Affectionately referred to as the ‘colored mountains’ (Nevados Colorados) by locals and Rainbow Mountain by visitors, National Geographic has recently added Rainbow Mountain as one of the top 100 places you should visit before you die.
Historically, Nevados Colorados has been a part of the incredible trek around Ausangate, a sacred peak that attracts thousands of Quechua pilgrims every year to celebrate the Quyllur Riti (Quechua for “star snow”) festival. However, its’ recent fame has brought changes to an area inhabited by llama and alpaca herding communities, one of the few remaining such pastoralist societies in the Peru.
As a commitment to our community-level work in Peru, and by request of one of our local guides whose family lives in the area, Crooked Trails now is working with a local community near the trek to Nevados Colorados.
Crooked Trails travelers now can visit the mountain and the community on a 2-day excursion from Cuzco. We stay with our friend and guide Rony’s family in the village of Chechacupe. Arriving to stay with this local family, you can wander through the town and experience village life.
A little before sunrise the next morning, you will leave for the trek before all the daytrippers arrive. The trek, flanked with splendid views of permanent snow-capped peaks, leads you through small Andean communities, grasslands and barren slopes to the incredible views of Rainbow Mountain, the surrounding technicolor landscape a result of natural mineral formations. Standing alone at the pass with views of the colored valley and peaks above and below is a spectacular feeling, and an accomplishment not easily done with its cold mountain air and high altitude. A hot cup of coca leaf tea offered to you by a sweet Quechua man at the top of the trek is a welcoming treat.
Contact us to include a Rainbow Mountain trek and village visit as part of your adventures in Peru!
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