From Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain: A 3-Day Natural Expedition

Journey from the tranquil Chocolate Lake to the vibrant Rainbow Mountain in a three-day trek through diverse landscapes.

Home » 3-Day Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain Journey

Cusco, Peru


3 Days




Year Round

Tour type



Venture into the heart of the Peruvian Andes on a three-day trek that unveils the stunning beauty of Chocolate Lake, the grandeur of the Ausangate region, and the vibrant hues of the iconic Rainbow Mountain. This trek is a harmonious blend of serene natural beauty and rugged mountain landscapes, offering an experience that captivates and challenges. The journey begins at the tranquil Chocolate Lake, a lesser-known treasure with its distinctive cocoa-colored waters, setting the tone for an adventure filled with unique discoveries. As the path winds through the Ausangate region, trekkers are treated to an array of breathtaking sceneries, from vast, open landscapes to the majestic presence of Ausangate Mountain, one of the most revered peaks in the Andean range.

This excursion is not just a physical journey but a passage through diverse ecosystems and a rich tapestry of Andean culture. The trek towards Rainbow Mountain is a journey of anticipation and wonder, as each step brings you closer to the astounding color palette of this geological marvel. The experience of reaching the summit is more than a climactic end; it’s a moment of profound connection with nature’s artistry. Throughout the trek, from the tranquil shores of Chocolate Lake to the awe-inspiring views atop Rainbow Mountain, trekkers are immersed in an environment that is as culturally enriching as it is visually stunning, making this journey a truly memorable encounter with the natural wonders of Peru.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 3:30 AM - 4:00 AM
Estimated Return Time 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Guide Languages Available Guides fluent in English and Spanish
Key Attractions Chocolate Lake, Paso Palomani, Ausangate Cocha, Apacheta Pass, Rainbow Mountain, Red Valley
FromUSD 530
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Select a package
  • Standard Large GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 16ppl MaxStart Time: 03:30
  • Standard Small GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 8ppl MaxStart Time: 03:30
  • Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 03:30
  • Deluxe Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 03:30
  • Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 03:30
  • Deluxe Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 03:30

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Tour Itinerary

Explore our expertly designed itinerary below, crafted to showcase breathtaking views and provide unique adventures every step of the way.

Your remarkable journey begins with an early pickup from your Cusco hotel, embarking on a 3.5-hour scenic drive to the serene village of Huchuy Phynaya. Here, in the midst of peaceful surroundings, indulge in a hearty breakfast prepared by our talented cook. This tranquil spot is also where you'll meet our dedicated horseman, who will accompany us, ensuring a smooth trekking experience.

The trek kicks off with a delightful 3-hour walk to the enchanting Chocolate Lake. As we ascend, the majestic Andean landscapes unveil themselves, dotted with herds of llamas and alpacas, adding an authentic Andean touch to your hike. Upon reaching Chocolate Lake, be captivated by its unique cocoa-colored waters - a perfect backdrop for unforgettable photographs. Our guide will share fascinating insights about the lake's significance, enriching your experience.

After basking in the lake's serene ambiance, enjoy a delightful lunch amidst this picturesque setting. The adventure continues with a 2-hour hike to our trek's pinnacle, Paso Palomani, standing at an impressive 5,200 meters. Here, you'll be surrounded by a 360-degree panorama of the towering mountains - a moment of pure awe and inspiration.

Our day concludes with a 2.5-hour descent to Ausangate Cocha. As evening descends, unwind with tea and dinner at our campsite, under a sky glittered with stars and the majestic Milky Way.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 7-8 hours, 15 Km

Awake to a warm cup of coca tea or coffee, accompanied by a nourishing breakfast, setting the tone for another day of exploration. Today's four-hour hike to the Apacheta pass is a journey through breathtaking landscapes. As you climb, be greeted by the imposing Ausangate Mountain and the mesmerizing hues of the lakes below. The summit offers a perfect photo opportunity and a moment to savor the pure Andean air.

The descent towards Anantapata camp unveils the diverse beauty of the region. As you reach the camp, be treated to a picturesque sunset, observing local wildlife as they retreat for the night.

Gather for dinner at 6.30 pm, sharing stories and preparing for the early start tomorrow. The excitement builds as we anticipate the visit to Vinicunca, the renowned Rainbow Mountain.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 7-8 hours, 14 Km

The final day of your expedition starts in the pre-dawn hours at Ananta, where an early wake-up call at 3 a.m. ushers in an air of anticipation. After a hearty breakfast, you'll embark on the ascent to Vinicunca, the iconic Rainbow Mountain. This early start ensures a serene and almost solitary experience as you approach this natural wonder. The first hour of hiking brings you uphill to the Warmisaya Pass (4,980m), where a stunning sunrise over the Andes awaits, painting the sky in vibrant hues.

