Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Rainbow Mountain (Montaña de Colores), also known as Vinicunca, or Winikunka, also called Montaña de Siete Colores, is located in the Ausangate region sits about 100 km southeast of Cusco and is home to a large llama and alpaca herding community, Peru. It is a peak in the Peruvian Andes, at an altitude of 5,200 meters. This rainbow-like appearance is produced in the region by the sediment of minerals giving turquoise, lavender, gold, and other colors to the mountain. One of the few remaining pastoralist communities in the world, this centuries-old culture is.

Since its discovery, Rainbow Mountain as slowly started gaining popularity and has even been listed in National Geographic’s “Top 100 Places To Visit Before You Die”. Tourist access includes a two-hour drive from Cusco and a walk of around 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) or a three-and-a-half-hour drive via Pitumarca and a steep walk (0.31 mi) to the hill. As of 2019, no robust methods of transportation to Vinicunca are developed to accommodate travelers, because it requires passage through a valley.

When the presence of the mountain was known beyond the local areas, it began to draw residents and tourists alike, only attracting a few dozen people to now bringing in hundreds of visitors every day. The Ausangate region has four significant geographical highlights which incorporate the Andean elevates, the hanging icy masses and cold erosional valleys, the Permian development and, limestone timberlands. In the 2010s, mass the travel industry became pulled in by the mountains’ arrangement of stripes of different hues. This is because of the mineralogical composition present on the slopes and peaks. The mountain was covered with ice caps, which have recently melted due to global warming.

Between March and November the best weather for Vinincunca trekking is with blue skies from June to August, while January and February are considered to be the wettest months. The Rainbow Mountain’s altitude is about 5200 meters or more than 17,000 feet, and acclimatization to the high altitude may be required for the trek up to the peak. However, there are days without any rains during these months. Weather can change in seconds though, so always be prepared!

According to the investigation of the Cultural Landscape Office of the Decentralization of the town of Cusco, the colorations of the mountain of the 7 colors are because of the mineralogical composition that it has: the pink color is for the mineral, fangolitas (mud) and arilitas (sand). The whitish shading is a direct result of the quartzose, sandstone, and marls, wealthy in calcium carbonate. The red one comprised of the claystones (iron) and dirts having a place with the upper tertiary. The green is because of the compound of phyllites and muds rich in ferromagnesian. The gritty earthy colored is a result of fanglomerate made out of rock with magnesium having a place with the Quaternary time. Also, the mustard yellow shading for the calcareous sandstones plentiful in sulfurous minerals.

This is one of the most important things to be aware of while traveling on Rainbow Mountain Peru for travelers. It is vital that their body is hydrated at such a high altitude so make sure they carry plenty of water and take only tiny sips instead of big gulps. This helps the body to absorb hydration without the toilet having an immediate need. Because of the expansion in prominence of the mountain, it has immediately become Peru’s second most visited vacationer site. During the pinnacle season, it can see up to 4000 individuals (guest/voyager) every day.


Information Sources:

  1. rainbowmountainperu.com
  2. wikipedia