• Ine Vandenwyngaert

3 reasons why you should visit the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains

Updated: Jan 8

Looking for an alternative to the overcrowded Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain in Peru? Do you want to have the Rainbow Mountains all to yourself? Visit the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains instead! This Valley full of Rainbow Mountains has been recently discovered and opened up to tourists. Avoid the tourist crowds of the classic Rainbow Mountain and experience the colorful mountains of the region. Here are 3 reasons why you should visit the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains!


Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains

Want to save money on your trip to Peru? Download our free eBook on how to save money while traveling. We've used these apps and tricks to personally save thousands on trips over the past few years.


1. The Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains are the latest discovery


The first Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca was only discovered in 2015. Locals claim that the area used to be covered entirely in snow. Only recently, caused by global warming, the snow melted and revealed the colorful mountain beneath. Each color on the mountain comes from a different mineral. In this case, red suggests iron oxide rust and turquoise indicates chlorite. The layers of the different colors are what sets this mountain apart from any other.


Shop this item

International Travel Adapter

Made by: JMFONE


In 2018, the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains were discovered and introduced to those tourists who want to avoid the crowds but still experience and view the colorful mountains of the region. The Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains are located a bit further away from Cusco (approx. 3.5 hours by car), at an altitude of 4,980 meters above sea level. Here you will not only find a colorful mountain but an impressive valley with more than three Rainbow Mountains and a Rock Forest. This is what makes the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains at least as beautiful (if not more) than the classic one!


The beautiful Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains all to yourself!

2. The Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains don't face overcrowdedness, environmental, and social challenges


One of the foremost reasons why you should visit the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains instead of the classic Rainbow Mountain is to avoid massive amounts of tourists and reduce your environmental and social impact.


Shop this item

Peru Travel Poster

Made by: Alver Art


Thanks to heavy (social) media attention, the classic Rainbow Mountain has become a major tourist attraction in the region. Tour operators and agencies have recognized this and increasingly organize trips to this magnificent mountain range to serve the growing number of tourists. However, ever since tourism has been booming, problems have arisen. Tourists complain that the mountain has become overcrowded, taking away the magic of the place. Adding to that is the environmental destruction of the fragile alpine landscape that occurs from exceeding the carrying capacity. Finally, in spite of the economic benefits created, the nearby local communities are becoming fed up with the large influx of tourists and their loss of control over “their mountains”. The efforts of the government to restore peace have been unsuccessful thus far.


Walking towards the Rock Forest, possible to hike to the top!

3. The hike to the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains is easier and more beautiful


The third reason why you should visit the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountains is that it makes for a pleasant and more relaxed day trip. On the one hand, the hike in the valley is relatively easy as the inclination is rather gradual and the distance is shorter. As such, the area can be explored in two to three hours. On the other hand, you are hiking amidst a valley filled with colorful rainbow mountains. You will find yourself in awe from the beginning of the hike until the end. The valley is filled with beautiful warm colors and has more than three Rainbow Mountains and a Rock Forest. Hiking up to the rock forest may be a challenge but is definitely a must as it offers the most spectacular views. On clear days it is possible to see the Vinicunca and the snow-capped peaks of the Ausangate, Mariposa, and other glaciated mountains in the distance!


As the mountain range is not easily accessible, it is mandatory to go with a tour guide. There are a number of tourism agencies in Cusco that offer day trips with a guide. These day tours are generally a little cheaper than the classic rainbow mountain and include an English speaking tour guide and lunch in a restaurant along the road!


While hiking, you are surrounded by a beautiful valley


The question remains whether this place will retain its authenticity and off-the-beaten-path image. A lot will depend on how much the government and tour operators have learned from their past…


Do you want to learn about more off-the-beaten-path destinations in Peru? Check out these blogs:



Hi! We are Ine & Zac. An international travel couple from Belgium and the US. We created World Wild Hearts to inspire life-changing travel experiences like we've had. Use these tips, stories, and guides to inspire your next adventure of a lifetime!

World Wild Hearts Instagram Follow.jpg

OUR TRAVEL APPAREL

Our Travel Apparel

We create homemade designs for our travel apparel! Inspired by adventures abroad and for a good cause.

10% of profits go to FLYTE, empowering underserved youth to travel.

WATCH OUR TRAVEL VIDEOS

Travel Videos on Youtube

DOWNLOAD FREE TRAVEL  RESOURCES

Free Travel Resources

This post contains a few affiliate links. That means we may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclaimer here. Thanks for supporting our travel blog!

Subscribe to World Wild Hearts Blog

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY

BLOG CATEGORIES

HELP US EMPOWER UNDERSERVED YOUTH TO TRAVEL

Join our travel community and get 10% off any item

  • World Wild Hearts Instagram
  • World Wild Hearts YouTube
  • World Wild Hearts Pinterest
  • World Wild Hearts Facebook

© 2020 by World Wild Hearts