The colourful beauty of Vinicunca, or Rainbow Mountain as it is appropriately named, cannot be ignored. However, despite its attraction and close vicinity to Cusco, it remains a destination slightly off the beaten path. Why? This is largely due to the altitude and extreme weather conditions often experienced in the area.
However, don’t let that put you off entirely. For those who do make an effort, it can be an extremely rewarding trip. As long as you are prepared for the hike, both mentally and physically, it should be no major issue. The picturesque view and the backdrop of Ausangate Mountain in the distance are indeed worthy of a place on your list.
One positive thing to note about Vinicunca is that there are no massive crowds like those found at Machu Picchu. You don’t have to struggle to take a photo of the scenery surrounding you in every direction. There is an air of quiet isolation all around.
And no matter what time of the day you arrive, you can’t help but revere in its beauty. Since well before the Inca times, Rainbow Mountain has been a place of worship, and this is still true today for the locals. They have a natural respect for the landscape which is apparent in everything they do.
So what gives the painted mountain its incredible range of colors? The multi-colored surfaces are due to mineral deposits located in the sediments. Iron oxide creates the reddish hues, iron sulphide the yellow, and chlorite the green. Due to the variation of the mineral makeup, it is spectacular looking from any direction.
Visiting Rainbow Mountain can be done as a day trip from Cusco offering unspoilt glimpses into the local traditions and lifestyle. For more information on this amazing destination, contact Perú InsideOut. For those who have had the pleasure of visiting Rainbow Mountain, it remains the highlight of their trip to Peru.