The access to Q'eswacha and the Vinicunca Mountain (aka Rainbow Mountain) are regulated by the local Andean communities where these attarctions are located. In order to access to Vinicunca the payment of a small fee is required. The access to Q'eswachaca is free. As oftoday, the Peruvian government hasn't regulated the access to these attractions.
In the case of Machu Picchu 2500 people can access the site daily in two different turns. One in the morning and another one in the afternoon. For this trek, we include a visit during the second turn.
The Vinicunca Trek designed by GoTrekPeru.com allows travelers to take part of an exciting ride in a mountain bike all the way down to the bottom of the Apurimac Valley where the river of the same name is crossed by an ancient bridge. This ancient bridge is rebuilt every year by local Andean communities using the same techniques developed by the Incas hundreds of years ago. It also includes a hike to the collorful Vinicunca Mountain after spending a night in a tent in the Ausangate valley where the second highest peak of Peru is located. This journey ends with a visit to the archeological site of Machu Picchu.
How difficult is this adventure?
Travelers need to have experience riding mountain bikes in order to take part of this journey. Intermidiate skills are needed for the biking portion of the tour package. The hiking portion of the excursion will be demanding due to the high altitude achieved (16,460 feet above sea level - 5,200 m.a.s.l.) and it is important to be in good physical shape and adjusted to high altitude.
How does this excursion work?
We will provide you all the logistics and equipment need it to make of this experience one of the best of your life. This three day excursion will take you to the top of one of the sides of the Apuricam Canyon to start take a bike and ride all the way down to the Apurimac River. At this point you will have time to relax and if you are brave enough, you will cross a bridge designed by the Incas. Later on, you will head towards the Ausangate valley where you will spend the night. Next morning, you will hike towards Vinicunca to observe the colorful rainbow mountain.You will spend the night at the Andean style town of Ollantaytambo to rest and get ready for your visit to Machu Picchu the next day.
All you have to do is get ready for your pick-up and we will take care of the rest.
Can I bring children?
Children under 12 years old should not be at this excursion. If younger children have plenty of experience riding bikes and hiking longe distances, they should be ok to take part of this experience.
When is the best time to participate of this experience?
The dry season is the best time to do this. The dry season runs from April to November, while the wet season runs from December to March. In these areas, it is possible that rain falls even during the dry season. Temperatures can fall below freezing at night at the Ausangate valley campsite (a sleeping bag and a warm blanket will be provided to keep your warm at night.)
What is the weather like?
During the dry season, it is unlikely to get rain specially from May to September; however, in these areas rain can fall at any time. The overnight at the campsite will be cold and possible below freezing.
What should I bring to the trek?
Mainly comfortable waterproof hiking shoes, longe sleeves shirts, t-shirts, a good waterproof jacket, scarf, gloves, raincoat, hat, thermal pants and socks for the cold night, sunglasses, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, flashlight, hand sanitizer, a small first aid kit, some coca leaf candies, and a good camera. For a more detailed list, please navigate our "What to bring to the Vinicunca Trek" site.
Can I take part of this excursion the next day that I arive at Cusco?
We do not recommend it. The main effects of altitude sickness show the first or second day of beign in a high altitude city. For that reason, we highly recommend that you take part of this excursion a couple of days after arriving in Cusco (unless coming from another high altitude city.)
What should I do if I get altitude sickness?
Drink plenty of liquids, coca leak tea will definetely help, take a nap, avoid foods, and try to rest. If you are in the middle of the hike to Vinicunca and start feeling dizzy, extremely tired, nauseated, and have a headache, ask for advice from your guide and go back to your campsite. Guides have plenty of experience in this matter.
Are there bathrooms available on the first night campsite?
No; however, we will bring a portable bathroom for this portion of the excursion.
Are mosquitos an issue in this excursion?
