Ready For The Ultimate Rainbow Mountain & Machu Picchu Adventure?!
If Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu in Peru aren't at the top of your Bucket List, they definitely should be!
This Rainbow Mountain Trek & Machu Picchu Group Trip is the best of both worlds: a stunning trek past snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes, glacial peaks, colorful striated mountains, all ending with a tour of one of the 7 man-made wonders of the world, Machu Picchu!
For this EPIC small group tour, we've exclusively partnered with one of the most top-rated tour operators in Peru with more than 15 years experience who will be taking care of us throughout the entire 6-day adventure.
We'll have English-speaking local guides who are highly experienced and specialize in trekking expeditions to the amazing mountains in the Cusco region and guided tours of Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.
The first 4 days of our adventure will be spent trekking to the famous Vinicunca, 7-colored Rainbow Mountain.
This is a true off the beaten path wilderness trek – above the tree line with incredible views of the Andes and glacial peaks.
Once we've completed the incredible Rainbow Mountain trek, we'll head back to Cusco city for the night to freshen up and relax.
Then on day 5, we'll drive to the Sacred Valley to visit Maras village, Moray ruins, and the salt mines of Salineras. Afterward, we'll catch the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes to spend the night. This is the main hot-spring town at the foot of Machu Picchu Mountain.
And finally, on the last day of the trip, we'll take a bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu for sunrise, followed by a guided tour of the ruins and free time to explore before heading back to Cusco in the afternoon.
- Travel Dates: 2nd - 7th of May, 2022
- Duration: 6 Days & 5 Nights
- Start / Finish: Cusco, Peru
- Min. Group Size: 2 people
- Max. Group Size: 10 people
Meet Your Hosts:
Jonny is a professional travel blogger, photographer, and coffee-lover from Australia who has been traveling around the world full-time for the past 5 years. Jonny has a gregarious personality and combined with his passion for travel, he hopes to inspire others to step outside and explore this wonderful earth, too!
Elliott is a professional photographer from Canada who has traveled to over 50 countries photographing for high-profile clients around the globe. He shares his travel experiences with his followers on Instagram @LifewithElliott and though he loves travel and photography, his true joy is making new friends and teaching.
Elliot and I will be accompanying you throughout the entire trip and we'll be taking photos of the awesome experiences so that you can go home with professional images to share with your friends and family back home.
On top of that, Elliott and I will be offering free photography and travel blogging tips for those of you who are interested in learning from us and want to pick our brains!
The Nitty Gritty Trek Details...
It is essential to be properly acclimatized for this hike and it's recommended to spend at least two or three days in Cusco (or equivalent altitude) before starting our trek on the 2nd of May, 2022.
This would mean arriving in Cusco, Peru on or before the 29th of April, 2022.
✅ Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet our guides and answer any questions
✅ Collection from your Cusco hotel in the morning of the first day
✅ Private bus transport to start of the trek (day 1) and back to Cusco (day 4)
✅ Private bus transport through the Sacred Valley (Maras, Moray & Salineras and on to Ollantaytambo day 5)
✅ Personal porter to carry your overnight gear up to 8kg
✅ Dry bag in which to put your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty on the trail
✅ 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable Mountain Hardwear Expedition tent)
✅ Extra-thick foam mattress sleeping pad to put under your sleeping bag
✅ English-speaking professional guide
✅ Full meals (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, snacks on the trail)
✅ Dietary needs: able to cater to any dietary preference/need
✅ First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
✅ Emergency horse (1-2 per group depending on group size)
✅ Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
✅ Dining and cooking tents with tables and stools
✅ Toilet tent with toilet and toilet paper
✅ Horsemen and horses (to carry tents/food/cooking equipment)
✅ Hot water every morning/evening for washing purposes
✅ Boiled water to fill water bottles every morning/afternoon
✅ Entrance fee to the Rainbow Trek Trail
✅ Hotel in Cusco (night 4, double share)
✅ Celebratory dinner in Cusco (night 4)
✅ Hotel in Aguas Calientes (night 5, double share)
✅ Dinner in a local restaurant at Aguas Calientes (night 5)
✅ Round trip train: Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu and back
✅ Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex (First entrance time: 6am to 10am)
✅ Guided tour of Machu Picchu
✅ Private transport back to Cusco (day 6)
What's Not Included:
❌ International airfares
❌ Travel medical/evacuation insurance (mandatory)
❌ Covid-19 test fee
❌ Hotel in Cusco before/after the trip
❌ Items of a personal nature/souvenirs
❌ Lunch on day 5, and lunch and dinner on the last day
❌ Sleeping bags and walking poles
❌ Entrance fee to hot springs
❌ Tip for your guides and trek staff (optional)
Our 6 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco – Tinki Village – Upis (Camping At Hot Springs)
Elliott, myself, and our local tour guide will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at around 6 am to begin our epic adventure.
