Rainbow Mountain Peru: Explore Photos, Altitude, Hike Tours, and Drone Regulations.

by | May 8, 2023 | Ausangate Trek | 0 comments

Rainbow Mountain tour one day Peru

High in the Andes Mountains of Peru lies a geological marvel that has captured the hearts of adventurous travelers from all over the world the Colorful Rainbow Mountain Peru Tour.

This breathtaking natural wonder gets its name from the 14 different minerals that create vertical stripes of vibrant colors on its surface. Turning it into a kaleidoscope of hues that has to be seen to be believed The only way to witness the beauty of Rainbow Mountain is by completing the Rainbow Mountain hike full day tour.

*Join our expedition as we immerse ourselves in the rich history and spellbinding beauty of Rainbow Mountain. We will discuss pricing, photography, weather conditions, and the responsible tourism practices necessary to preserve and protect this awe-inspiring landscape in Peru. Come along with us, but remember, No drones are allowed!

Best Time to Visit Rainbow Mountain in Peru

Rainbow Mountain in Peru is a must-see destination for those who love spectacular natural landscapes. The vibrant colors of the mountain are truly breathtaking, and it’s no surprise that Rainbow Mountain is quickly becoming a popular attraction for tourists.

However, if you want to experience the beauty of the mountain without dealing with crowds, it’s important to plan your trip at the right time. The best time to visit Rainbow Mountain in Peru is during the dry season between April to October.

This is when the weather is mild and the skies are clear, providing a perfect opportunity to witness the stunning mountain in all of its colorful glory. So, mark your calendars and start planning a trip to experience the magic of Rainbow Mountain!

What causes Rainbow Mountain in Peru?

History, Morphology, and Geology of Peru Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain emerged due to geological processes that took place millions of years ago when the Andes Mountains were formed by tectonic plate movement. The colorful stripes that make Colorful Rainbow Mountain so unique are the result of iron oxide, copper sulfate, and other mineral deposits that were exposed on the surface over time.

These minerals reacted to various weather conditions and natural erosion, resulting in the stunning rainbow appearance that we see today.

When was Rainbow Mountain discovered? The vibrant Andean mountain remained undiscovered by the world until recently in 2011, when locals stumbled upon it. Soon after, explorers and daring photographers unveiled its beauty to the world from 2012 to 2016, leading to its rapid popularity. Previously hidden in the seclusion of the Andes.

RELATED: Ausangate Trekking Tours

Geology of Red Andean Mountain

It has large geomorphological units and materials from continental and marine environments ranging from the Precambrian (more than 600 million years ago) to the most recent deposits of the Quaternary.
Earthy brown color: fanglomerate composed of rock with manganese belonging to the Quaternary. Age: 1 to 2 million years.
Red color: composed of clays (iron) and clays belonging to the upper Tertiary. Age: 3 to 4 million years.
Green color: composed of Filitas substance, copper oxide slates. Age: 600 million years.
Pink color: composed of red clay, Fangolitas Substance (mud), and Arilites Substance (sand). Estimated age: 3 to 4 million years.
White color: limestone or limestone, white quality. Age: 400 million years.
Brown, and purple colors: Composed of lead and burning marshes, rich in calcium carbonate. Age: 80 to 90 million years.
Mustard yellow color: limestone with sulfur. Age: 80 to 90 million years.

The Beauty of Rainbow Mountains China And Peru

Rainbow Mountain boasts a supernatural appearance that is unlike any other place on Earth. We may be only compared with a rainbow mountain of China and Peru In Gansu Zhangye National Geopark

Visitors stand in awe as they witness the natural beauty of the mountain up close, whether it’s the lush green valleys or the crystal clear skies. Although the hike to Rainbow Mountain is challenging. The reward is the stunning panoramic views that have to be seen to be believed. Visitors can take the time to capture the perfect photo. Admire the majestic beauty of the region, and be a part of one of the most memorable experiences of their lifetime.

RELATED: Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain Trip One Day

What to Know About Peru’s Rainbow Mountain

Peru’s Rainbow Mountain is a breathtaking natural wonder that has become a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. This geological marvel is located in the Andes Mountains and showcases a stunning display of vibrant shades.

The mountain’s unique colors are a result of natural processes that occurred over millions of years. Including the uplift of ancient marine sediments and the erosion of these rocks to reveal the rainbow of colors, we see today.

Visitors can make the trek by foot or horseback to witness this awe-inspiring sight up close. There are also a variety of tour options available that can provide insight into the geological and cultural significance of Rainbow Mountain. A visit to this Peruvian wonder is a must for anyone seeking a connection with nature and a sense of wonder.

