Things you should know before visiting the red river in Peru

Red River in Peru is a new attraction that went viral on social media, drawing a lot of attention from travelers and explorers. If you are in Cusco or planning to travel to Cusco, this destination has to be on the list of places to visit, but here is some information that you should take into account before.

Table of Contents

When is the best time to see the Red River?

The best time to visit the Red River in Peru is during the months of Peru’s rainy season(December – March) because it is the result of rain runoff. However, during the dry season(April – November), the river remains the unattractive color of muddy brown.

How to get the Red River in Peru?

First of all, you have to know that there are 02 red rivers in the Ausangate mountain range. The first is near the Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca and the second is on the Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain route.

How to get to the red river of the Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca?

The Rainbow Mountain vinicunca is located within the territories of the Checacupe district, and to get to this place it is necessary to take a bus (Cusco-Sicuani) these buses leave every 20 minutes from Av. Huayruropata, Cusco. Thes first section will take us approximately 2 hours until Checacupe, then the trip continues in a collective car to the district of Pitumarca, for about 10 more minutes. Arriving in Pitumarca you have to hire a car to take you to the community of Japura, the entire road is unpaved so you should take your precautions.

Another way to visit this place is to hire a travel agency, they will show you the mountain of colors and on the way back, they will make strategic stops in so that you can take a picture of the red river in Peru.

Note: There are a couple of ways of getting to Rainbow Mountain. Ask your travel agency to take the route Cusco – Pitumarca – Vinicunca. By the Cusipata route, you will not see the red river. 

red river in peru

How to get to the red river of Palccoyo mountain?

Palccoyo is the recently discovered mountain of colors, it is located in the district of Combapata, 2 hours east of the city of Cusco. To get to this place you will need to take the Cusco – Sicuani bus and get off in the Combapata district, from here there are not public transportations to the community of Palccoyo where is located the red river, so you will have to hire a car which will take you along a dirt road for an hour and a half.

On the other hand, you could hire the services of a travel agency that mostly includes transportation and food and a professional guide who will make strategic stops to see the Red River in Peru.

Why is it red?

The phenomenon that causes the red river is due to the soil erosion from different mineral deposits present in the vibrant layers of the Mountains and valleys. The Red coloring is the result of the existence of red sandstone full of iron oxide. This mineral-rich sedimentary rock gets washed off the mountainsides when it rains and turns the water into a red or pink hue (the exact tone is based on the volume of precipitations). Thus generating a unique and colorful spectacle throughout the valley.

can we help you?