Magnificent Colca Canyon
Overlooked by two of Peru’s highest volcanoes and surrounded by stunning landscapes and beautiful snow ranges, el Cañon del Colca is one of the greatest, and in fact the second deepest, canyon in the world. A trip to the Colca Canyon is an unmissable adventure with impressive varieties of flora and fauna, green valleys, mighty rivers crossing the Andes and thousands of impressive pre Inca terraces all to be discovered.
Great views, beautiful hotels and good facilities, but I decided to take a more adventurous option. We set off on our 3 day trip at dawn to make sure we wouldn’t miss the bus. After approximately an hour’s bus ride, we joined an extremely bumpy, unpaved road, which took us all the way to the small town of Cabanaconde – a perfect starting point for the trek down the Colca Canyon. Standing on the edge of the canyon, I was immediately overwhelmed by its breath-taking scenery. As I looked down I could see that the trek was not going to be easy. I began to make my way down. The trek had quite a few steep approaches, and I realised how fit I would need to be!
I travelled with 7 others plus our excellent guide. We spent the first night in the cabañas in the tiny village of San Juan de Chuccho. The evening meal was amazing and was followed by a very special night with the other guests, telling stories and exchanging our Peruvian experiences by candlelight. As there was no electricity, we enjoyed a unique and intimate atmosphere.
Ladies in the Colca Canyon
After a tasty breakfast prepared by our lovely host, we continued on our trek. The hike was unbelievably beautiful and the views were stunning. Now and again, we met some locals. Although it was a little difficult to communicate with them as they spoke a local language, they were very friendly. We finally arrived at the famous ‘Oasis’ where we were to spend our second night. I was looking forward to relaxing in its hot springs, which was well deserved after the strenuous trek. The water was completely clear and pure and it was a real pleasure to soak in.
The return to Arequipa the following day entailed yet another adventure on the bumpy and winding road. Visiting the Cruz del Condor on the way back, we were very lucky to see condors soaring over us. The condors can be seen at close range as they fly past the canyon walls, and the Cruz del Condor was a brilliant stop for admiring these amazing birds.