On this Rainbow Mountain 4-day trek, admire snowy peaks and star-filled skies on the Ausangate Circuit, climb the region’s highest peak, experience the brilliant rock layers of Rainbow Mountain, share the trail with llamas and alpacas, and encounter the living heritage of the Inca.
On this 4-day Rainbow Mountain trek, hike along the snow-capped mountains of the Andes to reach the region’s highest peak. Trek the classic Ausangate Circuit and take an overnight trek to Vinicuna through stunning, off-the-beaten-path wildnerness.
Travel past mountain lakes and along rising and falling landscapes. Share the trail with llama and alpacas, and pass through native communities where the native language of Machu Picchu, Quechua, is still spoken. Reach 17,000 feet above sea level (5200 meters), and adventure on two of the region’s most breathtaking treks.
Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Start/End Location: Cusco
Availability: All year round
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult — high-altitude trekking.
Day 1: Hike to the Arapa Pass
Begin your Rainbow Mountain trek with early morning hotel pick-up in Cusco and transportation to the trailhead at Tinqui, located 12,500 feet (3800 meters) asl. Enjoy a hearty breakfast before beginning your trek into the mountains. Today, you’ll ascend 5 hours to the Arapa Pass, reaching 15,600 feet (4757 meters) asl.
The morning hike is strenuous, but you’ll arrive at the Arapa Pass in time for lunch. There, you’ll set up camp and relax for the rest of the day. At the campsite, you’ll have the opportunity to wash up before dinner and hot tea.
Day 2: Hike past Ausangate’s Mountan Lagoons
After breakfast, you’ll take down camp and begin your hike through the Ausangate region. As you hike, you’ll be amazed at Vinicunca’s vibrant landscape — from its rich, colorful mountains to its four turquoise lagoons.
Along the trail, you’ll likely meet the native, Quechua-speaking descendents of the Inca, who live in small mountain communities. You’ll also encounter llamas, alpacas, and wild vicuñas. After 6 hours of hiking (with lunch on the trail), you’ll arrive at your campsite, Hatunccocha. Enjoy dinner at the site before settling down in your tent for the night.
DAY 3: Hike Apacheta Pass to Lake Ausangate
After breakfast, hike along colorful lakes before beginning your ascent towards the Apacheta Pass, located at 15,916 feet (4850 meters) above sea level. With plenty of breaks to rest and eat lunch, you’ll ascend until you arrive in the high pampas — rugged meadows of long grass that lead towards the Pass.
Hike the narrow trail to reach Lake Ausangate, flanked by rugged mountain peaks and the expansive valley below. Near the lake, you’ll enjoy dinner and camp at the Surapampa site.
DAY 4: Trek to Vinicunca “Rainbow Mountain” and Return to Cusco
After breakfast, hike along Puca punta ride, where the red sandstone sediment creates fascinating details in the mountainside. You’ll pass wild vicuñas grazing in the high plains, and continue until you reach Vinicunca Mountain — marvel at the bright mineral-rich layers of stone that give the landscape its nickname “Rainbow Mountain.”
You’ll have plenty of time to admire Rainbow Mountain, take photos, and explore the area. From Vinicunca, you’ll hike 3 hours down the mountain to the private car waiting to take you back to Cusco. The drive will take approximately 3 hours, and you’ll be dropped off directly at your hotel. city, this being the end of our famous rainbow mountain 4 days.
High Altitude Advisory: The altitude in this region affects different people in different ways. Common symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, nausea, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and lack of energy.
To avoid altitude sickness, remain well hydrated, get plenty of rest, and exercise moderately until you’re altitude acclimatized.
We highly recommend you arrive in Cusco at least 2-3 days prior to your trek so that you can become altitude acclimatized. In Cusco, increase your fluid intake and drink muña or coca tea to prevent or treat altitude issues.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.