Who doesn’t dream of hiking along a verdant mountain that’s home to many flora and fauna species?
Your ears can probably almost hear the singing of many birds, competing in the beauty of their melodies. Meanwhile, your nostrils catch the smell of fresh mountain air, which is distinct from the polluted air of even the most progressive cities.
And yet, a mountain with lush greenery is not the only one of its kind that can greatly satisfy your senses. Our planet has magnificent mountains that are as dazzling as a rainbow. Yes, Earth is also blessed with mountains that are adorned by radiant colors of red, gold, turquoise, and other hues!
Here are some natural wonders you may want to visit next:
- Rainbow Mountain in Peru. Also popularly called Vinicunca or Montaña de Siete Colores (the Mountain of Seven Colors), this amazing mountain is located at 5,200 meters above sea level in the Peruvian Andes in Cusco. Its enchanting beauty was revealed by nature just a few years ago, after all the mountain snow melted away and showed the colorful sedimentary layers. Made of 14 brilliant minerals, the mountain dazzles in red, gold, lavender, turquoise, and other colors. It’s almost surreal, as if you’ve stepped into the magical Land of Oz upon arrival at the site.
- Landmannalaugar Mountain in Iceland. Also known as the People’s Pools, this natural wonder is situated at the heart of Iceland’s southern Highlands. The wind-swept mountain is mesmerizing in various shades of red, golden yellow, pink, green, and blue due to rhyolite — a fine-grained, igneous rock similar to granite in mineral composition. Landmannalaugar is a very popular hiking place with unique breathtaking sceneries, which include the raven-black Laugahraun lava field that was formed after a volcanic eruption in 1477. But, even before the country’s tourism boom, this place has been famed for its natural hot spring baths, which have soothed countless weary travellers over the centuries.
- The Pitons in St. Lucia. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Lesser Antilles, the 2,909-hectare territory near the town of Soufriere includes a volcanic complex with twin spires: Gros Piton (770 meters above sea level) and Petit Piton (743 meters above sea level). Both volcanic peaks are home to hundreds of flora and fauna species, some of them rare. Meanwhile, its marine management area is bountiful in many kinds of fish species, corals, reefs, and various coastal habitats where even endangered creatures like hawksbill turtles are seen. Climbing Gros Piton offers panoramic views of Soufriere and Petit Piton, while from the latter’s summit you can breathe in the pristine beauty of Pitons Bay.
- Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in USA. Famous for its gorgeous rock formations and fascinating hues, this 280,000-acre site in Northern Arizona was designated as a national monument in 2000. Here, you’ll be awe-struck by various sandstone formations that were created by the forces of nature millions of years ago. Many visitors go northwest to the Coyote Buttes in order to vie for permits to see The Wave (Coyote Buttes North) and Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon (Coyote Buttes South). The Wave is a spectacular red swirling sandstone formation that is a photographer’s dream. Other awe-inspiring geological features are the Melody Arch, The Grotto, and The Alcove. On the other hand, Paria Canyon is a slot canyon that offers a real wilderness experience, while others find Buckskin Gulch a great adventure with pure adrenaline rush as one of the longest continuous slot canyons on the planet.
- Zhangye National Geopark in China. This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, valued for its precious geoheritage that includes a collection of nine spring ophiolite suites that are of special interest to geologists around the world. Due to its international significance, the geopark was designated as one of the field trips of the 30th International Geological Conference in 1996 and a vital station of the 2018 “Australian-China Tectonics and Earth Resources Joint Center” field investigation route. To the general public, the geopark’s main attraction is its rainbow appearance that seems like the whole place is a painting on a giant palette. The colors fiery red, gplden yellow, purple, and other dazzling hues originate from different types of minerals that make up its sedimentary layers along with Cretaceous sandstones and siltstones. The geopark’s beauty rose to the surface millions of years ago during the collision of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates.
- Montagne Sainte Victoire in France. Also popularly called “mountain of Aix,” this is an iconic landmark of Provence and a great inspiration to world-renowned Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne. Viewing its magnificence from his home in Aix, Cézanne created a series of paintings of this iconic mountain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which were listed among his masterpieces. The limestone mountain range possesses contrasting landscapes with diverse flora and fauna species. The northern side with its series of plateau is more alpine since it receives less sunlight. The southern side with its sharp limestone crags and ridges is dotted with Mediterranean vegetation. The mountain is also rich in history, where artifacts showed there were already flourishing Celtic and Ligurian settlements in the region long before the Romans came.
- Serranias del Hornocal in Argentina. Its name means Hill of 14 Colours, and it is among the pride of the northwestern province of Jujuy. Made of limestone with various types of minerals, this jagged mountain appears iridescent with different shades of white, green, yellow, and ochre. One of the most popular viewing platforms for this attractions is located at city of Humahuaca, just 25 kilometers away. There, you will see Serranias del Hornocal the way the Incas had viewed its glory centuries ago.
- Remarkable Rocks at Flinders Chase National Park in Australia. Now, this is another natural phenomenon which you shouldn’t miss! This is a most spectacular rock formation located at Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. Aside from the kangaroos, you’ll be amazed by the geological formations at this site — a group of granite boulders in precarious balance that were further sculpted by waves, rain, wind, and sun. Nature has also painted some of these granite boulders with golden orange lichens, which make for splendid photographs. You may also chance upon other fascinating hues like black mica, pinkish feldspar, and bluish quartz which are parts of the rocks’ composition.
- Simien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia. Another natural wonder that’s been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Millions of years of erosion has carved its unique landscape, which now features deep valleys, spectacular peaks, and vertigo-inducing precipices. Its greatest significance is its biosphere, with this vast mountain range being home to some of the rarest animals in the world, such as the Gelada baboon, the Ethiopian wolf, and the Walia ibex, a wild mountain goat that can never be found anywhere else on the planet. The deep gorges of this massif are of grand beauty, while some of the cliffs are breathtaking in their height of 1,500 meters. This park is also a haven for more than a hundred species of birds, including the rare lammergeyer, an extraordinary vulture species.
- Seven-Coloured Earths in Mauritius. Technically not a mountain, but these multi-colored sand dunes which reach heights of 15 meters are a sight to behold. Located near the village of Chamarel, they was first brought to the attention of authorities by a member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Mauritius during its session in November 1879. Then, in the 1960s, more and more tourists come to Chamarel to view these magnificent sand dunes. Due to their iron and aluminum contents, the sands radiate colors of red, brown, blue, and violet. And as the wind sweeps over them in the course of time, these colorful grains mix, and, together with the forest that surrounds them, create a most marvelous sight!