Colca: Canyons and Condors

Trip Start Oct 21, 2009
Trip End Dec 21, 2009

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Where I stayed
Estancia Numero Uno

Flag of Peru  , Colca Canyon,
Saturday, November 14, 2009

Whilst in Arequipa I bought a two day tour to the Colca Canyon. I had been warned that two days was not sufficient to do this properly and that it would be a knackering trip and it so proved. The area around Arequipa has the two biggest canyons in the world and it was a real treat to go to the second biggest, Colca. The scenery was absolutely spectacular; really need three or four days to do it justice.

On the first day we stopped off at Vizcachani on the road into the Canyon where we enjoyed spectacular rock formations. We then made it up the Patapampa pass where it was snowing! We also learned to tell the difference between Alpacas and Llamas. We then stopped off for lunch at Chivay where I had a delicious Alpaca...

We were supposed to go on a trek in the canyon but this was called off due to the poor weather. Instead we went to the hot springs in Chivay. Having not had the opportunity to do this in Baņos in Ecuador I enjoyed the volcanic sulphur water at 39C although after an hour at this temperature I felt a bit dehydrated and dizzy.

We then had a pleasant evening enjoying some more local indigenous music and dancing and I managed not to offend anyone this time.

After getting up at 5am the next day we made the trip into the Canyon to enjoy the amazing scenery and to finally make the Cruz del Condor lookout point to see some Condors. We were really lucky to see 5 condors although we werenīt sure any of them were fully developed adults. They certainly are impressive birds. Unfortunately the thermals werenīt great and they didnīt fly that close to the look outs. However I managed to get some shots of one of them flying. We then had a 6 hour journed back to Arequipa, stopping off at various points to enjoy the Canyon vista. Methinks we only scratched the surface...

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