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Why Is Rainbow Mountain Peru colorful? image

Why Is Rainbow Mountain Peru colorful?

When you first see a picture of Vinicunca Mountain, it might seem like a surreal painting or a photoshopped image But it’s neither. The vivid colors of turquoise, lavender, red-violet and gold are real. You probably wonder how this is possible. Without a doubt, this is a question that many people would like the answer to. Read on to understand more about the origins of the amazing colors of Peru’s Rainbow Mountain.

Laurel Thompson

Why is Rainbow Mountain Peru colorful? Geology and Weather have the answers.


Indeed, the answer to the question Why is Rainbow Mountain Peru colorful? Is rooted in the studies of geology and meteorology. There are several reasons why the Vinicuna or Rainbow Mountain is striped (or striated) with colors ranging from turquoise to lavender to maroon to gold. Read on to gain an understanding of the phenomena involved in creating the colors of Rainbow Mountain. The subduction, or downwards and lateral movement, of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate initiated the uplifting of the Andes Mountain range. This produced significant volcanism and the introduction of rare and varied mineralogy to the Andes Mountains. Different layers of sediment rocks, like sandstone, halite, gravel, clay, and other minerals, were compacted one above the other to form different layers, or striations.




As time passed, the movement and collision of tectonic plates gave rise to new mountains and new colors. This is because sediments will change color when exposed to diverse environmental conditions, like snow, wind, and water. For example, red coloration often indicates iron oxide (rust) as a trace mineral. The bright yellow coloration could be due to the presence of iron sulphide; the purple comes from a mixture of marlstone and calcium carbonate.



Why is Rainbow Mountain Peru colorful? Importance of geographic location is another factor.


High altitude is another important factor that accounts for the incredible colors of Rainbow Mountain. The mountain sits at an elevation of 6,384 meters above sea level. With little vegetation at this altitude to obscure the colorful rock, and the increasing temperatures of the Andes Mountain Range that has caused snow that once covered the brightly colored striations to melt, the colors of Rainbow Mountain have become more visible over the past decades.



Visit the Rainbow Mountain in Peru with Explorandes


We have attempted to address he question, Why is Rainbow Mountain Peru colorful? In this blog. However only with a firsthand visit will you be able to truly appreciate the beauty of this region. You can visit the Rainbow Mountain as part of our Ausangate trek. Ausangate is among the most sacred mountains, or apus, in Peru’s Vilcanota Mountain Range. Prepare to be amazed at some of the most remarkable colors .that can be observed anywhere in nature. In 5 days and 4 nights of trekking, you will admire turquoise lagoons, soaring glaciers, rolling farmlands, and the spectacular snowcapped Ausangate Mountain, along with the iconic Rainbow Mountain. If you want to visit the Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountain in Peru, Explorandes has the perfect trek for you. To learn more about the tour and our services, contact us.


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