Hiked in Peru | Mount Pelangi (Vinicunca)
Perhaps one of the few positive effects of global warming, Mount Pelangi (Vinicunca) near Cusco is one of the newest and most beautiful attractions in Peru. This mountain has been covered with snow and ice for centuries, but around 2015, the snow melts and displays a mountain peak that is covered with beautiful colorful lines.
Geologists have identified 14 minerals, including iron and chlorite, which contribute to the color scheme of this beautiful mountain. One of the most frequently asked questions about this site is, “Does the original rainbow mountain look as beautiful as in the photo?” The answer is YES!
The best time to see Mount Pelangi
The period of visit to Mount Pelangi is wide open. Good weather can be found from March to November, and the clearest skies tend to occur between June and August. January and February are the rainy season, but climbing during this time is made possible by good weather observations and guidance.
Travel tips for climbing Mount Pelangi
Wear layered clothes. Because temperatures can change from sunny to snow in a matter of minutes, wearing layered clothing allows climbers to undress when the weather is hot, and warm themselves when it is cold.
Good hiking shoes must be worn. Climbing Mount Pelangi is not the hardest climb in the world, but of course requires quality hiking shoes to maintain the safety and health of your feet.
Bring water, sunblock, and hat. Climbing a mountain is different from climbing a mountain trail. You can get sunburned easily, as does dehydration. It’s better to prevent than cure, right?
Prepare for altitude sickness. Mount Pelangi is at an altitude of 17,000 feet, which means half of the height of Mount Everest. Take a professional tour that includes an oxygen mask to help overcome the dizziness and nausea that often accompany mountain expeditions.
How to get to Mount Pelangi
Experienced climbers can book a tour with a guide from Cusco. Tours vary depending on the agency, but most start around 5am, and some of the more challenging tours leave at 3am. Some of these tours pass through Cusipata, about two hours drive from Cusco.
Novice climbers can rent a taxi, minivan, or join a group bus tour. The journey from Cusco takes around three hours.
Renting a car or driving your own vehicle can also be an option. Even though the last hour of the journey will take you down a narrow dirt road, you don’t need an off-road vehicle.
Regardless of how you arrive at Mount Pelangi, a trip to the summit is the same for everyone: visitors have to climb for about an hour and a half. Visitors also have the option to rent horses from local residents along the road.