I received a one-day guided trek to the Rainbow Mountain with Flashpacker Connect for coverage on this post and this post here. 

13 Rainbow Mountain Photos That Will Put this Destination At The Top of Your Bucketlist

Ever been a place where you have to rub your eyes and blink a few times to determine if what you’re seeing is right? That is the best way to describe the Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain) trek in Peru. You’ll start the trip from Cusco 3 hours away and pass several villages before arriving at the start of the trek.


Click here to see my top tips and tricks to know before hiking the Rainbow Mountain


Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Vinicunca, Vinicunca Peru, Andes, Peru
Leaving the village at the starting point

After breakfast, we left the first village just after sunrise and began to gain some elevation. Even from the start, you can feel it even after being at elevation for 3 weeks.

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Ausangate, Vinicunca
A short distance into the hike you pass small villages with llamas grazing all around

Soon you end up in a wide valley where you come across another village.

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Vinicunca, Rainbow mountain in photos
The pops of color begin

As the hike goes on you start to see more and more pops of color. Mineral deposits are responsible for the brightly colored strips of Earth here.


Spending time in Cusco too? Don’t miss out on doing the Tambomachay to Cusco walk


Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Ausangate, Vinicunca
Tay getting a glimpse of the ‘7 colors’

Vinicunca gets its name because it displays 7 colors. The word Vinicunca means ‘seven color mountain’ in Quechua.

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Ausangate, Vinicunca
The closer you get the more prominent the stripes of color become

As we continued on I was really starting to feel the altitude which probably made it seem all the more a psychedelic experience.


Start planning your trip to Peru with Bradt’s Peru footprint book


Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Vinicunca, Rainbow mountain in photos
Gasping for air as we made it to the iconic view of the mountain

Then there it is, the view we had been waiting for. Making all the efforts and lack of oxygen worth it. It looks like a giant slice of rainbow cake, only better.


Going to Machu Picchu? Click here to see my tops tips and tricks for a perfect visit


Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Vinicunca, Rainbow mountain in photos
The view opposite Vinicunca

From the viewpoint, you have a great 360º view all around.

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Ausangate, Vinicunca
This little dog has the right idea

Even the animals in the area stop to take it all in.

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Ausangate, Vinicunca
Beyond the Rainbow Mountain

We happened to make it to the top in good time and continued on past the Rainbow celebrity in the range.


Exploring further in the Sacred Valley? Don’t miss the Maras Salt Mines


Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Vinicunca, Rainbow mountain in photos
Like hell on a lollipop

It looks like something out of Alice In Wonderland.

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Ausangate, Vinicunca
Starting the descent back down

After a couple of hours at well over 16,500 ft/5000 m, I was ready to start back down. But kinda not, I mean look at this place.

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Vinicunca, Rainbow mountain in photos
High altitude lakes

Would you endure the strenuous efforts for these kinds of views?

Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Mountain Peru, Peru, Vinicunca, Rainbow mountain in photos
Tay leading the way back

Ready to book your trek to the Rainbow Mountain?

Check out Flashpacker Connect for prices and availability. I can’t recommend them enough, and our guide Abel was amazing. He was well versed on the area.

However, there are reports out now of people doing self-guided hikes up here. If you are experienced and understand the dangers involved I could see that doing this on your own would be a good option for you. But realize that this is at a fairly high altitude and this is a very delicate landscape up here. Don’t ruin it for everyone else by being an asshat.

Still in Planning mode?

Read my Rainbow Mountain post here. There are even some tips on what to bring and what to be prepared for.

Need Travel Insurance?

Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

4 thoughts on “13 Photos That Will Put The Rainbow Mountain On Your Bucketlist”

  1. Rainbow Mountain Peru

    The Rainbow Mountain of Peru is a colorful mountainside in the Andes. In short, the colors you see were formed by sedimentary mineral layers in the mountain that have been exposed by erosion. The Rainbow Mountain trailhead is located a 3-hour drive from Cusco, where day trips have recently grown quite popular.

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