One of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru is Rainbow Mountain. It has shades of red, green, yellow, and blue. You may have noticed some colourful images of Rainbow Mountain all over your Facebook or Instagram feed! But there are 5 things to know before you visit the Rainbow Mountain in Peru.
The Rainbow Mountain of Peru is located at an elevation of more than 5000 meters above sea level. You must get well-acclimated for the altitudes. This is because the majority of people who hike Rainbow Mountain experience altitude sickness.
Symptoms include nausea, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness as well as due to limited oxygen availability. You will be alright if you spend a few days in Cusco to adapt to the altitude before starting the trip. Alternatively, you can also take Diamox, a medication that eases the symptoms of altitude sickness, and also drink coca tea and peppermint tea.
You must be up for a challenge because the hike to Rainbow Mountain is not very easy. It is worth mentioning that you must be in good physical shape to complete the approximately 4-kilometre hike up to an altitude of 5000 meters above sea level.
You will have to hike for about two hours. It will be strenuous given the unpredictable weather, especially if you are not accustomed to the area. Therefore, prepare yourself a few weeks before the hike by jogging or running early in the morning so that you feel ready on the actual hiking day.
You will experience both hot and cold climates while hiking to Rainbow Mountain. As you climb up from Rainbow Mountain’s base, the temperature tends to drop. Be sure to pack plenty of warm but lightweight clothes, such as jackets, sweaters, gloves, and scarves.
A pair of hiking boots and good socks are also essential. You should also pack sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, raincoats, ponchos, etc. to be prepared for both the scorching sun and the rain.
One thing to keep in mind is that the hike to Rainbow Mountain cannot be done all year round. The hike is better done during Peru’s dry season. It typically lasts from April to November. But because it is the peak travel season for visiting Rainbow Mountain, you must be okay with the large crowds.
However, with the rain, the hiking pathways can become muddy and damp. This happens especially in January and February, so avoid hiking during those months.
If you think hiking Rainbow Mountain is too difficult, you can always try horseback riding. You can rent horses at the base for about USD 18–20. All you have to do is sit back and take it all in as you gradually ascend the Rainbow Mountain’s trails.
Another option is to book a horseback riding excursion to Rainbow Mountain, which would cost you about USD 120 per person.