Red River Cusco
Why is there a red river near the rainbow mountain in peru?

Frequent questions about Red River of Cusco

Red River Peru

Why is there a Red river near the Rainbow Mountain in Cusco?
What makes red thRainbow Mountain river in Cusco?
Why is the Cusco river red in Peru?
What is the reason why the Cusco river is red?
What is the composition of the Red River in Cusco?
What is the name of the place where the red river of Cusco is?
On what dates of the year can you see the Red River of Cusco?
What is the best time in 2019 to visit the Red River?

Etimology of Red River of Pucamayu

Known locally as Pukamayu (in Quechua, “puka” red ores and “mayu” means river) or Antachaka (Quechua “anta” is copper, while “chaka” is a bridge), this is a river that is in the province of Canchis of the Cusco region, which is about 3 hours by bus southeast of the city of Cusco, near the route of Vinicunca of the Rainbow Mountain. 

Location of Red River

Located in Palcoyo at about 5000 meters altitude, very close to the famous Rainbow Mountain. 

The Palcoyo rainbow mountain valley along with the famous Vinicunca rainbow mountain is part of the Vilcanota mountain range. This chain is itself part of the magnificent Andes mountain range that appears to be the backbone of South America, forming the longest continental mountain range in the world.

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the red river of palcoyo

What is the reason why the Palcoyo River is red?

The River of Cusco is Red in Peru, This is due to the rain that falls from the nearby Rainbow Mountain of Palcoyo. The range of colors in this vibrant valley is the result of different mineral content in different layers of soil, which have been made visible by erosion. 

The coloration of the Red River is the result of red sandstone filled with iron oxide. This mineral-rich sedimentary rock is washed from the slopes when it rains and gives the water a red or pink hue (the exact tone depends on the volume of precipitation). And that is the reason why this River of Cusco is Red.

On what dates of the year can you see the Red River of Cusco?

Because it is the result of rain runoff, this red or pink river in Cusco is usually only visible and is the best time during the rainy season months in Peru, which starts in November, and lasts until the April, when the rains have lost a level but the river’s water level is still high. During the rest of the year, the river’s water level is much lower and its color is a more typical muddy brown tone.

Some recommendations to visit the Red River of peru

The high altitude of Palcoyo means that you should come prepared with clothing suitable for cold weather, including warm layers, a coat, a hat, a scarf and gloves. Although the trail through Palcoyo is not as difficult as the one that leads to Vinicunca, it may still be muddy, so it is also a good idea to wear decent hiking boots. Finally, it is important to be familiar with how to treat altitude sickness and bring some coca leaves or pills to help deal with the symptoms.

If you plan to visit the Palcoyo Red River it is an excellent option for a unique day trip in Cusco. For those who wish to experience something unique and see some of the most interesting and beautiful landscapes of Peru, a visit to the Palcoyo Rainbow mountain along with the nearby Red River in Cusco is an absolute necessity.
Although there are no hotels or lodgings near the Red River, the tour and the complete excursion is only for one day. Start planning your own unique trip in life in Peru and be sure to include this amazing destination out of the ordinary in your itinerary.

If you are in the United States, Europe or Latin America, and wish to visit this attractive
Red River of Cusco, you can see this link, with the details of our tour.

Peru Travel information

When to travel to Peru? Considering that Peru is categorized as one of the 17 megadiverse countries on earth, you have a variety of climates and seasons to consider. That being said, you can visit Peru year-round depending on where you would like to visit. However, if you are looking to explore the Amazonian rainforest or traverse through the Andes Mountains, many travelers choose to avoid the rainy season which runs from November to March with its peak between January and February. Visiting from April through October lands you in the generally dry winter season, which is an excellent time to visit Machu Picchu, experience a world-class trek, traverse the exotic Amazon Rain forest not to mention the other amazing destinations Peru has to offer. Speak with a Qosqo Expeditions Designer today to discover the best time for you to experience a luxury tour of Peru.

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Peru`s Population: Approx. 31 million

Official Languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara

Official Currency: Peruvian Sol

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