Nature's extraordinary treasures will never fail to amaze us. The latest proof: Vinicunca, or as it's more commonly known, Rainbow Mountain.
Situated in the Andes of Peru, at more than 5,000 metres of altitude, the seven-shaded peak is well worth a detour from the usual tourist haunts.
Sculpted by mother nature, the mountain's gradation of colour has been formed by thousands of years of weathering and mineralogy. While the yellow shade is thought to be due to the presence of sulfur, red appears from the presence of iron oxide and the green tone from copper sulphate.
Part of the Ausangate Mountain, the site has significance in Incan mythology blessing its llamas and alpacas with good health and fertility. Another legend says the damned would be destined to walk the heights of the Ausangate to absolve their sins.
The rare few who have had the chance to see Vinicunca in the flesh will have been surprised to see that the site has not yet been invaded by tourists.
This is probably mainly due to the arduous six-hour trek it'll take to climb to the peak, where the oxygen levels mean you probably won't be sticking around for long. Nevertheless, it is possible and locals have granted access to the mountain to a handful of tour operators.
Since 2015, guides have been leading tourists to the ancient site on foot or on horseback. It is advised to head there between the months of May and September, however, as the candy-stripes run the risk of being covered in snow otherwise.
Peru isn't the only country to boast its own rainbow mountain; Mountain Ridge in British Columbia, Canada, and Zhangye Danxia National Geopark in China have also been dazzling passers-by for centuries.
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