RAINBOW MOUNTAIN TOUR 2-DAYS
Remote mountain trip in the Ausangate region of Peru
Wilderness camping at high altitude
Rainbow Mountain and Waqrapucara Inca Site – Exclusive
Guiding Peru offers this exclusive 2 day trek through the Andes, hiking to Rainbow Mountain along the Four Lakes of Acomayo and into the Inca sanctuary of Waqrapucara. This impressive Inca archaeological complex is less known and more remote than the more famous monuments of the Cusco Region and lies in the southern plateau of the Sacred Valley of Peru.
Pricing: $425.00/person (minimum 2)
*One day before the trek: Guide briefing in your hotel lobby. Time to be determined at time of booking.
Day 1: RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – FOUR LAKES OF ACOMAYO – WAQRAPUCARA First day: CUSCO – RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – FOUR LAKES
- Meals: B/L/D
- Highest Elevation: 5070m – 16224ft
- Campsite elevation: 3600m – 11520ft
- Level of Difficulty: Challenging day
- Area: dry mountain cold and windy
This morning, hotel pick up will be at 4:00am, and our private transport will take drive you for 2 hours along a paved road to the south valley of Cusco. At Checacupe, we will drive for one more hour along a dirt road until Qesuini community, located at 4100m. Here is where we will have our breakfast prepared by our professional chef. After breakfast, we will meet our horsemen that will take the emergency horse all the way with us to the top of the mountain. Today’s hike is divided into 3 sections: the first part is about 35 minutes uphill, then we go for another 30 min of flat path until we reach the check point of the community organization of Vinicunca. This is where we pay the entrance fees and then continue for about 35 minutes until we see the amazing Ausangate mountain and Rainbow Mountain range. The last part, to the top, will be flat for 40 min and then the last half hour will be challenging uphill, to the top of Rainbow Mountain 5070m– 16224ft. After we reach the top, we will have about 40 minutes to enjoy and take pictures. The way down is along the same route that we took going up. We will hike for about 2 hours downhill, until the location of our lunch spot, where our chef will be preparing lunch, arriving between 1-2 pm. Once we finish eating, we will pack everything up and drive for about 1.30 hours to the location of our campsite, in the center of the Pomacanchi Valley, or well known as the Four Lakes Valley. We will camp near one of these lakes where you will get a fantastic scenery of the lakes in the highlands of Cusco. Dinner is prepared by our chef and you can spend some time enjoying the beautiful sky with a clear view of the Milky Way.
Second day: FOUR LAKES – PITUMARKA – WAQRAPUCARA – HUAYKE – CUSCO
- Meals: B/L/
- Highest Elevation: 4450 mt – 14240ft
- Level of Difficulty: moderate day
- Area: dry mountain cold and windy
Today wake up time is at 5:00am with hot coffee or coca tea in your tent, followed by breakfast, allowing some time to enjoy the scenery of the lakes. This new ecotourism and cultural circuit offers interesting attractions, at this altitude of 11520ft. There are four beautiful lagoons, with important flora, migratory birds and a diversity of fish. (Trout, Pejerrey (Atherine), Huitas, Ccarachis, Ch´iñis and Carps). Also on the way there are picturesque villages and historical places like the Casa del Mártir de la Revolution (House of the Revolution´s Martyr), Tupac Amaru II, and Sangarará´s Church. For about 1.30 hour, we will enjoy the lakes driving from Pampamarka and Tungasuka Lagoon, to bird watch at the Asnaqocha Lagoon, then Acopía Lagoon and ending in Pomacanchi Lagoon, the biggest and most important for the local people. After we enjoy a short visit to the lakes, we continue driving to the starting point of the next hike at Pitumarca community. The paved road ends at Pitumarca and we start taking a dirt road all the way up to the end, at an altitude of 14240ft which is the starting point of the hike. Before we start ,we will have our boxed breakfast of fruit, biscuits, juices and other cold drinks. During the trip, we will enjoy the incredible scenery of the area and a beautiful lagoon, which is where we will likely see the Vicuñas that are in danger of extinction. These birds can only be seen in isolated areas high in the mountains. The hike in the morning will last approximately two and a half hours along an up and down path enjoying 3 beautiful lakes until we reach Waqrapucara. Here we will get to see the majestic canyon of Apurimac River and the fascinating rock formation of Waqrapucara. From the top, we hike down and as we near Waqrapucara, we will be surrounded by peculiar wavy-shaped rocks. Until we arrive at Waqrapucara campsite we hike downhill along a gradual path, then we start to take the steps up to the main area of the archeological site located at 13280ft. This will be the location for eating our box lunch and exploring the area with our guide for about one hour and a half. We will then start hiking down for about 2.30 hours to the Apurimac River, along a magnificent panorama of curve-shaped mountains that dominates the landscape. The guide will take you to an area of paintings in caves made by the pre-Incan civilization “Canchis”, then we hike down until the community of Huayke where our private transport will be waiting for us to go back to Cusco. Driving time is about 3 hours until you reach your hotel in Cusco.
When to Travel
- High Season (June – August): Dry season in the Andean highlands. Best time for dry conditions for hiking in the Sacred Valley and on Inca Trail.
- Shoulder Season (September-November and March-May): Occasional rainstorms Trails are less crowded, making for ideal visits with more solitude.
- Low Season (December to February): Rainy season. Expect persistent daily rains.
Suggested Packing List
- Original passport.
- ISIC international student card if applicable.
- Day pack to carry your personal items
- Comfortable trekking boots with good ankle support
- Warm clothes, layers for variable temperatures
- Thermal underwear for cold conditions
- Gloves or mittens, wool socks, beanie for cold conditions
- T-shirts and trekking pants that zip off to short pants for comfort
- Personal medications
- Flash light, head lamp and extra batteries
- Sun hat, Sunscreen, and sunglasses
- Rain jacket/pants or high quality rain poncho
- Personal Toiletries, toilet paper, small towel, moist towelette
- Extra money for drinks & tips, souvenirs etc in soles
- An Expert English spoken Guide with expert knowledge of the area and its customs.
- Assistant guide(s)
- Pre trek briefing with lead guide
- Cook, assistant of cook
- Emergency horse for riding.
- Meals as per itinerary
- Daily snacks and drinking water
- Entrance fees to all the archaeological sites and touristic places
- Private van transport
- 4 man Tents for two people
- sleeping inflated pats, normal sleeping pats
- sleeping bag and pillow
- dining tent and chairs, toilet tent
- Private hot shower tent
- First-aid kit
- Duffle bag
- Hiking poles
- Plastic poncho
- Rain cover for your Day pack
- Radio communications
- Solo fee – private tent ($35.00)