We'll drive for 4 hours on a new highway to Tinqui, passing Urcos Pass (4,000m) along the way.
Tinqui is a village on the high plains “altiplano” east of 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 (6,300m/21,000ft).
On this trail, we pass a few traditional houses and may meet some local people dressed in their colorful, traditional clothing while accompanying their grazing animals which are indigenous to this area – llamas and alpacas.
We will eat our lunch surrounded by stunning mountains and an excellent view of Ausangate Glacier.
After lunch, we then continue walking through fields and by scattered stone farmhouses for another 2 hours.
We ascend gently to the Upis pass and camp at Upis Hot Springs (4,250 m) where we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains (Ausangate and Maria Huamantilla).
There are thermal hot springs at Upis where we can enjoy a soak at the end of the day.
Happy hour (tea and snacks) will be around 4:00 pm and dinner at around 6:00 pm.
- Walking distance: approximately 16 km/9.9 miles (6-hour acclimatizing hike)
- Campsite elevation: 4,100m/13,450ft
- Meals: box breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on the trail, boiled water at lunch and camp
- Overnight: Mountain Hardwear Tent (double occupancy)
Day 2: Upis – Arapa Pass – Pucaccocha
After an early breakfast, we begin our second day of the hike.
We'll hike very close to the Ausangate glacier peak and will have incredible views of this mountain as well as beautiful lakes and waterfalls.
Along the trail, 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 1½ hours to our beautiful lunch spot.
After lunch, we hike for another 2½ 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.
- Walking distance: 12km/7.5 miles (7-8 hours)
- Campsite elevation: 4300m/14,100ft
- Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on the trail, boiled water at breakfast, lunch and campsite
- Overnight: Mountain Hardwear Tent
Day 3: Pucaccocha – Puca Pass – Anantapata – Warmisaya – Surinecocha – Sunset Hike to Rainbow Mountain
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.
After an early breakfast, we begin our 2-hour steep climb to summit Puca Pass at (5050m/16,568ft).
Along the way, we'll have gorgeous views of turquoise lakes and the Ausangate glacier.
Once we reach the summit of this mountain, we'll 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 colors.
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 1½ 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 Surinecocha lake (4500m/14,764ft) where we set up camp for the night.
After dropping our bags we take our gradual 1-hour sunset hike to the famous Rainbow Mountain 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 Surinecocha to have happy hour (tea and snacks) followed by a hearty dinner.
- Walking distance: 17.7 km/11 miles (about 7.5-8 hours).
- Campsite elevation: 4500m/14,764ft
- Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, & snacks on the trail, boiled water at breakfast, lunch & campsite
- Overnight: Mountain Hardwear Tent
Day 4: Surinecocha – Rainbow Mountains – Hanchipata – Cusco
After a very early breakfast (5 am) we hike 1-hour up to the Rainbow Mountain Pass, 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.
Our guide will show us the best spots to get the perfect photos of these incredible mountains and the other surrounding peaks.
