Breathtaking, that is the best way to describe what we see at the Red Valley in Cusco, Peru. We had never ever seen anything like this before..! The crazy part? Very little people visit this place, which is incredible as the Red Valley is right next to the rainbow mountain, a popular tourist attraction nowadays!
Hike the classic Rainbow mountain; Vinicunca and get exploring the Red Valley in a day without missing anything. Fight out some topics bellow
Because it’s unique. As far as you can see… Red mountains dotted by green and grey. The views are endless.
It’s Quiet. Unlike its brother on the other side of the hill (the rainbow mountains), this place is way less visited. In comparison, there will be around 10 to 20 people at the viewpoint versus hundreds at the rainbow.
Great Value for Money; What a good way to hike Rainbow mt and explore the red Valley in 1 day
As we wrote above, the weather has a big influence on your Red Valley experience because when it hasn’t rained for a while you can do a hike through the Red Valley. Otherwise, you can only see from the view pint which still has amazing views.
As we are talking about great hights (over 5000 m), the weather is a little unpredictable. However, in general, in the rainy season (November to March) you have a bigger chance of clouds/snow/rain (but a smaller chance on crowds…).
There are two main seasons in the Peruvian Andes:
But, When is the best time of the year to do the Red Valley?
The trek can technically be completed all year round, the peak trekking season occurs during the dry season and is busiest between May and September.
****A horse can be hired for the majority of the trek. However, the last 600m are too steep for horses and you will have to walk this last part. The cost is about 100 soles roundtrip which your guide can negotiate.
So where is the Red Valley? It located in Cusco, Peru. right next to the Rainbow Mountain. Just above the last horse point on the way up to the final ascent to the mountain, you see a small route to the left of you with a rope. In the distance it leads to a ridge, that’s where you find the Red Valley checkpoint. After paying 10 soles, you already have a perfect view, but you can down a bit to the viewpoint. Optionally, you could climb the mountain there as well.
TIP: Makes sure you have a good camera because you want to capture this view!!
To return to the carpark, walk back in the direction you came from and pass the checkpoint again. Now, don’t go back all the way to the horses at the top. Just after the passage through two black rocks, there is a short cut to the car parking. Cannot find it? Just walking down randomly works as well.
Just like for a visit to the rainbow mountain, make sure you are prepared for high altitude. Try to be acclimatized before going. Flying from Lima to Cusco and hiking at 5100m the next day, not a good idea. Furthermore, take your altitude pills already in Cusco such that they work once you arrive and bring some extra.
Regarding clothes, wear layers, dress warm (hat and gloves) and bring sunblock. Only with rain, hiking shoes are a must. If it’s dry you can rock your Adidas’s. Bring some nice snacks (although the breakfast is filling enough), or a thermos with coca tea to enjoy the view. Lastly, it’s awesome to bring some small money to tip the cooks and driver, they don’t expect it!
Although there are several options for tour operators that offer Salkantay treks, here we have some list of the top rated Salkantay trekking companies
When in Peru the Red Vally is a must-visit. It is unique in its sort and not yet ruined by tourism.