3-Day Chocolate Lake, Rainbow Mountain & Waqrapukara: Peru's Natural Wonders

Explore a trifecta of Peru's most astonishing natural sites in just three days.

Home » 3-Day Chocolate Lake, Rainbow Mountain & Waqrapukara Combo
Location

Cusco, Peru

Duration

3 Days

Difficulty

8/10

Availability

Year Round

Tour type

Adventure

Overview

Discover the enchanting beauty of Peru in a remarkable three-day tour that takes you through some of the country’s most astonishing natural wonders. From the uniquely hued Chocolate Lake to the splendidly colorful Rainbow Mountain, and finally to the ancient and mysterious Waqrapukara, each day unfolds a new chapter of adventure and awe. This journey is an immersive experience into the diverse landscapes of the Andean highlands, blending natural beauty with rich cultural history.

Venture into landscapes that seem otherworldly, starting at the mesmerizing Chocolate Lake, a rare natural spectacle. As the journey unfolds, the vibrant terrains of Rainbow Mountain await, offering a canvas of natural colors that seem to defy reality. The tour culminates at Waqrapukara, a testament to ancient ingenuity, perched majestically above the clouds. This trio of destinations weaves together a tapestry of experiences, making this short expedition an unforgettable plunge into the heart of Peru’s natural and cultural splendor.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 3:30 AM - 4:00 AM
Estimated Return Time 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Guide Languages Available Guides fluent in English and Spanish
Key Attractions Chocolate Lake, Rainbow Mountain, Red Valley, Waqrapukara, Pomacanchi Lake
Price
FromUSD 530
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Select a package
  • Standard Large GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 16ppl MaxStart Time: 03:30
  • Standard Small GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 8ppl MaxStart Time: 03:30
  • Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 03:30
  • Deluxe Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 03:30
  • Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 03:30
  • Deluxe Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 03:30

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Tour Itinerary

Explore our expertly designed itinerary below, crafted to showcase breathtaking views and provide unique adventures every step of the way.

Your adventure begins with a morning pick-up from your hotel in Cusco. Settle in for a scenic 3.5-hour drive to the community of Huchuy Phynaya. Here, a wholesome breakfast crafted by our skilled cook sets the tone for the day's adventure. The two-hour uphill hike from Huchuy Phynaya to Chocolate Lake is a journey through picturesque landscapes, dotted with herds of llamas and alpacas.

As you approach Chocolate Lake, prepare to be captivated by its striking beauty and unique red hue, a natural marvel that feels like stepping into a different world. Your guide will share insights into the lake's significance and the geological reasons behind its distinct color, enriching your experience.

After exploring and capturing stunning photos of the lake, descend back to enjoy a delicious lunch. The day doesn't end here; a 40-minute drive takes you to the community of Hanchipacha, where your tents await. As evening falls, enjoy a relaxing tea time followed by dinner, and if the skies are clear, the Milky Way might just make a grand appearance.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 5-6 hours, 12 km

Rise early for another exciting day. A short 30-minute drive from Hanchipacha brings you to the start of your hike to the renowned Rainbow Mountain. After a nutritious breakfast, you'll embark on a gentle hour-long uphill trek to this incredible natural wonder. Arriving early ensures you have this spectacular site to yourself, allowing for uninterrupted photo opportunities and time to soak in the vibrant colors and unique geological formations.

Next, the adventure continues with a 30-minute hike to the Red Valley. This part of the Rainbow Mountain range is a breathtaking landscape, characterized by its red-tinted mountains and streams, a result of rich mineral deposits.

Post-exploration, a scrumptious buffet meal awaits, prepared by our chef. Refreshed and refueled, your journey takes you to Pomacanchi Lagoon, a serene spot known for its rich aquatic life. The evening is yours to relax and explore the lagoon's surroundings. Dinner is served near the lagoon, followed by a peaceful night's rest in your tent, under the starry sky.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 4 hours, 6 km

The final day of your expedition starts with an early breakfast near the tranquil Pomacanchi Lake. Afterward, a short 30-minute drive brings you to the starting point of today's trek towards the majestic Waqrapukara.

Your walk begins on a gently winding path through the stunning Andean landscape, dotted with high-altitude lakes and offering breathtaking views. The first two hours of the hike are relatively easy, with minor ascents and descents, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty surrounding you.

Upon reaching the Waqrapukara vantage point, prepare to be amazed by the first glimpse of the archaeological complex. The 40-minute descent to the ceremonial center offers a closer look at this remarkable Incan site, nestled amidst enormous rock formations overlooking the deep Apurimac River Valley.

Your time at Waqrapukara includes an hour and a half tour of the ceremonial center, where you'll discover ancient history and culture. After soaking in the incredible views and taking photos, the journey continues with a 2-hour descent to the Huayqui Community. Along the way, keep an eye out for fascinating ancient rock art, some remarkably well-preserved, adding a historical depth to your adventure.

The trek concludes with a return to Pomacanchi Lake, where a hearty lunch prepared by our chef awaits. After lunch, you'll embark on the journey back to Cusco, reflecting on the incredible experiences and natural wonders you've encountered over the past three days. You are expected to arrive at your hotel in Cusco around 6:00 p.m., bringing this memorable adventure to a close.

