Hotel El Refugio
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Travel Blogs from Colca Canyon
Day 18 was a sort of rest or transfer day. We woke early in Arequipa and decided to walk into the centre and explore this colonial town. The main square was filling with maroon helmeted troops and Alpini troops burdened with large rucksacks and climbing ropes, goose stepping around the main square. Clearly, there was going to be some huge …
Today we are up early again (a pattern seems to be emerging) and we set of for the Cruz de Condor, a 100km stretch of the Colca Canyon which is home to around 90 condors. The journey there, however, wasn't as straight forward as one would have thought! Quite soon after leaving Chivay the tarmac road disappears, leaving a dusty track with fallen rocks being a strong reminder of the frequent earthquakes in the area. Apparently the ...
Early start on a bus to the canyon, we arrived to cruz del condor viewpoint to find 10-15 huge Condors circling above us. Majestic powerful birds that were riding the thermals and diving down to their nests on the cliff face, it was almost like they were performing for us. We commenced the decent to San Juan settlement down the second deepest canyon on the planet. Three hours later with Elvis legs we arrived at a ...
Today was to be one of the highlights of the trip – the Colca Canyon to see the Condors. On the way we stopped to see the dancers at Yanque. The Watiti dance seems mainly to consist of the dancers twirling around so that there beautiful skirts are seen to their best advantage. It has a fine white church and you can see the glaciers of Amapto and Hualca. The active volcano of Sabancaya can be seen smoking in the distance.
There was a lovely viewing point that we stopped at ...
... Salinas and the Aguada Blanca Reserve of the altiplano. Behind us the volcanoes of Misti and Chucura still dominate the horizon. We had more opportunities to see vicuna, llamas and alpacas and lots of birds including small groups of flamingos and Andean geese. The vicuna produces the finest wool in the world as the diameter is only 11-13 microns compared to the 30 microns for sheep. They are undomesticated ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
You arrive outside a blank concrete wall with an imposing metal gate. You ring the bell for attention and a voice asks us who you are. After identifying yourselves, the gate clicks open and you enter a tropical paradise.
This isn't a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, but wending our way through the exuberant growth, you can imagine yourself in the Garden of Eden. You are shown your cute little bungalow (no A/C but a nice fan) and have time to wander around the grounds past the swimming pool, lounge area and restaurant (which was closed, it being the low season when we were there).
At the reception desk you can book sightseeing tours and order food brought in from neigbouring restaurants. We ordered dinner from the local "chifa" (Peruvian Chinese restaurant).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.