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Travel guide to visit Palcoyo

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Home » Guía de Viajes » Travel guide to visit Palcoyo

The Palcoyo Mountain is a tourist attraction located in the Cusco region of Peru. It is known for its impressive geological formations of vibrant colours, similar to the famous Vinicunca Mountain, but not the same.

This hill offers a more accessible and less crowded alternative to Vinicunca Mountain, making it a popular choice for those who wish to experience the beauty of the Andean landscapes without the crowds.

Why visit Palcoyo Mountain in 1 day?

Because it is one of the few attractions that has almost everything, its view is breathtaking, unique landscape accompanied by the red river, the hike is more accessible and above all there are few tourists, so you would have the whole landscape to yourself. The best thing is that it can be done in one day.

When is the best time to plan my trip to Palcoyo Mountain?

Preferably visit in the dry season which starts from May to September, during these months there is no rain and the trip is quieter, you have an incredible view of at least four colourful mountains, the stone forest and the red river.

Truly, travelling between these months will give us an incredible view.

Day 1: Full day at Montaña Palcoyo

Many visited the 7 Colours Mountain or rainbow mountain, and yes the place is beautiful; however we found another destination even more wonderful and little visited, but once in the place dazzles with those beautiful views that gives us, today I will detail everything about this new attraction that you should go if you want a more complete tour of the mountain of colours. 

Well, to get to this attraction I recommend that you hire the services of a travel agency, although you can do it on your own, but it is a little more difficult, so I always recommend that you travel with a safe travel agency; in this case I travel with Tierra de los Andes who organized the whole trip from Palcoyo to Cusco and vice versa, even breakfast and lunch are included in the tour we hired.

The agency is waiting for us at a meeting point for all those who are going to Palcoyo, in this case they are waiting for us in the historic centre, the meeting time is at 4:30 am; once we are all on the bus we leave for the Palcoyo mountain.

To do this we take the southern road in which we pass several villages such as Saylla, Huasao, Oropesa, on the way we pass archaeological sites that this time we will not visit them because our goal is to reach this beautiful mountain; we continue the route and pass through Urcos, Cusipata, Checacupe (Inca suspension bridge).

We arrive at Combapata, here we take a detour by trail until we reach the community of Palcoyo where our last stop is, the journey takes about four hours to reach the place. Here there is a booth where we pay a fee of S/ 15 Peruvian soles to enter and see this wonderful landscape.

Before, we stop in the village of Cusipata to have breakfast and then start our hike. Breakfast is a buffet consisting of a scrambled egg, pan chuta de oropesa, pancakes, and it was up to you whether you wanted coffee, juice or a coca tea for altitude sickness;

We finish breakfast and continue until we reach the village of Palcoyo which is at 4,900 m altitude (near the snowy Ausangate), do not worry you will not walk much; our car does not take us to a certain point and from there we start walking and the time to get to the top is 40 minutes and the road is quiet and smooth.

Don't forget to bring alcohol or flowery water to help you breathe and stimulate your lungs, once at the top you can see the amazing and wonderful coloured mountain and it is not the only one, you can see four alternate mountains, see the forest of stones, ideal to take some good pictures.

From here you can see the whole landscape, it is practically a panoramic view, you can see up to the snow-covered mountains, and more colourful mountains, red hills and its red river; impressive views that we can only see in Palcoyo.

Here we take a prudent time and then we descend to the starting point, because here the bus is already waiting for us, on the way back to Cusco we make a short stop at the bridges of Checacupe, where you can see two bridges, one colonial and the other Inca; the guide explains each of them, after that we continue with the route to Cusco.

We stop for a moment in Cusipata for lunch, it is also a buffet, as you can serve yourself the dishes you want, it is usually a self service you do, however everything was very delicious. We return to Cusco and the average arrival time is three and a half hours which leaves us in the historic centre of the city.

Palcoyo Cusco
Palcoyo Cusco

Where to eat?

As I mentioned before, we stop in the village of Cusipata to have breakfast and lunch, usually they offer a buffet where you serve yourself the dish you like the most. If you are travelling with a travel agency, they coordinate all the breakfast and lunch, we just worry about getting to the top of the mountain.

My Recommendations

  • Keep in mind that conditions may change, depending on the season you travel, so I recommend the things you might need.
  • Always have your passport or identity card with you so that when you enter Palcoyo they can register your visit and allow entry.
  • Wear warm, light clothing, trekking shoes, rain ponchos, gloves, hat or cap, sun block.
  • You can bring snacks, water for the walk, walking sticks.
  • If you are going to travel to Palcoyo, it is advisable to rest in the city and acclimatise the days before, so that you do not suffer from altitude sickness when you visit the mountain of different colours.
  • Additionally, you can bring a change of clothes and wear them at the end of the trip.
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