PALCOYO MOUNTAIN PERU / INFORMATION
The Palcoyo Mountain Peru resonated in the tourism world shortly after the Classic Rainbow Mountain was introduced to the world. Cusco Peru is located in these arid regions deep within the mountains of Cusco. Likewise, the rainbow mountain. The residents of Palcoyo decided to open up and show the world what they had. These beautiful striped rolling mountains, three in total, that look exactly like the famous rainbow mountain, have also captivated visitors from all over the world. This is the Palcoyo Mountain exploration guide for one day.
VERY USEFUL INFORMATION
- Distance from Cusco: (76 miles/125 kilometers)
- Driving time: 4 hours one way, including an hour for breakfast halfway and another 4 hours returning, including lunchtime.
- S/ 15/ $ 4.5 for admission
- Base elevation: (15,400 feet / 4,700 meters above sea level)
- Difficulty: Low.
- Trail: There is a dirt path trail at the start, followed by a cobblestone path stretching across one side of the mountain to the last viewpoint. The terrain is mostly flat with a gradual ascent. The stone-forest site then has a switchback trail for about 200 meters up the 20-minute walk to the summit.
- Hiking Round trip distance: (2.5 ML / 4 KM)
- There are no horse rentals available.
- Walking time: It takes about 45 minutes to walk to the last viewpoint (with a few breaks along the way). After all, it takes 30 minutes to return to the bus station.
- Photoshoots: Occasionally, locals will appear on the path, walking with an alpaca and offering a photo shoot. They only want a tip in exchange.
- The highest point is 16,076 feet (4900 meters).
- The total length of the day is 10 hours.
- The elevation difference during the trek was 656 feet (200 meters).
WHY IS PALCOYO MOUNTAIN SO BEAUTIFUL?
Palcoyo Mountain Peru’s coloration is influenced by a variety of minerals found in that mountain range. Iron and sulfur, among other minerals, color the rolling hillsides. The red color is caused by an iron oxide coating and cementation, also known as hematite, that occurs between the sandstone grains. When a construction nail is exposed to rain for an extended period of time, it forms a red layer of rust around the outside.
However, there are other colors besides red, such as metallic yellow, which contains sulfur and iron sulfide. Meanwhile, green tones are caused by chlorite or iron silicate clays, and whitish tones are caused by quartzite sandstone. For millennia, the sandstones have been altered by weather conditions, and they continue to do so today.
GET READY FOR THE ALTITUDE
Anyone can get altitude sickness. Even those with a high level of fitness had difficulty ascending the Andes Mountains. Not everyone becomes ill at high altitudes, and it is difficult to predict who will be adversely affected. For most travelers, it is nothing more than a headache and a dizzy feeling that subsides in one to two days.
We strongly advise acclimating to the altitude in Cusco or elsewhere before hiking Palcoyo Mountain in Cusco. If you are pressed for time, consult your doctor about which life-saving medications you should bring with you on your hike. You can also deal with it by drinking coca tea or chewing coca leaves, which are available in almost every hotel or restaurant in Cusco. It is difficult to avoid altitude sickness, but doing so can help to mitigate its effects.
Hiking through the Peruvian mountains can present both physical and mental challenges, but it also provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
PALCOYO MOUNTAIN IS IT WORTH IT?
Yes, it is completely worthwhile. One American tourist wrote, “The Mountain is of such sheer beauty that it will take your breath away.” However, there is much more to the area than Palcoyo Mountain, such as the Majestic Ausangate glacier, which can be seen in the distance on clear days. The red valleys and amazing landscapes of the Andes, including meadows, straw huts, alpacas, birds, and all sorts of things. A thing of beauty is a source of eternal joy.
WHERE ARE THE PALCOYO MOUNTAINS?
Palcoyo Mountain is in the province of Canchis, Pitumarca district, about 76 miles/125 kilometers southeast of Cusco.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TAKE A HIKE ON PALCOYO MOUNTAIN?
The trekking season in the Cusco region is divided into the following categories:
The wet season (December – April)
This season does provide beautiful scenery, lush green valleys, and thriving vegetation, but it also brings hailstorms, lightning crashing all over the mountains, and too much rain, which can cause even small river flows to grow. That is the rainy season, and there is little chance of seeing the mountain’s colors. It may be covered in white thick snow and a mist of clouds at times. That would be ineffective and a complete waste of your time.