From the pass, a 40-minute descent leads you to the mesmerizing Surini Lagoon. The journey then continues with a steady climb, about an hour long, to the summit of Vinicunca (5,038m). As one of the day's first arrivals, you'll enjoy tranquil moments to explore and photograph Rainbow Mountain in its unspoiled glory. Our knowledgeable guide will share insights into the mountain's unique geology and cultural significance, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of this marvel.

For those seeking an added adventure, an optional hour-long hike to the Red Valley is available. This area, known for its striking red-colored mountains, offers a stunning contrast to Rainbow Mountain and adds an extra layer of wonder to your trek.

The journey culminates with a two-hour descent to Alqatari, where a celebratory lunch awaits. This is a time to reminisce and celebrate the journey with your support team. After lunch, bid farewell to your team and board your private transport back to Cusco, arriving around 4 p.m. You'll return with a heart full of memories and a deep connection to the majestic Andes.

Accommodation: Return to Cusco
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Hiking: Approx. 5-6 hours, 8 Km

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Tour Highlights

  • Chocolate Lake: Begin your journey at the serene and unique Chocolate Lake, known for its distinctive cocoa-colored waters, offering a tranquil and picturesque start to the trek.

  • Andean Wildlife Encounters: Experience close encounters with local wildlife, including herds of llamas and alpacas, adding an authentic Andean charm to your adventure.

  • Ausangate Mountain Views: Marvel at the breathtaking vistas of Ausangate Mountain, one of the highest and most revered peaks in the Andes, showcasing the region’s dramatic landscapes.

  • Paso Palomani Summit: Reach the highest point of the trek at Paso Palomani, standing at 5,200 meters, offering a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding Andean mountains.

  • Diverse Landscapes: Traverse a variety of landscapes, from high-altitude lakes and mountain passes to colorful valleys, experiencing the diverse natural beauty of the Andes.

  • Sunrise at Rainbow Mountain: Witness a spectacular sunrise over the Andes from the Warmisaya Pass, followed by the ascent to the iconic Rainbow Mountain, renowned for its striking mineral-rich coloration.

  • Red Valley Option: Extend your hike with an optional trek to the Red Valley, an area characterized by its vivid red-colored mountains, providing a stunning contrast to Rainbow Mountain.

  • Cultural Insights: Gain insights into the local culture and traditions of the Andean communities, enriching your understanding of the region.

  • Stargazing Opportunities: Enjoy clear night skies perfect for stargazing at the campsite, offering a magical end to your days of trekking.


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Payment Terms

Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy

Kindly take a moment to read our Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy before booking. Happy adventuring!

Payment Terms

Beginning Your Adventure - Booking Confirmation and Deposit

Your journey starts with a commitment: a 30% deposit of the total tour cost. This initial investment is pivotal in activating the extensive preparatory process, ensuring every aspect of your tour is curated to perfection.

Final Payment: The Last Step Before Your Journey Begins

The remaining 70% of the tour cost is due no later than 48 hours before the commencement of your tour. This timely payment is critical to finalize all logistical arrangements, guaranteeing a hassle-free start to your adventure.

Expansive Payment Options for Ease and Flexibility

In line with our commitment to your convenience, Peru Tripper accepts a variety of payment methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, and PayPal. Please be aware that additional fees may apply depending on the payment method selected. Detailed payment procedures and potential fees can be found on our dedicated payment page.

Implications of Late Payments - Protecting Your Reservation

Adherence to the payment schedule is crucial. Late payments can unfortunately lead to the cancellation of your reservation, with the deposit being retained as a non-refundable fee. We urge you to maintain timely payments to safeguard your tour plans.

Policy for Last-Minute Adventurers

For those inspired to join this tour on short notice, namely less than 15 days before departure, full payment is required at the time of booking. This ensures that we can expedite all necessary preparations for your inclusion.

Cancellation Policy

Flexible Cancellation Options for Clients

We understand that circumstances can change, sometimes unexpectedly. If you find the need to cancel your booking, you have the flexibility to do so up to 30 days before the tour start date. In this case, you will receive a full refund minus a 10% administration fee, acknowledging the efforts and resources already invested in planning your tour. Any additional balance paid will also be refunded, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

Understanding Cancellations Within 30 Days

We wish to draw your attention to our policy for cancellations made within 30 days of the tour departure. Given the advanced stage of preparations and commitments made at this juncture, we are unable to offer refunds. This policy is in place to balance the significant logistical arrangements and reservations made on your behalf.

Navigating Through Force Majeure

In the event of extraordinary and uncontrollable circumstances, such as natural disasters or significant political unrest, Peru Tripper adopts a flexible approach. We prioritize your safety and satisfaction, offering to reschedule your trip or provide a credit for future travel, subject to availability.

