Lately, the Rainbow Mountain in Peru has gained fame with tourists. It could be because it became visible recently as the glacier caps covering it melted due to global warming.
The mountain, also known as Vinicunca, meaning mountain of seven colors, is a 3-hour drive from Cusco. Going through Pitumarca takes three and a half hours. You then need to hike for 6 miles to reach the lookout.
If you have decided to tour the Rainbow Mountain, here is what you should know before you travel. Luckily, cachilife.com is there to make your tour fun and enjoyable.
You Need To Be Physically Fit
The 6-mile hike is not for the faint-hearted. You have to be physically fit to take the hike. The mountain is more than 16,000 ft above sea level. Therefore you should be ready to hike to high altitudes.
The path is not challenging, except if it rains or snows. The only tricky part is the final trial that has a steeper incline.
Luckily, if the long hikes are a problem, you can take a horse.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to tour is in the months between March and November, according to the local authorities. There are high chances of getting blue skies between June and August.
However, you should note that the weather can change instantly between sunshine, rain and wind. That is why you are advised to carry warm clothing and light layers, in case the weather changes. You should have rain jackets, sunscreen, sunglasses and lots of water.
Avoid taking the trip when it is likely to snow or rain. The colors are dull, and the trail can be challenging to maneuver. Bad weather can affect the view of the mountain to the extent that it is not visible. There is low visibility when it is cloudy, and the colors of the rocks are dimmed, and you can feel short-changed if you visit at this time.
It is better to take a hike in the morning or evening hours. That is when you can take the best pictures. Your pictures will appear washed-out if you take them around midday or when it is sunny.
The Colors Are All True
Yes, the colors you see of the mountain in the pictures are all true except that some photos may be a bit enhanced using Photoshop. You will see hues of red, lavender, gold and turquoise on the hills.
The Rainbow Mountain gets its colors from the mineralogical composition. These consist of rust mixtures that produce the red color; iron sulphide give the yellow color; oxidized limonite or goethite give the purple color while chlorite have the green color.
The Air Is Thin
As you go up, the oxygen in the air becomes thinner. That’s why it is advisable for anyone with conditions such as sickle cell illness to seek medical advice before taking the trip.
You could suffer from altitude illness because of the thin air.
To counter this, you could go a few days early to Cusco to acclimatize to the high altitude before you hike the mountain.