Peru – Rainbow Mountains Trek

Peru – Rainbow Mountains Trek

Intermediate e1597503606141

The RAINBOW MOUNTAINS TREK is a stunning, remote trek past snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes, glacial peaks, and colourful striated Rainbow mountains! The Rainbow Trek is a new route located in the high Andes and traverses the incredibly colourful Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountains. This beautiful multi-day hike is tucked away in a well-hidden section of the Vilcanota Mountain range. Surrounded by glacial mountains, this route treks in the shadow of the highest mountain in the Cusco Region, Ausangate (6300m/21,000ft). The route is 52km/32.3 miles long and goes from 3300m/10,827ft to 5050m/16,568ft. This is a true off the beaten path trek; above the tree line with incredible views of the Andes and glacial peaks.

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A good level of fitness, building on prior experience to enhance your ability and keep those challenges going on a journey of progression. Enjoys using clothing and equipment that generally work well but forever prepared to learn and share experiences with others. 6-7hrs of walking each day.


Departure is usually London Heathrow, this may vary and the specific location will be provided upon booking.

All international and connecting return flights are not included in the EDGE Travel Worldwide trip price per person. If you would like EDGE Travel Worldwide to book your flights, please note there will be a £100 administration fee applied.

DAY 1    Welcome to Peru – Lima.

After picking up your luggage and clearing customs you will meet your driver and guide as you walk towards the exit of the international terminal. This will still be inside the building but just beyond the fence/barrier as you walk towards the exit doors. He will be waiting for you on foot with an EDGE Travel Worldwide sign in his hand. He will walk you to the large sprinter van that will take you directly to your hotel in Miraflores (approx. 45 min drive). Settle into your room and rest up after your travels and have dinner at one of the many, delicious restaurants in Miraflores. You have an exciting trip ahead, filled with ancient ruins, local markets and hiking through the beautiful Andean Mountains!

Overnight: San Agustin Hotel, Miraflores

DAY 2    Fly to Cusco

Rest, Relax, Explore Cusco. Wake up early to have breakfast and take private transport back to the airport (approx. 1 hour depending on traffic) to catch your flight to the Inca capital of Cusco where Quechua and Spanish speaking descendants of the Incas hustle back and forth in the busy plazas and markets. Colonial churches sit atop bases of eerily accurate and smooth Inca stonework laid centuries before the arrival of the Conquistadors.

The afternoon is yours to explore Cusco’s narrow streets and bustling markets. Travelers can explore the churches and surrounding ruins, wander through Cusco’s busy center, shop in local markets, see local artisan workshops in the old San Blas neighbourhood, or just people watch in the Plaza de Armas. There are many half day tours that can be arranged on request if desired. The night is yours to explore and discover the many places to enjoy a wide range of food and entertainment. At 7pm your guide will come to your hotel to provide a briefing about the trek and give each guest a dry bag, in which to put your overnight clothes, toiletries, sleeping bag, mattress pad, up to 8kg per person.

Overnight: Three Star Hotel in Cusco, Peru (San Agustin International, Cusco)


DAY 3    Cusco

Today is yours to explore Cusco’s narrow streets, little shops and cafes. Travelers can visit churches, museums, wander through Cusco’s busy center, shop the local markets, see local artisan workshops in the old San Blas neighbourhood, enjoy a massage, or just people watch in the Plaza de Armas. This day is essential to help also acclimatise for the trek.

Overnight: Three Star Hotel in Cusco, Peru (San Agustin International, Cusco)


DAY 4-7               

Four Day Rainbow Mountain Trek

The RAINBOW MOUNTAIN TREK is a stunning, remote trek past snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes, glacial peaks, and colourful striated Rainbow mountains! The Rainbow Trek is a new route located in the high Andes and traverses the incredibly colourful Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountains. This beautiful multi-day hike is tucked away in a well- hidden section of the Vilcanota Mountain range. Surrounded by glacial mountains, this route treks in the shadow of the highest mountain in the Cusco Region, Ausangate (6300m/21,000ft). The route is 52km/32.3 miles long and goes from 3300m/10,827ft to 5050m/16,568ft. This is a true off the beaten path trek; above the tree line with incredible views of the Andes and glacial peaks.

