When we started planning our trip to Peru, my husband had been looking at other places to go, aside from Machu Pichu. We quickly learned that Peru is filled with endless places to explore. One of the places I knew he wanted to go was la Montana de 7 Colores, also known as the Rainbow Mountain.
When we arrived in Cuzco, we asked our taxi guy what was the best places to go. He recommended the Rainbow Mountain but warned us that it would be a long day, but wouldn’t cost too much. The price was $75 soles for both of us. About $37.50 US dollars per person. All the prices we were seeing online before we left were a lot higher than $37.50, so we quickly agreed that the long day was worth it for the price. We friended the taxi guy and he bought our tickets.
After coming back from Machu Picchu, he picked us up in Ollantaytambo. This was the last train stop. The city is about an hour and a half away from Cuzco, so most people either take a bus or pay for a taxi. He took us to our hotel and five hours later, at 3 AM, a woman from the travel agency was outside waiting for us.
After climbing Machu Picchu the day before, and hardly having any sleep, we were exhausted. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
We were jammed into a van with 12-15 other people. Everyone from different countries. We stopped for a brief breakfast. This included two small pancakes and mate de Muna.
It was time to get back in the van to continue our travel. We arrived at our destination at about 8 AM. We were told that we had three hours to summit the mountain and retrieve before noon because heavy storms usually approach early afternoon.
There were approximately 200 hikers who were heading the same direction we were. We walked about 30 minutes before we encountered locals with horses that people could use when fatigued. A round trip was $60 soles. The return back was $40. We opted to walk the entire way. Our legs were still recuperating from the Machu Picchu hike the day before. We felt like we were dying the entire time. We had plenty of water and snacks to help us get fueled.
Almost three hours in and we still had a long way to go. Or at least it felt like it. I couldn’t move one leg or the other. Suddenly, renting a horse didn’t seem like such a bad idea. So we did. We each paid $20 soles. I felt no guilt. To my surprise, the ride only lasted about 10 minutes. Horses were only allowed until a certain point. We still walked another 20 minutes to summit.
One foot in front of the other we went. Our tour guide was telling us to hurry up because the storm was coming. We walked as fast as we could. Only 20 to 30 more steps were left. Suddenly a feeling I’ve never felt before took over me. I was scared of heights. I’ve jumped out of a plane, and now I’m scared of heights? It didn’t make sense. My awesome husband helped me overcome this and before I knew it, I was crying of excitement because I had summited the mountain.
The view was beautiful. However, the journey there was even more beautiful. The landscapes felt like it was something out of a painting. As we were walking, I amazed and in love with everything I was seeing. I didn’t take many photos or video. I wanted to truly appreciate and see it and remember it. We stayed on the mountain and admired it for about 20 minutes.
My husband’s knee had given out. He couldn’t walk. So he hopped on a horse. I opted for walking. The storm was approaching very quickly, and before we knew it, it was pouring, then it was icing. The ice was hitting me directly on my face. What was a beautiful warm day was now a cold one. I was happy I had all my warm gear on me.
Overall, this hike was hard. I would not recommend it to anyone who is not active. When I arrived at the bus, my husband was still not there. It took him and a few others about another hour to reach. The whole time we waited, no one said anything. No one had any energy to talk. It was 5 PM and we had been up since 2 AM. So we slept.
We stopped at the same restaurant from the morning to have “lunch.” The meal was super light and a lot complained. We took what we were given.
We arrived in Cuzco at about 8 PM. We were exhausted and hungry. There was no hotel waiting for us. We had an hour and a half to eat and then hop on a bus for a 10-hour ride.