You want to see the stunning colors from the rainbow mountain, but the long hike up Vinicunca scares you? There is a little-known but great alternative. If the hike up Vinicunca is challenging as it is going up a lot, is long, and the altitude can cause problems to some people, the way from Palccoyo is easier, shorter and mostly flat. Moreover, as Palccoyo is a new route, you will also most likely be alone with your group or with a few other groups. Your pictures will then be better, and you will also see three rainbow mountains instead of just one with the classic tour to Vinicunca. This tour is a must-do in the area.
Day by Day
Our tour will start with an early pick-up from your accommodation in Cusco between 6.30 a.m to 7:00 a.m. We will drive for two hours passing through many colorful colonial towns before reaching Combapata district where we will have chance to use the toilets and have a littel break. Then we will drive for 1 hour and a half more along the Salcca Valley. On the way, you will enjoy a nice view over the mountains as we follow a small river to get to the starting point of the hike (4850m/15912ft).
We will then start our hike and walk for 45 minutes to 1 hour (1km) to our viewpoint (5,000m/16,404ft.). From there, we will have the most unique views of Ausangate (highest snow-capped mountain of Cusco 6375m/20915ft) and of the three rainbow mountains. As this is an alternative route to the well-known Vinicunca, you will be able to enjoy the views without crowds of tourists, to take magnificent photos and to remember forever the stunning views. After taking our pictures and appreciating the view, we will make our way back to our bus, have lunch and head back to Cusco. You will be dropped off in the center around 6:30 pm.
Price: US $40 per person
What is included:
- Pick up from your accommodation in Cusco
- Drop off near the main square
- Fluent English speaking tour guide
- Round trip transportation
- Lunch (vegetarian option available)
- Entrance fee to the site in Palccoyo
- Oxygen tank
- First aid kit
- Meals not described on the itinerary and snacks
- Tips for the guide and driver
- Walking poles
Lo que hay que llevar:
- A day-pack
- Water bottle (2 liters per person recommended)
- Sun hat
- Hiking shoes
- Long pants
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Warm fleece to return
- Extra money
- A good camera with extra batteries
- Toilet paper
Why does Inka Trail Backpacker charge less than other tour operators?
At Inka Trail Backpacker, we offer you the basic and essential version of the popular treks in the region. We are a 100% local company that wants to provide everything you will need at the real cost of operations—never unfair upcharging! That is why our slogan is “Fun, Not Fancy Trip.”
Tour with Like-Minded Travellers
As a traveller, you know that one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of going to new places is meeting people along the way. When you book a tour with us, you can be confident that your group will be filled with similar travellers looking for adventure in the Peruvian Andes. Our groups provide a great opportunity to meet new people and bond with them in an exciting environment. You never know who you will meet!
We are really proud of the work we do for our community. This is a main focus for our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with needs, buy all our food from local farmers and markets, and serve the freshest ingredients.
100% Guaranteed Departures
At Inka Trail Backpacker, we like to think we do trekking a little differently than our competitors. We stand by our customers and guarantee that we meet 100% of our departure dates on our treks even if you are a solo traveler.
Our office is located at 392 Calle Triunfo (the street is also called Sunturwasi), inside the Centro Artesenal Arte Inka Building, which is on the corner across the street from the Museo Arzobispal and the Twelve-Angled Stone, by a small fountain. We are on the second floor, in Suite 209.
Where is Palccoyo located?
It is located 3.5 hours by car from Cusco.
What is the difference between Palccoyo and Vinicunca and why should I choose Palccoyo?
The hike up Vinicunca is challenging as it is going up a lot, the hike is long, and the altitude can cause problems to some people. The way to see the rainbow mountains in Palccoyo is easier as it is shorter and mostly flat. It is probably more appropriate if you suffer from altitude sickness or if you are not able to hike up for a long time. As Palccoyo is a new route, you will also most likely be alone with your group or with a few other groups. Your pictures will then be better, and you will also see three rainbow mountains instead of just one with the classic tour to Vinicunca.
When does the tour start and finish?
Start at: 7:00.am. and finishes around 6:00. p.m.
Is lunch included?
Yes, you will receive lunch.
Is there a toilet on the way?
Yes and we can stop for toilet breaks.
What is the maximum altitude?
The maximum altitude we will reach is 5,200 meters (17,060 ft)
What will I do if I suffer from altitude sickness?
We will treat you accordingly. We carry oxygen cylinders and altitude tablets.
Can I take a horse if I can’t walk up?
No. Palccoyo is not as popular as Vinicunca and there are no horses available. However, the way is mostly flat and short, so you should not need a horse.