Overnight: Spacious and comfortable 3-person, 4 season Mountain Hardwear Tents (double occupancy)

(Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 4    Cusco – Tinqui Village – Upis

(camping at hot springs) Early transfer from your hotel in Cusco with 6:00 am departure. We drive for 4 hours on a new highway to Tinqui, passing Urcos Pass (4,000 m/13,123 ft) along the way. Tinqui is a village on the high plains “altiplano” east from Cusco and is where we will start our trek. We follow a wide, gently ascending path toward the northwest face of the impressive Ausangate mountain. We will have a small lunch around noon by the side of the trail. We will continue walking through fields and by scattered stone farm houses, and later in the day we will begin to see llamas and alpacas. We ascend gently to the Upis pass (4,435 m/14,107 ft) and camp at Upis Hot Springs (4,250 m/13,779 ft) where we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains (Ausangate and Maria Huamantilla). Happy hour (tea and snacks) at 4:00pm and dinner at 6:00pm. There are thermal springs at Upis where we can enjoy a soak at the end of the day (10 soles entrance fee).

Trek length: 16 km/9.9 miles (6-hour acclimatizing hike).

Camp elevation: 4100m/13,450ft

(Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 5    Upis – Arapa Pass – Pucaccocha

After an early breakfast we begin our second day of the hike. You will hike very close to the Ausangate Glacier Peak and will have incredible views of this mountain as well as beautiful lakes and waterfalls. We may see some llamas, alpacas and wild vicuñas (the undomesticated ancestor of the alpaca) and perhaps a rare condor soaring above. We will have a 3-hour uphill hike to reach the first pass (4800m/15,748ft) where you will have magnificent views of the surrounding area. After taking a few amazing pictures we continue hiking gradually downhill for another 11⁄2 hours to our beautiful lunch spot. After lunch we hike for another 21⁄2 hours to arrive at our campsite at Puca Ccocha (Red Lake). This spot is one of the most beautiful campsites located at the skirt of the Ausangate peak and at the bank of the lake.

Trek length: 12km/7.5 miles (7-8 hours)

Campsite elevation: 4300m/14,100ft

(Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 6    Pucaccocha – Puca Pass – Anantapata – Warmisaya – Yanacocha Lake

Wake up early with a hot cup of coca tea to start one of the most beautiful days of the trek, enjoying majestic views of some of the highest peaks in the Andes and depths of the beautiful valleys. This morning we will summit the Puca Pass. After an early breakfast we begin our 2-hour steep climb to the Puca Pass at (5050m/16,568ft). Along the way we have gorgeous views of turquoise lakes and the Ausangate glacier. Once you reach the summit of this mountain, you will be located right in front of the Ausangate Mountain and you can enjoy the views of Chillca Valley, with alpaca grazing along these hills.

Also, from this pass you will see the beginning of the Rainbow Mountain range with their strikingly striated colours. After taking some great pictures we continue gradually downhill for another 2 hours

until we reach our lunch spot located at Anantapata 4400m/14,435ft with amazing views of green hills and snow-capped peaks. After lunch and a little rest and relaxation, we will hike gradually uphill for 11⁄2 hours until we reach the Warmisaya (aka Pitumarca) pass 5050m/16,568ft. After enjoying the views at the top, we descend for 20 minutes to Yanacocha lake where we set up camp for the night. After dropping our bags, we take our gradual 1-hour sunset hike to the Rainbow Mountain Pass and watch as the sun sets over the stunning Rainbow Valley. Once we have finished enjoying the view, we hike 45 minutes back down to camp at Yanacocha to have happy hour (tea and snacks) followed by a hearty dinner.

