Palccoyo vs Vinicunca — What are the remarkable differences?

You are undecided and you don’t know what colorful mountain to visitin Peru? What is the best Vinicuna or Palccoyo? Here we tell you everything so that you have a wonderful experience.

Both of them offer an imposing natural beauty, we do we recommend both of them, but which one of them to book, if you don´t have much time?

Main characteristics of Vinicunca and Palcoyo

What is the Vinicunca mountain?

The mountain of Vinicunca is traditionally known as the classic Rainbow Mountain in the tourism industry in Peru, but indigenous inhabitants call this mountain as Vinicunca. This mountain which indeed has seven coulours is 3.5 hours away from Cusco.

Vinicunca is located in the Andes of Cusco region known as Cordillera del Vilcanota, it was the first courful mountain that become very famous in the tourism world, the natural beauty in the diffrent colors is impeccable, therefore many Peruvians call it as La Montaña de Siete Colores(Mountain of seven colours), this hue in the mountain is due to a complete geological history of marine, lake and river sediments that occurred in millions of years.

vinicunca vs palccoyo
vinicunca vs palccoyo


The Vincunca mountain is located at 5200 meters above sea level about 17,000 feet, where temperature can vary from 5 to 35 °C , it depends a lot on weather conditions, if it is very rainy and windy the temperature will drop down, but it can also increase dramatically up to 38 °C on a super sunny day, whatsmor consider that you will be literally 5200 meters closer to the Sun.

When is the best time to visit Vinicunca?

  1. Visit Vinincunca if you want to see the best shinny mountain with seven colors.
  2. Visit Vinincunca if you want to explore the Red Valley, although you can also see many reddish mountains on Palccoyo mountain.
  3. We recommend visiting the Vinincunca mountain it in the dry season, which is from April to mids of December.

What is Palccoyo mountain?

Palcoyo is a set of Rainbow mountains, this is the most outstanding difference compared to the Vinicunca mountain that has only a single colorful mountain.

Palccoyo is located at about 3 hours from Cusco by bus, the route to Palccoyo is absolutely impressive, because you will also be able to see the three bridges (Inca bridge, colonial bridge and the republican bridge), appart from this, you will also see a Forest of Stones, and there is also a chance to see the famous Red river, it is imposible to beat this tour!

vinicunca vs palccoyo
vinicunca vs palccoyo


The Palccoyo Mountain of the Seven Colors is located in the southern area of Cusco at 4800 meters above sea level about 15,000 feet, close to Ausangate snowy mountains, in the Andes of Peru, in conclusion we can say that Palccoyo is located at 400 meters lower than Vinicunca.

When is the best time to visit Palccoyo?

  1. En la ruta a Palccoyo, no solamente veras las montañas coloridas sino también el Bosque de Piedras, Los Tres Puentes y posiblemente el Rio Rojo ¡Qué más quieres!
  2. On the Palccoyo excursion, you will not only see the colorful mountains but also the Stone Forest, The Three Bridges and possibly the Red River, better than this impossible!
  3. Do Palccoyo mountain, if you are lazy to walk, if you have problems with the high altitude.

Which one of the Mountains has less tourist traffic?

Vinicunca Mountain

  1. The mountain of 7 colors or Vinicunca is very crowded, if you wish to take a classic picture(only you and the mountain) it will be almost imposible, you will need Photoshop.
  2. Nevertheless the experience to the Vinincunca mountain is unforgetable.

Palccoyo Mountain

  1. Palccoyo es una nueva ruta que nosotros en InkanMilkyWay promovemos, en este tour a Palccoyo no veras a muchas personas, te podrás tomar las fotos que desees en los lugares más resaltantes sin ningún problema de multitud.
  2. Palccoyo is a new route that we promote at InkanMilkyWay, in Palccoyo mountain you will not see many people, you can take the best pictures at the most prominent places without any problem of crowd.
  3. Hay dos razones principales porque esta ruta no está llena de turistas, primero es que este lugar es muy nuevo en el mercado y segundo que cuestión de marketing, muchos operadores promueven ya desde muchos años a la montaña Vinincunca, pero aquí somos honestos, Palccoyo No tiene nada que envidiar a Vinicunca.
  4. There are two main reasons why there are not many tourists in Palccoyo, the first reason is that Palccoyo is very new for tourists and even local opreators, and the second reason is that the Vinincuca mountain hast alrealy about 10 years in the tourism market.

How difficult is the hike for both Mountains?


  1. You will walk a total of 3 hours or more, depending on whether you want to visit the Red Valley or not.
  2. The hike includes hillside, steep and flat areas, consider that only the last 25 to 30 minutes walk is steep walking.
  3. Vinincunca is at a higher altitude this is why sometimes the walk gets a bit tiring.


  1. You will walk a total of 1h 20 minutes.
  2. The hike is mainly flat wlaking so there is nothing to worry about.