“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes Mother Nature produces a display of color so vibrant and varied, that it seems almost implausible that it could have occurred naturally. Yet as your eyes fall upon the beauty of Peru´s Rainbow Mountain, you are quite literally looking at millions of years of geological history and a natural wonder seen almost nowhere else on Earth.
Hiking through the Red Valley, surrounded by majestic snow capped peaks and stunningly beautiful hillsides, you will feel the peace, tranquility and solitude of this lesser known trail. At times our only company will be the curious Alpacas, Llamas and Vicuñas that we see along the way. As the trail takes us through remote Andean villages, you will pass the villagers and herders going about their wonderfully simple lives.
The night skies in the Andes truly have to be seen to be believed, and you will be mesmerized by the display of shooting stars and constellations as you rest overnight in our remote campsite. You will arrive at camp to find your high quality tent already pitched (complete with mattress and pillow), your gear in place, and your crew preparing a sumptuous dinner. After a well-earned night’s sleep you will be woken at dawn with a cup of steaming hot fresh coffee or tea and hot water to wash with, before sitting down for a nutritious and energizing breakfast. All you need for the days hiking ahead.
A challenging but incredibly rewarding 2 day hike, your Action Treks Peru team will be with you at all times, whether guiding and providing commentary on this unique area, cooking you the most sumptuous meals or preparing your comfortable campsite.
So why not take some time out from the tourist traps of Cusco, and join us on this inspiring and memorable trek to one of Mother Nature’s true wonders.
Overall trek distance: 28 km / 17.3 miles
Starting altitude: 4,380 m / 14,370 ft
Maximum altitude: 5,020 m / 16,466 ft
Overall trek difficulty: Challenging
Our guide will provide you with a pre-trek briefing at our office in Cusco 1 or 2 days before we depart. Whilst we always aim to provide as much information as possible, this also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the trek, your crew or the areas we’ll be visiting.
The days start early with Action Treks Peru, and we will pick you up from your Cusco hotel at 4:00am before taking a 3 hour drive to the trailhead (Pampa Alcataury). Don’t worry, our vans are comfortable and we will provide blankets in case you want to continue sleeping!
As we make final preparations to our trekking gear your incredible chef will be preparing a delicious, nutritious breakfast to give you all the energy you need for the trekking ahead. Over breakfast your guide will spend some time talking through the day’s itinerary along with any safety tips.
We begin our adventure from the lush, green valley floor, surrounded by views of the stunning mount Ausangate. You will also pass numerous Llama farms and remote Andean villages, observing first-hand the simplicity of the lifestyle of the villagers.
We take a steep 2 hour ascent to the first pass of the trek; Puccacocha (4,930 m / 16,170 ft.). Sitting just above the crystal blue Puccacocha Lake the views from the pass are spectacular. With the majestic Ausangate Mountain directly in front of you, you will witness first-hand this beautiful, active glacier crashing into the lake below.
After enjoying the views at the pass we take a 2 hour undulating trail to Anantapata where we will stop for lunch. Prepare to be amazed at the culinary wonders your chef can create in a small tent on the side of a mountain, as you refuel for the remainder of the day’s hike.
After lunch and a rest we continue hiking for another 3 hours until we arrive at the highest point of our trek, Minasniyuc pass (5,025 m / 16,486 ft.) Have your cameras at the ready, as from here we will have our first views of the Vinicunca ‘Rainbow’ mountain in the distance.
We now make a short descent for 40 minutes to our camp for the night at Lake Surine Cocha. Where your support team will have setup camp before we arrive, and after settling in we will enjoy a sumptuous dinner surrounded by this unique landscape in the heart of the Andes. The temperatures at night can be very cold, so make sure you bring layers of clothing and that your sleeping bag is up to it! Your reward will be an unforgettable night sky full of constellations and shooting stars. Your team will be keeping you warm with supplies of hot cocoa tea or coffee before you retire to your tent for a well-earned night’s sleep.
You will be woken early with a gentle tap on your tent, and a steaming hot cup of coca tea or coffee. Then, fully refreshed after a hearty breakfast, we set off for our ascent to Rainbow Mountain and the lesser known (but equally spectacular!) Red Valley.
The day begins with a short but steep 45 minute ascent to the Rainbow Mountain lookout point. Here, you will have time to explore on your own, take photos and soak in the spectacular views, not only of Rainbow Mountain, but also of Ausangate and the other Andean peaks that dominate the area.
We then begin our hike to the spectacular Red Valley. As mentioned, this is a lesser known, lesser travelled area and you will be amazed not only by the beauty, but also by the tranquility. It is a short 25 minute trail to reach the Red Valley lookout point from where we will have views right across the valley.
Finally we take a 4 hour descent passing more Llama farms and villages. We may even spot some vicuñas which are the only non-domesticated animals seen in Peru since pre Inca times. Our hike ends at Labramany (4,250 m / 13,943 ft.) where we will enjoy a final delicious lunch before our bus journey back to Cusco, arriving at your hotel in the early evening.
Note: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or other events which are beyond our control. At Action Treks Peru we will always do our best to follow the itinerary as closely as possible.
WHAT’S IN A NAME: Action Peru Treks? Action is a word we are all familiar with and probably use on a regular basis without too much thought! However, it is worth a look at the dictionary to understand what makes the word Action in our name special. ACTION: Doing things that require physical movement and energy; something done so as to accomplish a purpose; involved in the activities of a group and organization.