Contact Us

The Red River in Peru

Written by Sam Corporations February 13, 2023

The Red River in Peru - Sam Corporations

The Red River in Peru is one of the new tourist attractions of Cusco region. It is located to the south, in the famous Vilcanota mountain range (close to the Palcoyoc Rainbow mt). As its name indicates, the water of this river turns red during the rainy season (mainly in January, February and March). The rest of the year it is not possible to appreciate this phenomenon. Although there are few who know this place, it is one of the most interesting landscapes in Cusco.

Where is the Red River in Cusco?

Red River is located in the Canchis Province of the Cusco region, about three hours southeast of the actual city of Cusco. This entire province sits in the shadow of the great Mount Ausangate, one of the tallest peaks in the country and an important Apu (Mountain God).

The source of the Red River is in the nearby Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain valley, which along with the other mountains of the region make up the Cordillera Vilcanota. This chain is itself a part of the wider Andes mountain range which runs along the whole spine of South America, forming the longest continental mountain range in the world.

The Origins of the Red River In Peru

The redness of the river is due to a high content of iron oxide that washes off the surrounding mountains during the rainy season. With both Rainbow Mountains nearby, as well as the Red Valley, the rain-induced soil erosion charges the river with different quantities of mineral-rich sedimentary rock. The intensity of the red depends on recent rainfall volumes. Sometimes the river is blood red, and other times it is pink. This makes timing the visit crucial.

Other places to visit close by

The Red River is about 30 miles away from the city of Cusco and makes a great day trip. However, if looking for more adventure, the Red River also articulates well with other popular destinations nearby like Rainbow Mountain or the Red Valley. Cusco Journeys offers sustainable travel options with professionals who are committed to responsible and ethical ecotourism.

Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain

For those who would like to experience something unique and see some of Peru’s most interesting and gorgeous landscapes, a visit to Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain along with the nearby Red River in Cusco is an absolute must. Start planning your own once-in-a-lifetime trip to Peru and make sure to include this incredible off-the-beaten-track destination in your itinerary.

Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain

This is the most well-known and most visited of the two rainbow mountains. It can be reached by hiking for as little as one and a half hours. This kaleidoscopic spectacle is at over 17,000 feet in altitude.

See the detailed itinerary here!


The famous multi-day hiking circuit of Ausangate is close by and can be connected to Vinicunca for those keen to hike. If not, Ausangate can be viewed conveniently by vehicle. Ausangate is a snow-capped Andean Mountain of epic proportions.


On the Apurímac River, two communities come together to do what has been done since Inca times, and that is rebuilding the suspension bridge. This passage was a vital part of the once vibrant Inca Trail system. Ancient techniques of braiding native grass into ropes are used to reconstruct the suspension bridge every year. Qeswachaka is about 4 hours’ drive from Cusco.

Be Prepared for the Altitude

As Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain is situated at a high altitude, you should carry warm clothes for the cold weather. Although the trail through Palcoyo is not as difficult as the one which leads to Vinicunca, it can get muddy (during the monsoon season); so it will be a better idea to carry a pair of hiking boots as well. Last but not least, if you are susceptible to altitude sickness, be sure to carry some coca leaves or pills to help you deal with the symptoms.

Plan your trip to the Peruvian highlands during the rainy season and visit this unique wonder that’ll give you a dreamlike experience.

Hiking the Inca Trail in June & Trekking Tips - Sam Corporations

Hiking the Inca Trail in June & Trekking Tips

June is high season in every sense on the Inca Trail and in the Sacred valley surrounding it. Weather is at its best for hiking the Inca Trail in June (sunny and dry, although chilly at night) and the daily trekkers on the trail are at their maximum levels. In addition to this, it is […]

10 streets of Cusco with a lot of history - Sam Corporations

10 streets of Cusco with a lot of history

Cusco was the capital of the Inca empire. That is why its streets host a past full of history and mysteries. Many of them have their origins in the same Inca era. Others were built in colonial times. During the visit to Cusco, many people are unaware that they are passing through a street where […]

sandoval lake information - Sam Corporations

The Paradise of the Sandoval Lake

It is difficult to choose a single place as the most beautiful in the Peruvian jungle, but if we had to make a ranking of the most beautiful in the Amazon, Lake Sandoval would definitely make the top ten. Being able to take a boat ride through its waters, totally surrounded by nature, will give […]

Sam Corporations


Local Peruvian Company

Our company is 100% locally owned. We directly contribute to economic development and environmental sustainability in Peru.

Service Quality

The quality of our service is one of our most important values which demands all our effort, determination, and courage to be successful in what we are doing and the services we provide

Responsible travel

We aim to have a positive impact in all the areas that we visit. Through our training sessions and social projects, we empower women, indigenous communities and children

Small Personalized Groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you a personalized tour in our small comfortable vans

100% Customised Itinerary

Interested in visiting only specific destinations? No problem, all our packages can be fully customized to suit your budget and schedule. Contact our travel advisors to plan the most comprehensive trip of a lifetime.

Community and Environment

We commit socially and culturally to the community and adapt our business strategies to the preservation of the environment

  • 100% Locally owned and operated.
  • Best Tour guides & trip leaders.
  • Quality-Touch & Personalized service
  • Highest quality, name brand equipment.
  • All Inclusive Tours with no hidden fees.
  • Sustainable Prctice and responsible travel.
  • Safety conscious with first aid training annually.
  • Unique Tours & Trekking routes
  • Customized Tours & Packages forFair and kind travel.
  • Personalized Attention with the Most Dedicated Team
  • Giving back to our local communities



100% Customised itinerary

Contact our travel advisors to plan the most complete trip of your life.

Easy communication

Simplified ease of communication, text us on WhatsApp, email or call us.

Professional and experienced

Our guides are local and have vast knowledge in Peruvian culture and history.

Local peruvian company

100% local company. Development and environmental sustainability

Small personalized groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience

Memorable trips

Discover an exceptional journey where perfection meets adventure.