Cusco is a wonderful destination that adapts to the preferences of each traveler. You can see impressive buildings hundreds of years old, discover incredible natural landscapes, enjoy the cultural richness of its people or venture into unforgettable walks.
One of the places in Cusco that has a great popularity in recent years is Vinicunca, the famous Mountain of Seven Colors. Thousands of people arrive every day to appreciate the mixture of shades that are drawn on the surface of this iconic – already – hill adjacent to the impressive Ausangate snow cap.
On the other hand, another destination has begun to rise as a tourist alternative instead of Vinicunca it is Palcoyo, the mountain range of colors. Three mountains stand out in the Andean landscape with their distinctive tones, creating a unique image.
So, Vinicunca or Palcoyo? If you are thinking about visiting one of them, we give you some information that will help you choose which one is most suitable for you.
Number of people
If what you want is an opportunity for introspection, silence and calm, Vinicunca is not for you. It is possible that you make the ascent accompanied by many groups of tourists and that you must wait at the top to take the long-awaited photo with the mountain in the background. Palcoyo, on the other hand, offers a quieter road with few visitors.
The trek to the top of Vinicunca is demanding, reaching 5,100 meters above sea level on a terrain with steep sections. Comparing it with Palcoyo, the mountain range of colors has a slightly lower height (4,930 meters above sea level) but the terrain is less rugged and flat, making it a good alternative for those who do not have the best physical condition.
At the level of demand, we must add the time it will take you to climb to the top of both places. In Vinicunca, you will have to cover a distance of 7 kilometers in approximately three hours of walking, a demanding task unlike Palcoyo where you will walk 2.6 kilometers in two hours.
If you want to make the most of your stay in Cusco, the distance between both mountains and the city can interfere with you. Vinicunca is 116 kilometers from Cusco, on a trip of approximately 2.40 hours by road; You will start the tour at 4 a.m. and you will return to your hotel at 3 p.m. Palcoyo is 16 kilometers further after a 3.20 hour trip, with a tour that starts at 7 a.m. and it ends at 5 p.m.
You can get the most out of your visit to Palcoyo by adding other interesting tours that will lengthen the tour, but it will be more profitable. For example, en route you can stop to appreciate some forests of stones or the enigmatic Q’eswachaka, a woven bridge dating from the time of the Incas. Vinicunca, in general, is a single direct round trip to Cusco.