Rainbow Mountain Peru from Cusco One-Day Tour Itinerary

Is Rainbow Mountain Worth It?

Highly recommended to leave Cusco at 3:30 a.m. (tours operate every day. For more tour information (Contact Us).

Tour leaders in Peru Guide could be beneficial. Why? By having a tour guide, we can ensure that we see everything we want to see and be one of the first groups to arrive at the destination. Additionally, we can go on a hike to the Red Valley afterward.

Prepare To Wake Up Early to hike this Natural Red Mountain In Peru

The Rainbow Mountain Peru hike starts early, around 03:00 am – 3:30 am, most of the companies will pick you up from your respective Hotels in Cusco. The initial transport will take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Firstly, they will pass through the District of CUSIPATA where they will stop for 30 minutes to have breakfast.

From then they’ll continue with the journey for 1 hour until to reach the trailhead or the Rainbow tour Hike one day. There, they will pause for a quick brief on how they will be carried out on your journey.

You will begin the hike at the bottom of the Ausangate mountain range. This will be followed by an ascent of approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to the highest point of the Rainbow Mountain. Upon reaching the red hill, you’ll have time to soak in and take pictures of the beautiful scenery.

Finally. You’ll continue your journey with a 1-hour descent into the flat terrain and back to where the trail started, Here, the driver will be waiting for Everyone to return to the District of CUSIPATA where you can enjoy 1 hour of lunch. Following lunch, you will return to Cusco, arriving at approx. 3:00 p.m.

NOTE: After Vinicunca, there is the additional trek into the Red Valley which is included in the tour. The duration of the walk is approximately 1.30 minutes including stopping and taking photos.

How To Manage Your Rainbow Mountain Hike Day Trip

If you’re worried about the altitude or how to reach the main viewpoint, don’t fret. The good news is that it’s not very far and can be done at your own pace. The initial trail to the top is mostly flat (about 75%), with a gradual incline for 15% and a challenging steep climb for the final 10% or 200-300 meters.

In the beginning, one may experience some breathlessness, but with an adequate level of fitness and acclimatization, it should be manageable at a steady pace.

To give you an indication of times, you’ll walk to the top (with a few breaks along the way) in approx. 2 hours 45 minutes and zipped back down to the bus in 1.45 minutes. Another 30 minutes or so for the ascent and descent is probably more realistic if you’re going at a slow pace.

The trail is easy to follow and most Tour Guides will simply leave their tour members to walk alone at their own pace. If there is a lot of rain then the trail will quickly become a slippy, slidey, muddy bog to traverse highly recommend Hiking Boot for Peru.

Ausanagate Rainbow Mountain Peru Hiking Tours and Prices

When planning a journey or hike that’s truly tailored to your interests, there’s simply no substitute for teaming up with an expert. Luckily, our travel experts in Peru are right at your fingertips. Tour Leaders Peru boasts an impressive team of knowledgeable professionals who are dedicated to helping you create the adventure of your dreams.

Experience for yourself just how effortless it can be to craft a journey that is perfectly suited to your unique vision with the expert guidance of Peru Summit Adventures.

  1. Rainbow Mountain Trek 2 Days from $ 490.00
  2. Ausangate Trek 3 Days to Rainbow Mountain 3 Days from $ 580.00
  3. Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain 6 Days from $ 920.00
  4. Ausangate Trek 4 Days to Rainbow Mountain 4 Days from $ 650.00
  5. Ausangate Trek 5 Days to Rainbow Mountain 5 Days from $ 750.00

How to Get to Rainbow Mountain From Cusco Peru

You’ll have to start at the trailhead in Cusco, Peru to reach this stunning peak. The trek will take you approximately six to eight hours, depending on the trail you choose and your pace. Keep in mind that the hike’s difficulty level ranges from moderate to high due to the altitude and steep inclines.

At Rainbow Mountain, the summit stands at 5,200 meters. So it’s crucial to acclimate beforehand if you’re not used to the height. We recommend taking your time, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and listening to your body as you ascend to the top. It may be tiring, but the rewarding view is worth it!

Pro Tip: If you have your transportation, hiking to Rainbow Mountain without a guide is possible. However, it is often recommended to go with a guide who can assist you during the hike. Read Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain Without Guide

How Is The Rainbow Mountain Trail – Altitude and Review?

Once you reach the Trailhead, it’s about a three-hour hike to the top and another three hours down to the base it may take longer if you visit Read Valley Mountain.

The hike starts easy but gradually becomes more challenging due to steep inclines and loose gravel. With proper acclimatization, anyone can complete this trek. It is suitable for hikers of all levels, from beginners to experts, but not recommended for those with limited mobility.

