FlashpackerConnnect were fantastic throughout. I had a few questions prior to departing which were answered quickly and accurately. We were very lucky that there was only 2 of us booked on to the trip, to their credit, flashpacker ran it with no issues. The day before we were invited to their office in Cusco where Ricardo (Ricky!) gave us both a detailed briefing of our trek. We were also given a duffle bag each to put extra items in we didn’t need to carry during the days hike.
Ricky arrived with driver Julio on time (an early start!) for the 3 hour drive to the start point. Breakfast was prepared by chef Eusebio before we set off. Excellent food throughout, really tasty and enough to keep you going throughout the day!
Day 1 was fantastic, the views stunning wherever you looked and the view from the top was stunning, the classic snow covered glacier behind bright blue lakes. Worth the cost alone and something those on the 1 day trek will never know exists!
Plenario our trusty horseman was already at camp when we arrived with our dufflebags and after a late lunch we had time to relax in our tent which had been set up for us before a lovely dinner and bed.
The stars were the best I’ve seen and the Milky Way was so clear you could see it in all its glory. Beware, it’s a cold night camping so high, expect to sleep in some layers!
An early wake up at 3am was made bearable by a lovely hot drink in the tent followed by a hot breakfast before setting off at 4am. Coldest time hiking in hat, gloves, puffer jacket and thick trousers. Head torch is a must!!! It wasn’t light for at least 2 hours after we started trekking.
We arrived at Rainbow Mountain at roughly 7am. There were 2 people on the summit before us, our photos were amazing. No one in the background!! By 8am there were bus loads of day visitors arriving... None of whom will have got the undisturbed photos we were fortunate to get. A quick visit to Red Valley was well worth it. The views were different to Rainbow Mountain but just as stunning!
Walking back to our waiting vehicle past the crowds on their way up to Rainbow Mountain, a sense of achievement and knowledge that we’d had this amazing place almost to ourselves!
I can’t recommend the trip enough, so much better than the one day trips that leave at 2am and arrive with bus loads of other people.
Special thanks to:
Cook - Eusebio
Horseman - Plenerio
Driver - Julio
Tour guide - Ricardo (Excelle guide, really knowledgable and great English)