Rainbow Mountain

Destination Guide


17,060 feet (5,200m)


Seasons vary from 62ºF (16ºC) to 26ºF (-3ºF)


Vilcanota mountain range


Moderate to challenging


Truly a place like no other. Quickly becoming world famous, Rainbow Mountain, aka Vinicunca, is made up of 14 mesmerizing colored-minerals that make for the perfect Instagram post. Until recently, the colored mountain was hidden to the world, covered in deep snow which melted due to unfortunate climate changes.

How was Rainbow Mountain formed?

Minerals from ancient soils were eroded and transported by the masses of waters that covered the area during the tertiary and quaternary periods. Over time, the minerals piled up over one another forming layers of different colors arranged according to the weight of each mineral. Further tectonic movements of continental proportions elevated such layered sediments, which will later become the top of Vinicunca mountain range. The oxidation of the minerals gave rise to the bright colors we see today.

How to get to Rainbow Mountain?

The only way to get to Rainbow Mountain is through the 2.5 mile trek (approx. 2 hours). It’s level of difficulty is considered between moderate and difficult, mostly due to the altitude at which you’ll be walking at.

Although doable by yourself, our recommendation, and most popular option, is with a tour. You have the convenience of getting picked-up from your hotel/hostel, a local tour guide telling you all there is to know about Rainbow Mountain and finally being dropped back off at your accommodation.

If looking to visit Rainbow Mounting, make sure to check out this top-rated tour!

What to pack & wear

Layers of clothing

At these altitudes, temperatures change quickly so it's a must taking clothing that's easy to take off or put on.

Comfortable shoes

You will do a lot of walking around the Inca citadel so make sure to wear shoes your comfortable with.


The sun is much stronger at high altitudes so it's important to wear sunblock. A hat and sunglasses are also recommended.