The Highest Point of Rainbow Mountain is very high, at an exact elevation of 17,060 feet above sea level. Make sure to drink enough water and take your time while climbing up. If you’re struggling, you can hire a guide and horse to help part of the way for an extra cost of 60 to 80 soles $25. The trail is 6.2 miles round trip

Not including the red valley trek which is next to the Rainbow Mountain and usually takes about 5 hours to finish.

If you’re afraid about the altitude, you can check out some comments on AllTrails where a few people have shared their recommendations.

“The altitude is no joke. I had coca leaves, and lots of water, and had been taking my altitude pills. l still struggled with it and ended up having to use one of the horses. The views are incredible though.”

by: Lindsey Martin

November 22, 2022

Rainbow Mountain Cusco
Rainbow Mountain Cusco

How Is The Weather in Vinicunca Ausangate Mountain?

Weather can change in seconds when you’re high up. The climate is typical of the highest areas of Cusco and is cold. Rain, wind, and altitude sickness (or soroche) can be the biggest obstacles for travelers. The temperature in the Mountain is from 5oC to 18 C equivalent to -5 degrees Celsius.

The best time to take this adventure is during the Month (April to October) when river rainfall is less likely. If you plan to make your visit during the rainy season (November to March) bring with you a rain poncho.

Weather on Rainbow Mountain in Peru Around The Year?

Peru’s climate varies by season and according to the regions (in short terms unpredictable weather all over the country). The Cusco region has two clear seasons.

SummerFrom (December – March) Summer temperatures in this region can reach 80°F.
Winter(May – October). Winter is generally damp and chilly, with temperatures dropping to 53°F. This region sees little rain but can see mist and drizzle during the winter.
Nazca Lines AreaThe coastal area of Ica (Paracas, Nazca) enjoys warm dry weather throughout the year. With average temperatures around 75 – 80°F.
Cusco HighlandThe highlands region of Peru (Cuzco, Puno, Urubamba, Machu Picchu) has a dry temperate climate that also experiences two distinct seasons.
The dry season(May – October) consists of sunny days and cold nights with very little rain.
The rainy season In the highlands runs from December to March. Temperatures can change drastically during the day in this region, with highs around 65°F and lows of 35°F during the same day.
Amazon Rain Forest: The jungle region (Amazon River) is tropical and humid. Throughout the year temperatures range from the mid to upper 80s during the day and drop into the 70s during the night.
Dry SeasonThe summer months (April – October) are considered the dry season, though despite the name it should be noted that it rains two-thirds of the year in the rainforest. The rainy season (November – March) sees frequent showers and high river levels.

Flora And Fauna in Vinicunca Local Community.

The incredible geography of the place is the scene of typical animals from high Andean areas such as llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas.

The inhabitants of the area breed horses to offer them as transport to visitors. Due to the height of this region, the straw or natural Andean grass of the Andes abounds.

What To Pack And Dress For This Rainbow Mountain Trip?

  • Be sure to bring a small backpack with lots of water, snacks, and toilet roll.
  • Camera
  • Water bottle or Camelback
  • Comfortable hiking boots
  • Toilet paper and a small plastic bag for waste
  • T-shirts/Hiking pants and socks
  • Fleece/ Thermals
  • Warm clothes, and a down jacket mostly on the top temperature drops around -5º Celsius.
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • A rain jacket,
  • Also, bring a spare pair of socks just in case!

Rainbow Mountain Peru Location Map

Rainbow Mountain Trek Map
Ausangate Trek to Rainbow Mountain MAP 4 Days

Acclimatize Before Hiking Rainbow Mountain?

If you plan to hike within the Andes Mountain Range, you will likely be at a high altitude. So acclimatizing is extremely important before you exert yourself at even higher altitudes. For those who have come from sea level, you will most definitely want to spend a couple of days getting used to it and if possible, go up gradually. Cusco stands at 3,399m – 11151 feet even for those coming from Lima (1550m – 5085f). That can be quite an adjustment.
Try and beat the altitude by chewing on coca leaves – your tour leader will recommend you.

Over this Colorful mountain, the air is so thin that breathing is difficult. Even after a few days spent acclimating, even the hardiest adventurers tend to have trouble conversing while climbing. You will experience altitude sickness when you can’t get enough oxygen from the air. This will lead you to have symptoms such as a headache, loss of appetite, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath with exertion, and finally, some people feel nauseous and vomit. so prepare yourself for this great adventure.

Red Valley Mountain Hike Trailhead

The trailhead for Red Valley Mountain can be found on the right side of Rainbow Mountain. The hike around Red Valley Mountain takes an extra 2 hours on average, but the duration ultimately depends on your hiking speed. Simply follow your tour guide’s instructions to ensure you arrive at your final destination on time.

