The Red Valley Cusco: Complete Travel Guide

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Introduction

The Red Valley Cusco is located near the Mountain of 7 colors and the imposing Apu Ausangate. This valley is completely unique. One of the most vivid colors in the Valley is red. The red coloration is distinct in its layers on the mountainside. The red color is due to oxidation by iron oxide present in the rocks.

Red Valley Location:

The fantastic Red Valley is located in the district of Pitumarca , in the province of Canchis in the Cusco region. The Red Valley of Cusco belongs to a chain of mountains and ravines that, as its name mentions, are made of reddish soil, adorned and protected by the Ausangate.

You will be able to enjoy the landscape and the snowy Ausangate, along with the Mountain of 7 Colors and the Red Valley.

Distance

  • Short path: 970 meters / 0.60 miles.
  • Length: 1.2 km / 0.74 miles.

Climate

When you are a few minutes from the Mountain of Seven Colors you can see the Red Valley in the distance, there are two very clear and marked stations that we will let you know and take into account on your next visit to Cusco:

Dry season : It is between the months of April to October, the weather is pleasant, you can see the beautiful blue sky of Cusco, in this season you can enjoy the blue of the landscape.

The rainy season : This season includes the months from November to March, in these months the sky becomes cloudy with the presence of rain.

Altitude

This part of Cusco exceeds 5,200 meters above sea level. The height can play a trick on you, to take a tour to this spectacular place, you need to acclimatize yourself a day in advance to be able to enjoy the walk. This famous tourist attraction is located on the slopes of the snow-capped Ausangate, tutelary APU of Pitumarca .

What are APUS?

Surely you have noticed repeatedly that we name this word, Apu has a meaning and importance for the Andean cosmogony, they are mountains of great importance according to the Incas, they were divine entities that governed the destiny of humanity. Today it continues to have the same importance.

How to get to the Red Valley from Rainbow Mountain?

The road to the red valley Cusco is just above the last horse stopping point on the way to the final climb to the mountain of 7 colors, you will see a small path on your right with a rope. After 10 minutes of walking, you will meet locals who charge entry to the red valley of Peru. They are exactly where the short path and the long path divide. They will help you choose the route.

The way

The way to Valle Rojo is through a dirt road and is well signposted. The hike is not really dangerous, but it will require all your strength. As the trail approaches the Valle Rojo viewpoint, the trail becomes steeper and more challenging.

Short way to the valley

This trail to the red valley begins at the mountain of 7 colors. At first it is flat for about 15 minutes and then it is uphill. We recommend this trail for those who don’t have much time and still want to see this amazing Red Valley. Most tour groups take this option. It only takes 25 minutes (one way).

Long way

This route also starts from the Mountain of the 7 colors. Walk about 20 minutes flat and then it will be uphill to the Mirador. To avoid walking back the same way you came, you can take the longer alternative path from the Red Valley viewpoint to the parking lot where the hike to Rainbow Mountain begins. We recommend this option for those who have time and want to avoid the crowds. The walking time is 40 minutes (one way) from Vinicunca mountain.

Learn in detail what the Red Valley offers:

  • Age restrictions: There is no restriction, but we recommend ages 7 and up.
  • Restroom: There is no restroom along the road to Red Valley.
  • Elevation: 5,053 meters / 8,923 feet.
  • Cost: The entrance to the Red Valley is 10 Soles.
  • Location: The Red Valley is located in the district of Pitumarca and Cusipata , province of Canchis. It is located 3 hours from the town of Cusco.
  • Walking time: 3 hours (round trip). Starting from the same place where you start towards the mountain of colors.
  • Fauna: we can find alpacas, llamas, vicuñas, Andean condors, kestrels, deer, among others.
  • Advantages: you will escape the crowd.
  • Cons: Extra effort, not many people will go there because they feel tired after the hike to Rainbow Mountain.

Difficulty

  • Short trail: easy-moderate
  • Long trail: Moderate – Difficult

What is the best time to visit the Red Valley?

The Red Valley of Cusco is open every day of the year for the public interested in trekking (Note: there are some restrictions due to the quarantine and the global pandemic due to COVID 19). The ideal months to visit the Mountain of 7 Colors and the Red Valley are during the dry season. During the dry season you can enjoy the Cusco blue sky characteristic of all the photos.

Useful information

  • The Red Valley lookout is much less crowded than Rainbow Mountain, which has hundreds of people when you reach the top around 10am.
  • Book in small groups that leave Cusco early so you have more opportunities to visit the Red Valley Peru.
  • The route to the Red Valley is the same one that leads to Vinicunca Hill
  • Make sure the Red Valley is included in your 7 Colors Mountain Hike. It will really brighten your day!
  • Make sure you are properly adapted to the altitude; It’s not an easy hike if you’re not.
  • Do not go to the Red Valley in the afternoon during the rainy season due to electric shock. Given by the high concentration of minerals. There is a high probability of catching lightning.

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