If you ever wanted to visit one of the most surreal places on earth, you should keep the Rainbow Mountains on the top of your to-do list. The surreal colorful mountains are located around 3 hours away from Cusco, and you will need to trek for a couple of hours once you arrive at the beginning of the trail. The hike to the Rainbow Mountains is not for the faint hearted, and involves trekking through icy winds, treacherous landscapes, and fragile ecosystems.
If you expect the Rainbow Mountains to look as colorful as the Instagram pictures, you will be in for some disappointment. These mountains are definitely magical but not in the way many tour operators promote. The trek is part of the journey and unless you enjoy a bit of adventure and rasping icy winds, this trek may not appeal to you. However, for those of you who do enjoy adventurous treks, the Rainbow Mountains offer all the excitement one might want.
The Rainbow Mountains are located 5100 meters above sea level and the trek takes you through alpine villages, meadows and quaint communities. If you are the kind of person who gets sick during high altitude treks, this tour is certainly not for you. However, once you reach the summit, you will feel a sense of bliss and joy of having overcome arduous paths and risky routes. When you go back home, you can surprise your friends by narrating all the tales from your journey.
We do advise people to take this trip during the warmer months as it is located at a very high altitude. Even during the warmer months, it gets really cold and warm clothing is always advisable. The Rainbow Mountain tour starts at 3 AM from your hotel, and you will return only by 5 pm. Do expect to be tired and weary, and spend the rest of the evening in bed or chugging some liquor at a bar in Cusco.