Kondor Path Tours

Colored Mountains in Peru

The Colored Mountains in Peru are one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country. These mountains are famous for their unique appearance, featuring stripes in seven different colors. Hiking the Colored Mountains is also notorious for being one of the most challenging treks in Peru, as the altitude reaches up to 5,200 meters (17,060 feet) above sea level. Every step taken on this mountain is a significant accomplishment.

When hikers finally reach the peak of the Colored Mountains, they feel a sense of pride for overcoming the arduous climb. Other names given to these mountains include Vinicunca, Winikunka, and Montaña de Siete Colores (Mountain of Seven Colors).

If you plan to hike the Colored Mountains in Cusco, Peru, this guide provides everything you need to know.

Hike Difficulty

The hike to the colored mountains in Peru is not too challenging. The trail is mainly flat and covers 1.5 hours from the parking lot to the viewpoint, with an elevation gain of 400 meters. However, the last part of the trail is steeper.

Following the path is easy, and if you have acclimatized and are in good shape, you should be able to manage the hike. Nonetheless, the altitude makes it challenging. Even a one-hour hike can feel like four hours due to the high elevation. Take your time and pace yourself. Walk at a consistent speed for a few minutes, rest to catch your breath, and repeat. Do not rush, and enjoy the view at your own pace. Long breaks can be challenging for your body, so keeping moving is better. Consider using trekking poles for support.

On the way back down from the mountain, take it easy and enjoy the scenery. People often rush, which can lead to altitude sickness symptoms. Headaches are a common symptom, so it’s best not to hurry back to the van on time. Take your time and appreciate the surroundings.

Colored Mountains in Peru Season

The Peruvian winter in the Andes, the dry season, is usually the best time to go when the probability of sunny days and clearer skies are higher. Also, it’s much less risky for falls or slips due to wet trails. It lasts from May to October, usually when Peru is the most crowded. The rainy season, on the other hand, lasts from November to April.

Going to Rainbow Mountain in the dry season would be best because it increases the chances of enjoying a beautiful sunny day when the mountain’s colors are the most vivid and have better contrast.

If you want to avoid crowds, you can always follow the tips I said before (going in a taxi before the buses arrive or after they leave, for example) or try to avoid June, July, and August when the number of crowds increases.

Notice that the Peruvian weather is somewhat unpredictable, so raining, even in the dry season, and even more at that altitude is possible. It also gets a little bit chilly up there and windy sometimes, so bring a jacket. Remember: the higher you climb, the colder it will get.

The temperatures are usually consistent in the dry season, from 10º C / 50º F to 20º / 68º F. Still, in the rainy season, there’s a high possibility of snow and hail, even though it’s supposedly summer (a weird phenomenon if you ask me). This way, you won’t experience the colors at their finest.

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