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Sunday, February 18, 2018

How to visit Machu Picchu & The Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Visiting both Machu Picchu and the Rainbow Mountains of Peru

Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu tours

Many travelers visiting Peru are wanting to explore the magical ruins of Machu Picchu as well as reaching the popular summit overlooking the Rainbow Mountain, taking travelers well beyond heights, they have likely only dreamed about. The Rainbow Mountain of Peru, at its summit (Elevation/Height: 16,520ft) nearly reaches the heights of Everest Basecamp, and far surpasses the highest mountains in continental USA.

Linking in a visit to both Machu Picchu and the Rainbow Mountain is very easy. However the two locations lie in opposite locations from the city of Cusco. Machu Picchu lies about 3.5 hours from Cusco, reached by a train journey along the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley.

The Rainbow Mountain is nestled in the Ausangate Mountain region, about 3 hours to the trailhead from Cusco to the south. Transport to this location is done via Bus or Private Van. There are generally two kinds of tours, budget (large group tours) and small group tours via private van, car or taxi. 

Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu tours
Photo Credit - @ Flashpackerconnect.com
That being considered the distance between the Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu is approximately 7 hours in total, for that reason you need to allow for a night in Cusco to split up the trips and coordinate tours. 

The best way to visit both sites, is to overnight in Cusco between the two treks/tours, visiting Machu Picchu first and embarking on your Rainbow hike following your visit to Machu Picchu. This is very important as you need to acclimate prior to hiking at such high elevations (2-3 days of acclimations in and around Cusco, or a visit to Machu Picchu first is recommended). 

If you are tight on time you can tackle both trips in 2 days, but it is nice to add in a rest day in Cusco in-between the two, as both are FULL day adventures, leaving you very tired if done back to back. 

TIP: If you have extra time embark on a multi day Rainbow Mountain hike, overnight camping offers you some amazing landscapes and gets you away from the day hiking crowds, many travelers including myself will tell you that the landscapes, wildlife, glacier views and lakes beyond the Rainbow Mountain rival that of the Rainbow Mountain itself. 

For more information and package trips including the Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu tour follow the link HERE.

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