Have you ever experienced a canyon? It’s dark gorges and full with mystery? Then this year try not to miss out the Colca Canyon of southern Peru. The place is situated in the northwest part of the Arequipa. This is the most visited place in Peru and has 120,000 visitors each year. The canyon has 3,270 meters of depth and it’s a very colorful Andean valley with its ancestral link to the Incas. These towns were founded in Spanish colonial times, and still, there are Collagua and Cabana culture people lives here. The people maintain their ancestral values and traditions, and this is another thing that makes Colca canyon a place of interest.
About Colca Canyon
On the Colca canyon day trips you will get to see the Andean condor, these are the vultures and they fall into the worldwide conservation efforts. You can witness these birds flying from the close range as they fly past the walls of the canyon. These condors live about 60 to 70 years and have their wingspan about, 2.1 to 2.7 meters. The bird is commonly said to be the ‘Eternity bird’. As they live a long time. To view the best place of the Colca Canyon trek you can visit the ‘Cruz del Condor’ and here you will get to see the birds and the Colca canyon depth which is 1,200 meter from here.
There are other types of birds who are found at this place, like giant hummingbirds, Andean goose, mountain Caracara, and Chilean Flamingo as well. If you love wildlife then you will find animals such as a relative of the Chinchilla, the wild ancestors of Alpaca, deer, fox, Zorrino, and vizcacha.
There is a place at Chivay where you can visit the La Calera natural hot spring. This is the biggest town in Colca Canyon. You will find the archeological sites here like the caves, the mummy of Paragraph, ruins of the pre-hispanic settlement of the valley and so many other things. The Colca area is filled with handcrafted items, such as, knittings from the baby alpaca fiber and embroidered skirts that are called Polleras, vests, hats, and other items for daily usage.
Best Time To Visit
May month to September are the dry Season in Peru thus this is the time when the rush is there. If you want to avoid the hectic crowd, then you can always visit around December to February. This is the offseason in here and there are fewer crowds as well. Upon reaching the Andean valley via trek you can hike to the La Cruz del condor or you can bike through the mesmerizing valley. You can always indulge in river rafting on the Colca River too.
7 Things To Do In Colca Canyon
All the bird lovers should definitely visit Colca Canyon in Peru. So, plan your vacation and don’t forget to read this list of things to do in Colca Canyon. Take a look!
Stop by the Cruz del Condor viewpoint and watch the magnificent birds flying at the side of the canyon walls. The best time to watch them and click some memorable picture is the breakfast time when they are on the hunt. These birds are the largest American birds and experiencing the same will be a great memory for you.
2. La Calera Hot Spring
Enjoy the beautiful natural hot spring in Chivay and you just have to pay $5 and you will get the entry to the thermal pool. You can spend three to four hours in there and enjoy the hot water if you are visiting in the cold weather. Don’t forget to add this one on your list of things to do.
3. Planetarium & The Observatory Of Colca
Get a guide and take a walk towards the Colca planetarium and observatory. You must try out the planet watching through the telescope. You will always get a clear sky towards the evening and thus, you can enjoy the distant stars from the land of Peru. People mostly don’t get the best view in the morning time, but towards the evening the sky starts to get clear and you will always have a grand view of the planets.
Suggested Read: Skylodging In Peru: Camping While Hanging Off A 1,200 Feet Cliff
4. White River Raft
Have the thrill of river rafting on the Colca River. If you decide to go on the raft you will be experiencing the canyon from the extreme bottom, and that will be an amazing experience. White river rafting is a must to add on your bucket list for sure!
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5. Mountain Biking
If you choose this adventure then you will be biking through the third largest canyon in the world! Think of the thrill and the biking will relieve you from walking down the trails and your legs will be all prepared for the next day journey.
6. Horse Riding
Book a horseback riding this time and your money will not go into waste. The riding is at the sides of the canyon and you will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. It will take some time of the day to visit the place but it will always be worth it.
7. Abra Patapampa
This is another major viewpoint and you can shop from the local ladies as well. The ground looks like a lunar landscape, and you can experience the distant mountains and the volcanos from here. Due to the chilled air around, you should wear warm clothes here.
How To Reach?
The Colca canyon elevation is 3,500 meters, and the nearby attraction for this place is around the Arequipa. Day trips from Arequipa will take 14 hours. When you have to reach the city to Colca Canyon, you can take a public bus to Chivay and it will reach you the canyon easily. Chivay is the best choice as it has the natural hot spring, and if you have more time in hand you can have the 3-day hike. You can always have the option of reaching the canyon from Cusco, but it will be a long journey for you.
Last but not least, your international vacation and especially at this place, Colca Canyon will always be incomplete if you visit without a guide with you. The round trip from Arequipa and the sightseeing all can be done perfectly with a help of a guide. Otherwise, you can book a bus transfer service to guide you through the tour. You can experience all the other attraction such as the volcano Hualca Hualca, and you can have the journey by foot, bicycle or by horseback. The other things you have to keep in mind to bring, warm clothes, and swimsuits too. Also, one of the Colca Canyon facts is to make sure that you have flashlights with you because so many hotels here do not have electricity. Thus, enjoy your trip to Colca canyon this year.
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