Colca Canyon

Why visit the Colca Canyon

The dizzying spectacle of Colca Canyon resides in a relatively unexplored region of the Andes, northwest of Arequipa. 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.

About the Colca Canyon

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. Another 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.

  • Take extraordinary photos of condors swooping both above and below you
  • Marvel at the Inca terracing, still traditionally farmed today
  • Relax in thermal pools and baths warmed by the nearby volcanic activity
  • Wander through timeless adobe villages dotting the canyon rim
  • Raft along the rapids of Rio Colca

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