Kondor Path Tours

What is the difference between Palcoyo and Vinicunca?

Are you undecided and don’t know which colorful mountain to visit? Which is the best between Vinicunca and Palccoyo? Here you will find everything you need for a beautiful experience.

They offer breathtaking natural beauty; we recommend both, but if you don’t have much time, which one would you recommend?

What is Vinicunca Mountain?

Vinicunca Mountain, named by the local indigenous people but known in the tourist industry as the Seven-Colored Mountain of Peru, is a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride from the city of Cusco.

Vinicunca is located in the southern Andes of the Cusco region (Cordillera del Vilcanota); it was the first mountain to become very famous in the world of tourism; the natural beauty in the variety of colors is impeccable, so many also call it The Mountain of Seven Colors, this tonality of the mountain is given by a complex geological history of marine, lake and river sediments formed over millions of years.


Vinicunca Mountain is 5200 meters above sea level, where temperatures can vary between 5 and 35 °C. This depends a lot on weather conditions; it is clear that when it rains and there is a substantial wind, temperatures drop, but they can also rise dramatically when it is a super sunny day, up to 38 °C. Also, remember that you are 5200 meters from the sun.

When is the best time to visit Vinicunca?

  • Visit Vinicunca when you want to see the most beautiful mountain with seven colors.
  • Visit Vinicunca if you want to explore the Red Valley, although you can see many reddish mountains on the road to Palccoyo.
  • It is recommended to visit Vinicunca mountain in the dry season, which runs from April to mid-December.

What is Mount Palccoyo?

Palcoyo is a group of rainbow mountains, one of the most apparent differences with Vinicunca mountain, which has only one colored mountain.

Palccoyo is about 3 hours by bus from Cusco; the route to Palccoyo is breathtaking. On the way to Palccoyo, you will find a stone forest, and there is a chance to see the famous red river; a better route than Palccoyo is impossible!


The Seven Colors Mountain of Palccoyo is located south of Cusco, at an altitude of 4,800 meters, not far from the snow-capped Ausangate in the Peruvian Andes, which means it is 400 meters lower than Vinincunca Mountain.

When is the best time to visit Palccoyo?

Visit Palccoyo in the rainy season, because if it rains a lot, it is perfect for your trip, because you will probably also see the Red River.
Visit Palccoyo if you want to guarantee a good experience, sometimes in the Andes it snows, and it can cover the mountain, in the case of Palccoyo there is no problem because there are many colorful mountains, there will always be one or two mountains where you can see this natural effect.

  • When hiking in Palccoyo, you will see the colorful mountains and the stone forest.
  • Take the Palccoyo mountain hike if you don’t want to do much hiking.

What is the mountain with the minor tourist traffic?

Vinincunca Mountain

The Mountain of the 7 Colors, or Vinicunca, is crowded with tourists. At this point, taking a picture without other tourists appearing in the image is difficult, so you will have to resort to Photoshop.

Apart from this experience, Vinicunca remains the most beautiful colored mountain.

Palccoyo Mountain

Palccoyo is a new itinerary we are promoting in InkanMilkyWay; on this tour to Palccoyo, you will not see many people, and you will be able to take all the pictures you want in the most beautiful places without crowds.

There are two main reasons why this route is not populated with tourists, firstly because this place is still very new in the market, and secondly, for marketing reasons, as many operators have been promoting Vinicunca mountain for many years, but let’s be honest here, Palccoyo has nothing on Vinicunca.

What is the difficulty of the hike on both mountains?


  • The hike will take a total of three hours or more, depending on whether you want to visit the Red Valley.
  • The hike includes ascents and descents, but only the last 25-30 minutes are uphill.
  • Vinincunca is on higher ground to the east, so the hike can sometimes be tedious.


  • The hike takes a total of 1 hour.
  • The hike is mostly uphill, so no worries.

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