Around 7:00 am our journey started, getting picked up at the square of Cuszo. Destination: Winicunca and Palccoyo.
Nilto, our guide, gave us an explanation of the day. We are going to cross 5,000 meters altitude so we came prepared: Agua de Florida which is alcohol mixed with flowers (smells like a nice perfume too) of which you put three drops on your hands and after rubbing your hands smell it to give you a boost, cacao leaves, altitude pills and cacao candy.
Our first stop was around 9:30 am at a small town called Checacupe, here we stopped at a market which is located next to old bridges, one inca bridge dating back to 1420 a.d. and the original Inca foundations an eb enjoyed, an colonial bridge next to it built in the 18th century by order of the King of Spain, Carlos III to collect taxes and a republic bridge dating from 1895 made from Iron for heavier transport. For 2 soles per person we crossed the Inca bridge, really shaky but cool!
After fueling up, we had to take another two hours drive to reach the starting point of our hike to the Rainbow Mountains. The drive up was super nice, passing a lot of nature through the mountains passing livestock, cornfields and a small river with red water because of the red stones it passes through. All the rocks were red because of the minerals in the area, giving it a very cool look.
At 4,200 meters altitude we arrived at the check point where we had to pay 10 soles per head to enter the park. The parm of De Ingreso a Montaña de Colores – Palccovo is open from 8:00 am until 15:00 pm. We arrived around 11:15 am. After a few minutes we saw a lot of Alpaca and Llamas nearby to walk near them and to take some close pictures!
Nilto explained that the Rainbow Mountains were not seen 30-50 years ago because of glaciers. This part has 3 Rainbow Mountains, the popular one only has one.
First viewpoint gave a great view over the mountains, one way a rainbow one, other way with snow, and other again red colored.
Second viewpoint had a beautiful rainbow colored mountain that is on the same level as you are standing, and the view over another rainbow mountain in the back with ice on it, behind it huge Andes mountain range with also the second biggest mountain of entire Peru in sight the Ausangate.
Third and final viewpoint gave an higher view on the last one.
After that Robert went up with one other tourist and Nilto to the top, 5,500 meters high. The view, wow. Combination of all the viewpoints, giving a great panorama look.
On the way back we saw so many nature, and because it rained the red sand was nicely distributed across the land, filled with Llamas and Alpacas.
We had, once again, a buffet included. Thank god this time this time the food was good, probably because we did not get forwarded to a tourist trap. Restaurant called Geranios and the food was solid.
After getting dropped at Cuszo, Sam took a quick picture with a baby goat for 1 soles before we headed back to our hostel to collect our stuff and hop on the Peru hop at 22:00 pm for our next stop: Puno.