If you’ve traveled to Peru before 2015, you probably haven’t heard of Rainbow Mountain. That’s because it’s only recently become popular as a tourist destination!
Many mountains with colorful stripes, or “rainbow mountains,” in Peru
If you want to see a less touristy place, why not consider Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain? Note that this refers to the alternative rainbow mountain or “Palccoyo.” As mentioned above, Vinicunca is super popular, which means many hikers.
Remember that it is high altitude, and making any hike is challenging. Be sure to take precautions against altitude sickness, regardless of which mountain you choose.
There are quite a few striped mountains in the Cusco region, with gray, white, and yellow shades.
Each of these colors is due to a specific combination of mineral deposits. The red colors are due to iron oxide, the greens to chlorite, and the whites to sandstone.
We only see Rainbow Mountain because of climate change.
Although Rainbow Mountain has been accessible for the last 10-15 years, Vinicunca is accessible via a 06-day hike from lodge to lodge. It does believe that the ridge was covered in snow for much of the year before that.
One of the most interesting facts about Peru’s Rainbow Mountain is its name. In the Quechua language, the name of this mountain is Vinicunca. It is composed of the words “Wini” and “Cunca.” “Wini” is the name of the black stones that cover the area, and “Kunca” means neck.
You will also see it spelled Winikunca, which does consider an “alternative to Rainbow Mountain” if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience away from the crowds.
As with many mountains, the Andes do not form due to subduction. That is when one crustal plate passes beneath another crustal plate.
Many animals live in the mountains where the Rainbow Mountains do locate. In addition to llamas and alpacas, skunks, deer, Andean geese, condors, foxes, guanacos, tapirs, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and even spotted bears. Phew, that’s a lot of animals.
The best-known and synonymous with Peru are the llama and the alpaca. Check out our Fun post facts about alpacas and llamas for kids to learn more about these exciting creatures. Also, you may have difficulty distinguishing between the two species if you’re like most people. Check out our guide, Alpaca vs. Llama – What’s the difference between a llama and an alpaca?
We say yes. However, check the weather for Rainbow Mountain, Peru, before you make the trip. As we said before, the nice weather makes the hills more vibrant, as you usually see in all the Instagram photos of Rainbow Mountain Peru. That’s not to say don’t go if the weather isn’t perfect. Just know that they won’t be as vibrant as you might imagine.
Also, in addition to the Rainbow Mountain Peru weather, be sure to take into account the altitude. Be sure to acclimatize appropriately beforehand. Otherwise, an incredible hike could be horrible without proper preparation.
Know that the weather can change quickly, going from snow to rain to scorching sun in the space of an hour. The best time to hike Peru’s Rainbow Mountains is between March and November. January and February are the rainiest months (think snow and low visibility!), while from June to August, you’ll usually find blue skies perfect for viewing the stunning mountain colors. Remember that the weather can change fast when the hikers are high in the Andes.