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The Rainbow Mountains of Cusco: Vinincunca Vs Palcoyo

Posted on : 23 February 2021

Vinincunca Vs Palcoyo

The first rainbow mountain in Cusco is Vinincunca and every day it is visited by thousands of tourists who yearn to have colorful and stylish photos on this mountain. But there are several Rainbow Mountains south of Cusco, and a red valley (it is red) that many tourists do not know. The visits to Rainbow mountain Palcoyo are daily but there are not thousands (only a few connoisseurs. However, visits to alternative rainbow mountain Palcoyo are already rising in popularity). Vinicunca and Palcoyo offer views of beautiful and very similar rainbow mountains, but they are two attractions with differences. I will explain the most significant differences so that you have more information to make your decision:

Time and physical effort on the walk to each rainbow mountain

One of the differences between the two mountains is the physical effort you need to reach them. To get to Vinicunca you must walk at least 4 hours round trip with a considerable incline, if your pace is slow it will probably take you longer. In contrast, there is the trek to alternative rainbow mountain Palcoyo that lasts 1:30 hours (approx 90min) round trip on a flat path.

Both rainbow mountains are located at 5 thousand meters above sea level, so the risks of suffering from altitude sickness are the same, although the physical effort is greater towards Vinincunca. I recommend you measure your strength and choose the rainbow mountain that suits you.

If you are excited by steep trails and like to push yourself then Vinicunca might be for you. Or if you prefer an easier walk and do not need to demand too much from your body, Palcoyo is your choice.

Additional information: In Vinicunca you can hire horse services with muleteer (who is local villager) that will take you to the top of the rainbow mountain.

Advantages of making a tour with travel agencies to reach the rainbow mountains: Vinincunca or Palcoyo

The most important advantage of making a tour with a formal travel agency is that the tour guides and driver know the roads, the quality, and the correct accesses, so the 3-hour trip to rainbow mountain (Palcoyo or Vinincunca) is very safe.

However, if you want to visit any of the Rainbow Mountains on your own, you should know that vehicular access to Palcoyo is much more complicated than to Vinicunca.