At the Apurimac river and the town of Aguas Calientes you will encounter mosquitoes; therefore, you must bring an insect repellent (preferable a repellent containing DEET between 15% and 25%)
Below there is a suggested checking list for the Colca Canyon Trek:
This is a list of reasons to book the Vinicunca Trek & Machu Picchu with GoTrekPeru.com:
2. We provide a mountain bike in very good condition with all the safety equipment necessary to enjoy the ride.
3. We provide 2 walking poles (black diamond) for the hike to Vinicunca and Machu Picchu.
4. You will enjoy deliciuos meals while biking, hiking, and relaxing at a town.
5. This excursion includes a 3 star hotel at Ollantaytambo town for the second night.
We will book a comfortable hotel with a nice room and clean private bathroom. Ollantaytambo is a small town with limited accommodation options. Hotel upgrades are available and you can add them to your cart.
6. On Day 3, you will get a round trip to Machu Picchu, but most importantly, you will get to hike to the Gate of the Sun with your tour guide and then you will tour around Machu Picchu.
7. If you own an ISIC Card, you will get a USD 20.00 gift card to eat at Uchu Peruvian Steakhouse or Marcelo Batata restaurant.
The Q’eswachaca Inca Bridge and the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) have become popular attractions in the last few years in Cusco and this journey allows travelers visit both of them as well as Machu Picchu. All the beauty of these sites can be enjoyed by combining camping, biking, and trekking. This 3 day journey has been designed to provide a memorable experience. Extension Available!
Day 1: CUSCO - Q’ESWACHACA - JARUPA (B), (L), (D)
Day 2: JAPURA - VINICUNCA MOUNTAIN - JARUPA - OLLANTAYTAMBO (B), (L), (D)
Day 3: OLLANTAYTAMBO - AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO (B), (L), (D)
Daily Departures available. Choose the departure date of your preference
10% OFF for groups of 4 to 6
25% OFF for groups of 7 to more
Around 6:30a.m. your guide will pick you up from your hotel. A private transfer will take you to Quehue but first you will stop in Pampamarca to enjoy breakfast and observe a dwarf volcano. Once in Quehue, you will ride a mountain bike all the way down to the bottom of the Apurimac Valley for about 2 hours. Once at the bottom of the canyon, you will be able to cross the Apurimac River using an ancient bridge engineered by the Incas hundreds of years ago and maintained by the local community of Q’eswachaca. Here you will enjoy lunch.
After lunch, your transportation will take you to your campsite located in the small village of Jarupa which is located at 14,190 feet above sea level. This ride will take about 3 hours and a half. At your campsite you will enjoy dinner and you will spend the night in 4 season tents with inflatable mattresses, high quality sleeping bags, and a warm blanket. Here you will have spectacular views of the Ausangate snowy peak.
The cook’s assistant will awaken you about 6:00a.m., offering you hot tea. Breakfast will be served at about 6:30a.m. and after that a constant hike of about three hours and a half will take you to the Vinicunca Mountain (aka Rainbow Mountain). On the way, you will observe small Andean villages, locals with their herds of llamas and alpacas, and views of beautiful nevados and the Ausangate snowy peak which is 20,945 feet above sea level. Once at the pass of the rainbow mountain located at 16,460 feet above sea level you will have time to enjoy the colorful views of the rainbow mountain and surrounding landscape. Here you will have a hot tea to help you warm up.
Next, you will descent to your campsite where you will enjoy lunch. This hike will take 2 hours. After lunch, you will be driven to Urubamba valley where you will spend the night at the Andean town of Ollantaytambo at a local hotel. This ride will take about 4 hours and 30 minutes. Once at Ollantaytambo, you will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant
Today, you will enjoy breakfast at your hotel in Ollantaytambo and at 7:45am you will be taking the Expedition train to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu town. Once at the town, you will visit the Butterfly Research Center where you will observe their life cycle and several types of orchids. Before leaving the center, you will eat an early lunch. At 11:45am, you will be taking the bus to the archeological site of Machu Picchu located at 7,875 feet above sea level. Your guided tour of Machu Picchu will last about four hours and it will start with a visit to the Gate of the Sun. After that you will tour the main buildings of the site and then you will go back to Aguas Calientes by bus.
In the late afternoon, you will take the Expedition train to Ollantaytambo at 6:20pm. A snack will be provided for this ride. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, you will be taken to your hotel in Cusco.
Price per person - USD
(2 people minimum per booking)
We offer daily departures for the Vinicunca Trek & Machu Picchu from April 1 to November 30.