How was Rainbow Mountain formed in Cusco?

¿Cómo se formó La Montaña de 7 Colores en Cusco?
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The 7 Colors Mountain (Rainbow Mountain) is a rainbow made mountain. This natural attraction also known as Apu Vinicunca, is a visual spectacle for all travelers who have the joy of reaching its summits. The mountain is located only 100km. from the city of Cusco and is one of the highest mountains in Peru with 6,372 meters high. The combination of its colors makes this geological jewel an almost surreal place.

On its slopes and summits, you can appreciate intense shades of ochre, yellow, green, pink, gold, purple, blue and shades of these colors. The visual spectacle offered by this site has attracted numerous travelers since 2016.

montaña de 7 colores

Over time, the popularity of the 7 Colors Mountain has grown immeasurably, and with this growth also comes questions about its formation. Most travelers who come to appreciate the colorful panorama wonder how the colors of such an impressive mountain were formed. It seems to be a natural mystery, but it is not. In the following lines, we will explain all the details about the formation of this Apu.

Formation of the Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca)

The formation of Vinicunca ‘s rainbow appearance is due to marine, lake, and river sediments transported by the water that once covered the area. These sediments date from between the Tertiary and Quaternary periods, approximately 65 million years ago.

Over time, these sediments formed layers, which today are the famous colored layers. The movement of the tectonic plates in the area lifted the colorful sediments and they became large mountains. After this, the mountains acquired their striking colors due to oxidation and erosion of the minerals in the soil, says César Muñoz, a member of the Geological Society of Peru (SGP).

According to the study by the Peruvian Cultural Landscape Directorate, the pink or fuchsia color of the mountain is due to a mixture of red clay, mudstones (mud), and sand. While the whitish color is visible thanks to the sandstone (quartz stone) and limestone. The purple or lavender shades have been formed by a mixture of clay, calcium carbonate and silicates. In addition, the red color is due to the argillites and clays present.

Finally, the green tones are due to clays rich in ferromagnesium and copper oxide. While the yellowish-brown, mustard or golden browns are formed from limonites, calcareous sandstones rich in sulfide minerals.

Rainbow Mountain

The birth of this mountain madness is a set of curious processes typical of our precious nature. Only she could give us such a landscape. In conclusion, more and more people are captivated by the experience of knowing the famous 7 Colors Mountain. You can also be one of them, what are you waiting for?

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