The no longer popular mountain of colors or Vinicunca has been very well received among visitors who come to the city of Cusco, to the point of becoming the second most visited attraction, of course after Machupicchu, but what would you think not only to see a mountain of colors but a group of them in a spectacular high Andean landscape adorned with herds of llamas and alpacas.
If you want to know a little more about the also called Palcoyo mountain range of colors here you have all the information you need.
Palccoyo the mountain range of colors or the Rainbow Mountains is a set of 03 mountains that are located in the Andes mountain range, precisely in the district of Checacupe of the province of Canchis in the department of Cusco at a height of 4900 meters above the sea level, framed in almost 9000 hectares of beautiful Andean landscapes, whose attraction lies in the similarity it has to the already famous mountain of colors that is about 20 kilometers away.
Because like this it has a wide mineral composition that results in multiple colors that together resemble a rainbow whose background is a landscape of snowy mountain ranges to which it once belonged. This impressive attraction is also a gift from global warming since it was within sight when it thawed.
As in the entire region, Palcoyo is governed by the two defined seasons that Cusco has, it is worth emphasizing that the rainy season is between the months of November and the first days of April, often accompanied by snow due to the height in the one that is, the remaining months, between the last days of April and the last days of October, the whole region is in a dry and cold period.
Thus, also taking into account the 4900 meters at which this place is located, it is normal to find a frozen landscape whose thermal sensation does not exceed 15 degrees even on one of the hottest days. Finally, due to the high altitude, do not forget that the levels of solar radiation also increase considerably.
Keep in mind that although it is true that Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain is a little more distant than the Montaña de Colores, this is compensated very well because there is road access in practice to the same attraction, since one does not have to walk more than 10 minutes to start enjoying all its beauty
This of course without counting that its trails are solidly cobbled and adequately marked, which makes the Cordillera de Colores a destination of very easy travel and access, even for children or older adults, this of course as long as they are able to do a light walk over 4900 meters above sea level.
The only point within the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain route that could require a little more effort is the route up to the stone forest that we are sure you will conquer by taking a calm and leisurely walk.
As for wheelchair access, we cannot say that the paved path is intended for this purpose, but we can affirm that with the necessary assistance it would be possible to access in a short time to a point from which you can appreciate all the beauty of its landscapes, which would be very difficult in Vinicunca.
The Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain stone forest is an important component that further embellishes this incredible landscape, and it becomes very interesting when paying attention to some of the rocks that compose it, because in them we will find what seem to be some small fossilized marine creatures
This indicates that these rocks probably have a sedimentary origin, that is to say, that they come from a seabed, but due to the whims of the geological formation of the Andes they ended up at this great height.
In fact, in Palcoyo you will not see one if not three Mountains of Colors that adorn this already magnificent high Andean landscape, for which it has been called, as we have already said, the Cordillera de Colores.
Very close to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain there is a small tributary of water that during the rainy season increases its flow, dragging with it the reddish earth of the land in which it is located, and with it this river takes on the same coloration that has attracted the attention of many visitors.
Being located within the traditional communities of the Andes, in Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain it will be possible to appreciate entire herds of Llamas and alpacas that graze in the surrounding areas, which are an important part of the local economy in addition to the fact that even in the middle of the year 2o22 they are used as pack animals.
On your own:
If you do not have a vehicle, what you have to do is take a bus in the direction of Combapata, which you can take from the closed house of the youth coliseum about 10 minutes from the historic center of Cusco, and after the three hours of travel that will do, when you get to the town you must hire a transport that takes you to the same attraction that is found, by a detour from the same town
Almost an hour away, once there, take the walk of around 40 minutes and finally contemplate all the beautiful landscape in the relevant time, and return doing the same route until finally reaching the city of Cusco.
Remember that it is pertinent that you start your activity very early in the morning, around 4:30 in the morning. Do not forget to take dried fruit, cookies and water with you, it is very likely that the local food is not the best option.
With the services of a travel agency you can do this tour quietly, with all services included, there are many companies willing to provide you with the service, in our case we have the following itinerary:
The route that undertakes the journey in the direction of this impressive landscape will begin at approximately 4:00 in the morning, making an approximate journey of 2 hours and 30 minutes to the town of Cusipata, where the corresponding food services will be provided.
After the prudent time in the establishment, we will continue directly for one more hour passing through the town of Pitumarca to finally enter and shortly after arriving at the main attraction, the colored mountain ranges, a fascinating spectacle, you will not have to do more walking than necessary to properly appreciate the landscape as mobility comes in practice to the same attraction.
After a reasonable time in the place, you will return on the same route, making the corresponding stop to have lunch.
The city will be reached by averaging 5:00 p.m.
Who, when and how was it discovered:
Vinicunca or The original mountain of colors had great acceptance and an incredible growth of visitors, which awoke in the residents of the surrounding communities of Palcoyo the initiative to also make known the incredible landscape they had, then between the years 2017 and 2018 began to promote the place with the help of the DIRCETUR CUSCO, and also to provide the place with the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the access of visitors to the place.
As Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain is located in the same geographical region as the Mountain of Colors, its composition is practically the same, so the variety of its colors is due to:
[tours-card ids=”2386,104″ ]
|Height||5200 MASL||4900 MASL|
|Vehicle Route||02 hours and 30 minutes||03 hours and 20 minutes|
|Hike||04 hours||02 hours|
|Physical Difficulty||06 of 10||04 of 10|
|attractions||Mountain of Colors, Red Valley.||03 Mountains of Colors, Red River, Stone Forest.|
|Passenger Flow||More than 2000 visitors per day.||From 100 to 200 visitors per day|
Recommendations for a visit to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain:
To make a visit to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain either on your own or with a travel agency, follow the advice below.
Wear shoes suitable for walking, or at least thick-soled shoes, the terrain on which the activities will take place is steep and irregular, preferably high-top shoes.
Do warm-up exercises prior to the start of the walk, this will prevent possible muscle contractions caused by the physical effort that you will make along the way.
Take into account the prevailing weather at the time you perform the activity, whether it is the rainy season or the cold period, you should wear something more or less warm, in addition to the rain coat that will be essential, read a little more in detail about the weather in Cusco in the next post.
About the height of the final destination that we will arrive at, which as we already mentioned is 4900 meters above sea level, take into account that it is preferable to leave this activity for days after your arrival, imagine your body rising from sea level to 4,900 meters from one day to the next.
For this reason, we advise you to acclimatize, which implies that you follow up on the effects that the altitude produces on you from the first moment you step on Cusco soil, so that after more than a day of your stay, launch yourself on a new adventure, everything depends entirely on you, each organism is different from another.
Take something extra to eat, because even though you have a contracted service, the physical activity you will undergo will expend more energy than usual, and some cookies, water and some dried fruit will be the best answer. to your physical needs.
Bring a change of clothes to use at the end of the activity, as sweating may leave you with a feeling of permanent humidity. It will be very comforting to be able to change at least the clothes that are in direct contact with your body.
Warm and light clothing is the best response to the changing climate that reigns in Cusco, in such a way that, in any situation, it does not represent a hindrance.
Use trekking poles, they help a lot with the physical effort you make in the ascent to the Humantay lagoon.
Do not forget to use sunscreen, throughout the Cusco region solar radiation is very high and this activity is carried out almost entirely outdoors.
Do not drink alcohol the day before the activity and get a good night’s sleep to be fully fit.