Peru has become one of South America’s favorite destinations for tourists to visit, and Peru’s Rainbow Mountain has become one of the country’s most popular attractions. With the spotlight now on the Rainbow Mountain, the region has come under increased pressure from visitors, and it may be too unprepared to handle the crowds.
With many stunning photos posted on Instagram, the colorful layers of mineral deposit have caught the eye of many travelers. Vinicunca is the name known for the Rainbow Mountain and it is accessible from Cuzco and just a couple hours away from the famous attraction, Machu Pechu.
Rather than just seeing it on their mobile screens, tourists are jetting off to Peru to get sight of the colorful mountain range themselves. It is now estimated that 1,000 people visit every day to make the trek up the mountain and get their own incredible photo opportunity.
While the pressure may be too much for the region, it has been a blessing to the surrounding area. With the local Pampachiri community charging tourists to enter the site, the influx has brought in more hard currency to the area. Along with financial benefits for the area, the influx has created 500 jobs in guiding hikers up and down the mountain.
However, there are downfalls to the influx of visitors; overcrowding is a serious issue in the area and with a car park now built close by there are also ecological concerns. In addition, in the past 18 months, the trail the hikers take up the mountain has been badly eroded, and in wet conditions, this trail can be extremely dangerous for walkers.
With the height of the mountain at 5,200 meters, which is almost as high as the Everest Base Camp, the trek can be extremely strenuous for trekkers, who often come unprepared to tackle altitude sickness.