1. English
  2. 中文 (中国)
Titicaca lake - Rainbow mountain trek to Puno

Rainbow Mountain Trek starting in Puno

Written by: Incatrailhikeperu May 9, 2022

The best schedule for this uniquely designed tour!

  • Your guide will Pick you up from your hotel in Puno at 4 then drive for 5 hours to the trailhead.
  • By 9:00 you will arrive at the trailhead and start hiking to the summit of Rainbow mt for about 1 hours up.
  • By 10:30h, enjoy the amazing views of the Rainbow mt.
  • After summiting, there is an optional extra 45-minute hike to a view of the Red Valley.
  • By 13:00h, you’ll take the private van back to Cusco, arriving by 17:00h.

***PLEASE NOTE: You can also do this hike in reverse starting in Cusco and ending in Puno

Itinerary for Rainbow Mountain

Puno – Rainbow Mountain – Cusco

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel at 4:00 am, and start the drive to the Rainbow Mountain trailhead. The drive takes around 5 hours from Puno to Rainbow Mountain.

At the trailhead there will be llamas and alpacas waiting to take a picture with you. Upon arriving at the trail head there will be a 10 soles cost that is usually not included in the tour costs. After taking your llama pics start the hike, Follow a small stream along the trail and admire the great views of Ausangate Mountain. After hiking for about 1.5 hours you’ll reach the summit of Rainbow Mountain. Take in the views get all the pictures you need. There is an optional hike to the red valley which adds about 45 mins to the trip as a whole.

Continue back to the trailhead and start the three hour drive to Cusco. You should arrive back in Cusc0 by 5:00pm

  • Meals included: Lunch 
  • Difficulty: moderate to challenging

***PLEASE NOTE: There is a 10 soles charge for entering the trail head which is usually not included in tour costs.

What’s the best time of year to trek Rainbow Mountain?

Like everything in the region the best time to hike rainbow mountain is during the dry season which is from May to October. The dry season offers better weather and lower chances of delays and road closures due to heavy rains. This is the busiest time of the year so so expect lines for taking your pictures of Rainbow Mountain.

If you would like to you can rent a horse to take you up the mountain. However the last section of the hike 500m is too steep for horses and you will have to walk it.

Frequently Asked Questions,

Is Rainbow Mountain worth it?

Rainbow mountain is a dificult hike because of the high elevation and steepness of the hike. If you are able bodied you should definitely consider hiking this mountain. The vivid colors contrast against the white snow capped mountains of the background making for an amazingly beautiful view.

***PLEASE NOTE: Make sure you have properly acclimatized to the altitude before attempting this trek. Rainbow mountain stands at 5,200 meters (17,060 feet) altitude sickness is no joke.

Best Rainbow Mountain Trek Information? - Incatrailhikeperu

What gives rainbow Mountain it’s colour?

The mountains color come from many different minerals present in the soil. According to studies the red color comes from iron oxide deposits, the pink color comes from a mixture of clay and sand. The purple tones are the product of calcium carbonate and silicates. Where as the whiter tones come from exposed sandstone and limestone. The yellow layers come from Limonites and sandstone rich in sulfide. Finally the greenish color comes from soil rich in ferro magnesium and copper oxide.

Is it hard to hike Rainbow Mountain?

Hiking Rainbow Mountain is not difficult, however you will be at high elevation. Generally speaking the hike is only hard if you have not properly acclimatized.

Suggested Packing List for Rainbow mountain

  • Sunscean: You will be at high elevation where the sun is much stronger than at sea level
  • Good Footwear: Comfortable footwear with good tread
  • Snacks: You may find some local vendors who sell snacks if you forget to bring food buying from on of them is a good option
  • Reusable water bottle: A water bottle or camel back is a must
  • Wear Layers: The weather can change quickly it’s important to have layers
  • Goles/Mittens and Warm hat: Make sure you have enough clothes to stay warm
  • Horse Rental: If you think the hike may be too difficult
  • Day Bag: To carry all of your water, snacks and clothing.

Guided Adventures

Self-made blog

All the information is free and precise. I don't get paid for publishing any agency or tour, and everything has been verified and experienced.


Local Information

Everything in this blog has been doublé checked by a local, we made the effort on gathering all this information for you, to make your trip easier and cheaper.


Personal experience

99% of the information has been lived by a traveler like you, me, I wanted to compile all the information I had to make every traveler life easier.


Best and only the best

We gathered the best information for you. All this has been investigated and visited only to bring you the best CSelf-made blog. All the information is free and precise. I don't get paid for publishing any agency or tour, and everything has been verified and experienced.