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Colca Canyon

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Four hours north of Arequipa in the Altiplano Region sits The Colca Canyon and the Colca River Valley, hikers going through the colca canyon will come across incredible landscape of Inter Andean scenery, in one of the most exceptional destinations in Peru.  
The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon on our planet, second only to The Indus Gorge in Pakistan.
The Colca Canyon is 13,650 ft ( 4,160 m deep ). It is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the U.S.
The Colca Valley is an area of amazing scenic beauty, it is a colorful Andean valley with towns founded in Spanish colonial times, formerly inhabited by the Collaguas and the Cabanas. The locals still keep the traditions started by their ancestors and still tend to the colorful pre-Inca steeped terraces which are still used for cultivating quinoa, corn, barley and wheat and they still wear their traditional clothing.
Colca is also known for its bountiful wildlife which includes 100 species of birds, 4 types of camelids including vicuna, guanaco, llama and alpaca, and the indomitable Andean condor. There are over 300 species of plants, of which 30 are cactus including the green yareta.
One of the most special things you can do here is visit the canyon at dawn near the cliff, this is where the families of condors nest, and you will see about 20 condors taking flight. For this reason the area is called Condor´s Cross(Cruz Del Condor, and also El Mirador). The condors swoop amazingly near to the onlookers, thus making it a genuinely magical experience, considering the wingspan of these tremendous creatures(which can reach 3 metres) and that it the largest flying bird in the world. From here you can also spot the tips of the Ampato, Coropuna and the Mismi mountains, whose melted ice gives birth to the Amazonas river.
The valley is suited to various travelers, from the creative type whom will take inspiration from the beautiful landscapes to the adventure sports lover.

The Colca Canyon has become one of the most  significant tourist places in Arequipa. A two-day tour will take you to Chival, a valuable city in the valley  where the visitors can rest and enjoy the hot springs of La Calera or try the delicious trout (from the river)
Adventure sports lovers find it an irresistible challenge to cross the turbulent rapids of the river for canoeing or Kayaking. In the valley, the climate can range from cold to semi-tropical in the deepest parts.
There are 14 towns on both riverbanks. They were founded in the 16th century to settle the Collagua natives who were scattered around the region. Despite the ravages of time they have preserved their original characteristics, such as the outline of the streets, the richly decorated colonial churches and their traditional festivals.The Colca is characterized for its special arts craft: colorful embroideries, pieces made from tin, candle, and carved wood pieces.
 
Location: 164 km. northeast of Arequipa
Altitude: 3500 m.a.s.l
 

 

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