3-Day Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain: Uncover Hidden Treasures

From the tranquil Chocolate Lake to the vivid Rainbow Mountain, discover Peru's diverse landscapes.

Home » 3-Day Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain Journey

Cusco, Peru


3 Days




Year Round

Tour type



Discover the hidden wonders of the Peruvian Andes on our 3-Day Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain Journey. This trek is an enthralling blend of serene natural beauty and vivid landscapes, perfect for both enthusiastic trekkers and nature lovers. Start your adventure at the enigmatic Chocolate Lake, a serene wonder set amidst rugged terrain, and culminate at the stunning Rainbow Mountain, known for its vibrant, multi-colored vistas. This journey is not just a hike; it’s an exploration of Peru’s diverse and breathtaking highland scenery.

Immerse yourself in the tranquil yet dramatic landscapes of the Andes. The journey from Chocolate Lake’s unique allure to the iconic Rainbow Mountain encompasses a range of experiences, each more captivating than the last. As you navigate this rich and varied terrain, you’ll encounter majestic views and cultural insights, making this trek a journey of discovery and awe at every turn.

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, Paso Palomani, Ausangate Cocha, Apacheta Pass, Rainbow Mountain, Red Valley
FromUSD 530
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  • 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 unforgettable journey starts with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Cusco. Settle in for a scenic 3.5-hour drive to the quaint village of Huchuy Phynaya. Here, amidst the tranquil surroundings, a hearty breakfast prepared by our skilled cook awaits you. It’s also where you’ll meet the dedicated horseman who will accompany us on our trek, carrying our equipment.

The trek begins with a 3-hour walk to Chocolate Lake, an ascent that gradually reveals the stunning landscapes of the Andes. You'll encounter herds of llamas and alpacas along the way, adding a touch of Andean charm to your hike. Upon arrival at Chocolate Lake, you'll be mesmerized by its unique cocoa-colored waters, offering spectacular photo opportunities and a chance to learn about its significance from our knowledgeable guide.

After enjoying the lake's serene beauty, savor a delicious lunch in this picturesque setting. Then, prepare yourself for a 2-hour hike to the highest point of our trek, Paso Palomani (5,200m). Here, a breathtaking 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains awaits, offering a moment of awe and wonder.

The day concludes with a descent to Ausangate Cocha, taking approximately 2.5 hours. As the evening sets in, relax and enjoy tea and dinner at our campsite, where the clear night sky reveals the majestic Milky Way.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 7-8 hours, 15 Km

Greet the day with a warm cup of coca tea or coffee, followed by a nutritious breakfast with the team. The adventure continues with a four-hour hike to the Apacheta pass. As you ascend, each step brings you closer to breathtaking views of Ausangate Mountain and the vibrant lakes below. Take a moment at the summit to capture these memories with photos and breathe in the purest air of the Andes.

The journey then leads us on a descent towards the Anantapata camp. The landscape around you transforms, revealing the diverse beauty of the region. Upon arrival at the camp, witness a picturesque sunset and observe the local wildlife, including alpacas, llamas, and sheep, as they return to their shelters.

As the day concludes, gather for dinner at 6.30 pm and prepare for the early start tomorrow. The anticipation builds for the upcoming visit to Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 7-8 hours, 14 Km

The final day of your adventure begins before dawn at Ananta. After a 3 a.m. wake-up and a hearty breakfast, you'll start the ascent to Vinicunca, the renowned Rainbow Mountain. The initial hour of hiking takes you uphill to the Warmisaya Pass (4,980m), where you'll be greeted with a magnificent sunrise over the Andes.

Continuing from the pass, a 40-minute descent leads to the Surini Lagoon. Then, you'll undertake a steady climb for about an hour to reach the summit of Vinicunca (5,038m). As one of the first groups to arrive, you'll enjoy a peaceful exploration and the chance to capture the mountain in its full, uncrowded glory. Your guide will share insights into the mountain's unique geology and cultural importance.

