Palcoyo Alternative Rainbow Mountain | 1 Day | from CUSCO, PERU

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  • Experience the Alternative Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain on this day trip from Cusco!
  • Escape the crowds at one of Peru’s most unique attractions.
  • Visit the Ausangate area with local experts.
  • Safety conscious guides will carry an oxygen tank.
  • Read our review of this experience!

  • Save your place with a small deposit today. Pay the rest later.
  • Deposit 100% refundable until 48h before your start date.
  • Safe Checkout Secured by Stripe

The price above is based on a group size of at least two. 


You will be picked up early from your accommodation in Cusco around 5am (4am during the rainy season). It is very important that you leave on time as the bus journey to the alternative Rainbow Mountain takes around three hours. You will take the road south of Cusco, passing through a number of beautiful colonial towns, rivers, mountains, valleys and lagoons.

As we get closer to the mountain the landscape will turn into red mountains with hundred of terraces for farming and llamas and alpacas will appear.

Once you arrive in the Pitumarca district, you will have breakfast which will give you energy for the coming hike. Coca tea will be provided that morning to help you deal with the increase in altitude. 

Once you are feeling full and ready to take on the day, you will continue to travel for around an hour and a half along the Salcca Valley. Here, you will pass through the hidden landscapes within the Rainbow Mountain region and get your first glimpse of the characteristic red valleys and the incredible rock formations in this area. You will see lots of llamas and alpacas throughout the journey. 

Once you arrive at the head of the trail (4850m/15912ft), you will ascend for a further 45 minutes to around an hour. The distance covered in this time will be 1 km. It might not seem very far but once you reach the viewpoint you will now be at 5, 000m / 16,404ft. Once you have arrived at the peak, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Ausangate, Cusco’s highest snow-capped mountain (6375m/20915ft). 

This is also a great vantage point from which to view the three Rainbow Mountains. As this is the Palcoyo alternative Rainbow Mountain tour, you will share this spot with few others, making this a bucket list experience you will never forget. Your guide will explain to you why this natural formation is so colourful as well as giving you an insight into some of the traditional beliefs that are held by the people in this area. Here, you will have some time to explore this area and take all of the pictures you want. 

Once you have taken in the majesty of Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain, you will head back to the minibus and stop in Pitumarca for lunch. From here, you will head back to Cusco, ready to be dropped off in Regocijos Square.

Refund Policy

  • In order to book this experience, you will need to pay a deposit.
  • This depòsit is fully refundable up until 48 hours before the start of the activity.
  • If you are unable to agree on a date or the organiser cannot meet your requirements, your deposit is automatically returned to you in full.
  • There is no refund for cancellations made fewer than 48 hours before the start of the activity.
  • The rest of the payment for the experience is payable to the organiser, either upon arrival at the destination or before in some cases, if the organiser requires it. The organiser will arrange this with you.
  • The refund of the second payment, which goes directly to the trip organiser, is entirely based on the organiser’s own Terms and Conditions.
  • Please read our customer Terms and Conditions for more information.


What time will we be picked up for the trek?

You will be picked up early from your accommodation in Cusco around 5am (4am during the rainy season).

How long is the drive to the starting point of the trek?

We will drive for 3 hours to the starting point. After a 2 hour drive we will stop for breakfast in a local restaurant.

How far is this trek?

1km to the viewpoint, plus the same to return. There is an optional hike up to the stone forest.

How hard is this trek?

This trek is of moderate difficulty but can be made much more challenging by the altitude. Make sure you have allowed yourself enough time to acclimatise before setting off on this trip.

How long should I allow for acclimatisation?

The NHS recommends that you allow at least 2-3 days to get acclimatised to heights over 3,000m.

What time will we arrive back in Cusco?

We will drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at around 4:30 pm

What should I bring?

  • Daypack
  • Warm clothes (layer up!)
  • Walking boots
  • Hiking poles (if you have them)
  • Rain jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Suncream
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Suncream
  • Camera

What's Included

What’s Included:

  • Pick-up from your accommodation in Cusco
  • Substantial traditional breakfast
  • Return transport in a private bus to Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain
  • Professional Tour Guide (both English and Spanish speaking)
  • Meals provided: 1 breakfast and 1 lunch (buffet)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen tank carried by tour guide
  • Snacks

Not Included:

  • Alcoholic drinks and others not mentioned on the list
  • Dinner
  • Rain poncho
  • Entrance fee (additional 10 soles per person)


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Operator Information


What's great about Rainbow Mountain Expeditions?

  • Rainbow Mountain Expeditions are specialists in yep, you guessed it, the Rainbow Mountain region. Their guides have grown up in the Ausangate area, meaning that they know far more about local traditions and customs than most other agencies in Cusco.
  • They offer unforgettable trips in this area on a number of different treks which allow travellers to really get off the beaten track and explore the 'real' Peru.
  • They put a big emphasis on visitor safety and come fully equipped with an oxygen tank on high-altitude treks to keep you safe.
  • They pay their staff good wages and are passionate about preserving the beauty of the areas that they visit.
  • Small group sizes allow for a personal trip where you will make memories that will last forever!

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