Our guide will also explain what makes these mountains so unique: they are composed of various minerals, which make different colors 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 1½ hours down to the small community Hanchipata or Cusipata (3800m/12,467ft) where we will have lunch and end our trek.
Once we finish lunch, our private transport will drive us back to Cusco – about a 3½ hour drive that provides nice views of the Andes, passing some traditional villages along the way.
Once in Cusco, we'll check in to our hotel to freshen up and relax before our celebratory group dinner.
- Walking distance: 8 km /4.97 miles (about 4 hours)
- Meals: breakfast, lunch, and snacks on the trail, dinner in a Cusco restaurant
- Overnight: hotel in Cusco (double occupancy)
Day 5: Cusco – Maras – Moray – Salineras – Aguas Calientes
After breakfast at our hotel, we take our private transport from Cusco to Maras Village (3,300m/10,827ft).
Maras is a beautiful little colonial town, still boasting some colonial architecture. You can see amazing facades made of thin stone, and lintels with sculptures in bas-relief.
After exploring Maras we continue driving to Moray ruins located at (3,450m/11,319ft).
Moray Ruins consist of circular agricultural terraces at high altitude with a complex system of irrigation.
These terraces served as a natural green house to grow an extraordinary variety of crops that would normally only thrive in tropical climates. It has also been suggested that they had a cosmological meaning.
After exploring the terraces we continue to Salineras, which consists of 3,000 small pools, roughly 5 square meters (53.8 ft²).
Every three days, during the dry season, workers fill the pools with salt water that comes from local natural springs. When the water evaporates from the pool the salt is left for collection.
The salt is ground up, treated with iodine, and packaged and sent to the various markets in the region.
After exploring the salt mines of Salineras, we take our private transport to Ollantaytambo where we catch the train to Aguas Calientes.
Once in Aguas Calientes we check into our comfortable hotel to freshen up before dinner.
You can soak in the local hot springs before or after dinner if you wish.
Tomorrow we get up early to see the incredible Machu Picchu!
- Meals: breakfast at the hotel, snacks for the tour, dinner at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes
- Overnight: Hotel in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
Day 6: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
Wake up call and breakfast is very early (Approx 4 am) in order for us to take one of the first (5:30 am, 25-minute ride) buses directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft).
Once we arrive at Machu Picchu, you will show your entrance ticket and passport.
From the entrance, it's a short 15-minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail.
Enjoy watching the sunrise over the ruin site and the fascinating tour of Machu Picchu with our guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora/fauna.
Our guide will spend about 2½ hours relaying interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors.
Our tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30 am after which you will have a little free time to take photos and explore.
After we are done exploring the ruin site by 10 am, we'll take one of the many, frequent buses back down to Aguas Calientes.
There are many restaurants to choose from and our guide can also help suggest a nice place to eat for lunch.
After grabbing a bite to eat, we'll take the train back to Ollantaytambo where private transport will drive us back to Cusco.
- Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks on the tour
- Overnight: Hotel not Included
BOOK NOW: 6 Days Rainbow Mountain Trek & Machu Picchu Adventure!
Trip Cost — $2,597 USD
(Maximum 10 people)
As spots are limited, a $500 USD deposit is required to secure your position on the trip.
This is non-refundable as the deposit will go towards accommodations, entry fees, and other activities outlined on the itinerary.
The outstanding amount is to be paid by the 7th of March, 2022.
To settle the outstanding amount, payment details will be sent via email once the deposit has been made.
Booking confirmation and all other important information and details about the trip will be emailed to you immediately after purchase.
You also have the option to secure your spot on the trip by opting for the 3-month payment plan or by paying in full.
Please choose one of the payment options below to book.
Frequently Asked Questions
How hard is the trek?
What is the weather like?
What do I need to carry in my day pack?
What do I need to pack for the trek?
Can I charge my phone and electronics during the trek?
Is there WiFi or phone signal?
Where can I go to the toilet on the trek?
Where can I shower on the trek?
