How much does it cost to go to Vinicunca, the rainbow mountain?
Its real name is Winikunka or Vinicunca, a Quechua word that refers to the black stones that surround this hill in the shape of a neck: ‘Wini’ is black stone and ‘Kunka’, neck. Today, due to the great reception of tourists from all over the world, it became popular as: the rainbow mountain, the red hill or simply the mountain of the 7 colors. Find out how much it costs to visit this tourist attraction, the second most visited in Cusco only after Machu Picchu.
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The famous mountain of the 7 colors of Cusco
The mountain of the 7 colors is the second most visited tourist attraction in Cusco and one of the most famous in all of Peru. The first, of course, is Machu Picchu.
But what is it that catches the attention of this place so much? First of all the beauty of this mountain attracts by its different colors and shades formed millions of years ago. The minerals that can be seen on its surface form these colors:
- Pink fuchsia: produced by clay.
- Green: produced by Magenesian clay and copper oxide.
- Red: produced by clay and Algerian.
- White: formed by sandstone.
- Brown: formed by the calcareous sandstone.
- Lavender: formed by loam clay.
Another reason to visit this natural tourist attraction is its geography located above 5 thousand meters above sea level. It is certainly a different and challenging experience to walk on mountain slopes situated at such an altitude.
For all these reasons the mountain of the 7 colors is a tourist attraction that yes or yes you should visit. It is located approximately 130 kilometers from the city of Cusco, at the foot of the imposing snow-capped Ausangate.
In this article we will tell you how much it costs to visit it on a 1-day trip: transportation, entrance, food and more. You will also know what is the price of an average tour there.
The cost of transportation from Cusco
Do you want to visit the mountain of 7 colors and do not know where to start? The city of Cusco is the starting point to get to know the different tourist attractions of the region. There are the best hotels as well as tourism agencies that offer tours to all places.
But if what you want is to go to the Vinicunca on your own then you must take a public transport bus of the many that are located on Huayruropata Avenue (only 10 minutes by taxi from the city center).
The first section is from Cusco to the town of Cusipata. The distance is 80 kilometers. The trip takes about 2 hours or a little longer. The cost of the bus ticket is 10 Peruvian soles on average.
In Cusipata you will have to take another minivan of shared transport, the famous ‘collective taxis’ that will take you to the Pampachiri camp for 15 Peruvian soles or more (depending on the number of passengers).
Keep in mind, traveler friend, that it is necessary to coordinate with the driver the return section for a cost similar to the one-way. Otherwise you will not have how to return to Cusipata, first, and the city of Cusco later.
The price of admission
Once at the Pampachiri camp, visitors must pay 10 soles for the entrance to the rainbow mountain.
This entrance is charged by the local inhabitants who are the ones who manage this natural tourist attraction.
After paying the entrance fee, visitors can enter and make the arduous 5-kilometer walk until they reach the Vinicunca, the famous landscape full of colors. The hike takes 1 to 2 hours depending on the physical capacity of each tourist.
It should be noted that the hike is free. However, if the visitor does not manage to exceed 5 thousand meters of altitude and needs additional help, he can hire the horse that will take him to the Vinicunca. The cost of the horse, together with the muleteer who drives it, varies between 60 to 90 conversable soles (negotiable with the muleteer who owns the horse).
For the return section it is the same. Just walk to Pampachiri. From there take a ‘collective taxi’ to Cusipata. Finally a public transport bus to the city of Cusco.
The price of breakfast and lunch
Something very important that not all visitors take into account is the price of breakfast and lunch during the trip to the mountain of the 7 colors.
Both breakfast and lunch should be taken in the village of Cusipata (in Pampachiri there are no restaurants). This town is very accustomed to tourism so it has several services for breakfast and lunch.
Then a typical breakfast of Cusipata (a lamb soup or chicken broth to combat the cold) costs approximately 10 soles.
And a lunch high in protein (soup and main course) to recover energy after visiting the Vinicunca can cost the same, that is, 10 Peruvian soles.
How much does a rainbow mountain tour cost?
If you find it difficult to travel on your own you can choose to go with tour.
The truth is that going to the rainbow mountain with tour is not a bad choice. The reason? Going on your own is somewhat complicated by the lack of public transport to Pampachiri, where the final walk begins.
That is why the vast majority of tourists choose to visit the Vinicunca with a 1-day all-inclusive tour.
Without more to say, the price of the 1-day tour costs between 60 to 120 soles depending on the tourism agency you choose. What is the difference? Some services include a good breakfast and buffet lunch in Cusipata while others do not. In addition, some services do not include the entrance (10 soles) that are purchased in the same place.
Which tour and tourism agency to choose? Check well the comments of other tourists and choose. The best thing is a good quality service at the right price.
Total cost of the trip
To summarize the article this is the cost of visiting the mountain of the 7 colors on your own:
Vinicunca Trip 2022
Travel on your own
*Costs do not include optional transportation on horseback (cost approximately 80 soles).
More information about the mountain of the 7 colors
If we compare the cost of the trip to the mountain 7 colors with the price of tours or visits to the other tourist attractions of Cusco (example Machu Picchu or the Sacred Valley of the Incas) we can conclude that it is an economic trip.
However, this route is difficult and not recommended to go with babies, children under 5 years old not accustomed to hiking or adults over 60 years old with physical problems or heart ailments. The reason? The more than 5 thousand meters high in which the red hill is located.
Finally, going with a tour is an excellent idea to avoid how difficult it is to get public transport to the area. What’s more, most tourists decide to go with an all-inclusive tour. In this article we show you what is the approximate price of going both with tour and on your own. In the end you decide, traveler friend.