Peru- Rainbow Mountain

The area known as Rainbow Mountain in Peru is a relatively new thing on the tourist scene.  As recently as 1990, this region was covered in snow and ice.  But as the glaciers melted away, they revealed incredible colors underneath.  Through the process of melting, Rainbow Mountain was visible for us to enjoy.  top the money shot.jpg

After a long, dusty drive up the mountains we arrived in the parking area to begin the hike.  The parking area is at about 15,200 feet of elevation.  The top of Rainbow Mountain is about 16,000 feet.  We had a serious climb ahead of us.  But there was plenty of entertainment along the path.   The dogs enjoyed watching the small groups of llama and alpaca that were grazing on the foothills.  ascending pacha and llamas.JPGascending looking at alpacas.JPGascending hiking with dogs.JPGascending local ladies with horses.JPG We loved seeing the bright colors of the traditionally dressed locals who worked in the area.   Since we were climbing uphill, out of breath at a high elevation, we had to stop and look around quite often.  The views as we turned and looked behind us were absolutely amazing and once we stopped gasping and heaving we could take some lovely photos.  valley long views.JPGvalley glaciers gone mountain view.jpgvalley glaciers and peaks.jpgvalley the mountains around us.PNG

The dogs behaved as if we were NOT at 16,000 feet elevation.  They seemed to not even notice the thin air and elevated heart rates that we humans were struggling with.

ascending pacha hiking.JPG

At the top there were the requisite snack stands.  They were selling hot coffee, coca leaf tea and basic food.  The tourists who came off their tour buses and hiked up from the other side were buying the goodies, posing for selfies and scurrying back down to the bus.  We hung out at the top for a while and enjoyed the long distance views.  windy mountaintop

windylook at that view.jpg top rainbow and rocks.JPG We decided to hide from the whistling wind for a little while as we gazed across the valley.   I cannot emphasize the wind quite enough.  Even the birds struggled with it. birds in the windbirds huddling

We descended the mountain just as the skies became stormy.  We were able to return to the parking lot before the rains began.  For a brief moment the clouds moved aside and we could see one of the remaining glaciers and snowy peaks in this region.

valley glacier peeking.jpgdescending and storm brewing.JPG

descending looking down from 16k.JPG
Can you see the tiny, white camper parked way down there?  Now it is time to descend!

In the parking area we found adorable children playing near the camper and a very curious llama.  This video and photo collection shows the curious llama pursuing the dogs around the truck.

parking lot llama and dogs.JPG parking lot llama at camper2.JPGparking lot llama at camper.JPG

When the hike was finished we drove to a much lower elevation to spend the night.  First we had to get through a Peruvian roadblock.  These fellas were not planning to move, but a few barking dogs helped them change their minds.  driving down llama roadblock.JPGBack on the main highway we followed a shaggy beast along the road for a while.  Check this out. following a shaggy truck

After our long, strenuous hike we all took some time to rest and recover before our next adventure.  Follow along to see where we go next……

pacha cuddling
Resting after a long, hard hike!

8 thoughts on “Peru- Rainbow Mountain

  1. Thinking about you this Christmas. Robert Wilbur’s widow will spend some time with us. There will be 10 around the table. Neighbor friends and relatives joining us. Happy Christmas. Love seenu and anne

  2. Fabulous photos. I hope you’re working at keeping it all for a book. To tell the truth, I’m seriously jealous. but seriously. Stay healthy and happy. Sending you my best wished for a wonderful, adventurous Christmas and a blessed prosperous New Year.

    Do you think you’ll ever come back?


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