Peru’s Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca, is a marbled masterpiece of oranges, yellows, reds, and dusky pinks. This Andean peak has rapidly become one of Cusco’s main attractions after Machu Picchu. Once inaccessible to tourists, Rainbow Mountain is now open to everyone with an adventurous spirit and the desire to see what looks like a painted prism perched right at the top of the world.
Rainbow Mountain spectacular colouration is the result of a combination of erosion and dense mineral deposits. Iron oxide and sulfide make up its bright bands. Unfortunately, the only reason we can see this pigmented peak is global warming. Elders who live in a village near the mountain say it was covered in glacial snow, but that’s since melted, exposing the rainbow below. Enjoy the excursion to the rainbow mountain trek.
Please note that this itinerary is for a Rainbow Mountain Trek and covers the main highlights of the day trip.
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The Salkantay trek is an alternative route to the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu. It is a multi-day hike that goes through stunning landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, high-altitude passes, cloud forests, and Inca ruins.
The Salkantay trek is considered a moderate to challenging trek. It involves hiking at high altitudes, with the highest point being Salkantay Pass at 4,630 meters (15,190 feet) above sea level. However, the trek is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and previous hiking experience.
The Salkantay trek typically takes 4 to 5 days to complete. Some tour operators offer longer or shorter itineraries, depending on your preferences and fitness level.
You should pack comfortable and waterproof hiking gear, including sturdy hiking boots, a backpack, warm clothes, rain gear, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It’s also essential to bring a sleeping bag, a water bottle, and snacks or energy bars.
While you don’t need to be an experienced hiker, it’s important to have a reasonable level of fitness to complete the Salkantay trek. You’ll be hiking for several hours each day, often at high altitudes, so it’s a good idea to prepare your body with cardio and strength training before your trip.
While it’s possible to do the Salkantay trek independently, it’s recommended to hire a guide for safety reasons and to learn more about the history and culture of the area. Most tour operators offer guided tours, which also include transportation, meals, and accommodation.
The best time to do the Salkantay trek is from April to October, which is the dry season in the region. During these months, you can expect clear skies, warm days, and cool nights. However, it’s also possible to do the trek during the wet season (November to March), although the trails can be muddy and slippery, and you may encounter more rain and clouds.
The Inca Trail is a famous trekking route in Peru that leads to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. It’s a 4-day hike that follows an original Inca stone path through the Andes mountains, passing through several Inca ruins and offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
The Inca Trail is considered a challenging trek, with steep ascents and descents, high-altitude passes, and rugged terrain. It’s important to have a good level of fitness and previous hiking experience to complete the trek.
The best time to do the Inca Trail is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. During these months, you can expect clear skies, warm days, and cool nights. The wet season, from November to March, can be more challenging due to the rain and mud on the trails.
The Inca Trail is a 4-day hike, covering a distance of approximately 42 kilometers (26 miles). However, there are shorter and longer itineraries available, depending on your preferences and fitness level.
You need to book the Inca Trail through a licensed tour operator, as independent hiking is not allowed. The government limits the number of permits for the trail each day, so it’s essential to book well in advance, especially during the peak season (June to August).
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