Rainbow Mountain Day Hike
- Stunning Andes Scenery
- Glaciers, Peaks and Valleys
- Amazing Rainbow Mountain
- Pick Up at Your Hotel in Cusco
- Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks
- Award-winning Expert Guides
This is a must-do day trip if you're in the Cusco area and have some extra time! Rainbow Mountain is a high alpine series of peaks and ridgelines with mesmerizing, "rainbow" colored soils that make for some of the most beautiful and other-worldly photography on Earth. The hike is not long (5.4 miles), but it is all above 15,000 feet so, while it is challenging for that reason, it is also one of the best day trips in Peru!
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in Cusco the evening before your hike to finalize details and ensure all your questions are answered. Our tour begins the next morning at 3:30 am with pick-up at your hotel in Cusco. We will drive 2 hours to Cusipata and stop for a delicious breakfast at a hand-picked restaurant (included.) After breakfast we have another 1 hour drive across the Peruvian landscape, past traditional villages and stunning views of the high Andes to our trailhead at Phulawasipata (15,149').
Our hike begins along a meandering path with spectacular views of snow-capped peaks and herds of Alpacas and llamas. After 1.5-2 hours of hiking we come to Rainbow Mountain (16,466'.) No Photoshop or Instagram filters here! The stunning display of colorful landscapes, framed by glaciated mountains in the background make for breathtaking photography. We will take our time at the summit to take pictures, explore and soak up the beauty.
Then we'll take a short, 20-minute hike into the Red Valley itself, a tranquil and beautiful hike amongst crimson rocks that leads us to another spectacular view of the valley.
When it is time to turn back, we hike downhill the way we came in. In a sense though this is almost a different hike, as we take in the views that were behind us on our ascent. The hike back will take around 60-90 minutes. We'll shuttle back toward Cusco, stopping again in Cusipata for a delicious Peruvian lunch, and finishing up our drive, and our day after that.
You can also do this trip on horseback for an additional $40.
Please Note: the Rainbow Mountain Llama Trek includes Rainbow Mountain as part of the standard itinerary.
(Important: We run hikes in almost all weather conditions and very rarely cancel. See our terms and conditions for information on cancellations and refunds.)
12-14 hours (includes driving)
5.4mi / 9km
2200 ft gain/loss
See Rate Info
Day Hike Rates
- $250 per person
Ready to hike? Day hike reservations are made through our Adventure Consultant team. You can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and make your payment.
Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!
- A professional, knowledgeable, medically trained, friendly wilderness guide.
- A commitment to make the tour as exciting, challenging, informative, and full as you'd like, and as is possible in a day
- Breakfast, trail snacks and lunch (breakfast and lunch at hand-picked restaurants)
- Roundtrip transportation from Cusco
- Use of a top of the line, technical day pack
- Use of trekking poles
- Lightweight hiking shoes or hiking boots
- Waterproof rain jacket or poncho
- Warm wool or fleece top (Spring, Fall, Winter)
- Warm hat and gloves (Spring, Fall, Winter)
- Water bottles or bladder (2 liters total capacity)
- A cold or frozen bottle of water or Gatorade (Spring, Summer, Fall)
- Knee braces (if needed)
- Gratuity for your guide and driver
Day hike tours include energizing trail snacks and a delicious, Peruvian breakfast and lunch at hand-picked restaurants enroute and on the way back from the trailhead.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in Cusco at 6:30 PM the evening before the hike to finalize the details and ensure all your questions are answered. Then we will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco at 3:30 am the day of the hike.
We will have you back in Cusco around 3:00 PM, and by 5:00 PM at the latest.
Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.
Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
The maximum group size on this hiking tour is 14 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.
Age restrictions are as follows:
- 12 and older to join daily departures (mixed groups)
- 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
Peru is home to part of the Amazon Rainforest as well as the towering Andes Mountains. Machu Picchu is at an elevation of 7,710 feet (2,350 meters), but most of our treks in the region reach elevations well above 10,000 feet, some reaching nearly 17,000 feet. Because of the significant elevation changes and alpine hiking, the temperatures and weather can also vary widely. At elevations above 10,000 feet you can expect cold temperatures.
The average temperatures and precipitation in the Machu Picchu region are:
|March||70° F||45° F||11 days|
|April||72° F||40° F||8 days|
|May||70° F||36° F||3 days|
|June||70° F||34° F||2 days|
|July||70° F||30° F||2 days|
|August||70° F||34° F||2 days|
|September||72° F||40° F||7 days|
|October||72° F||43° F||8 days|