In the Colca Canyon I saw the most beautiful landscapes of my trip to Peru. I was even more impressed by these views than by the also spectacular ones of Machu Pichu. The landscape all along the canyon and the valley is just amazing and the watching of the condors in the 'Condor's Cross' is a great experience.
CRUZ DEL CONDOR
Twenty minutes by bus from Cavanaconde is the Condor´s Cross were you´ll have the oportunity of watching the biggest bird in the world, the condor.
Watching that costs 35 soles (12€). Maybe sbdy will offer you the ticket for the show before arriving here, in Civay or in the bus. I would recoemd to buy it when you arrive to the cross. Some locals try to cheat the tourists.
- Road Trip
Colca canion is the second deeper canion in the world, even more than Colorado canion. Cavanaconde is in the top of the canion, and you can go walking to the bottom of the canion from here. It will be a hard downhill of two hours or more. In the botton is a place known by the locals as The Paradise. Here something strange happens and is a warm clima, with many trees and palms, more than 3000 metres hight from the sea level. The locals has built some swiming pool and you can buy something for drink too. Here the prices are much expensive than in Cabanaconthe, about 10 soles a big bottle of water.
There are some wodden houses were you can sleep, but I don´t know the prices.
The return to the village is REALLY HARD. It took us about 3 hours and a half and we almost die in the atempt. Buy plenty of water before going up and take it patiently.
If you talk to the locals is possible rent a donkey, but I dont know the price, but I gess that no more that 30 soles.
- Road Trip
Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca.
This national reserve located 110 kms from Arequipa was created to preserve the local fauna and flora. Inside the reserve there are some volcanoes and snowy mountains like the Misty, the Chachani and the Pichu Pichu. There are andean forest and prairies. It´s famous for the wild Vicuña´s colony and is a good place to see other animals like falcons, flamingos and gulls.
The Mirador is a great place to see the condors fliying, these big birds (the largest fliying bird in the continent) were almost extincted, they frequent montainous areas, non-forested, and nest in cliffs and mountain ranges.
Las iglesias era lo primero que se construía en los nuevos pueblos del valle del Colca y allí siguen todavía para recordarnos su historia y la fusión de culturas
La pena es que muchas de ellas están cerradas a los visitantes por miedo a los expolios
Churches was the first thing that they built on the new Colca valley villages and yet they continue there to remember us their history and the cultures fusion
It is a pity that many of them are closed to the visitors to avoid master pieces robbery
Como alternativa a los baños termales se puede visitar en el mismo recinto el museo etnográfico que es simpático e interesante ya que puedes ver la forma en que vivían , sus cosechas , herramientas , vestidos...
As an alternative tothe thermal baths you may visit in the same area the ethnografic museum that is nice and interesting as you may see on it how they lived , their crops , tools , dressings...
Chivay está al borde del río Colca y desde allí salen dos carreteras , una hacia el Norte y otra hacia el Sur , que es la más popular , pues pasa por la Cruz del Condor y termina en Cabanaconde (buen sitio para hacer caminatas )
Es un pueblo tranquilo y agradable que tiene unas piscinas de aguas termales y un museo etnográfico
Chivay is on the banks of the Colca river and from there start two roads , one to the North and another to the South , that is more popular as it goes to the Cruz del Condor and finish in Cabanaconde (Good place for trekking )
It is a nice and quite village that has thermal pools and one ethnographic museum
Cruz del Condor
La Cruz del Condor ( 3.287 msnm ) es el sitio del cañón del Colca que tiene mayor profundidad
A parte de venir a ver el paisaje se viene a avistar los condores que a primeras horas de la mañana se pueden ver , si tienes suerte , ascendiendo por las corrientes térmicas
La Cruz del Condor (Alt.3.287 m) isthe place of the Colca canyon with the biggest depth
Besides to see the landscape the people comes to see the condors early in the morning , if they are lucky , rising in the thermals
Condores del - Colca - Condors
Es el ave de mayor tamaño del mundo que alcanza 1,50 m de alto y una envergadura de 3,40 m. Puede pesar entre 10 y 13 Kg y vivir hasta 60 años . Los adultos tienen un color negro-azulado, con una ancha banda blanca en el dorso de las alas . No tiene plumas en la cabeza o cuello, a excepción de un collar blanco en la base del cuello . Los cóndores jóvenes son de color marrón . Existe una marcada diferencia entre la hembra y el macho pues ellos tienen una cresta carnosa y ojos cafés, mientras que las hembras no tienen la cresta y sus ojos son rojos.
Da gusto ver con la suavidad que vuelan los condores aprovechando las corrientes térmicas
It is the bird of biggest size on the world that reaches 1.5m high and a wingspan of 3.4m . It may weight between 10 and 13 Kg and they live up to the 60 years .The old ones have a colour black-bluish , with a big white band on the wings back . It has not feathers in the head nor in the neck except for a white collar in the neck base . The young condors are of brown colour.There is a big difference between the female and the male as they have a fleshy comb and brown eyes , while the females do not have comb and they eyes are red
It is a great show to see how smooth they fly taking the thermal currents
Aguada Blanca es la Reserva Nacional de las Vicuñas , donde se pueden ver pequeños grupos de varias hembras con un macho , así como a los machos sólos que no son admitidos en las manadas
Aguada Blanca is the National Vicuña Reserve , where you may see small groups of several female vicuñas with a male , as well as the lonely males that are not wellcome in the herd
Go for a walk!
To really appreciate the Colca Canyon you need to walk a bit. Of course the sight of the condors from the Cruz del Condor is fantastic, but you will be surrounded by other tourists there, whereas if you travel just a mile away and get out of the vehicle to walk, you'll find yourself more or less alone. The air is wonderfully fresh and clear, the views down into the Canyon are stunning, so you'll get some good photos, and we also enjoyed seeing the hummingbirds hunt for nectar among the cactus flowers.
- Hiking and Walking
When visitng the Colca Canyon, make sure you take your swimwear for a visit to the hot springs near Chivay. Mind you, I was expecting something very natural whereas in reality it didn't seem that different from a visit to the local baths! You can borrow a towel, there are changing rooms and you'll be given a key to a locker. There's one pool under cover and another one that's open, and the water is very warm and very relaxing. As you sit in the pool you can look up at the surrounding mountains - I spotted several mountain goats clambering around. OK, perhaps it's not much like the local baths after all!
You can also buy cold drinks here.
Everyone who goes to the Colca Canyon hopes to be lucky enough to see the condors - and we were! It means an early start to the day as you need to be in a good spot at the highest point of the canyon, the Cruz del Condor, before the birds arrive. They float on the early morning thermals above the canyon floor and although they may be some distance from your viewpoint you can't fail to be amazed at their size. It really is worth the effort of the early start, and worth putting up with the crowds of tourists too. But there are no guarantees that you'll see them - like all wildlife they are unpredictable (we learnt that the day before our visit there had been no birds at all, whereas we were lucky enough to see several).
- National/State Park
Look at the traditional dansers
Sometimes some traditional dansers do a dance for the tourists.
Give them some money when they are done.
This is one of the few pictures i took from the locals in traditional clothes. Many locals don't like to get their picture taken. If you want to take one always ask or take it over here from the dansers because they know people will take pictures of em.