Sunday Special – Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca), Peru

Peru is not lacking in places to see and visit. In recent years Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountain has exploded in fame, almost rivalling Machu Picchu in its popularity. This relatively “new” destination has become an Instagram gem, albeit often extensively photoshopped or filtered.

Peru’s Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) on a clear day – Photo credit: Christian Morales CalloMontana de colores Cusco (Vinicunca) y Valle Rojo por Inka TimeCC BY-SA 4.0

Rainbow Mountain is part of the Andes Mountain range and is located approximately 2-3 hours from the city of Cusco, along the way to the Ausangate mountain. Rainbow Mountain rises an incredible 5,200 m / 17,060 ft above sea level and has stripes of colour running through it. The colours are due to various types of minerals found there, giving it its diversified colour scheme. During the 2010s the mountain saw the melting of its snow blanket (most likely due to climate change) and exposing this now famous design of nature. The mountain seems to proudly boast a variety of shades and hues of pink, white, red, green, brown, and yellow. A rainbow indeed.

Since about 2016 tourists have flocked to this region to hike and take in the view. It seems the numbers grow daily. Day tours can bring you close though hiking some distance is required to reach the summit. As with any hike, one should be prepared with proper gear and being aware of weather advisories. As this is a high altitude area the risk of altitude sickness is ever present. It is recommended to research and plan accordingly, taking necessary precautions.

This colour-coated mountains does seem incredible and has certainly drawn much attention in recent years.

Rainbow Mountain, Peru – Photo credit: HatunpitumarcaMontaña Arco irisCC BY-SA 4.0

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