Explore the most popular trails near Pitumarca with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Pitumarca, Cusco Map

Some trails have a view, and some trails ARE the view. This one is the latter. Which makes it even more of a shame that searching online for Rainbow Mountain yields two major misconceptions about this hike. One is that you will find a Dr. Suess-drenched literal rainbow mountain that the Photoshopped and heavily filtered photos implore you to believe exists. The second is that the point of this hike should even BE Rainbow Mountain. It’s a cool little mountain but somewhat underwhelming after a difficult hike at 16,000 feet. But the rest of the hike! The valley is dripping in purples and greens, rust reds and Caribbean aquas, as if a painter has carelessly tossed all his brushes aside over the ragged peaks thrusting themselves diagonally through the grassy floor. Sheep and the occasional horse dot the landscape, grazing, seemingly oblivious to the beauty surrounding them. You’re rewarded to glimpses of the snow-blanketed Ausangate Mountain, and clouds spilling into the valley on the far side of Vinicunca.

This hike is not steep and would not be difficult save for the altitude. It affected us all a lot more than we anticipated. The coca tea (3 soles) at the top helped but we all had headaches the whole next day, never mind the struggle to the top. It gets cold and windy; dress appropriately. Entrance is 10 soles and you can also hire a horse to ride up. We didn’t start at the parking lot but found a spot on the side of the road, which added about 3.5 miles roundtrip (some of my pics are from that part of the trail). The drive is sketchy; you can find day tours that leave by bus from Cusco, but we drove ourselves. There is also a 3-day trek.

10 months ago

Monday, January 02, 2017