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  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

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.

Experiences

Bathe in Hot Springs

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

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!

Villages of Colca Canyon

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

White Water Rafting

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

Inca Terracing

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

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Belmond Las Casitas del Colca £££££

  • Peru

A hidden gem in the Peruvian Andes, Belmond Las Casitas del Colca is an indulgent retreat nestled within the serene Colca Canyon. A truly secluded hideaway 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 inviting library, 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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Casa Andina Standard Colca £££££

  • Peru

Casa Andina Standard Colca is a small, relaxed and friendly hotel with individual cottages made out of stone, well-tended pathways and vegetable garden and an open courtyard with refreshing fountain. The restaurant offers hearty cuisine if a limited menu and local dancers perform daily. There is also a planetarium and observatory, unique in Colca, that allows guests to marvel at the night sky of the southern hemisphere. The hotel is also very well located; the traditional village of Chivay is a mere five-minute stroll away and many of Colca Canyon’s highlights are also in easy reach.

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.

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.
Talk with our experts
  • 01285 601 784

James Armitage

Having walked the full Inca Trail and arrived at the Sun Gate, it is in looking down over the mist-shrouded Machu Picchu ruins that James experienced the magic of the Incas.
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  • 01285 601 784

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.
Talk with our experts
  • 01285 601 784

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Once again, I would like to thank James for organising our trip. Our visit to Peru was perfect. Each of the expert guides in Peru made the whole thing run like clockwork, and I cannot thank all of you enough.

Destination: Peru
Travel Expert: James

Paul put together a spectacular trip through the highlights of Peru, and no detail was missed. His recommendations for acclimatising were particularly helpful, and something no one else I spoke to had mentioned.

Destination: Peru
Travel Expert: Paul

Our trip to Colombia and Peru, organised by James, exceeded all of our expectations! We travelled initially to see our eldest son who lives in California and then decided that (while close by) we would "nip" to Peru with the aim of visiting Machu Picchu, and onward to Colombia. A spectacular and memorable trip of a lifetime.

Destinations: Colombia & Peru
Travel Expert: James

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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