Trek length: 17.7 km/11 miles (about 7.5-8 hours)

Highest pass on the trek: 5050m/16,568ft

Campsite elevation: 4400m/14,435ft

(Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 7    Yanacocha Lake – Rainbow Mountains – Rainbow Valley – Hanchipata – Cusco

After a very early breakfast (5am) we hike 1 hour up to the Rainbow Mountain Pass (Vinicunca Mountains or Montañas de Colores), the highest pass of the trek, again to see the beautiful Rainbow Valley at sunrise (5050m/16,568ft)! Enjoy the view for an hour without the crowds as we are one of the first groups to arrive. Your guide will walk you to the best spots to get the perfect postcard pictures of these incredible mountains and the other surrounding peaks. Your guide will explain what makes these mountains so unique: they are composed of various minerals, which make different colours of stone striations. This is definitely one of the most stunning places in South America and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Peru. There are Rainbow Mountains in only a few other locations in the world. After enjoying the sunrise view we hike for 4.5 hours further into the Rainbow Valley than any other trekking company. You will be able to walk along the beautiful Rainbow Mountains and hike behind these peaks to experience the Red Mountain Valley with all it’s incredible colours. You will see a small waterfall and some sections of this trail are rocky, narrow and uneven. Enjoy the views as we walk to the small community Hanchipata (3800m/12,467ft) where we will have lunch and end our trek. After lunch our private transport will drive us back to Cusco – about a 3.5 hour drive that provides nice views of the Andes, passing some traditional villages along the way. Once in Cusco we will go to our hotel to freshen up and relax before our celebratory group dinner.

  • Trek length: 16 km /9.95 miles (about 5.5 hours)
  • Overnight: Three Star Hotel in Cusco, Peru (San Agustin International, Cusco)

(Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 8    AM Flight to Lima and Return Home

Private transport will pick you up from the hotel or a pre-determined location to take you to the Cusco airport for your departing flight home:

Transport: Private car or van to the Cusco airport


Please Note

Based on 3-star accommodation for the whole itinerary

All accommodation is based on double rooms (sharing)

To confirm the trail, it is necessary to have the full data of all clients at the time of booking:

Full name, passport number, expiration date, date of birth and nationality.

Vaccinations & Protection

Make an appointment with your Doctor to discuss and also gain written confirmation of what is needed by the relevant Consulate of your trip destination. A third source of reference is: EDGE Travel Worldwide is not responsible to list or advise; which vaccinations or any other travel medication you may need on your trip. This is your responsibility. Special Note: Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

Personal Expenses

You will need extra money to cover the cost of drinks, souvenirs, meals (where applicable) airport taxes, etc. It is advisable to change money on arrival at international airports whilst waiting for your luggage, as opportunities for changing money are subsequently few. Credit cards are generally not accepted.


The altitude of the Rainbow mountains and Inca Trail makes the trip most suitable for the more serious walker with previous experience of hill walking. Extreme cases of Acute Mountain Sickness are rare, but if it becomes necessary for someone to abandon the trek in the interests of safety, the Tour Leaders decision on this is final.


Bearing the above in mind, we ask for a synopsis of recent walking experience from people intending to go on the trip.

Medical Examination

You should visit your GP and specifically mention the maximum altitude the trek reaches, i.e. 5,050m.

Personal medication

Please note all illness, injuries and medication need to be disclosed to EDGE Travel Worldwide at time of booking – please seek advice from your Doctor to your suitability of participating on this trip.


In this area, tipping is a recognised part of life. Although EDGE Travel Worldwide pays most gratuities for the trip, porters and guides on the trips still look to members of the group for reward. Accordingly, you should allow $100 for tipping. (Please carry low denominations of US Dollar currency.)

Meal Plan

Local food and drink: Meals other than those included in the itinerary are paid for separately by the traveller.

