Colca Canyon

Trip Start Oct 23, 2008
Trip End Jan 10, 2009

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Palm Trees, Oasis, Colca Canyon

Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, November 24, 2008

We went on an awesome 3 day trek in Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, over 3000m from mountain top to the river on the canyon floor. The landscape was barren due to the low rainfall, except for where the aqueduct system was used to irrigate the crops with water from the glaciers.

On the first day after leaving Arequipa at 4am we trekked for about 4 hrs from Cabanaconde on the canyon rim down about 1200m to a tiny little village witha few families and no electricity. Julie has decided that climbing mountains is better than descending canyons as her knees only hurt at the end when mountain climbing - going down into canyons means the knees hurt from day 1! We stayed here the night in a small mud brick hut with with bamboo bed frames owned by the sister of our fantastic guide, Marcial. It was fantastic, the first time in Peru it has felt we have gotten off the main tourist.

The second day we trekked along the canyon floor, through a few more small villages and finished up at "the oasis" a small area on the bank of the river where there is also a natural spring. The area has been developed for tourists with mud brick bungalows and swimming pools with water from the springs. It was a fantastic just to chill out and relax by the pool. The next morning we started trekking at 5am, directly up the canyon wall, via the switchbacks, 1200m back to Cabanaconde. It took 2.5 hrs which was a fairly quick time and we caught a bus to condor cross where we watched the Andean condors drifting on the thermal currents, they were awesome, about 3m in wingspan and they flew right above our heads. We had an hour in the hot springs before going to a $10 all you can eat buffet, not sure how this place makes money with all the trekkers stopping in on their way back to Arequipa, they definitely didnīt make money from us!! The four of us from our trek ate 16 plates of dessert on top of all the soup and mains!!
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