Red Valley Cusco Peru

Entrance Ticket For Rainbow Mountain And Red Valley

The entrance fee to this Natural attraction Is 30 Peruvian soles for Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley (Montaña Rojo) 20 Soles. Usually included in most Rainbow Mountain Tour packages.
Visit the Official Tour Leaders Peru page for more information to help you prepare for your tour.

For trips like Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley. We highly recommend joining us at www.tourleadersperu.com, the top-rated tour operator.

we always include in each trip oxygen tanks, a walkie-talkie, a fluent English Tour leader, and a safety guarantee.
Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley tours cost an average of $/90 pp all-inclusive group service Tour,
Book your tour ahead of time for only $70PP if you are more than 8 people

Strategical Points to Take Amazing Photography of The Peruvian Rainbow Mountain

It is important to note that numerous images of Rainbow Mountain on social media are typically heavily edited. While the mountain is undoubtedly breathtaking, it may not live up to the embellished depictions you come across online or in travel brochures. However, if you enter the experience with the understanding that the colors may be less vibrant than what is portrayed on social media. You can still have a delightful time and capture your stunning photo of the remarkable Vinicunca.

For optimal photo results, it is recommended to begin your hike during the early hours of the morning or at sunset. Apart from the agreeable temperatures, these periods offer the best lighting. When the weather is clear, the light takes on a beautiful burnt orange tone, illuminating all subjects with an equally stunning effect.

Consider experimenting with various ways to capture the mountain’s beauty through photography. You could take an up-close shot of its earthy hues, or capture hikers and locals you meet along the way (with their consent, of course). Another idea is to contrast the mountain’s colors with the blue sky in the background. Aim to create a distinctive and personal photo that is not dependent on social media likes. Remember that the most exceptional photo is the one that resonates with you the most.

Rainbow Mountain Photos

Rainbow Mountain Peru Tours

The Impact of Tourism on Rainbow Mountain

Although the surge in tourism to Rainbow Mountain has brought much-needed economic benefits to the local communities, it also poses environmental challenges. Rapid increases in visitor numbers need to be handled carefully to preserve not only the natural beauty of the mountain but also its ecosystem and wildlife.

Responsible tourism practices and support for local conservation efforts can help mitigate the impacts of tourism on the area and ensure that it remains a sustainable and thriving destination for generations to come.

Are Drones Allowed in Rainbow Mountain Peru?

Absolutely! You are allowed to bring your drone to Peru and enjoy flying it there. If you are flying purely for recreational purposes and your drone weighs less than 249 grams, you can register it here or get the APP Bienvenido Al Peru. No license is required; however, there is a refundable fee of 189 USD as a means to ensure that you won’t sell or abandon your drone in Peru. Registering it will provide you with peace of mind and help you comply with the regulations.

The popularity of drone technology, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), has increased due to its affordability and availability to recreational users. However, drone laws and regulations differ from country to country, with some still under review and subject to change.

It is the responsibility of travelers who plan on bringing a drone to Rainbow Mountain in Peru to research and comply with the laws of the country and to check with their airline(s) regarding their drone transportation policies. Furthermore, it is essential to discuss the matter with your tour operator or tour guide before flying a drone in Ausangate Rainbow Mountain.

Are you ready for a breathtaking adventure?

Then you should add Rainbow Mountain to your bucket list! You’ll have to start at the trailhead in Cusco, Peru to reach this stunning peak. The trek will take you approximately six to eight hours, depending on the trail you choose and your pace.

Keep in mind that the hike’s difficulty level ranges from moderate to high due to the altitude and steep inclines. At Rainbow Mountain, the summit stands at 5,200 meters, so it’s crucial to acclimate beforehand if you’re not used to the height. We recommend taking your time, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and listening to your body as you ascend to the top. It may be tiring, but the rewarding view is worth it!


Rainbow Mountain is a natural wonder that stands out for its unmatched beauty and geological significance. Its unique composition, history, and stunning vistas make it a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking adventure and awe-inspiring experiences. However, the challenge lies in ensuring that tourism to the area is sustainable and respectful of the environment and local communities.

By prioritizing responsible tourism practices and supporting ongoing conservation efforts. We can help preserve the beauty and significance of Rainbow Mountain for generations to come. So if you’re planning a trip to the region, be sure to make Rainbow Mountain a part of your itinerary, and do your part in protecting this breathtaking natural wonder.


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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde, owner of Tour Leaders Peru & Travel Advisor and my other side job is Nomadic Digital. I share my own amazing Tour Experiences, travel stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!


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