By: Josef A. (Venezuela)
After a long time I finally got to know Cusco. And as I had planned months in advance, I visited the Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu and the 7-color mountain. Today I am going to tell you about my experience in this last place, one of the most difficult adventures in my travels. I will tell you how I endured a walk at more than 5 thousand meters of height and the beautiful photos I got there, in a place that seems to touch the sky.
First Cusco and Machu Picchu
First let me tell you that Cusco is fascinating and not only because of Machu Picchu. On my first day I did a city tour of the city. I saw Inca fortresses like Sacsayhuaman and the Coricancha. On my second day we went through the valley of the Incas. I got to know places like Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. Already on the third day I did my tour to Machu Picchu round trip to Cusco. On the fourth day we had a day off to rest well because on the fifth day we were going to do the tour to the 7-color mountain. Let me tell you that for each site I hired a tour. The only one I hired with time was the one in Machu Picchu. For all the others I found an agency in the same city of Cusco.
- More information: I chose my last day to do the 7 colors mountain tour on purpose. As I was informed before the trip, it is good to choose this destination for the last day of your trip. This way I can be more adapted to the height of Cusco and I won’t suffer so intense the consequences of the visit to Cerro Colorado.
The long journey with food included
The day of the trip I got up very early, between 4 and 5 in the morning. A minivan arrived right at the door of my hotel. Then with the other tourists we started the trip. The truth is that I took the opportunity to sleep so I didn’t see anything until I reached a cold town where we went down with the other tourists. This town is called Cusipata and it was there where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast that included eggs, chopped fruits, yogurt and breads. Then I went back to the minivan and fell asleep for I don’t know how long until I reached a camp (Pampachiri). There was the moment of truth. We only had to do the fearsome trek through the Peruvian Andes until we reached the 7-color mountain.
- More information: The tour I booked included roundtrip minivan travel, breakfast, lunch, tour guide, and entrance to the mountain. I think it was good service. It did not include the transfer on horseback that some visitors got for a fee the same day.
The most difficult moment: walking!
The walk is what most tourists fear when they visit the 7-color mountain. I was already warned so I was psyched up to complete the walk. I’m young, I have a good physique and I thought the altitude wouldn’t affect me too much. But after several days of acclimatization and my youth, I must admit that I felt the effects of being more than 5 thousand meters high. I walked slowly but still stirred. My head hurt a bit and I had to stop to rest and take a deep breath at various points. Some people before starting the walk rented their horse with the owner of the animal. He or she is the one who leads the horse to the mountain of 7 colors. I didn’t need a horse but I would have liked a little help. In the end I arrived in almost 2 hours. In a normal geographical situation, he could do it in less than 1 hour. But such is the mountain. I was still very happy because I managed to get there on my own. I made it!
- More information: The distance of the walk is only 5 kilometers. The roads are flat for the most part. Renting a horse costs, according to what I was informed, 90 soles or less depending on each owner of the horse. The horse is led by Andean men or women who are very used to it, so don’t be embarrassed.
The wonderful 7 color mountain
Words are not enough to describe how beautiful Cerro Colorado is, or the 7-color mountain, or whatever you want to call it. The effort to get there on foot is worth it. The first sight of the place is indelible in memory. Then of course there is time to take those photos that we love so much. The guide accompanies you and gives you some information about the site. I really liked that there are ladies who sell coca tea, cigarettes, cookies and also beer. Being there is like touching the sky with your hands. It’s a bit cold so I recommend that you never undress. After Machu Picchu I think that is where you get the best photos of the trip to Cusco. The place is full of beautiful colors like red, yellow, dull green and more. We were there 1 hour I think.
- More information: When I visited the mountain it was full of color ideal for taking beautiful photos. However, this is not always the case as I was informed. When it rains a lot walking is difficult. In addition, the frost can cover the mountain in white, ruining your dream photo. I was told it’s a matter of luck, so good luck, my friends.
Back to Cusco and my conclusions
And so was my visit to the mountain of 7 colors. To return we had to walk again but this time back along the same path. The return is a little easier I think. Or at least it cost me less effort. The tourists who suffered the most with the trip were the old people, but they still arrived. Once at the camp the minivan took me back to the village from before for lunch this time. Lunch was rich, with salad, soups (truly good for the cold) and main dishes where the Peruvian cause stood out. Satisfied with our stomachs, we returned to the minivan that took me back to Cusco. The car dropped everyone off at Square Regocijo, near the main square. From there I walked straight to my hotel to change clothes and have dinner. It was 6 o’clock in the afternoon, I was somewhat tired and dirty but happy with life. Thank you Cusco!
- More information: I did my tour with the company Machupicchu Terra and it cost something like 40 dollars. I have no complaints because they delivered and included everything they promised. There are also other tourist agencies that charge less but do not include good restaurants for breakfast or lunch. I even know that there are some tours that do not include the entrance to Cerro Colorado. With all sincerity I recommend this trip, friends. Difficult but worth it!