Are Rainbow Mountain Tours in Peru Reopened After Covid?
It was impossible to see this coming. Who knew that the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca Pass) in Peru would become one of most popular destinations in the country? A day trip to see the colors of the Rainbow Mountain migrated like a herd of llamas onto the bucket list of thousands of savvy travelers. And Rainbow Mountain has joined the esteemed "club" that includes the most noteworthy destinations on the planet. Happily,for Peruvians recovering from the biggest economic slump in recent history, day trips to Rainbow Mountain are responsible for producing yet another tentacle of revenue, especially the indigenous communities nearby.
With Machu Picchu now reopen, what is the situation with restarting travel to other destinationsl in Peru? Flights between Lima and Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos, in the jungle regions, are operating. But direct flights between Puerto Maldonado and Cusco have not been restored. We have heard that service will begin in October 2021. The national bus system is operating at reduced capacity and limited departures. We're expecting additional bus service to resume on July 15, 2021.
It's safe to say that day trips to the popular Rainbow Mountain are operational. But what is the status of other prominent alternative hikes in Peru, including Salkantay Trek, Lares Valley Hike, Quarry Hike, and Choquequirao Trek, all of whom attract a slew of active, nature-loving travelers on their way to Machu Picchu? Here's a link to see the list of hikes in Peru that are reopen after covid. But how has Rainbow Mountain been affected by the changes in the travel industry caused by the covid pandemic? According to Vidal, my busness partner in Cusco, there are two layers to understanding this situation. Of course it's never easy.
Indigenous Communities Rely on Income from Travelers Going to Rainbow Mountain.
Reality is always very different from wishful thinking, and there is a practical side to this situation. In spite of recent government regulations, the fact remains that the local people have become extremely dependent on visitors who come to their region with pockets full of cash to buy bottled water, snacks, raincoats, trekking poles and rent mules. All of this moolah goes directly into the pockets of industrious locals willing to set up and manage the production, acquisition and sale of their products or services.These entrepreneurs are desperate for the return of visitors willing to endure the thin air long enough to allow them to ogle the earth's strata of naturally occuring rainbow colors.
Should Travelers Go to Rainbow Mountain?
Where does that leave the visitor who wants to see Rainbow Mountain after covid? Should you try to arrange a day trip? Yes. It's easy to hire someone to take you there from Cuzco. Your tour guide will advise you about road and weather conditions. With a choice of several routes that go through different communities to Rainbow Mountain, will one community be open and another closed? Adios Adventure Travel has provided private service for several groups since March 2021. Our tour guides have reported that high altitude communities welcome visitors. What about your fitness? Should you set up a trip to Rainbow Mountain if you're a little out of shape or you have a bum knee? If you can walk around Machu Picchu, you can walk around Rainbow Mountain Palccoya route. This route offers the easiest access for most people.
How to plan for a day trip to Rainbow Mountain.
Save the trip to Rainbow Mountain for the end of your trip to Peru. This gives lowlanders a little extra time to acclimatize to the extra high altitude (16,000 ft). We recommend that you allow at least 1 full day in Cusco to rest after your trip to Machu Picchu before you go to Rainbow Mountain. Don't try to confirm your trip to Rainbow Mountain until you are in Cusco where you can get accurate, up to date info about conditions at Rainbow Mountain, before you decide whether or not you should attempt it.
Check back from time to time as I update information regularly. Sometimes daily if needed. I'm in touch with Vidal and Hubert in Cusco on a regular basis.. Here's a link to read more about Peru reopening after covid.