The perfect extension trip for those who like hiking, especially if you have already been at altitude for some days. Rainbow Mountain is located near one of the most sacred mountains for Quechua people, just like it was for the Inkcas. Mountain Ausangate at 6,384 m/20,940 ft. was considered a deity. The Lake Titicaca is considered the birth place of one the greatest and most mysterious civilizations, both places were like magic for the Incas. Both places are located at high altitude so the hikes will be in the thin air, but near in reach to nature and culture. Our timing and itinerary turns a crowded experience into a peaceful one that makes the overall experience worth it.
Below you have the best 3 options for your day trips in Cusco area.
This day we'll have an early 7:30 am departure by bus from your hotel and will drive along the southern tip of the sacred valley. From there we'll climb to the Vilcanota Range and to Phulawasi, the trail head sitting at 4,665 m/15,300 ft. We start our hike with a climb to Rainbow Mountain whose height reaches 16,564 ft./5,050 m. The mountain is striped in colors ranging from turquoise to lavender to maroon and gold. The view point will be our highest altitude. Then we descend back to the bus by the Red Valley Pass to enjoy even more of the sacred geography and glaciers across from us, like the Ausangate Mountain at 6,384 m/20,940 ft. In the late evening you will return back to your hotel.
This trip has us departing Cusco and heading northwest to discover the exhilarating view of Apurimac Canyon where Condors are often seen soaring. On the route we will explore Tarawasi, Incan ruins with exquisite stone work where the king used to rest on his way to Quito/Ecuador. As we stretch our legs we will explore this unique site. After we are back on the road with panoramic views, we will arrive at the scenic mountain hamlet of Chota. At 3,400 m/11,154 ft. this is one of the best locations near Cusco for close-range viewings of the endangered Andean Condors. The stunning scenery and the opportunity to spot the Andean condor soaring in the blue skies above adds to the charm of this unique destination. Condors are considered deities by some, and the Incas strongly believed that during reincarnation the Condors took on the very important role of separating the spirits of the deceased from the physical body.
If you are a mountain lover and have spent most of your time in Peru chasing cities and archeological sites, then this is a great escape. If you want to experience a day within the high mountains without dealing as much with the high altitude but you still want to stay away from civilization, then the Salcantay area is your best option. The hike begins at 12,720 ft./3,878 m and within 4 miles we gradually ascend to Soray at 12,980 ft./3,960 m. From there the trail ascends to 14,150 ft./4,315 m within 1.5 miles. Once we arrive at the turquoise blue water of Lake Humantay, you'll see glacier peaks rising above to reach 19,450 ft./5,930 m. In the distance the great Salcantay Mountain dominates the entire region at 20,600 ft./6,280 m.Total distance: Round trip 6.8miles, 11km.