Vinicunca or Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain in Peru?

17th Jun 2020

Vinicunca or Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain in Peru?

Aside from the majestic Machu Picchu, millions of tourist flock to Peru because of its newly discovered geological wonder -Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain located at Andes in Cusco region of Peru.

Vinicunca, also known as the Mountain of Seven Colors, was discovered only in 2015 when the snow covering it melted due to climate change. Its natural beauty and unique mineralogy created its famous marbling effect of layered hues of red, gold, purple and turquoise.

But did you know that aside from the must-see Vinicunca Rainbow mountain, there is also another rainbow mountain which only revealed its beauty due to strange and changing season – the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain in Cusco, Peru.

Photo of Vinicunca or Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain in Peru? 1/1 by Sreeram Hariharan

Both are famous for their striped-color mountainsides as if they were painted, but here are some of the difference between the two that you must know. Hiking on the famous Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain is challenging, long and strenuous than the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain which elevation is mostly flat. Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain hiking can be an extreme hiking experience as you traverse to difficult trails.

Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain, on other hand, is a steady and leveled hike making it much easier to accomplish and suitable even for beginners. The length of the hike to Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain is 5km with 5,020 metres altitude and may cause you to hike for an average of 3 hours while Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain is for only 2km length with 4,900 metres altitude which can cause you for only 1-hour hike. Nonetheless, locals offer horseback rides to the top of Vinicunca Mountain for those who prefer not to hike.

Since the popular Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain attracts hundreds of tourists daily, it is usually crowded and jam-packed while Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain were visited only by few tourists and beautifully isolated.

Stunning view of red and green valley appears upon going on the top of Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain while you can view the amazing stone valley near the mountains while on top of Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain. In both rainbow mountains, it is better to find out the weather first before booking a tour because even though rainbows usually appear after the rain, a wet weather may cause the mountains gray, wet and dull or the cold can make the mountains covered with snow hence, the tour will be ruined as you cannot see the mountain as its finest.

It is ideal to visit both mountains during the dry season which is between the months of April and October.