Accommodation: Return to Cusco
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Hiking: Approx. 5-6 hours, 12 km

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Tour Highlights

  • Chocolate Lake: Begin your adventure at the captivating Chocolate Lake, where the unique red hue of the waters creates a surreal and picturesque setting. This hidden gem in the Andean highlands is a testament to nature’s artistic palette.

  • Rainbow Mountain: Experience the breathtaking beauty of Rainbow Mountain, a geological wonder showcasing vibrant striations of colors. This natural phenomenon provides a spectacular backdrop for hikers and photographers alike.

  • Red Valley: Discover the lesser-known but equally mesmerizing Red Valley near Rainbow Mountain. Its reddish landscapes offer a serene and almost otherworldly hiking experience.

  • Waqrapukara: Conclude your journey with a visit to Waqrapukara, a majestic Incan archaeological site. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Apurimac River valley, it offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue.

  • Stargazing Opportunities: Enjoy clear night skies perfect for stargazing, especially at the remote campsite locations, where the Milky Way often makes a grand appearance.

  • Diverse Flora and Fauna: The tour takes you through varied ecosystems, home to a range of Andean flora and fauna, including herds of llamas and alpacas, and a rich variety of bird life.

  • Cultural Immersion: Engage with local communities along the way, providing insights into the traditional Andean way of life and the opportunity to experience local hospitality.

  • Scenic Drives and Hikes: Enjoy scenic drives through the Peruvian highlands and rewarding hikes that reveal panoramic views and untouched natural beauty.

Prices

Discover our diverse tour offerings, catering to various interests and providing unforgettable experiences for every traveler.
Payment Terms

Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy

Kindly take a moment to read our Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy before booking. Happy adventuring!

Payment Terms

Beginning Your Adventure - Booking Confirmation and Deposit

Your journey starts with a commitment: a 30% deposit of the total tour cost. This initial investment is pivotal in activating the extensive preparatory process, ensuring every aspect of your tour is curated to perfection.

Final Payment: The Last Step Before Your Journey Begins

The remaining 70% of the tour cost is due no later than 48 hours before the commencement of your tour. This timely payment is critical to finalize all logistical arrangements, guaranteeing a hassle-free start to your adventure.

Expansive Payment Options for Ease and Flexibility

In line with our commitment to your convenience, Huaynas Expeditions accepts a variety of payment methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, and PayPal. Please be aware that additional fees may apply depending on the payment method selected. Detailed payment procedures and potential fees can be found on our dedicated payment page.

Implications of Late Payments - Protecting Your Reservation

Adherence to the payment schedule is crucial. Late payments can unfortunately lead to the cancellation of your reservation, with the deposit being retained as a non-refundable fee. We urge you to maintain timely payments to safeguard your tour plans.

Policy for Last-Minute Adventurers

For those inspired to join this tour on short notice, namely less than 15 days before departure, full payment is required at the time of booking. This ensures that we can expedite all necessary preparations for your inclusion.

Cancellation Policy

Flexible Cancellation Options for Clients

We understand that circumstances can change, sometimes unexpectedly. If you find the need to cancel your booking, you have the flexibility to do so up to 30 days before the tour start date. In this case, you will receive a full refund minus a 10% administration fee, acknowledging the efforts and resources already invested in planning your tour. Any additional balance paid will also be refunded, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

Understanding Cancellations Within 30 Days

We wish to draw your attention to our policy for cancellations made within 30 days of the tour departure. Given the advanced stage of preparations and commitments made at this juncture, we are unable to offer refunds. This policy is in place to balance the significant logistical arrangements and reservations made on your behalf.

Navigating Through Force Majeure

In the event of extraordinary and uncontrollable circumstances, such as natural disasters or significant political unrest, Huaynas Expeditions adopts a flexible approach. We prioritize your safety and satisfaction, offering to reschedule your trip or provide a credit for future travel, subject to availability.

Strong Advocacy for Comprehensive Travel Insurance

We cannot overstate the importance of securing comprehensive travel insurance. Such insurance plays a critical role in safeguarding your investment against unforeseen cancellations, emergencies, and other unexpected scenarios. It is a proactive measure to ensure peace of mind throughout your journey. Huaynas Expeditions is not responsible for any expenses arising from incidents not covered by your insurance policy.

Click to review our payment and cancellation policies.
Discounts

Special Discounts

 

  • Adult (12+ Years): Standard rates apply for travelers over 12 years old.
  • Child (3 – 11 Years): Save USD 20 for children between 3 and 11 years old.
  • Infant (0 – 2 Years): Infants younger than 2 years old are free (must ride on the adult’s lap; for a separate seat, add them as a child).
  • Group Discount: Automatically applied during online booking.
    • Save USD 10/person for groups of 5-7 people.
    • Save USD 15/person for groups of 8-10 people.
    • Save USD 20/person for groups of 11+ people.

Please note that the applicable age is considered at the time of completion of the trip.

