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!
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.
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 Poles If Desired (completely optional)
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!
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.
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!
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