Cusco 135 articles
Sickness Rainbow Mountain
Click to rate article

How to avoid altitude sickness in Rainbow Mountain

One of the mysteries by arrived Cusco and the mountains surrounding this magical site is the height and how it influences the human body the places of the higher. Altitude sickness not only occurs in Peru the discomfort is a normal reaction of the human body, healthy or not to the lack of oxygen. Below, we explain about this and how to avoid this discomfort on your visit to the Mountain of 7 Colors.

Mountain of 7 Colors

Mountain 7 Colors

How is altitude sickness

Visiting the Mountain of 7 Colors or Montaña Arcoíris or Vinincunca is one of the most incredible experiences you will have. However, many put aside the altitude or that this mountain is on the very top of the world. Its altitude is 5,200 meters above sea level. This can bring a series of discomforts that often overshadow travel experiences. Here we will explain a little, and get options and recommendations you can follow if you do not have much time to visit Vinincunca.

This discomfort seems to be a mystery because it can happen to anyone. That is to say, do not usually choose between people, on the contrary, the best athlete may feel sick at altitude while someone who is sedentary barely feels a little discomfort and can move around without any problem.

Altitude sickness occurs at higher altitudes because, in those geographical areas, the atmospheric pressure is reduced, therefore, the amount of oxygen is reduced. This makes a body not used to oxygen shortage begin to experience a series of changes that translate into the main symptoms.

Altitude sickness can be explained as follows:

  • It mainly affects people who live or have places of origin with altitudes less than 900 meters above sea level.
  • The state or physical condition does not influence.
  • The discomfort can be felt from 2,500 to 3,000 meters above sea level.
  • It is too risky for people with advanced cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.
  • It is risky in pregnant people and with arterial hypertension.

Ways to visit the Mountain of 7 Colors

On your trip to Peru, you will likely not have much time to visit all the places this country has to offer. In this sense, we leave you some options that you can follow to get to 7 Colors Mountain. These services will allow you to follow a shorter section and enjoy the spectacular landscapes without any problem, especially since you will not exert strong or prolonged physical effort. The following options that we will mention can also be obtained independently when booking your tour.

  • Quad bike to Montaña 7 Colores

    A main and less conventional option is to visit by quad bike or ATV. This service is a different way of getting to Vinincunca. Remember that after a minivan trip, you have to walk. On this tour, you will have the facility to follow another path, less crowded, before them you will get on your ATV or quad bike to start the route.

    Driving time is approximately 2 hours on the old route. In this sense, it is unlikely to find vehicles. It is also possible to see spectacular landscapes and a large amount of the flora and fauna of the place. The dust may be the only drawback, but it is a fair price since you will add adrenaline to the Mountain of 7 Colors trip.

    From the place where we park the ATVs, we will only have to follow a slightly steep path up the mountain. The walking time will be between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remember that there you can also get the transport service on horseback. Another important factor will be not rushing up the hill. Take it easy.

  • Horse rental, the best option

    It’s probably the most obvious choice, but at the same time, it’s the most overlooked. Especially when we are supposed to be travelers who do not acclimatize properly. Acclimatization of one or two days before in Cusco is always recommended. But in case you want to visit Rainbow Mountain and you do not have more than one day in Peru or you made a wrong reservation or have other excuses and want to visit this spectacular mountain. You must remember that the most feasible option is to rent the horse.

    The horses are guided by people from the area. They perform these services as an extra way to generate income. They are usually quite friendly and also work in an organized way. Both men and women have the same capacity to perform this service, so do not hesitate when requesting the service.
    The base price is 60 soles. In case you want to have the round trip service, they usually charge 100 soles. In any case, visiting the mountain is truly a privilege for those who love and enjoy landscapes. If you have any questions or want more information, you can visit our Complete Guide to visit the Mountain of 7 Colors.

The Coca leaf,
is one of the main foods to avoid altitude sickness. For this reason, you will find it in some hotels, and restaurants, and it will be the first recommendation given by both guides and travel agencies. It is that it has many properties that will help you fill yourself with energy and cope with altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness in the Mountain of 7 Colors

As we mentioned altitude sickness is unpredictable. This discomfort can be suffered by even people who have lived their entire lives in Cusco, which is located at 3,400 meters above sea level. Fundamentally, this discomfort occurs because they trust or go up the mountain with a lot of rapids. This generates an excess of agitation and due to the lack of oxygen, the discomfort becomes longer and more prolonged.

The Mountain of 7 Colors is located at 5,200 meters above sea level. You can imagine the distance between the two places and the different sensations of atmospheric pressure that can be found. In this sense, it is likely that when you get off the minivan you already feel some discomfort, although in Cusco you have not felt it. In this sense, you must remain calm and always have a bottle of water, since hydration is essential for this disease.

By avoiding physical effort on the trip with the options that we leave you above, it is unlikely that this discomfort will increase. On the contrary, you will feel more comfortable, you will arrive much earlier than those who decided to walk. The last section of the walk is quite steep, but you will be able to do it, the distance is short. However, remember to go calmly and without rushing. Try to be in control of your heartbeat.

Mountain of 7 Colors route map

Recommendations for altitude sickness

  • The main recommendation is to consume enough liquid before and during the walk. Don’t worry you will find bathrooms.
  • If you can take an infusion or chew the Coca leaf.
  • If you are not acclimatized, hire the transfer on horseback or the ATV tour.
  • Don’t rush, go at your own pace.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or smoking during the ascent.
  • Be of good cheer at all times.
  • To make you feel more secure, request that there be a first aid kit and an oxygen cylinder.

Advice from people who have been there


 Mariana L. By: Mariana L.

“Vinincunca is amazing, but“

“I came with my husband and we really had a good time. On the advice of our guide we decided to hire horse transportation. It was ideal because I felt a little bad getting off the transport. After that everything was bearable and I was able to contemplate the wonderful landscapes that surround the Mountain of 7 Colors“


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, March 22, 2023