The best way to visit Rainbow Mountain
You’ve probably seen all the amazing shots of Rainbow Mountain plastered over Instagram, looking like the person taking the shot has the mountains all to themselves and the caption doesn’t mention anything about how they actually got there. To be fair, they were probably too tired to mention it, after the strenuous hike to get there.
“Wait… what… strenuous hike?” We hear you ask.
The hike to THE Rainbow Mountain
Well, the tours are not able to take you all the way to the viewing point by vehicle so the only option is the hike there and the hike is by no means easy. I mean, we are not avid hikers ourselves but being in Peru, we met many who are and they expressed the difficulties. The high altitude is the main problem here and altitude is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can make breathing pretty damn tough, along with the headaches, nausea etc. However, obviously people still make it up there so if you’re feeling tough, by all means go for it. There is also another option for the not so tough or just those who simply can’t be bothered and that is to head up via horseback. You still need to do a short hike this way but it is not as gruelling.
Ok so you’ve made it to the top, either sweaty or sweat-free, depending on your choice of the above options. Yup you’ve made it, along with all the crowds of people who also bought a similar tour, who make it near impossible to get a shot without a bunch of people also in it. It is at this moment, you realise that the photographer was at an insane angle or has a good hand at Photoshop.
You will still love Rainbow Mountain because, who can be sad around rainbows? Seriously though, the mountains many coloured sediments look amazing and everywhere you look holds a beautiful, colourful view.
But what if you could have this experience without gasping for breath or making a poor horse gasp for breath instead? We almost didn’t visit after hearing the stories numerous times from other travellers about the crowds and the hike but we didn’t want to miss out. We ended up searching high and low for an alternative and now we’re here to save you from doing the same.
The new and less strenuous Rainbow Mountain
We came across Rainbow Mountain Expedition, who promised an alternative route, with a much easier hike and no horses needed. This route seems to be one of Peru’s best kept secrets at the moment, as we also practically had the mountains to ourselves with no weird angles needed to get amazing shots of the mountains nor Red Valley without people in them. The hike was easy for us and if it was easy for us, it’ll be easy for most. We couldn’t believe our luck, it felt so much more special being there without hoards of crowds ruining the peaceful nature vibes.
We didn’t meet anyone else on our travels who knew about the alternative route so you also have free bragging rights with this tip. This tour is more expensive than the usual route but 100% worth it. Sometimes there are times when it really pays to splurge a bit and this is one of them. This way, you won’t be too tired for a Pisco Sour when you get back too.