Blogs from Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon August 31st 2018

The Cañon de Colca, the 2nd deepest canyon in the world (the first being only a few hundred kms away from here in Peru), dropping by at times 3000 meters from top to bottom! Arequipa is the place where people base themselves to get there either by organised tour or as we did, by ourselves. Arequipa in its self was quite nice although we didn't think there was too much to see and do from our perspective. We used it as a place to relax and take a breather after some busy weeks on the move. The main plaza was a nice place to sit and people watch and the city has a nice back drop of El Misti volcano. The following day we got a bus to Chivay, the main starting point for the canyon. ... read more
Thermal Pools Chivay
Canyon de Colca
Sangalle

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon April 14th 2017

Ergens tussen de heuvels van de Andes ligt de Colca Canyon, 's werelds diepste kloof. Om een uur of acht in de ochtend, als de warme zon door begint te komen, spreiden de condors hun vleugels. Zoekend naar aas, drijven ze over de bries die door de kloof waait. De mens die dit wil aanschouwen zal daarvoor eerst een hoogte van bijna 5000 meter moeten passeren. Condor Cross is echter niet de eindbestemming van de dappere zielen die de canyon bezoeken. Vanaf het plaatsje Cavanaconde starten troepen toeristen met een afdaling naar de bodem van de kloof. Hemelsbreed is het zo'n vijf kilometer, maar dat is nog exclusief de daling van 1000 meter. De zon is inmiddels bijna op haar hoogste punt en daarmee de gevaarlijkste vijand. Verbranden lijkt onvermijdelijk, want er is weinig schaduw op ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon June 3rd 2016

Breakfast 630 depart 7. Basic breakfast bread butter a bit of ham and some plastic cheese. We drove a little over an hour to get to the condor viewing spot. On the way we drove through a village which and a few lookouts but were told we would stop on the way back. Before arriving at the view point we stopped on side of road for some pictures as a condor was eating a cow. Condors live off dead animals - they don't attack like eagles. The condors work with the foxes. Condors signal where the food is by flying in circles and the foxes come in to kill. The fox eats first and the condor scavenges off the left overs. However livestock in the area also fall over the edge of the mountains sometimes and ... read more

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon March 14th 2016

It was raining and dark from bulging clouds when we arrived at the Colca Lodge, deep in the Colca Canyon, so we didn't get to see the view till the following. And what a sight greeted us as we opened our curtains and the door to our room. A river churned below us, through the canyon, the sky was bright blue, swathes of cacti covered the inclines and were brimming with pinky orange coloured fruit, there was an Alpaca farm on the opposite river bank and terraces of vegetable were growing up the hills and the most amazing thing of all was the billowing steam, just like an old train, that came up from geyser fed hot spring pools down by the river. A magnificent vista or mucho bonista as you'd say in the local tongue. ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon March 14th 2016

It was a bit of a struggle to get down to the hot springs, but I took my time and it was worth it. After larking about in the pools and switching back and forth between the hot and cold pools we got down to some good old fashioned home schooling in a hot spring pool. First up was maths: we did some times tables, addition, subtraction and we almost succeeded in explaining percentages to Hat. Then we did geography and geology, the canyon was perfect for showing things like erosion and how stalactites and stalactites form, finally we did some literacy in the form of 'what does this word me'. I'm not kidding when I say that the kids were all in and very enthusiastic. When asked, they said it was because it was an ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon October 14th 2015

Arequipa is Perus 2nd city & is also the most common base for starting treks or tours to the Colca canyon / valley. The city is around 2000m & although I wasn't affected the Dutch group I was travelling with did feel the altitude a bit! How I got there: Still travelling by Peru hop we arrived at 5:30am after our visit to Nazca. As usual we got dropped at the hostel. Where I stayed: Flying dog hostel dorm was S/.25. 1st dorm had shower in the room 2nd had a shared shower. They ran out of hot water the 2nd time I had a shower but the 1st time it was hot. Wifi was ok, didn't work so well on 2nd floor in dorms but fine downstairs in courtyard. Beds comfy & had lockers for ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon June 20th 2015

The alarm went off at 2.15 am and we dragged ourselves out of bed, by 2.33am we were on the bus to Colca Canyon. After 3 hours we arrived in Chivay for breakfast. From there we stoppped at several small villages and saw local ladies and little children marching around the village square and got asked many times if we wanted to take photos of the children in their brightly coloured costumes. By 11am we were at Colca Canyon itself, the canyon was vast. We had just 40 minutes to spend here so rushed down to the best vantage point to see the condors. After a short wait we saw several huge condors cruising around in the sky getting closer and closer to us. All too soon it was time to leave, we stopped at some ... read more
Snowy mountains on the way to Colca Canyon
Small village on the way to Colca Canyon
Traditional costume

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon April 24th 2015

After seeing the floating islands, we left Puno the same day we arrived. There was not much else to do there and we wanted to spend some time near Arequipa before we had to be in Cusco for the Inca Trail. Arequipa is quite a nice town, with a beautiful main square (often called Plaza de Armas in South American cities). Most sights in the city itself are museums and churches and you get some views of the surrounding volcanoes. Arequipa is at a relatively “low” altitude of 2400m. For most backpackers, including ourselves, Arequipa is not a place to spend much time, but as a transit point to Colca Canyon. Though some people and guidebooks make comparisons to the Grand Canyon, we found it to be quite different and beautiful in its own way. We ... read more
Condor about to land
What a view!
Flower fields

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon April 23rd 2015

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 ... read more
Hiking Trail over looking the canyon
Waterfall in the distance
Rickety, old bridge

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon November 13th 2014

Wednesday morning and it was time to leave Arequipa for a couple of days. We were picked up by a minivan and headed north towards Chivay. It took a bit of time to leave Arequipa because of the traffic, but it wasn’t as bad as the night we had arrived. As soon as we left the city, the road started climbing. Our first stop was on the side of the road where we saw some vicunas. Like llamas and alpacas, vicunas are a South American camel. There is a fourth type, the guanacos, but they are harder to see in the wild - vicunas and guanacos aren’t domesticated. The vicunas were peacefully eating away, and we stopped for a couple of minutes to take some photos. Then we continued climbing. The next stop was a roadside ... read more
Vicunas
Here I am at 4,910m above sea level
A closer look at the smoking volcano




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