Travel Peru: Rainbow Mountain Trek

Travel Peru: Rainbow Mountain Trek

Hola amigos and welcome to the last post in my Travel Peru series! Rainbow Mountain was the last place we went in Peru before Mike was hospitalized and we decided to end our trip early (completely unrelated to the trek or anything about Peru, that’s all I’ll say on the matter). I am so glad that we were able to do the trek, it was honestly one of the most amazing places I have ever seen in my 25 years of existence. Want to see why? Keep reading!

Base of Rainbow Mountain

Just a ‘lil snow!

Before we booked the tour our guide from LBW was adamant that we should pick a different day to do the trek because it had snowed. His reasoning was that it would be cold and it might be hard to see the colours if there was too much of it, but Mike and I laughed and were like, Canadians aren’t afraid of a little snow! One other person from tour group also joined us and we were rewarded with spectacular weather.

The pick up for the trek was early. 4am early. If I was in Peru for only a week I don’t know if I could have pushed myself with a 4am pickup, but since we had already been on vacation time for two weeks and the drive was about 3 hours to breakfast I was able to wake up, settle onto the bus and fall asleep.

Breakfast was included and was slightly better than I had come to expect from tour inclusions (see my Colca Canyon Trek blog post to hear more about that). We were served coca leaf tea, a mostly hollow bun with butter and a single pancake with caramel sauce. The pancake was a nice surprise but I could have eaten three of them! After breakfast we hopped back on the bus for another hour or two before arriving at the base of mount Vinicuna, otherwise known as Rainbow mountain.

Rainbow Mountain Peru Horses

Good to know: If you want to experience Rainbow Mountain but aren’t able to hike it you can rent a horse for 90sols (about $40CAD) to carry you up led by a guide. You can actually rent a horse at just about any point in the two hour trek. There are lots of rest stops along the way and the prices for horses get cheaper as you go.

What to bring:
A sweater/poncho/jacket according to conditions
A Water Bottle
Hiking Boots/Shoes
Hiking Poles If Desired (completely optional)

Rainbow Mountain Valley Peru

Rainbow Mountain Sheep

The Colca Canyon hike was tough for us because you are either hiking straight up or straight down. There isn’t a lot of level ground along the journey to catch your breath. Rainbow mountain is a lot more manageable because the terrain levels out between sharp inclines. Hikers can also stop at any time without backing up foot traffic unlike in the Colca Valley!

I was amazed from the start at how lush and beautiful the mountain was. Peaceful alpacas and sheep grazed in the fields while hikers passed them by. It felt like I was walking through a movie landscape!

Rainbow Mountain Trek

Rainbow Mountain Trek - Cleia

Mike, another traveller from our LBW group and I  began hiking up the mountain together at 8am. We were surprised at how quickly we breezed past everyone in the tour group. We got to the top in about half the time we were told it should take (an hour and a half-ish). No wonder we were out of breath! The hike ends at the summit of a low mountain with a gorgeous view of the valley and surrounding mountains.

Rainbow Mountain Peru

Rainbow Mountain Valley

There is the location of the the iconic photograph shot featured in just about all the travel brochures for Rainbow Mountain. I assumed that it must have been edited, but you guys have to know that the colours are absolutely real. They look even better in person than on camera! I saved this blog post for last because this place is absolutely breathtaking. It’s far away from the cities so the air is crisp and clear, and the colours bleeding down the mountain from iron deposits made me catch my breath. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so beautiful! According to our guide the colours are much more vibrant lately due to acid rain. Pretty cool!

Rainbow Mountain Peru Poncho

Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been!?

Thank you so much for reading! You can find the rest of my Travel Peru Series Here if you missed a post. Please like & subscribe if you haven’t already, and let me know where you’re travelling to next! <3



  1. February 4, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    Good to hear a refreshing post about Rainbow Mountain! I’m looking forward to my hike in April!

    • February 4, 2018 / 6:49 pm

      You’ll have the best time! It’s worth seeing!

  2. Roam from Home
    February 1, 2018 / 7:46 am

    South America has always been on my bucket list and the more I see of Peru, the more I need to book a trip ASAP. The Rainbow Mountains look incredible and I always love moments when something looks exactly like it does in a travel brochure, as you mentioned. I had that moment at Whitsundays in Australia. Also, the whole of New Zealand was beautiful, especially Lake Matheson. A really great post – thank you!

    • February 1, 2018 / 6:06 pm

      Peru was such an amazing trip! I had never heard of the rainbow mountains before booking the trip so we were happy to discover them. I hope you can go one day!
      I’d love to visit Australia and NZ! There’s so much to see. Thanks for reading!

  3. January 15, 2018 / 10:12 am

    Wow, I’ve never heard of Rainbow Mountain, but how absolutely stunning! That one shot where you can see all the different colours is beautiful. I can only imagine how breathtaking it must have been in person!
    Was it really busy when you went?

    • January 15, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      I hadn’t either until we started researching things to do in Peru. It was so pretty up there!
      It was a little busy at the beginning but once the trail widened out we left behind a lot of the foot traffic. The top was busy just because so many people wanted photos before heading down, and who can blame them!? It was really awesome!

  4. January 15, 2018 / 8:46 am

    Love this! Peru is definitely on my list of places to visit now πŸ’œ

    • January 15, 2018 / 1:19 pm

      I hope you can go one day! Thanks for reading ❀

  5. Zac
    January 14, 2018 / 6:37 pm

    Looks like a beautiful part of the world Cleia. Hope I get to see it when we visit Peru this year. Have you been to Iceland? I think that’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. And we didn’t even catch the northern lights!

    • January 14, 2018 / 8:37 pm

      It really is! Peru has a lot to offer for travel. It’s a shame driving between towns sometimes because there’s a lot of stray animals, garbage and general poverty, but there’s also so many amazing places beyond that.
      I’m excited for you to go! Will you be backpacking?
      I’ve never been to Iceland but it looks beautiful, I’d love to go someday! I’m hoping to see Panama this year ☺

  6. January 14, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    Those mountains are stunning and surreal! What a sight to see in person πŸ™‚

    • January 14, 2018 / 4:49 pm

      It was amazing! The drive back was kimd of stressful from all the windy roads but it was worth the trip!

  7. lifeofangela
    January 14, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    Rainbow Mountain looks incredible! I also love that one giant fluffy sheep πŸ˜€

    • January 14, 2018 / 1:55 pm

      Did you see them when you were in Peru? haha I had never seen a wild sheep before so I was calling it a “sheepy thing” until the guide confirmed that it was a sheep! All the animals were so chill, just doing their own thing πŸ™‚

      • lifeofangela
        January 14, 2018 / 3:41 pm

        I dont think I did see much sheep! More horses and cows. The animals were so relaxed. They didn’t mind us people milling around πŸ˜„

        • January 14, 2018 / 4:06 pm

          Sorry I meant rainbow mountain πŸ˜‚ But sheep too! I didn’t see very many cows, lots of mules & horses on the trail though.

          • lifeofangela
            January 14, 2018 / 6:56 pm

            πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Oh! No I didn’t see it actually! I’d never even heard of it till you mentioned It! It looks incredible πŸ˜„

          • January 14, 2018 / 8:26 pm

            πŸ˜„ From your scrapbook it looks like you saw lots of things I didn’t either, It’s hard to see it all! The rainbow mountains were one of the top highlights of the trip for me

  8. January 14, 2018 / 1:52 pm

    Woooww! This is definitely on my bucket list now! This look simply incredible! Rainbow mountains! There really is everything and more than I could imagine on this earth!
    love, elena

    • January 14, 2018 / 1:54 pm

      It’s SO amazing, I would love to go back one day! It’s one of the few places I’ve seen that literally made me catch my breath. It’s even more beautiful in person! I hope you get a chance to see it one day πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: