Mountain of the 7 Colors


The mountain of the 7 Colors (also called Vinicunca or simply ‘rainbow’) is one of the new and best attractions in Peru. Located more than 100 kilometers from the city of Cusco, on an altitudinal summit located at 5,200 meters above sea level (m.s.n.m.) It is a mountainous formation tinged with various shades product of the complex combination of minerals. The slopes and the summit are dyed in various shades that include red, purple, green, yellow, pink and other variations. This tourist attraction was surrounded by ice not many years ago. Since 2016, this place receives hundreds of visitors a day, along with Machu Picchu, becoming one of the most visited places in Cusco-Peru. Below all the information about the Mountain of 7 Colors.

Why is it called Mountain of the 7 Colors?

According to various investigations done on site, the multicolored shades are due to the different minerals that the area covers in capable. These natural substances began to form 65 million years ago when water and rain covered their slopes and peaks. With the passing of time, the extreme weather was thawing the snow that formed there revealing to the world what is today one of the most important tourist attractions of Cusco.

Location and height

This amazing place is located in the Andes of Peru, in the department of Cusco and Canchis province, at 5,200 m.a.s.l., an area of considerable elevation. It belongs to the people of Pitumarca who call it the ‘Cerro Colorado’. Because it is located on the way to the imposing snowy Ausangate, this site was known long before by the adventurers who dared to do the trek. The photos they posted on Facebook and Instagram, made him gain popularity. Since 2016 it is a popular tourist attraction.


How to get there?

Due to its location, just over 100 kilometers from the city of Cuzco, this place is reached by car in the first instance. After a trip of approximately 2 hours along the Longitudinal Highway of the Peruvian Southern Sierra, you will arrive in Pitumarca. The journey continues along a trail to the community of Pampa Chiri. From there you follow a route through mountain slopes. This journey is 5 kilometers and can be done on foot or on horseback to finally arrive at Vinicunca. There are tours that offer this service.


The climate, typical of the highest areas of Cusco, is cold. Rain, wind and altitude sickness (or soroche) can be the biggest obstacles for travelers. Temperatures can lower zero degrees Celsius. The best time to do this adventure is during the dry season (from April to October) when river rainfall is less likely. If you plan to visit during the rainy season (from November to March), carry a rain poncho with you.

Flora and fauna

The incredible geography of the place is the scene of animals typical of high Andean areas such as llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. The inhabitants of the area raise horses to offer them as transportation to visitors. Due to the height of this region, the ichu or natural boil of the Andes abounds.

Travel on your own

It is also possible to visit ‘Cerro Colorado’ on your own. To do this, the visitor must take a bus to Sicuani from the city of Cuzco (2 hours and 40 minutes away). Once there, a bus is taken to the town of Quesiuno. Then a walk begins (you can also hire a horse transport) to the Mountain of the 7 Colors. The entrance ticket price is 10 soles.

Mountain difficulty

The walk of 3 or 4 hours (depends on the physical state of the tourist) is not dangerous and demands a moderate-high physical effort. There are sections of considerable slopes in ascent and descent. However, one of the biggest difficulties is the cold weather and the icy wind. The altitude of the area can cause altitude sickness or soroche. A previous acclimatization of 1 or 2 days is recommended in the city of Cusco.


Spend a day or two acclimatizing yourself in the city of Cusco. Wear warm clothes to do the walk. If you do not consider yourself in good physical condition for the walk, rent a horse to one of the inhabitants of the place. That day, do not forget a hat or hat, sunscreen, jacket, pants, shoes ideal for trekking and a rain poncho.

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