Clothing and equipment required for the trekking part of the trip

A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek

Water proofing for the backpack and items in the backpack

Sleeping bag

Walking poles



Warm clothing including for head, hands, mouth and neck

Waterproof and breathable jacket and trousers


Walking boots


Walking poles

Head torch and batteries

Camera and batteries

Sun hat

Sun block

Sun lotion

After-sun lotion

Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported


oilet paper

Wet wipes

Ear plugs

Eye mask

Small hand towel

Hand sanitizer

Snacks: chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, seeds

Adequate Water containers for the trekking phase. Important notice: disposable water bottles are no longer allowed on the Inca Trail.

Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs)

Cash in soles and/or US$

Personal first air kit


Essential toiletries for women

Essential toiletries for men




Not Included

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Customer Reviews

Edge Travel Worldwide

Customer Reviews

Chris, Frodsham

What can I say, this was the experience of a lifetime and was fantastic! Every aspect of the trip for me was handled with professionalism and care with everyone’s safety and enjoyment paramount. The local guides and contacts were fantastic, plainly experienced and some of the loveliest people I have met. Walking at high altitude (19,500 ft at the top) comes with its own risks but I felt that every step of the way our wellbeing and health was being looked after and I am happy to say I would trust my life to Dave and his teams on any of his trips. I got so many things form this trip, meeting new people, walking at altitude, spending so much time laughing and being able to mentally unwind. The achievement of reaching the top of the highest free-standing mountain in the world, seeing the sunrise over Africa, has and will stay with me forever. It has given me the mental strength to do other things in life and when things have got tough afterwards I have been able to say to myself “You walked to the top of the highest free standing mountain in the world, you have got this” and it has inevitably got me through. A massive thank you to Dave and all at EDGE Travel Worldwide for this life changing experience and I can’t wait to go on the next one.

Jayne, Shrewsbury

It has been a privilege to walk with the people I have met. Many of them, friends for life. On my first EDGE Travel Worldwide trip I took my daughter to Machu Picchu. To share such an adventure with her was incredible and we will treasure the memories forever . It changes your mindset seeing the culture and a view if life in a different way .
It’s hard to put into words how much Edge Travel worldwide has changed our lives as a family for the better . Through meeting Sarah and then Dave I have travelled to Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro & I have now reserved my third adventure

This was my second EDGE trip, this time I took my son , we loved it every second of it . Kilimanjaro is so much more than just the summit it’s the journey before and after . The people that care for you, the guides the trek the adventure folds out in pages like a chapter in front of you you can’t wait to turn the next page . The joy of this experience is you take it home with you and the feeling of such an achievement stays with you . I feel healthier, fitter and addicted to altitude. At the time it’s a tough challenge but to push yourself out of normal daily life and out if your comfort zone its an experience I will never forget . For me it’s about making the most of the time we are here and trying to stay fit as long as I can and share these incredible accomplishments in the knowledge the next adventure is out there. Without Dave none of this would have been possible. The encouragement, guidance and kindness extends far beyond a trip. I have seen Dave show my children how to overcome fear of heights, learn about weather conditions, believe in themselves and succeed without any limits. These are priceless travel experiences and we want to thank you for making our dreams come true for me and my family.

Toni, Leicester

IF you’ve seen and have been inspired by the Comic Relief Killimanjaro climb and are interested in finding out how you too could get close to this amazing mountain and have a wonderful adventure!
IF you wish to challenge and grow yourself in the company of other wonderful inspiring people then you need to meet Dave Pickles from EDGE Travel Worldwide.
We had the most amazing time. We were all from different backgrounds ,different age groups , different fitness levels , and Dave brought us together as a TEAM!
We laughed , cried , sang , stumbled , hugged and shared this amazing experience together .
What you can’t see in the Comic Relief film are the amazing porters who carry the provisions , care for the climbers , encourage every step of the way and who make the journey so special .
I reached the summit holding hands with Hilary – he sang softly for hours as we climbed the mountain in the moonlight and this was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life so far .

Yvonne, Kingsmead

Kilimanjaro, wow – I wanted a challenge and that is what I got!

I absolutely loved this trip; the itinerary was well put together with Dave Pickles coordinating every day seamlessly. The local crew of Porters and Guides were so incredibly funny, friendly, humble and kind, I felt that I was always in safe hands.

