January 6, 2020
Palccoyo is the second colorful mountain offered by Cusco, after Vinicunca (The Rainbow Mountain). This beautiful place covers a natural area of more than 9,000 hectares where, in addition to the beauty of the summit, you can see red, brown and other colored valleys; and a forest of stones.
Like Vinicunca, the colorfulness of the summits that Palccoyo presents is due to a process of mineralization that was registered during millions of years.
What is it Palccoyo?
The rainbow mountain of Palccoyo is a group of mountains dyed in colors similar to the Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain in Perú).
The Palccoyo mountain range of Cusco – Peru has three hills that are composed of the colors green, red, blue, white and yellow, these hills resemble a subrealistic world that will leave you impressed with so much beauty that they have in their soil.
The colorful mountain of Palccoyo is located south of Cusco, a short distance from the snowy Ausangate, in the district of Checacupe, province of Canchis. Its peak reaches 4,900 meters above sea level.
How to get there?
The Palccoyo rainbow mountain is almost 100 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
On the way to the mountain, you can see a stone forest formed naturally millions of years ago. From this route you can appreciate the beauty of the mountain of Ausangate.
To get to Palcoyo mountain you have 2 options:
Go on your own (no tour)
To get to this destination you must take a bus from the city of Cusco to the town of Checacupe (the trip takes approximately 2 hours). From Checacupe you take another vehicle to the town of Palccoyo (30 minutes).
Once in the town, of the same name, you will begin a hike towards the colorful mountain that will last at least 1 hour.
Book a tour
This is the most recommended option, since you will only have to hire a tour service, either private or shared, and make the visit in a quiet and comfortable way.
Price of a tour to Palccoyo
The price of a 1 day or full day tour to Palccoyo is around 30 USD in shared service, in private tour around 80 USD.
Prices vary according to the agency you hire and the type of service.
Palccoyo Mountain has a cold climate, due to its proximity to Ausangate Mountain. The temperature can drop to less than 0ºC. Therefore, at some times of the year, the mountains are covered with snow.
Best time to go to Palccoyo
The best time to visit Palccoyo’s Mountain of Seven Colors is during the dry season (April to October). In those months the rains are much less frequent, which makes the excursion and taking good pictures much easier.
Tips for traveling to Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain
- We recommend that you acclimatize to Cusco’s climate before visiting Palccoyo Mountain. Otherwise, the visitor may suffer the so-called altitude sickness.
- This mountain is a tourist attraction that receives few visitors each day. It is recommended to follow the indicated route and avoid looking for a different path.
- It is advisable to find out how the weather is at Palccoyo before booking a tour to the Mountain of 7 Colors. The cold may make the whole area snowy and ruin the tour.
- The trekking route to this mountain is not as challenging as the one to Vinicunca. That is why the Palccoyo is a great option for people who do not feel capable of doing the difficult trekking to the Mountain of 7 Colors.
Difference between Vinicunca and Palccoyo
|Differences||Palccoyo Mountain||Vinicunca Mountain|
|Attractions||Palccoyo and stone forest||Vinicunca and Red Valley|
|Height||4,900 sea level||5,200 sea level|
|Walking time||1 hour (2 kilometers).||2 hour (3 kilometers).|
|End of the tour||6 p.m.||6 p.m.|
|Number of visitors||Many||Few|
|Weather||Cold, with low temperatures||Cold, with low temperatures|
Difficulty of the walk to Palcoyo
The difficulty required for the hike to Cerro Colorado of Palcoyo is classified as “easy”, which is why it is highly recommended for older people and those who think they will not be able to make the hike to Vinicunca.