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Rainbow Mountain Peru Geology

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Rainbow Mountain Peru Geology

In Cusco Peru, a little-known tourist destination but very frequented by mountaineers is the Rainbow Mountain Cusco, Apu Ausangate, in the Cordillera de Vilcanota (Andes). To understand how the colorful mountain was formed, we must first understand how the mountains are formed. For this, we resort to geology and orogeny and thus have a much clearer and of course scientific idea. 


The Rainbow Mountain Peru geology caused us an interrogation, perhaps without an answer at that moment, today we will inform you about the geological formation of this natural wonder. 


The Rainbow Mountain Cusco or mountain Vinicunca is unique for its particular coloration, surrounded by mountains, snow peaks, and small Andean villages, especially by an immense picturesque and colorful landscape, before informing us about the Rainbow Mountain Peru geology, we must understand how a mountain is formed. 


Rainbow Mountain Peru

Geological Formation of a Mountain 

The formation of a mountain is due to the alterations of the terrestrial layer and the movement of the tectonic plates, in these alterations the environment, the climate, and other external ones have much to do. Have you ever wondered why the mountains are conical? The conical shape of the mountains is because ice is usually formed at the top of the mountain. 


Then climate change causes it to thaw and this causes the mountains to run off and they generate water rivulets that run down to the lower area until they run into rivers or lagoons until they get mixed with the ocean depending on the weather factors and cause this process the mountain is wearing out and taking its cone shape. 


There is no doubt that the mountains are a masterpiece part of nature, from the top of a mountain we can appreciate all that surrounds us and be able to enjoy it. 


After informing us about the causes of the formation of a mountain it is time to find out about its Rainbow Mountain Peru geology and why its particular coloration. 

How was Rainbow Mountain formed

Rainbow Mountain Peru Geology 

To talk about the Rainbow Mountain Peru geology before we will have to go back at least some 24 million years ago, at that time there were movements of the tectonic plates by the alterations of the terrestrial layers, then during the movement, there were different ravines between layers of mineralogical or soil types with a tremendous wealth of mineral rock sediments such as sandstones, halites, gravel, limestones that range from ocher, green, mustard yellow, white among others. These minerals were compiled one among others one on top of the other until they were in the form of layers of different colors and mineralogical types. The formation of these layers was depending on the weight of each layer, in the base, the heavier layer was left and so on the layers were placed according to their weight.

Rainbow Mountain Peru Geology

Coloring of the Rainbow Mountain Cusco 

This information is according to the research of the Landscape Officer of the Decentralization of Culture Directorate of Cusco.  

The information was revealed in this way the colors of the mountains are due to the mineralogical composition that has: the pink color is for red clay, fangolitas (mud), and arilitas (sand). The whitish, for the quartzose sandstones and marls, are rich in calcium carbonate. 


The red is composed of the clay (iron) and clays belonging to the upper tertiary. Green is composed of phyllites and clays rich in magnesium Ferro. The earthy brown is a product of fanglomerate composed of rock with magnesium belonging to the Quaternary era. And the mustard yellow color for the calcareous sandstones rich in sulfurous minerals.


Rainbow Mountains

Rainbow Mountain & Machu Picchu

Although only a day trip, yes, it is possible to visit Rainbow mountain and then start Inca Trail or take the Machu Picchu tours. we recommend you first hike Rainbow mountain, then you can hike the Inca Trail Peru, Salkantay trek or visit Machu Picchu. Both trips are starting from Cusco and it's not possible to start from other sites. This hike is not for the faint of heart as the altitude is a challenge. Headaches are almost certainly part of the hike. But after a few days of acclimatization in Cusco, you should definitely try it! The view is definitely worth it, and it's a unique experience in Peru!


Salkantay Trek

Rainbow Mountain Peru Tours




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