Discover Ausangate Peru Rainbow Mountain
Ausangate Peru Rainbow Mountain in Peru is a treasure so hidden that only the gods and a few lucky tourists can enjoy it. This hidden world is one of those places that tourists have yet to discover. It can even be difficult to find information regarding what visitors can expect to discover while touring this enchanted area. Are you an adventurer dreaming of an undiscovered gem located off the beaten path? If you think all the beautiful places on the planet have already been popularized by tourists, you haven’t seen Ausangate Peru Rainbow Mountain.
Journey through an undiscovered landscape that sways between desert terrain and snow-capped peak to reach Ausangate Peru Rainbow Mountain. You’ll travel through small villages and spot herds of alpacas before arriving in the painted hills that exist deep inside the most remote portions of the Andes. The mountain you seek is tucked away in the middle of the glacial mountains of the Vilcanota Range in the south of Peru. Measuring in at just below 21,000 feet in elevation, the mountain is the highest in the Cusco region. You will be able to access its beauty with a simple 3-hour drive from the main hub of Cusco. Don’t think of this journey as a mere vacation. What you’re about to embark on is a wilderness trek that will take you above the tree line to see spectacular views of the Andes and glacial peaks.
The Ausangate Peru Rainbow Mountains are unique because they are composed of stratified layers of sandstone. The colored stripes and intricate pigments that your eyes will delight in are products of iron and other mineral compounds. You can expect to see wonders like turquoise lakes, glacial views, llamas, and alpacas on every mile of this journey. You will even enjoy the rare pleasure of spotting the wild vicuña in its natural habitat. This animal is so special because it has received government protection against captivity.
You will hardly believe your eyes as you see soaring glacial peaks scraping the sky all around you. Valleys will plummet at your feet as you snap photos of mounds of earth striped with otherworldly layers of turquoise, red and yellow. You’ll decide that only a brush held in the hands of one of the gods could have created lines so perfect. It is then that you’ll realize that this gilded entry point along the Ausangate Trek is the only way to access this hidden corner of the planet.
The tour will bring you to a perch where you will feel gusts of Andean winds beating against your skin. The winds provide a stark reminder that this playground of the gods is not a welcoming atmosphere for humans who linger for too long. You can pat yourself on the back for choosing an intense trek that more than makes up for its difficulty level with prized views. As you take in the views and sensations here, you will know that you are on a trail that cuts through land that belongs only in legends for other mere mortals. However, the wild and remote terrain here will now officially be a part of your soul.
Regarding Acclimatization and Altitude
The hike is classified as a level C journey. This means that the trek is fairly long and contains many portions that reach altitudes of 16,000 feet or higher. It is strongly recommended that you spend at least two full days in Cusco or a location with a similar altitude immediately before beginning this trek. Doing so will give your body time to acclimatize.
Regarding the Degree of Difficulty
This hike is not suited for first-time trekkers. You can consider yourself able to complete it if you are a strong walker and have completed some moderate treks. Keep in mind that decent levels of fitness and stamina are needed during the steeper sections of the journey.
Regarding the Weather in This Region
The weather in the mountains can be nearly impossible to predict. The Andes have a weather system that makes preparation key. A height change of just 500 meters can bring about different weather patterns. Some higher regions of the mountains can experience snow and blizzards.
Where Is Ausangate Rainbow Mountain Located?
This enchanting natural landmark is located just south of the city of Cusco. You will need to make a three-hour journey to the village of Quesiuno from Cusco to reach the trailhead. The ride includes several points. The first stop after departing from Cusco is in the town of Checacupe. Your van will then turn left and enter the town of Pitumarca. A combination of paved and dirt roads will lead you to Quesiuno.
More information about altitudes, distances, and times
Level of Difficulty: Challenging
Lowest Elevation Quesiuno head of the trail: 4,326 m / 14,189 ft
Highest Elevation top of Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain: 5,020 m / 16,466 ft
Distance to walk (Quesiuno – Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain – Quesiuno): 15 km / 9 ¼ miles
Approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours up; 2 and 30 minutes to 3 hours down
Distance from Cusco to Quesiuno: 134 km
Trip time by car from Cusco to Quesiuno: 3 hours
Two most popular hiking packages to Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain
The One-Day Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Hike
This rewarding full-day experience will challenge your fitness level and stamina. You will trek at a high altitude through dramatic mountain landscapes. Plan to see snow-capped peaks and herds of alpacas as you travel along deserted trails. Glimpses of Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain will beckon you as you get closer to the summit of your journey. You will be treated to views that you’ll never forget when you reach the top.
The Two-Day Overnight Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Hike
This journey will bring you through grassland slopes that are covered in alpacas. Snow-capped peaks will tantalize you like diamonds in the distance as you cover each mile. Your night will be spent sleeping beneath the stars on the side of the mountain. You will awake to a cooked breakfast before starting a trek that will bring you past clear, sparkling mountain streams. You will finally reach Vinicunca Peru Rainbow Mountain to take in its full glory.