Strong Advocacy for Comprehensive Travel Insurance

We cannot overstate the importance of securing comprehensive travel insurance. Such insurance plays a critical role in safeguarding your investment against unforeseen cancellations, emergencies, and other unexpected scenarios. It is a proactive measure to ensure peace of mind throughout your journey. Peru Tripper is not responsible for any expenses arising from incidents not covered by your insurance policy.

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Special Discounts


  • Adult (12+ Years): Standard rates apply for travelers over 12 years old.
  • Child (3 – 11 Years): Save USD 20 for children between 3 and 11 years old.
  • Infant (0 – 2 Years): Infants younger than 2 years old are free (must ride on the adult’s lap; for a separate seat, add them as a child).
  • Group Discount: Automatically applied during online booking.
    • Save USD 10/person for groups of 5-7 people.
    • Save USD 15/person for groups of 8-10 people.
    • Save USD 20/person for groups of 11+ people.

Please note that the applicable age is considered at the time of completion of the trip.

View age and group-based discount details.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Dive into our in-depth guide on what’s included and not included for all package options on the 3-Day Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain Journey. With these carefully put-together lists, you’ll know exactly what to anticipate when booking the journey of a lifetime.

Standard Inclusions

Our Standard package offers a range of amenities and services for a comfortable and enjoyable trip experience. All package options include the following:

Not Included

The following items are not included in our trek packages. Please consider these additional costs when preparing for your trek. Note that some exclusions may be included in the Deluxe package, as mentioned in the Additional Inclusions section:

Additional Inclusions (Deluxe Package)

Upgrade to our Deluxe package for an enhanced and luxurious trekking experience. The Deluxe package includes these premium amenities and services, which can also be added individually to the Standard package:

What to Pack

When embarking on the 3-Day Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain Journey, it’s crucial to pack the right items for a successful and enjoyable experience.

Packing List

Provided Duffle Bag and Packing Tips

We’ll supply the duffle bag during the pre-trek briefing with your guide, held 1-2 nights prior to the tour’s start. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the bag and pack efficiently.

The briefing covers essential trek details, such as itinerary, safety guidelines, and last-minute updates. It’s an excellent chance to ask questions, meet fellow trekkers, and prepare for your adventure.

Packing Tips:
  • Adhere to the 7 kg weight limit: Keep the weight of your personal items in the duffle bag within the 7 kg limit to maintain a manageable load for the horses.
  • Place non-essential items in the duffle bag: Store items you won’t need during the day, like extra clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bags, in the duffle bag to lighten your day pack.
  • Label your duffle bag: Add a luggage tag or other identification to your duffle bag to prevent mix-ups with other trekkers’ bags.
  • Keep valuables in your day pack: Store passports, cameras, cash, and other valuable items in your day pack for added security and easy access.

By following these packing guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your trekking adventure. We look forward to guiding you on this exciting journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Dive into our FAQ section for detailed responses to common queries. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, our team is just a click away to assist you.

What fitness level is required for the 3-Day Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain Trek?

The trek is considered moderate to challenging. It’s suitable for regular hikers or those with a good level of fitness. The high altitude can affect individuals differently, so it’s recommended to acclimatize in Cusco for a few days before the trek.

Is travel insurance required for the trek?

While travel insurance is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Insurance should cover trekking or hiking, medical emergencies, and trip cancellations or interruptions.

Can I store my luggage somewhere before the trek?

Yes, you can store non-essential luggage at your hotel in Cusco or with us during the trek.

What should I do if I suffer from altitude sickness?

Our guides are trained to deal with altitude sickness. They carry emergency oxygen and will assist anyone feeling the effects of the altitude.

Can I trek during the rainy season? What should I expect?

Trekking is possible during the rainy season, but trails may be more challenging, and visibility can be limited. Waterproof gear and a flexible attitude are essential.

What type of guide will be leading the trek?

Our treks are led by experienced, English-speaking guides who are knowledgeable about the region’s history, culture, and flora/fauna. Our guides are certified and trained in wilderness first aid and altitude-related health issues to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

Will there be a briefing before the trek begins?

Yes, there will be a pre-trek briefing the day before the trek starts. During the briefing, our experienced guides will provide detailed information about the trek, answer any questions, and ensure that all participants are adequately prepared for the adventure.

Can I rent trekking gear from you?

Yes, we offer rental of trekking gear such as walking poles and sleeping bags. Please contact us directly for more information on our rental options and prices.

What are the sleeping conditions like during the trek?

Sleeping conditions are comfortable, with high-quality, weather-resistant tents shared between two people. Each tent is equipped with an inflatable mattress for added comfort.

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  • Tour Itinerary
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  • Inclusions & Exclusions
  • What to Pack
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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