Address: Quispicanchis, Cusco. It is possible to take public transportation from Cusco to Pitumarca, which is on the same route from Cusco to Puno. Upon arrival in Pitumarca, go to the village of Ocefina (Chillca); from here you can start your walk towards la Montaña de Siete Colores.
Admission: 10 soles (about U.S. $3).

The mountain with 7 colors lies behind these mountains.

I could sit here all day looking at the view and would not feel my time was wasted. This hike was nothing but easy, but it was a gorgeous landscape. No regrets. The weather was tricky, though. as soon as I reached over 16,000 feet, it started to hail, and I had to seek cover.

This cluster of houses suggests communal living. I wonder if families that live together are actually blood relatives.

I rode a horse, like the ones you see in the picture below; horses, however, were not allowed at the beginning of the ascent to the mountain with seven colors.

No, this isn’t la montaña de siete colores. But, yes, it does have a few colors. The geology of this place is very interesting.

This was a little over 16,000 feet above sea level. When I started taking pictures, I was having a tough time keeping my camera stable with both of my hands due to the strong wind. The temperature dropped. Less than three minutes after I took the first picture, the ferocious wind started to carry hundreds of thousands of hailstones. I snuggled my camera securely under my leather jacket, and instead of facing the wind I turned around.

As the wind pounded on my back, I tried to endure the pain of being hit by thousands of small pebbles. A few feet away from where I stood lay a pile of stones on the mountain slope. Slowly I walked towards it, making sure I didn’t slip, and I sat behind the pile of stones, bending my head down and making sure my camera stayed inside my leather jacket.

One of the local people sat next to me; the local people here speak Quechua (the predominant language when the Inca ruled the region) and some Spanish. I asked him in Spanish how long the hailstorm would last. He said we would have to wait for about 30-60 minutes. What an adventure! A few minutes later, the mountain with 7 colors became a mountain with 1 color, and it was white everywhere, as the pictures below show.

After the hailstorm. The ugly side of la montaña de siete colores…

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