Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain

 “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”

There is a place in the south of PERU, where a mountain attracts, not so much for its grandeur, but  for its spectacular look. We are talking about Vinicunca, or rainbow mountain, which has become one of the greatest tourist attractions in the land of the Incas.

Located in the Cordillera de Vilcanota – southeast of the city of Cusco, Vinicunca offers a wonderful show, from the same path that leads to it. It is a journey of approximately five hours by car and on foot that, even though demands a high physical preparation, culminates in a postcard image that is forever engraved in the memory of the traveler.

The popularity of Vinicunca expanded only five years ago thanks in large part to trekking and mountaineering lovers who were amazed by this unique phenomenon. The majesty of its colors and the peculiarity of its landscape began to be posted on social networks. The trek on the way to this Rainbow Mountain is as beautiful as the mountain itself.

Vinicunca, the mountain of seven colors – Photo on internet

On Instagram, for example, thousands of Internet users reacted to the publication and shared it on their own social networks, creating a multiplier effect. The American site Business Insider included Vinicunca as part of a list of the 100 essential places to visit in the world.

Geological origin

The color of Vinicunca is because a geological formation accumulated over time by the mixture of marine, lake and river elements. This gathering of minerals dragged by the waters of the mountain range, the winds and the humidity, has caused the oxidation of the place and has made that the mountain acquire that magical diversity of tones.

Explaining the rainbow-like colors

Geologists and experts in the field affirm that this phenomenon has been discovered thanks to the melting of the glaciers that formerly covered the mountain and that constantly received snow until the early nineties.

The altitude of the mountain is around 5200 meters or over 17,000 feet, so time for acclimatizing to the high altitude may be necessary during the trek up to the summit. Travelers to Peru and locals generally agree that the best time of the year to visit the colorful site is in August, since it is dry season and provides a beautiful view, maximizing the vivid colors of the mountains. Nevertheless, the famous colors always look beautiful.

The Andes – by drone

Enjoy!

Cristina David