How to acclimatize in Vinicunca, the famous mountain of seven colors, is located more than 100 kilometers from the city of Cusco, at an altitudinal summit situated at 5,200 (m.a.s.l.); Vinicunca is one of the most impressive mountains of the Nevado Ausangate in the Andes of Peru and does locate between the districts of Cusipata, province of Quispicanchi and Pitumarca, province of Canchis.
Vinicunca is located in the Cusco region and has two well-defined rainy and dry seasons. The temperature on the route to Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain, can go down to 0ºC and rise to 25ºC, depending on the season.
The rainy season covers the months of November to March. During this time, due to the climatic variation and frequent rains, it is not advisable to do adventure tourism or long walks in Cusco. But, if you can make small tours within the city.
This season covers the months from April to October. This time is perfect for all types of sightseeing in Cusco; the presence of rain is minimal. However, carrying a rain poncho among your things is always suggested because, despite being in the dry season, there is the possibility of witnessing rain.
In the highlands of Cusco, you can feel an intense cold accompanied by the wind, for which people must go through a process of acclimatization and thus avoid the famous altitude sickness or soroche.
But don’t worry if it is your first time in Cusco because we will share some recommendations to help you acclimate during your stay in Cusco.
Acclimatization is not a quick process, but it is not complicated either. For acclimatization in Vinicunca, you will need an average time of 2 to 3 days to undertake the tour; this way, you will be able to deal with possible symptoms of altitude sickness.
The highest point on the route to Vinicunca will be 5 020 masl / 16 470ft, and the lowest point will be 3 339 masl / 10 955ft.
Next, we will share some tips for the acclimatization process and be able to reach Vinicunca without any inconvenience.
It is advisable to plan activities to help us acclimatize in Cusco for the acclimatization process.
It is vital that during the ascent, the walk should be slow or very slow. We recommend you not exceed the things you will carry for your hike.
The trek to Vinicunca is a moderate trek from level I to level VI, so you should keep yourself hydrated.
Kondor Path Tours suggests you go through a medical check-up before starting the trek in addition to acclimatization. The latter is recommended for health reasons since, in the case of suffering altitude sickness in an emergency, we could calm the symptoms with painkillers. If you have any allergy to medications, it does suggest to warn.
Symptoms of altitude sickness in Vinicunca:
In the case of altitude sickness or soroche, consuming coca leaf tea is not superfluous; it will help reduce altitude sickness symptoms.
Since the time of the Incas, the coca leaf was ingested for the properties that this sacred plant possesses, for the people’s good. And the best way to eat the coca leaf to avoid or reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness is by chewing the coca, thus generating a juice that should be consumed.
Another way to consume the coca leaf is through a mate, which alleviates altitude sickness symptoms.
There are two more practical ways of consuming coca leaves for travelers’ health.