Home > South America > Peru > Peru Articles > Colca Canyon
Page Rating
Content Quality:

Page Importance:
Author Pick:
Close Map

Book a Hotel or Hostel

Hotels Hostels & Budget


Check in Date

Check out Date

Number of Rooms

Top Peru



The serene flight of the condor is the main draw of Colca Canyon, a giant scar cutting across the earth’s surface. This awesome landscape is one of the few natural homes to these gigantic birds.


Starting off from the picturesque town of Arequipa, one of the jewels of Peru, a two-day journey, usually made in a battered old 4x4 truck, is the best way to see the condors at the right time. The trip itself is as challenging as it is spectacular, and a great way to enjoy the full attractions of the area.


Leaving behind the towering El Misti volcano, you soon hit the dirt roads and speed through plains dotted with grazing vicuñas before stopping for a cup of coca tea at a roadside café in the middle of nowhere. The road then runs over the second highest pass in Peru, rising up to 4,800 metres (15,800 feet) and offers spectacular views, before the nail-biting descent to Chivay.


This small town is the gateway to the canyon, but has a charm all of its own. One of its local attractions is its hot springs, a fantastic open-air venue to kick back and relax, providing you can forget about the pungent sulphur smell, proof that it is naturally fed by heat from the earth’s core.


An evening in town can be spent taking in a meal at one of the local restaurants or going to the local folk show, complete with pan pipes, recorders and dancers, before tucking up under the blankets to fend off the cold high-altitude night air in preparation for an early morning departure. The following day starts with a hint of anticipation in the air. The small village of Yanque, with its charming local community, makes a good breakfast stop before continuing on as the valley begins to roll with terraced hills, bumping into bleak altiplano along the way. If you are lucky, the sun rises up to create a misty grey and black silhouette of the spectacular mountain range that unfolds on the road ahead.


Against this marvelous backdrop, you will encounter the most famous place in the Colca Canyon, the Cruz de Condor, where, at around 8 a.m., these giants of the skies take flight, their 3.5 meter wingspan outstretched to make the most of the rising morning air. The inevitable tour buses arrive in droves, of course, but if you are lucky the condors will continue to fly long after the camera-toting crowds have left the canyon’s edge. The birds are spectacular, but do not leave before you have taken time to explore the canyon itself, because the views are breathtaking. This area is bursting with natural beauty and it is possible to walk through the towering cacti right to the edge, where you can catch a glimpse of the stomach-churning drop to the floor below before hitting the road and heading back to civilization.

Did you like this article? Then you'll like these: Machu Picchu Travel - Adventure Tour Operator , Miraflores, The Touristic Distritc Of Lima, Expat Club & Organizations, Inca Trail , Traditional Crafts and Shopping, Inca Jungle Trek, Birdwatching in Iquitos, The Famous Salkantay Trek (or Salcantay Trek), A Couple Of Basic Quechua Phrases and Earthquakes - Cusco.

View Peru Map

Antarctica | Central America and Mexico | South America |
Advertise | Anúnciese | Jobs | Alliances | Alianzas | Terms of Use | Contact Us | About Us | Blog | Administradores |
You must register as an owner for access to these listing tools and benefits.

Notification of new reviews: receive your latest reviews by e-mail

Customized request-a-review link: encourage guests to spread the word about your property

Our owners' newsletter: stay informed about our latest tools and benefits for you

User login

Enter your username and password here in order to log into the website:


Create a new V!VA account

Forgot Password