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Vinicunca – The magnificent rainbow mountains in Peru

by Chloe

Waiting for a light rain in the sun is not the only way to see the rainbow, because you can also see many colorful bands on the rare rainbow mountains on earth.

Vinicunca, the beautiful mountain of seven colors

The first name that many people think of Peru is the famous ancient Machu Picchu, but few people know the spectacular nature of the rainbow mountain called Vinicunca.

Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca is located in the Andes Mountains, southeast of Cusco city, Canchis province, Peru. It is a totally a nature made mountains with number of colorful stone range like a rainbow.

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Vinicunca is a natural stone mass formed from sandstone with different natural colors. The coloration here is the presence of various minerals. Pink is from red clay mixed with sand and silt, white from sandstone and calcium carbonate rocks, red from iron rich clay, blue for Phylite and magnesium rich clays, the color brown for magnesium pebbles and yellow from sulphide-containing limestone.

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When coming to this mountain, you can know the reason why Vinicunca is called as a rainbow mountain. That name, of course, coming from its appearance. Each mountain peak in the area is covered with colorful bands such as gentle pastel green, intense red, green, pink and yellow.

Locals knew about the existence of this Rainbow Mountain decades ago, before it was considered a tourist attraction. But they also did not expect much because getting here was a challenge.

Rainbow Mountain Peru, originally known as Vinicunca in the Andes mountains  of Peru. - Blog Antisuyo

Located at an altitude of 5,000 meters above sea level, to get here, you have to climb mountains and go around the vast peaks, which requires great physical strength. The journey to Vinicunca is only suitable for young or middle-aged people who from 18 to 40 year olds with good physical background and a passion to explore.

As mentioned above, this journey is quite harsh so if you are planning to go, you should prepare your physical strength (both physically and mentally). You can run, cycle, rock climbing, or do whatever you want to increase the strength you like.

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Coming here, in addition to the colors of the rainbow rocks, you can also admire the endless green meadows where the cute white alpacas enjoy their meal.

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To get the best conditions for visitors, locals from the villages offer camel rental. You can rent it to save your energy, but even with this service, you will still need to walk the end (100 meters) of the trail to reach the Rainbow Peruvian mountains, which will provide you a panoramic view of the whole place.

Mount Ausangate, sacred mountain

Many tourists depart from Mount Ausangate to come to Vinicunca, but if you are hiking from there, it is quite a long journey. Originally a rocky mountain range, there were no trees around Vinicunca or any place to stop. When you arrive, you can take a walk, take a hot spring bath and admire the majestic beauty of the surrounding nature.

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You can choose to visit this place by different forms such as 1 day tour, 2 day tour or 4 day tour.

On the 1-day tour, you will experience the feeling of walking on the Phullawasipata Trail – the way to the top of Vinicunca Mountain and visiting the Red Valley, then you will return to Cusco (this tour price is based on the number of people Go: Group of 12-16 people will be 30 $ per pax, 2 people is 109 $ per pax, 3 people will be 89 $ per pax, the bigger the number, the cheaper the cost will be).

With the 2-day tour, you will have an overnight camping experience in Illapampa (tour price is $ 340 for groups of 4 or more). For the 4-day tour, you will go to South Valley, Illapampa, Alcatauri, Huanuhuanu, Pacchanta and finally Cusco. It is really a risky trip when it has to operate continuously for many consecutive days (tour price is 489 $ per pax).

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Although it is a pristine land, Vinicunca is still an interesting sightseeing place. If you have the opportunity to come to Peru, don’t forget to visit this place.

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