street. More information on how to prevent altitude sickness in Peru.
- Sunscreen. It is recommended to use it 30 minutes before. The best time to do this is when you are on the bus.
- Sunglasses are important.
- Mackintosh or weightless plastic poncho. They are sold there, so you don’t need to bring them from home.
- Very light backpack. If it is not used during the trip, leave it on the bus. The less weight you carry, the better.
How to get to the Montaña de colores or arcoirs in Cusco Peru
If you don’t know how to get to the Rainbow Mountain, the mountain of colours in Cusco Peru, see how we did it, with information about what to bring, the prices of the excursions and how to get there.
We recommend visiting after a few days in Cusco to avoid altitude sickness, and remember that the 7 Coloured Mountain is the highest point of your trip to Peru (and often of your life), so the more time you have, the better.
There are two routes to get to the 7 Colours Mountain:
Route from Pitumarca to the mountain of colours (Ruta Antigua).
From the imperial capital, Cusco, there is public transport: on Huayrurupata street, look for the Inca Garcilazo de la Vega stadium, where buses run between Cusco and Sicuani. Buses run every 25 minutes and are operated by the Continental transport company. Tickets are cheap, costing an average of 7 soles. It is recommended to get off at the village of Checacupé, a two-hour journey, where you should take a bus to the area of Pitumaca. From this area you should head to the area of Kayrawiri Alto, where the trek begins.
There are no direct flights from Pitumaca to the Kayrawiri Alto area. Therefore, we recommend that you take a taxi and arrange with the driver to wait for you or to pick you up again.
There are two points along the route where an entrance fee is charged (10,00 soles for foreign visitors and 5,00 soles for national visitors).
Until 2018, this was the busiest route for travellers. Although the road now climbs close to Mount Vinicunca, most travel agencies and tourists choose the new route, Cusipata, for its proximity to Cusco.
Route from Cusipata to the Montaña de Colores (New Route)
If you wish to take this new route to the Seven Coloured Mountains or the Rainbow Mountains, follow the same procedure as the Pitumarca route. However, in this case, instead of descending to the village of Checacupe, you will descend a few kilometres to the area of Cusipata.
The journey to the village takes approximately 1 h 30 min. Fares are between 5,50 soles (public service) and 15 soles (private service). This route is the shortest way to get to the Seven Coloured Mountains. It is the most used route by travellers nowadays.
From Cusipata, take a bus to Phulawasipata (the end of the road is where the hike to the Seven Coloured Mountains begins). The bus ticket to Phulawasipata costs between 15 and 20 soles and takes about an hour.
There are few transports that will take us to Phuluwasi, it is advisable to hire a private service so as not to wait too long. The private service costs between 130,00 and 150,00 soles.
On this route, the distance from Cusco to the 7 Colours Mountain is 140 km by this route from Cusco to the 7 Colours Mountain.
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