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The Red Valley in Cusco, Peru

Written by Orange Cares | Noviembre 13, 2023
What is the Red Valley in Cusco, Peru

Amidst the famous Rainbow mt, nestled within the Vinacunca Mountain Range is another breath taking natural wonder, the extraordinary and unfamiliar Red Valley. It gets its Mars like intense red color from the iodine oxide mineral composites in the area. It’s raw beauty remains undisturbed with only a select few choosing to continue on a detour to this amazing natural phenomenon.

The brilliant orange sunset over the horizon accentuates the red hues that cover the picturesque landscape of red valley. Enjoy a day tour in a secluded and seldom visited section of the Vinacunca Mountains. This is a a unique and once in a lifetime trip only to be seen in Cusco Peru.


Starting from Cusco, you embark on a 3-hour scenic drive to the South Valley towards the small village town of Cusipata. The Red Valley is usually included on a tour to Rainbow Mountain or Ausengate Trek. It’s at an elevation of above 5000meters above sea level and it is truly breathtaking.

How to go to the Red Valley in Cusco?

You can public transportation to get to the Red Valley, however the logistics are not worth the trouble. We highly recommend doing a tour with a local tour operator. A tour of Rainbow may include a complimentary trek to the Red Valley, but you still need to confirm with your tour agency. If its not included it be requested for an additional fee. A company like Orange Nation Peru offers a comprehensive day tour with Rainbow Mountain, Red Valley, breakfast, lunch and private transportation.

Best time to go to the Red Valley Peru

At high altitude the weather is frigid and the sun is intense. There are two well defined season namely dry Season (April – November) and wet Season ( December – March)

The best months to visit is during the dry season. When the weather is more pleasant and sun makes the colors more prominent. However, the climate is variable and can change in an instant. You can visit during the wet season, but on rainy days the mountains are covered in snow and you may possibly not see the mountains beautiful colors.

Useful information for the Red Valley!

  • The Red Valley viewpoint is far less crowded than Classic Rainbow Mountain.
  • A tour operator that offers small group is more likely to offer a better experience. This is: leave Cusco very early and arriving before the large crowds. Additionally they will also include the Red Valley at no extra cost.
  • Check your travel itinerary to ensure that the Red Valley is included.
  • Acclimate to the altitude sufficiently. Elevation on the hike is extremely high and is very likely to cause altitude sickness
  • Don’t go to the Red Valley in the afternoon in the rainy season because of lighting which is caused by the high concentration of minerals.

What to bring for the Red Valley.

According to the weather conditions and the trail, here are some recommendations that will help you optimize your experience through the Red Valley tour:

  • Bring layers for the variable weather conditions. Its usually warm at the start of the trail and gets colder the higher you climb.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by applying sunscreen every 30-45 minutes.
  • Remember to wear sunglasses and a sun hat.
  • Keep yourself hydrated, bring at least a liter of water!
  • Use trekking or running shoes, in order to be comfortable while walking up to the Rainbow Mountain or the Red Valley.
  • Make sure to have a light but healthy breakfast before starting the trek.
  • Bring coca leaves to prevent altitude sickness.

Helpful Info:

  • Age Restrictions: There is none, but we recommend someone over the age of 7 years because of the altitude.
  • Bathroom: There are bathroom facilities along the trail to Rainbow Mountain, but there are none on the trail to Red Valley.
  • Height: 5,053 meters/ 8,923 feet.
  • Location: The Red Valley is located in Pitumarca and Cusipata district, Province Canchis. It is 3 hours from Cusco town.
  • Hiking time: The trail from the head to Rainbow Mountain is about 2 hours and than another 45 minutes to the Red Valley
  • Fauna: We can find alpacas, llamas, vicuñas, Andean condors, kestrels, Andean dears, among others
  • Advantages: There is a less crowds and it is truly a spectacular site
  • Disadvantages: Extra effort, not many people will go there because they feel tired after the Rainbow mountain hike.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to difficult because of the altitude.
  • Short trail: 970 meters / 0.60 miles.
  • Long trail: 1.2 km/ 0.74 miles.
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