The dry season (May-early October)
These are the days of endless sunshine, with clear blue skies and spectacular views of the mountain peaks. People should only be concerned about the cold in the mornings and afternoons. The temperature drops dramatically at higher elevations, but hiking in Palcoyo Mountain Peru is best during the dry season. November and December are still good months, so there isn’t much rain yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t rain or snow.
WEATHER IN THE PALCOYO MOUNTAINS
It all depends on the season. The weather on Palcoyo Mountain can be very unpredictable, changing frequently and rapidly. Furthermore, the temperature in the mountains in the early hours can be below freezing. You could have warm weather and sunny skies one minute and cloudy skies the next. The best strategy is to dress in layers, as if for all seasons. Rain jackets are required, as are sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of water.
THERE ARE RESTROOMS ON THE TRAIL?
Yes, there are a couple of restrooms ten minutes before arriving at a controlled stall. The parking lot also has restrooms that you can use before going on the hike. Know that the cost of using these restrooms is S/ 1.00, and bring a roll of toilet paper with you just in case. There are no restrooms at the top, so make use of them at the start.
THE APACHETAS ARE PILED STONES
Apachetas are typically found on the sides of paths near mountain passes. They primarily represent the Andean natives’ reverence for nature, with offerings to spirits (Apus) who dwell in the mountains and from whom people claim to receive strength and vigor to climb those hills. When hikers complete the mountain pass, they often add rock to the initial small apacheta piles. It also happens on the way to Rainbow Mountain.
THE AUSANGATE MOUNTAIN OVERLOOK
Ausangate is Peru’s fifth highest peak and, of course, the only one visible from the Cusco region. This massive snowcapped mountain rises in the Vilcanota mountain range, 62 miles / 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco.
On a clear winter day, a portion of its summit can be seen from Cusco. So it is, and if you go on the Palcoyo mountain excursion, you will get a much better view of it.
STONE FOREST ON TOP OF THEM ALL
You will see the Palcoyo-colored hills, the Ausangate, and everything else during the Palcoyo mountain tour, but there is one more thing to do. The stone forest area, 16,076 ft / 4900 masl, requires an additional 20-minute hike up the hill. It is so named because there are largely standing sharp rocks that create the illusion of a stone forest. This additional hike provides three rainbows in one picture. That would be the reward.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS ON THE HIKING PATH?
As for potential hazards along the way, there are none, such as snakebites or animal attacks. Dogs are extremely playful, but avoid touching them at first. The snakes would not survive in such a cold environment. There are small lizards, mostly between September and October when they hatch, but they are not a major threat.
- The earlier you leave Cusco, the better your chances of reaching the mountain first.
- Palcoyo Mountain Peru is less popular than Rainbow Mountain, so it is less crowded. You have plenty of time and space to take pictures because there are three rainbows.
- The Palcoyo Mountain Peru trail is straightforward; you can see the summit from the start.
- We recommend going on a sunny day when the colors are at their most vibrant. Colors can become darker when it rains or mists, making it difficult to avoid disappointment.
- Remember that health and safety always come first. If you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous, headachey, or tired during the trek, stop immediately and return to a lower altitude.
- There are no horse rentals available.
- The first rainbow can be seen within 15 minutes of finishing the hike.
- The red river only flows during the rainy season.
- COVID-19 biosafety protocol for visiting Peru’s Palccoyo mountain
- Palcoyo mountain tours begin at 6:00 a.m. The site will close at 2:00 p.m.
- Groups will be limited to a maximum of 15 people.
- Visitors must wear a mask when entering Palccoyo Mountain.
- The Ministry of Health recommends that visitors maintain a social distance (of at least 1.5 meters) between two people.
- At the Palcoyo Mountain entrance, visitors’ body temperatures will be taken.
- Visitors are only allowed a maximum of 25 minutes at the viewpoint of Palcoyo’s three mountains.
- Travel agencies, transportation vehicles, and restaurants will only send half of their total capacity.