Exploring The Most Colorful Mountains In The World In Purmamarca, Argentina

For backpackers traveling through Argentina, a unique day trip is from Salta and San Salvador de Jujuy. Located in the province of Jujuy, the small pueblo of Purmamarca not only offers the chance to browse an expansive handicraft market and sample the local delicacy of llama meat, but also surround yourself with seven colors of mountains.

While many landscapes feature various greens, browns and yellows blending together in beautiful patterns, the mountains of Purmamarca, one of which is aptly named the Seven Colors Mountain, hold strikingly vibrant and contrasting colors and landscapes. A bright purple hillside, lush with vegetation, could be sitting inches away from a slope of orange fairy-chimneys and cacti. What’s more, the shades seem to radiate from the mountains into the air, making you feel like you’re wearing rainbow-tinted glasses. It’s one of the most surreal hikes I’ve ever done.

According to the area’s informational board, the Seven Colors Mountain is an outcropping of rocks from different time periods. The variety of colors come from the accumulation of sediments from when the area was underwater, 600 million years ago. In fact, the mountain has the oldest maritime sediments in the province of Juyuy. For a visual idea of the experience, check out the gallery below.