Our planet, earth, is a beautiful place, and it is full of bizarre things. However, this bizarre things make our world look even more beautiful. One of such beautiful, bizarre things, is the Rainbow Mountain of Peru.

The Rainbow mountain, known as, Vinicunca, Winikunka, Montaña De Siete Colores (Mountain of Seven colors) , or Montaña De Colores, is a mountain in the Andes of Peru. It is located in the Cusco region of Peru and stands at a staggering height of 17,000 ft (5,200 m). This mountain is famous for its beautiful array of colors, making it look like a rainbow.

The mountain was discovered in 2015,as a result of global warming, when the ice glacier covering the mountain melted away. Since then, it has attracted thousands of visitors, and tourists alike. The mountain receives over a 1,500 visitors a day, and that’s about one-third the number of visitors Machu Picchu receives in a day!

To further add to the beauty of the Vinicunca, are the wildlife in the area. As you are trekking, you can foxes, skunks, Llamas, deers, vizcachas, and lots of bird species. You also find herds of alpacas owned by the local asungate people.


The mountain is composed of 14 colorful minerals, and seven are visible. The seven colors are due to its mineralogical composition. The pink is due to the red clay composed of fangolitas (mud) , and arilitas (sand), the white is due to quartzose, sandstone, and marls, highly concentrated in calcium carbonate. The red is due to iron, the turquoise color is due to phylites and clays rich in ferri magnesian. The earthly brown color is caused by fanglomerates made up of magnesium-infused rocks. The mustard yellow comes from calcareous sandstones rich in sulphorous minerals.

Environmental factors such as rain, wind, and high altitude, have caused the mountain to be so brightly colored.


The best time to visit Vinicunca is during sunny days. If the weather is poor, the color will become fainter, and darker, so it’s best to visit between the months of April to October, being Peru’s dry season. Also, because of the high altitude, weather can change very quickly, so, always come prepared for any type of weather.

To get to Vinicunca, you will have to travel, first, to, Cusco. From Cusco, you will then, take a two-three hours drive to Pitumarca, and then you will make your way to Qesoyuno where your trek will begin.


The trek to the top of Vinicunca takes about 2-3 hours, and it takes another 3 hours to the base of the mountain. The trek is pretty challenging, and is not advised for beginner hikers. However, you can choose to enjoy the trek by riding a horse or a mountain bike for a small fee. Also, because of the high altitude (16,000-17,060 ft), it is recommended that you bring plenty of water, and take your time while ascending and descending from the mountain. Furthermore, you should spend some days around the mountain area to get used to the high altitude before attempting the hike.

If you visit Vinicunca during the month of May, you will be opportune to enjoy the annual Star Snow festival. The area surrounding Vinicunca also has a lot to offer. So, take your time to enjoy your stay. Hasta pronto!



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