Palccoyo – The Alternative Rainbow Mountain

Palccoyo alternative rainbow mountain

The Palccoyo Alternative Rainbow Mountain is must-see in Peru. One of the most favorite day trips from Cusco in Peru is to the Rainbow Mountains, which provide travelers with some of the world’s most beautiful scenery as well as terrific photographic opportunities.

Although most people visiting choose the well-known Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, if you want to wander even further away to Palccoyo – there’s another rainbow mountain that will give you the very same vibe, even more so with its tranquility, stunning views, and also fewer crowds roaming the untrodden paths.

Palccoyo alternative rainbow mountain
Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain

How to get to Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain?

An organized tour is the most convenient way to travel from Cusco to Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain. Depending on the tour, you may also be required to pay a small admission fee to enter Palccoyo. Tours may cost between $85 and $165, depending on the amenities provided.

Tours leave from Cusco at around 4:00 a.m. Most tours include a brief stop in Checacupe, a small colonial town along the road. The views of the mountain ranges are breathtaking, and walking across the iconic bridge is enjoyable. You’ll be here for about 30 minutes, which gives you time to get snacks, drinks, and other necessities if you don’t already have them.

Palccoyo alternative Rainbow Mountain
Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain

What is the best time to visit Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain?

The best time to visit Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain is between April and November, during the dry season. The rainbow mountain is much more visible during this time of year because it is very bright and sunny. However, this is not guaranteed since the weather can be quite unpredictable at higher altitudes.

Palccoyo alternative Rainbow Mountain
Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain

What to expect at Palccoyo Alternative Rainbow Mountain?

The added bonus of Palccoyo Alternative Rainbow Mountain is that the rewards are very quick. You don’t have to hike for hours to see these dazzling mountains because you can see one even from the parking lot. After about 30 minutes of hiking, you will come across another rainbow mountain with stunning views of the mountains beyond. After another ten minutes, you’ll arrive at Palccoyo’s third and largest rainbow mountain.

Palccoyo Mountain stands 4,900 meters above sea level. Therefore, you should expect the weather to change at Palccoyo, so bring warm clothing, raincoats, hiking boots, plenty of snacks and water, and your camera. Ausangate Glacier and Andrean Mountains can also be seen on a clear day. Llamas and alpacas are commonly seen grazing alongside the road in Palccoyo.

Palccoyo alternative Rainbow Mountain
The Peruvian Andes

Because it is less visited than Vinicunca, you will have more opportunities to experience Peru’s natural beauty and serenity. The main difference between the two rainbow mountains is their altitude, hiking time, and complexity level.

Palccoyo Alternative Rainbow Mountain is much easier to hike and only takes about 45 minutes to reach the summit. Because the tours are normally limited to 6-8 people, they are ideal for those who do not want to walk far and prefer smaller crowds. Vinicunca is a good option if you want a big challenge and have more time in Peru because the hike alone takes about 3 hours.

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