“Peru’s Rainbow Mountain has quickly soared to be one of the country’s most popular attractions”, as you can read in Lonely Planet. One of the reasons is the stunning colorful layers of mineral deposits that make this place so special.
However, the local region is not prepared for the increased growth of tourists, which have reached 1,000 per day.
This beautiful place is also known as Vinicunca and it’s located just a few hours away from Machu Picchu. It can be accessed from Cusco.
“The influx of tourism has been a blessing to many in the surrounding area. The local Pampachiri community charge tourists to enter the site, bringing more hard currency into the area. About 500 jobs have also been created in guiding hikers up and down the mountain. However, there are environmental concerns that the area isn’t fully prepared for such a surge”, you can read in Lonely Planet.
The trail to go up the mountain has already been badly eroded and it has become dangerous and slippery. A parking lot has been built nearby to accommodate tourist vans, and many visitors come unprepared for the altitude: at 5,200 meters, it’s almost as high as the Everest Base Camp.
There are also mining threats, additionally from the over-tourism. “A Canadian-based mining company has recently applied for permission to mine minerals in the surrounding area, including on the mountain itself. If successful, it could change the landscape entirely”, Lonely Planet wrote, adding that they believe that sustainable tourism needs to take place in the colorful mountain.
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