Cruz Del Condor Viewpoint, Colca Canyon, Peru

Colca Canyon

This barren and largely inhospitable landscape is carved by the powerful Rio Colca as it snakes its path through an enormous volcanic gorge. It offers traditional adobe villages, thermal baths and spectacular condor sightings.

The dizzying spectacle of Colca Canyon resides in a relatively unexplored region of the Andes, northwest of Arquipa. The Colca Canyon plummets to depths of 3,182 metres (10,607ft) at Nevado Ampato, making it twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and a natural highlight for anyone visiting Peru.

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru
Colca Canyon, Peru

A little more about the Colca Canyon

A highlight of the Colca is the majestic Andean condor that can be observed in the brilliant blue skies at Cruz del Condor, above the canyon. Considered a sacred bird in Inca culture and a sight to behold by visitors, the soaring the thermals created by rising updrafts from the canyon below create ideal conditions for seeing these enormous birds. A visit to the area also shows farmers tending potatoes and corn on acres of terracing, Collagua and Cabana women in striking pageant dress herding alpaca, and vicuna grazing on scrub in this otherwise untamed wilderness.


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Hot springs, Colca Canyon, Peru

Bathe in Hot Springs

Take a dip in the thermal pools and baths that are warmed by nearby volcanoes.

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Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Wildlife Photography

Venture out in the company of an expert guide with the goal of taking extraordinary photos of the native wildlife – with luck, condors may swoop overhead!

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Peru Market visit, Peu Safari, Peru

Villages of Colca Canyon

Wander through the small adobe villages that surround the canyon, stopping to interact with the friendly locals.

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Rafting, Amazon, Peru

White Water Rafting

For a real adventure, go rafting over the rapids of Rio Colca in one of the world’s deepest canyons.

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Lady with Baby Alpaca, Colca Canyon, Peru

Inca Terracing

Marvel at the Inca terracing, still used by locals alongside traditional farming techniques.

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Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Belmond Las Casitas del Colca £££££

  • Peru

A hidden gem in the Peruvian Andes, Belmond Las Casitas del Colca is a secluded hideaway nestled in the shadow of mist-tipped mountains. The estate offers a Peruvian a la carte restaurant, an outdoor stone swimming pool, a tranquil treatment spa with eucalyptus steam room, an organic vegetable garden, a small farm and a delightfully restored chapel.

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Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs £££££

  • Peru

Surrounded by ancestral farming terraces in the Colca Valley, Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs boast astonishing views over the neighbouring Peruvian National Heritage pre-Inca terraces and across a luscious valley. Inspired by Inca architecture, the lodge is constructed almost entirely from native materials and techniques that include mud bricks, stones and thatching. A charming lodge that consciously blends in with the surrounding landscape, Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs offers 45 exquisite rooms that are decorated with rustic furnishings and bold fabrics and connect with the impressive gardens.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Rachael Tallents

Adventure, discovery and my curiosity for people and the natural world is what drives my love of travelling.  I am grateful for my parents’ desire to explore, and from an early age my eyes were open to diverse landscapes, cultures, and underwater worlds.

For the last 16 years, I have worked for a leading luxury tour operator designing incredible journeys for discerning clients and travelled to some magical places. I am excited to have joined Steppes Travel, and to be working for a company with such strong ethical and sustainable values.

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  • 01285 880 980

Paul Bird

Reaching the sun gate and marvelling over Machu Picchu unveiled one of the most impressive landscapes that Paul has seen in his global travels.

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  • 01285 880 980

Roxy Dukes

If your passion is the outdoors and you are looking to delve into South American culture, Roxy recommends one of the lodge-to-lodge hiking programmes to explore the Sacred Valley and beyond. Hopping between the quiet mountain towns, meet the locals that live off the grid and immerse yourself in the welcoming spirit of Peru.

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  • 01285 880 980

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