Palccoyo: The Alternative Rainbow Mountain

Palccoyo: The Alternative Rainbow Mountain

Palccoyo is one of the Alternative Rainbow Mountain that serve as alternatives destinies to the already established and more popular Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Tour, while the latter may have sparked the interest on these types of destinations in Cusco due to a massive promotion generated by its visitors on Facebook’s platform, Instagram, this alternative Rainbow Mountain has nothing to envy the other destiny.

So, keep reading this guide on everything you need to know about Palccoyo. Starting from what it is, how to get there, and why you should visit it when you are in Cusco.

What is Palccoyo, the Alternative Rainbow Mountain

What is Palccoyo, the Alternative Rainbow Mountain?

Palccoyo, the Alternative Rainbow Mountain is just like how it sounds…. A beautifully coloured mountain of red, pink, green etc, that is located about 3.5 hours away from Cusco if you are travelling by car.

This alternative Rainbow Mountain is located at a higher altitude (though is similar to the one in Vinicunca or the Classic Rainbow Mountain) – more than 16 000 FASL. Hence, it is always better to prepare, firstly by acclimatizing on a proper way (at least 2 days of low effort physical activities in the city of Cusco are recommended), then you can worry about covering the necessities that are required to do this types of tours such as warm, comfortable clothing, hiking boots, raincoats, sunscreen, ponchos and much more.

What is Palccoyo, the Alternative Rainbow Mountain

Why should you visit Palccoyo, the Alternative Rainbow Mountain?

Palccoyo is not crowded.

Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain was recently discovered in 2018. Therefore there are few crowds when compared to the Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain. This alternative Rainbow Mountain only gets like 100 visitors per day, or sometimes you will be the only one up there admiring the views!

Palccoyo is not a difficult hike.

Both Palccoyo and Vinicunca Rainbow Mountains are both located at the same altitude. However, when it comes to difficulty, Palccoyo is much easier because it takes like 2-3 hours to complete the hike.

Even the distance is shorter so you can do the hike at your own pace while enjoying the beautiful sceneries and the valleys as you go up. 

Palccoyo has three Rainbow Mountains.

The bonus of visiting Palccoyo is because it has three rainbow mountain ranges. One is visible from the car park, another one located halfway through and the final one is the most rewarding with cool breezes and lovely views across Red Forest, and the mountain ranges such as Ausangate on a clear day.

You will get to see different colours- red, green, pink, yellow etc in these rainbow mountains. Although the colours can be slightly different from what you see on the internet, the hike is worthwhile.

What is Palccoyo, the Alternative Rainbow Mountain

What are some tips for visiting Palccoyo, the Alternative Rainbow Mountain?

    • The Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain is located at an elevation of 4900 meters above sea level. You must stay in Cusco for 2-3 days to acclimate to the surroundings before attempting the hike.

    • You can try chewing cocoa leaves or have some chocolate with you to help in cases of altitude sickness.

    • Take plenty of breaks while hiking up and be prepared for the weather to change. For example halfway through it will feel warm and as you hike to the summit, again it will be chilly.

    • Be ready with both comfortable, light clothing as well as warm ones like sweaters, jackets and scarves.

    • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you hike so that you are protected from the UV rays at the summit.

    • Make sure to carry plenty of snacks and water with you as there are no shops on the way to the summit.

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