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Meet and enjoy the Palcoyo Mountain in Cusco

Home / Travel Blog / Meet and enjoy the Palcoyo Mountain in Cusco

Cusco is an incredible city full of surprises with beautiful places to discover and this time it surprises us with the Palcoyo Color Range located in the district of Checacupe in the province of Canchis. Palcoyo Mountain is made up of three colored mountains! Just like Vinicunca, it is becoming a place with a good influx of visitors.


Palcoyo Mountain is the other 7-color mountain in Cusco, it is very close to Vinicunca and the Ausangate snow-capped mountain.


It is the easiest route to see the rainbow mountains of Cusco, we only need little effort to get there and it is also ideal for adults and children.


Where is the Palcoyo Mountain?

The mountain of seven colors of Palcoyo is located in the town of "Palcoyo" at 4,900 meters above sea level. near the snowy Ausangate, in the Andes Mountains of Peru in the district of Checacupe, province of Canchis in the Cusco region.


What is the weather like in the Palcoyo Mountain?

The climate of the Palcoyo Mountain in the course of the year goes through two well-defined seasons.


The rainy season: This season covers the months from December to March, during this season Palcoyo is covered in dense fog, accompanied by snow and hail.


The dry season: This season covers the months between April and November, this season is characterized by a fairly pleasant climate and thanks to the sunny days of this season, you can see the Palcoyo mountain.



The maximum altitude of the Palcoyo Mountain is 4,900 meters above sea level.


Walking time Palcoyo Mountain route

The round-trip walking time to the Palcoyo Mountain will last approximately 1 hour and a half. Time that makes it more accessible in the event that you are one of the people who usually maintains a fairly busy itinerary.


What is the difficulty of the walk?

The difficulty of the walk to the Mountain of Palcoyo is moderate, and this makes it interesting for people who do not like to walk very much or who do not have enough performance on walks.


What is the best season to do the walk to the Palcoyo Mountain?

The best season to get to know the Mountain of Palcoyo is in the dry season, since during this season the weather is pleasant and it helps to be able to see the Mountain of Palcoyo more clearly, thanks to the sunny days of the season.


The Palcoyo mountain range has the presence of 3 mountains of 7 colors, predominantly green, red, blue, white and yellow. Making the route to the Palcoyo Mountain is a good alternative if you are in Cusco and do not have much time, but how can you get to this mountain?


How to get there?

The Palccoyo hill is located almost 100 kilometers from the city of Cusco. To get there, you have to follow the following route:

  • Travel by bus from the city of Cusco to the town of Checacupe (2 hours).
  • Trip from Checacupe to the city of Palccoyo. (30 minutes).
  • Hike from the town of Palccoyo to the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo (1 hour).

What to see in the Palcoyo mountain?

In addition to being a natural attraction of incomparable beauty, the Mountain of Seven Colors is a natural habitat for various types of animals such as llamas, alpacas, vizcachas, condors, and more.


On the road that joins Cerro Colorado there is a stone forest that was formed naturally. From there you can appreciate the beauty of Ausangate, the largest snow-capped mountain in Cusco.


Stone Forest

The stone forest of Palcoyo is an important element that further embellishes this incredible landscape, and it becomes very interesting when we pay attention to some of the rocks that compose it, since we will find what appear to be small fossilized marine creatures, which indicates that these rocks probably have a sedimentary origin, that is, they come from a seabed, but due to the vagaries of the geological formation of the Andes they have ended up at this great height.


Three Mountains of Colors

In fact, in Palcoyo you will see not one, but three colored mountains that adorn this already beautiful Andean landscape, which is why it has been called, as we have already said, the mountain range of colors.


The Red River of Palcoyo

Very close to Palcoyo there is a small tributary of water that, in the rainy season, increases its flow, taking with it the reddish soil of the land on which it settles, and with it this river acquires the same color that has attracted the attention of many visitors.


Herds of llamas and alpacas

Located in the heart of the traditional Andean communities, Palcoyo allows you to see entire herds of llamas and alpacas grazing in the surroundings. These animals are an important part of the local economy and, even in 2022, they are still used as pack animals.


Tips for traveling

  • It is recommended to acclimatize to the Cusco climate before visiting the place. Otherwise, the visitor may suffer from 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 other paths.
  • It is advisable to find out what the weather is like in Palccoyo before booking an excursion to the Mountain of 7 Colors. The cold can cause the entire enclosure to be covered in snow and ruin the tour.
  • Palccoyo is a great option for people who don't feel up to the difficult trek to the Mountain of 7 Colors.
  • If you contract with a travel agency, make sure that it is an authorized and legal agency.

Tours to the Mountain of Colors of Palcoyo

The best way to get to the Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain is with a tour through a tourism agency. The most usual services are those that last 1 full day (full day) and can be hired in the Historic Center of Cusco.


The weather in Palcoyo is cold with temperatures that, during the day (tourist visit), can reach a maximum of 19ºC. and a minimum of 5ºC. At all times there are currents of wind that cool the hands and face (recommended to wear gloves). Any day of the year, especially in January, February and March, rain and snow can cause the mountains to wake up covered in snow. For this reason, most tourists prefer to visit from April to October, when the rains are less frequent.


How much does a tour to the Rainbow Mountain of Palcoyo cost?

The tour to Cerro Colorado de Palcoyo costs 30 to 50 dollars (USD). The price varies according to each travel agency and the quality of the service they provide.


How to visit the Mountain of Colors of Palcoyo without a tour?

Visiting Cerro Colorado is also possible without a tour. To do this, you only have to make the trip on your own to the town of Checacupe. From there you can buy the entrance tickets directly. The visit without a tour is without a tour guide.


How much does the entrance ticket to the Rainbow Mountain of Palcoyo cost?

To visit Cerro Colorado on your own, you must purchase the entrance ticket in the town of Palcoyo. The cost for foreigners is 10 soles (3 dollars). National tourists pay 5 soles (2 dollars).


What does a tour to the Rainbow Mountain of Palcoyo include?

The tours to Cerro Colorado vary according to the tourism agency. In general, the tours include the following:

  • Tourist transport from Cusco to Cerro Colorado and vice versa.
  • Tour guide service.
  • Entrance to the Rainbow Mountain of Palcoyo and the surrounding attractions.
  • Lunch.
  • First aid implements.

What is the difference between Vinicunca and Palcoyo?

Unlike the Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain of Palcoyo is a little-known attraction and even with few visitors per day.


The way to get there is much easier because it includes a walk of only 1 hour. From its top you can see the Ausangate mountain that is covered in snow like nowhere else. In addition, there is a stone forest and a unique landscape around it.


Differences Palccoyo Mountain Vinicunca Mountain
Attractions Mountain of 7 colors, stone forest, Ausangate Mountain of 7 colors, Red Valley, Ausangate
Height  4,900 meters above sea level 5,200 meters above sea level
Difficulty  Easy Intermediate, Hard
Walking time 1 hour approx. 2 hours approx. (short route), 3 hours approx. (long route)
Weather Cold Cold
Departure and return of tour 5 AM to 6 PM 5 AM to 6 PM

 Few tourists

Many tourists


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