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Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain

The second most popular colorful mountain in Cusco region


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Palcoyo Mountain (also known as Palccoyo) is located in the Canchis Province, about three hours southeast of Cusco. While Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain remains the top touristic attraction in that area, Palcoyo also has a lot to offer. First of all, Palcoyo is much less crowded than Vinicunca. Secondly, Palcoyo features not one but three colorful mountains. Amazing red slopes with green and blue stripes are among the most photographed in the Peruvian Andes. In addition to the mountain, the area boasts the stone forest and the amazing Red River, flowing through the green valley.

The best time to hike Palcoyo Mountain is during the dry season from May through October, since at other times, the trek can be muddy, and the skies can be cloudy. However, if you want to see the Red River too, April is the best month for that. Tours to Palcoyo are available from Cusco, with buses leaving at about 7 am.

The Palcoyo landscape is beautiful and surreal. Its red soil, which owes its color to a high iron oxide content, reminds Mars. The hike to the mountain takes about one hour. You can also see locals in their colorful clothes walking with llamas and alpacas along the route.

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