Optionally, you can extend your hike by an additional hour to explore the Red Valley, a striking area of red-colored mountains offering a stunning contrast to Rainbow Mountain.

Your journey concludes with a two-hour descent to Alqatari for a celebratory lunch. Afterward, say goodbye to your support team and head back to Cusco in your private transport, arriving around 4 p.m., with a heart full of memories from the majestic Andes.

Accommodation: Return to Cusco
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Hiking: Approx. 5-6 hours, 8 Km

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Tour Highlights

  • Scenic Drive from Cusco to Huchuy Phynaya: Begin your adventure with a picturesque 3.5-hour drive through the beautiful landscapes of the Andean highlands.

  • Chocolate Lake: Discover the unique and serene Chocolate Lake, known for its cocoa-colored waters, surrounded by stunning Andean scenery.

  • Paso Palomani: Reach the highest point of the trek at Paso Palomani (5,200m), offering 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding majestic mountains.

  • Ausangate Cocha: Camp near the beautiful Ausangate Cocha, experiencing an evening under the clear skies with a view of the Milky Way.

  • Apacheta Pass: Trek to the Apacheta pass, where breathtaking views of the Ausangate Mountain and vibrant high-altitude lakes unfold.

  • Anantapata Camp: Experience the tranquil beauty of Anantapata, observing local wildlife and enjoying picturesque sunsets.

  • Sunrise at Warmisaya Pass: Witness a spectacular sunrise from the Warmisaya Pass, adding a magical start to your final day.

  • Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca): Explore the famous Rainbow Mountain, known for its stunning multi-colored mineral striations, in the peaceful early morning hours before the crowds.

  • Optional Red Valley Hike: For those seeking additional adventure, the optional hike to the Red Valley offers a landscape of striking red mountains, providing a stark contrast to Rainbow Mountain.

  • Authentic Andean Trekking Experience: Enjoy the authentic experience of trekking through the Andes, with local guides, cooks, and horsemen, immersing yourself in the culture and natural beauty of the region.


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.

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 to Rainbow Mountain Journey. 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 to Rainbow Mountain Journey, it’s crucial to pack the right items for a successful and enjoyable experience.

Packing List

Provided Duffle Bag and Packing Tips

We’ll supply the duffle bag during the pre-trek briefing with your guide, held 1-2 nights prior to the tour’s start. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the bag and pack efficiently.

The briefing covers essential trek details, such as itinerary, safety guidelines, and last-minute updates. It’s an excellent chance to ask questions, meet fellow trekkers, and prepare for your adventure.

Packing Tips:
  • Adhere to the 7 kg weight limit: Keep the weight of your personal items in the duffle bag within the 7 kg limit to maintain a manageable load for the horses.
  • Place non-essential items in the duffle bag: Store items you won’t need during the day, like extra clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bags, in the duffle bag to lighten your day pack.
  • Label your duffle bag: Add a luggage tag or other identification to your duffle bag to prevent mix-ups with other trekkers’ bags.
  • Keep valuables in your day pack: Store passports, cameras, cash, and other valuable items in your day pack for added security and easy access.

By following these packing guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your trekking adventure. We look forward to guiding you on this exciting journey!

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 the 3-Day Chocolate Lake to Rainbow Mountain Trek?

The trek is considered moderate to challenging. It’s suitable for regular hikers or those with a good level of fitness. The high altitude can affect individuals differently, so it’s recommended to acclimatize in Cusco for a few days before the trek.

Is travel insurance required for the trek?

While travel insurance is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Insurance should cover trekking or hiking, medical emergencies, and trip cancellations or interruptions.

Can I store my luggage somewhere before the trek?

Yes, you can store non-essential luggage at your hotel in Cusco or with us during the trek.

What should I do if I suffer from altitude sickness?

Our guides are trained to deal with altitude sickness. They carry emergency oxygen and will assist anyone feeling the effects of the altitude.

Can I trek during the rainy season? What should I expect?

Trekking is possible during the rainy season, but trails may be more challenging, and visibility can be limited. Waterproof gear and a flexible attitude are essential.

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.

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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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