Arequipa and colca canyon

Trip Start Apr 09, 2013
Trip End Mar 15, 2014

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Flag of Peru  , Arequipa Region,
Sunday, May 26, 2013

We headed to Arequipa to visit colca canyon (the second deepest canyon in the world, beaten only by cotahuasi canyon down the road which is a few metres deeper). Arequipa is also at a fairly high altitude so was a good place to acclimatise before heading onwards to cusco and Macchu pichu. 

Whilst in Arequipa we wandered about the old colonial town with some awesome views of snow capped mountains and volcanoes in the distance, visited a frozen ice princess (a girl encased in ice after being hit on the head and left as an offering to the gods at the top of the mountain) and wandered about a monastery that was so large it was classed as a walled city!

We took a 3 day trek to give us more time to explore the depths of the canyon. Whilst at the canyon we saw condors (Peru's largest bird at 3.5m wingspan) taking advantage of the thermals and soaring about above our heads looking for dead animals to eat.

Our trekking party included a lovely father daughter combo from Washington DC, an excitable Peruvian guide who had more bounce than a jack-in-the box and a rather eccentric Scotsman who insisted on getting naked at various intervals during the trip.

We really enjoyed the trek because it gave us the ideal opportunity to wear in our hiking boots before the inca trail, sleep under the stars, stay in an oasis and get a first glimpse of the wonders of inca terraces.

Whilst in Arequipa we also had our first taste of alpaca and were introduced to the local dish of lomo saltado, which is a combination of meat, stir fried vegetables in black bean sauce with chips and rice mixed in for the fun of it....tasty!

Overall Arequipa gets a thumbs up
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