View age and group-based discount details.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Dive into our in-depth guide on what’s included and not included for all package options on the 3-Day Chocolate Lake, Rainbow Mountain & Waqrapukara Combo. With these carefully put-together lists, you’ll know exactly what to anticipate when booking the journey of a lifetime.

Standard Inclusions

Our Standard package offers a range of amenities and services for a comfortable and enjoyable trip experience. All package options include the following:

Not Included

The following items are not included in our trek packages. Please consider these additional costs when preparing for your trek. Note that some exclusions may be included in the Deluxe package, as mentioned in the Additional Inclusions section:

Additional Inclusions (Deluxe Package)

Upgrade to our Deluxe package for an enhanced and luxurious trekking experience. The Deluxe package includes these premium amenities and services, which can also be added individually to the Standard package:

What to Pack

When embarking on the 3-Day Chocolate Lake, Rainbow Mountain & Waqrapukara Combo, it’s crucial to pack the right items for a successful and enjoyable experience.

Packing List

Packing Tips:

To ensure a comfortable and successful trek to 3-Day Chocolate Lake, Rainbow Mountain & Waqrapukara Combo, it’s important to pack smart. Here are some essential tips to guide you:
  • Duffel Bag Collection: You will receive the duffel bag during the briefing session with the guide, one day before the tour starts. Use this bag to pack items that you won’t require during the trek.
  • Daypack Essentials: Keep only the essentials in your daypack for the trek, ensuring easy access to items like water, snacks, and sunscreen.
  • Layering is Key: With varying mountain temperatures, dressing in layers allows for easy adjustments based on the conditions.
  • Eco-friendly Choices: Opt for biodegradable toiletries to show respect for the environment.
  • Footwear Comfort: If you have new hiking boots, break them in before the trek to ensure maximum comfort and to prevent blisters.
  • Secure Valuables: Use a money belt or hidden pouch for vital items. Also, consider creating digital backups of essential documents.
  • Personal Comfort: Within the duffel bag’s weight limit, include personal items that will make your homestay experience more enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Dive into our FAQ section for detailed responses to common queries. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, our team is just a click away to assist you.

What fitness level is required for this trek?

The trek requires a moderate to high level of fitness due to the high altitude and length of the daily hikes. We recommend prior acclimatization and regular exercise before undertaking the trek.

Can I store my luggage during the trek?

Yes, you can store any non-essential luggage at your hotel in Cusco or with us. We provide a duffel bag for your personal gear to be carried during the trek.

Can dietary restrictions be accommodated?

Yes, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. Please inform us of your dietary needs at the time of booking.

What kind of weather should we expect?

The weather in the Andes can be unpredictable. Prepare for a range of conditions, including sunny, rainy, and cold weather, especially at higher altitudes. Layered clothing is recommended.

Can we charge electronic devices during the trek?

Charging facilities for electronic devices are generally not available during the trek. It’s advisable to bring extra batteries or a portable power bank.

What is the best time of year to do this trek?

The best time to trek is during the dry season, from April to October. However, the trek can be done year-round, keeping in mind that the rainy season (November to March) may present more challenging conditions.

What type of guide will be leading the trek?

Our treks are led by experienced, English-speaking guides who are knowledgeable about the region’s history, culture, and flora/fauna. Our guides are certified and trained in wilderness first aid and altitude-related health issues to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

Will there be a briefing before the trek begins?

Yes, there will be a pre-trek briefing the day before the trek starts. During the briefing, our experienced guides will provide detailed information about the trek, answer any questions, and ensure that all participants are adequately prepared for the adventure.

Can I rent trekking gear from you?

Yes, we offer rental of trekking gear such as walking poles and sleeping bags. Please contact us directly for more information on our rental options and prices.

What are the sleeping conditions like during the trek?

Sleeping conditions are comfortable, with high-quality, weather-resistant tents shared between two people. Each tent is equipped with an inflatable mattress for added comfort.

How do I book the trek and what is the payment process?

You can book the trek by contacting our office directly or through our website. A deposit is required to secure your booking, with the balance payable prior to the trek start date. Payment methods and details will be provided upon booking.

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  • Overview
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices
  • Inclusions & Exclusions
  • What to Pack
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Why Choose Huaynas Expeditions

At Huaynas Expeditions, we believe that every journey should be an unforgettable experience filled with warm memories, new friendships, and exciting discoveries. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love exploring with us

Local Expertise

As a Cusco-based travel agency, our knowledgeable local guides and travel experts have an in-depth understanding of Peru's history, culture, and hidden gems, ensuring an authentic and immersive experience.

Experienced Team

Our dedicated team shares a deep love for Peru and its diverse offerings, ensuring you receive a memorable and uniquely crafted travel experience.

Personalized Itineraries

We understand that every traveler has unique interests and preferences. That's why we work closely with you to create customized itineraries tailored to suit your travel goals and desires.

Top Support

Our devoted team is available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience.

Safety and Reliability

Your safety and well-being are our top priorities. We adhere to strict safety protocols and maintain strong relationships with trusted local partners to provide you with the best possible experience.

Competitive Pricing

We strive to offer high-quality travel experiences at competitive prices, ensuring you receive excellent value for your investment.

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