Duration: Full Day 4am – 6pm
Distance: 15Km / 9.3 miles
Elevation: 4300m (14,200ft) – 5035m (16,520ft)
Difficulty: moderate/difficult, Optional 10km hike
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 after your challenge to this magnificent scenery.
We can recommend the best and more comfortable hotels or we can take care of the reservations for you.
For adjusting to tour altitude, we suggest one day tours like the Sacred Valley hike,one day River Rafting before the Apurímac River and the City Tour of Cusco hike. As Guides we offer 100% Gauranteed Information, for your sensibilities – about the best specific hotel rooms and services around Peru, like extra windows and other amenities.
What to bring
This is a list designed to advise you what equipment is appropriate to bring according to the weather conditions predominating at the time of your trip:
Jeans and other pants are good as well.as well any clothes that cover the request of being water proof or resistance to water or cold are fine as long they are resistance to the conditions are fine.
- Flashlights (at least one headlamp among them).
- Sun Block; Insect Repellent.
- Towels (Small; cotton and hygienic).
- Rain Gear (Pants and Jacket)
- A couple of pairs of socks, perhaps even an extra pair.
- One pair of trousers for the evening plus two more pairs for trail use (zipp-offs).
- Sandals for River OR DRYSHOES.ASWELL use or CAMP OR HOTEL use (Teva types).
- Low ankle height hiking shoes or regular hiking boots (check the season).
- Reading material.
- Binoculars (always useful regardless of season and activity).
- Bathing Suit.
- Water Bottle (I liter capacity).
- Good Sun glasses, perhaps two sets.
- A bandana for neck protection.
- A couple of sets of underwear (perhaps an extra pair).
- Camera and plenty of film.
- Passport (plus a couple of Xerox copies).