In the Andes, the towering Ausangate snow peak in the Vilcanota mountain range is considered sacred. At 6384 meters it is one of the highest mountains in Peru. As the symbol of the father and masculinity, Ausangate is said to fertilize Pachamama, or Mother Earth herself.
Andean traditions and myths consider this mountain to be “Apu”, a god, and the spiritual protector of the native people.
Rainbow Mountain Peru, also known as Vinicunca, is an undiscovered area with wild desert landscapes, snowcapped glacial peaks, herds of alpaca, and pristine beauty.
This journey passes between two different ecosystems, first is the Andean grassland called “puna”, and closer to the glaciers, the “janca” ecosystem. There is interesting flora and fauna on the way to the sacred mountain of Vinicunca. Among the species that may be seen will be the river gull, Andean flicker, falcon, and puna ibis. There may be ichu grasses and tress such as polilepis like queuñas. Near the glaciers there are many succulents, mosses and chilcas shrubs from the aster family.
The journey passes through a vibrant green valley with the impressive Ausangate Mountain towering in the distance. You will experience firsthand how locals live in the mountains and even see them hard at work. As you get closer to the Rainbow Mountain you will begin to see the first signs of the colored minerals and your guide will explain what makes up the Rainbow Mountain. One last push either on foot, mule or horseback ends at a spot with a 360 degree view of the breathtaking landscape of this sacred land. A great sense of satisfaction descends upon you on arrival at the ultimate destination – the painted hills of Rainbow Mountain, hidden deep in the Andes. The same trail takes us back down through magnificent scenery to the beginning where hot drinks and a warm meal will be waiting for you in the dining tent.
Duration: Full Day 5am- 5pm
Distance: 10km hike(6.5miles)
Elevation: 4300m (14,200ft) – 5035m (16,520ft)
Optional 10km hike