Palccoyo: Another Rainbow Mountain in Cusco
January 6, 2020
The mountain of Palccoyo or simply Palcoyo, is the second Rainbow Mountain that Cusco offers, the first is the famous mountain of Vinicunca (The Rainbow Mountain in Perú). 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 colourfulness of Palccoyo’s peaks is due to a process of mineralization that took place over millions of years.
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 sub-realistic 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 rainbow mountain Palccoyo is almost 100 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
On the way to the mountain, you can see a stone forest naturally formed millions of years ago. From this route you can appreciate the beauty of the Ausangate mountain.
To get to Palcoyo mountain you have 2 options:
Go on your own – without a 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 walk towards the colorful mountain that will last at least 1 hour.
With 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 visit to Palccoyo
The price of a day or full day tour to Palccoyo is about 30 USD in shared service, and in private tour about 80 USD.
Prices vary depending on 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.
The best time to go to Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain
The best time to visit the Mountain of the Seven Colors of the Palccoyo is during the dry season (April to October). In those months the rains are much less frequent, which makes the excursion and the taking of good pictures much easier.
Travel Tips for Palccoyo 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 Colours. The cold can make the whole area snowy and ruin the excursion.
- 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 Rainbow Mountain||Rainbow Mountain – Vinicunca|
|Attractions||Palccoyo and stone forest||Vinicunca and Red Valley|
|Altitude||4,900 m.a.s.l.||5,200 m.a.s.l.|
|Trekking time||1 hour (2 km).||2 hours (3 km)|
|Back||6 p.m.||6 p.m.|
|Visitors||Few||A lot of people|
|Weather||Cold, with low temperatures||Cold, with low temperatures|
The difficulty required for the hike to Cerro Colorado de Palcoyo is classified as “easy”, so it is highly recommended for older people and for those who think they will not be able to make the hike to Vinicunca.