I was travelling alone, but within minutes of meeting people at the airport, friendships were made and a lovely group was born. Two thirds of the group knew each other previously but this did not really impact on the group dynamics, everyone integrated well.

This trek took me way out of my comfort zone…I have reasonable fitness level, but I found this so hard, particularly the summit night when altitude sickness descended. But it made the success all the sweeter when I reached the very top of highest freestanding mountain in the world. Ages in our group ranged from 19-74, young and young at heart got to the top, so it really is achievable for all with the right mindset and support.

Dave gave clear guidelines to follow from the outset, rest is best, hydration, pace and relaxation…his support, enthusiasm and vast experience gave me so much confidence in my ability to succeed. Dave constantly encourages, jokes, entertains and manages people in a fun and positive way, striving to give each individual person such an epic experience. He balances that comedic, approachable charm with military organisation and calm professionalism – it is most certainly Dave and his ethos that gives Edge Travel the ‘edge’ above other similar operators.

I could have booked this trip directly with any tour guide in Tanzania, but to be able to draw on Dave’s expertise and knowledge leading up to the trip as well as whilst we were away was invaluable.

Only one small flaw in the itinerary, it would have been wonderful to have an additional day by the pool in our hotel at the end with our group to digest our achievements and raise a toast with a few Kilimanjaro beers! That was just the luck of the draw with the flights and not a complaint, I guess I should have just booked that extra week in Zanzibar after all.

I am rather proud to achieved what I have with the help of Edge Travel, it is all still sinking in and already I can’t wait to plan the next adventure…

Paul, Sandbach

I went on the 2019 trek and what an incredible trip! Certainly tougher than I expected especially on the final ascent but well worth it to have the experience of standing on the roof of Africa. The diversity of landscapes that are experienced throughout the trek is amazing. I would like to highlight that throughout the trip Dave and the team in Tanzania were incredible and the whole trip was made easier knowing that I was in completely safe hands and would thank everyone for their professionalism, care and attention. One of the many memorable moments for me was on the final ascent walk the Tanzania team could see that people were flagging and began singing which I know had an inspirational impact on me and certainly helped get me to the top and speaking to others it had a similar effect. I would not hesitate to recommend Edge Travel to others and also am looking forward to going on another Edge trek.

Angela, Sheffield

I did this trip with Dave in 2017. From start to finish it was the most emotional experience of my life. It was bloody hard, testing and satisfying. I choose the right company for my experience that goes without saying. I didn’t know anyone on the trip but from the end of day 1 I made friends for life and I genuinely mean that. I adore everyone of the team I walked with.
If your looking for a challenge I would defo recommend this one.

Paulina, Spalding

Tanzania and Kilimanjaro was my first trip I did with EDGE. I remember I kept asking myself before the trip if it was really happening. So it did happen and even that until today it’s still the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life I feel I found myself on that mountain. Believe or not I actually did it again for the second time six months later! And want to go again.. Am I addicted? 😀
Tanzania feels like another home to me with kind people, tasty food and great scenery. You won’t be disappointed!

Wendy, Llangollen

This was my first EDGE trek with Dave in September 2016. I am 100% certain I wouldn’t have submitted without Dave. He has summited Kilimanjaro over 50 times and his vast experience is very evident. His understanding of every emotion a trekker on this mountain is going through is uncanny. His ability to feed you enough information for a successful trek is invaluable. The pace is slow to allow safe acclimatising. Up until the summit attempt this feels like a trek that only gradually gets more challenging. Summit night was a whole level tougher but reaching the crater rim with sunrise felt like I was on a film set. Summiting was surreal (take plenty of photos) I descended quickly and enjoyed feeling the air thickening again at about the same pace the enormity of what I’d achieved really did start sinking in. I definitely have to do this one again as it still feels like a dream!

Phil, Leeds 20/07/2020


Mandy, Bury St. Edmunds 20/07/2020

A great experience from start to finish! Thank you ☺️