About The Tour Operator:
We have exclusively partnered with a certified local tour operator in Cusco with more than 15 years of experience and specializes in trekking expeditions to the amazing mountains of Cusco and guided tours of Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.
Their professional English-speaking local guides are highly experienced and true experts with in-depth knowledge of all ground operations in Cusco.
They are guest-focused and will first and foremost make sure the trip runs safely and to the highest standard possible, and will also make sure satisfaction is maximized for every individual.
The tents on the trek are 3 person, 4 seasons Mountain Hardwear Expedition tents. They are large and comfortable and there will be 2 people to a tent.
Our hotel in Cusco and hotel in Aguas Calientes is mid-range and double share.
If you'd prefer to have a single room, please let us know in advance and we can arrange this for you at an additional cost.
Where ground transportation is outlined in the itinerary, we'll be traveling in a comfortable, air-conditioned, private minibus.
Meals & Drinks:
All meals mentioned in the itinerary are included. This also includes tea, coffee, juice, snacks, and water during meal times.
Where half-board meals are indicated, you are free to choose a restaurant of your choice.
Please let us know of any dietary requirements you may have prior to the trip so we can make special meal arrangements for you.
Drinking water will be provided each day to each guest.
Alcohol and other snacks not mentioned in the itinerary will be at your own expense.
A tourist visa for Peru is required to enter the country and can be obtained on arrival at immigration.
The visa on arrival is free and tourists are granted to stay up to 183 days.
It is essential when entering Peru to present a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months from the date of entry into the country
Please visit the Peru Travel website for more information.
Travel insurance is mandatory to join the trip.
Your travel insurance needs to include emergency evacuation coverage and high altitude hiking.
But please do your own research on travel insurance providers.
With the uncertain times we face, we understand you might be wondering about the cancellation policy should you need to cancel once payment has been made.
Because it's mandatory to have travel insurance on our group trips, your travel insurance provider will have you covered for the cancellation of the trip as long as the reason for canceling is included in your plan. Most travel insurances also cover Covid should you contract the virus and are not able to travel.
This means your travel insurance will provide you with a full refund of the trip payment including the deposit. If for whatever reason the trip gets canceled due to unforeseen natural events, your travel insurance will also cover this.
If you would like to cancel your spot on the group trip for personal reasons, you can do so up to 30 days before the trip start date and receive a full refund, minus the $500 deposit.
Cancellation of booking or failure to join the group trip less than 30 days before the trip start date will result in the retention of 100% of the trip cost.
The well-being and safety of everyone on our group trips, including local guides and the local communities we visit are our utmost priority.
While we adjust to this new world, Elliott, myself and the local tour operators we partner with are committed to ensuring your peace of mind and the safety of everyone with enhanced health standards and practices throughout all group trips.
Our tour operator has instituted a number of increased hygiene precautions for food preparation and face coverings will be worn at all times by the guides/staff and will use antibacterial gel at all times.
Although safety measures are in place to provide hand sanitizer and face masks to all guests throughout the trip, we recommend bringing your own personal mask, gloves, and sanitary products that will be enough to cover the full duration of the trip. These may also be required to be used during your travels for entering airports, restaurants, archaelogical sites, hotels, etc.
Should you happen to contract Covid during the trip, your travel insurance should cover medical costs. Be sure to double-check this with your travel insurance provider.
You'll have to get a Covid PCR test taken 48-72 hours prior to your departure flight from your home country.
This varies with different airlines, so it's best to check with the airline you are flying with for the most up-to-date Covid protocols and requirements.
On arrival, all travelers must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arriving in Peru.
On departure, all travelers are required to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure from Peru.
Before your departure from Cusco, you'll be able to get a Covid test before your flight at an approved medical center.
Please also note that all Covid-19 certificates for travelers MUST indicate TRAVEL as the intended purpose of the test.
BOOK NOW: 6 Days Rainbow Mountain Trek & Machu Picchu Adventure!
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