Trekking in the Colca Cayon

Peru's flag
South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon
April 23rd 2015
Published: May 30th 2015
Edit Blog Post

After exploring Lake Titicaca we decided to make our way by bus into Peru and the city of Arequipa where we were pleasantly surprised by this elegant, yet modern town. With El Misti, a 5,700m dormant volcano poised directly above the city it certainly takes on a mystical feel.

After a couple of days relaxing and enjoying the cuisine we proceeded north to go trekking in the Colca Canyon or the "Valley of Marvels" by the Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. This canyon, which is nearly twice the size of Arizona's Grand Canyon and the world's deepest at more than 4km from cliff edge to river bottom held us captive with impressive views and vistas. The huge canyon is home to traditional Indian villages and settlements and our goal was to visit some of these and explore a few of the hidden "marvels" on offer. Like most of our journey so far we shunned the guided tours and instead set out independently on a 4 day trek of our own creation. It did not disappoint, the trails were clear and easily navigated, though obviously very steep when ascending or descending the primary canyon walls. With our packs and tent we were able to access some of the more remote areas of the canyon and were again blessed with perfect weather conditions. Funnily enough, during the time in the remote area of the canyon we only came across 3 other people on the trails, with one happening to be from a village in Clare, Ireland near Sandra's home town. You can travel 9,000km away but it's still a small world.

After we enjoyed the solitude and beautiful scenery we decided to make our way back to civilisation and enjoy the small, oasis town of Sangalle at the base of the canyon which hosts a couple hostels with beauitful pools. After enjoying this aptly named village and a couple of well deserved beers we rose at 5am to tackle the arduous hike up the canyon wall to complete our adventure in this very beauitful part of the world.

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 23


Waterfall in the distanceWaterfall in the distance
Waterfall in the distance

After we began our trek we saw one of the sites we planned to visit, it took 2 more days to get there but well worth it!
Isolated settlementIsolated settlement
Isolated settlement

We stumbled across this farm on our journey through the canyon, with no electricity its inhabitants lived a self-sufficient lifestyle.
Hard at workHard at work
Hard at work

Below are men from the tiny settlement of Llatica working to clear a landslide from the irrigation aqueduct which is vital for their crops.
Enjoying some shade!Enjoying some shade!
Enjoying some shade!

We did the majority of our trekking in the early mornings, especially if there were some major climbs to avoid the sun and heat.
Our home with a great view!Our home with a great view!
Our home with a great view!

This was a fantastic hike as no one was ever around
Sangalle OasisSangalle Oasis
Sangalle Oasis

After a couple days of hard hiking this was definitely a welcomed sight on the horizon.
Condor in flightCondor in flight
Condor in flight

At Mirador Cruz del Condor a viewing point where people can see these magnificent birds of prey.
View from the end of the hikeView from the end of the hike
View from the end of the hike

Hard to believe we finished it
Protest in ArequipaProtest in Arequipa
Protest in Arequipa

Protestors clash with police as they are upset over the governments handling of mineral rights in their region.

Tot: 2.773s; Tpl: 0.032s; cc: 15; qc: 68; dbt: 0.0233s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb