Why Visit Colca Canyon & Arequipa

The city of Arequipa in southern Peru is famous for its beautiful white colonial buildings, andean landscape and delectable regional food. The Colca Valley, just a few hours north of the city, is a popular destination for watching Andean condors take flight and for admiring the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons.  It’s no wonder many fall in love with this region of Peru.

Arequipa is called the White City

The city of Arequipa in southern Peru is famous for its beautiful white colonial buildings made of a volcanic rock called sillar. For its incredible and rich Andean landscape, including its three surrounding volcanoes: the Chachani (19,872 ft), the Pichu Pichu (18,583 ft) and the Misti (19,101 ft). And if that’s not enough, it is known for its flavorful regional cuisine which includes such dishes as Rocoto Relleno, Ocopa, Chupe de Camarones and Queso Helado.

However, more natural wonders are in store when you travel north from the City of Arequipa to the Colca Valley, which boasts a river canyon that cuts through the Andes Mountains for nearly 100 kilometers. It is one of the world’s deepest at nearly 3,400 m (11,155 ft). As you travel through the Andean landscape, you’ll stop to admire herds of wild vicuñas and elusive vizcachas, drive by dormant and active volcanoes, and if you’re lucky, witness spectacular circular rainbows forming from meteorological microsystems.

It is a sight to behold that only helps build anticipation for your visit to the Colca Canyon.

The Colca Canyon itself is surrounded by perfectly built terraces, perched on the Andes, some dating back as far as pre-Inca times.

At Cruz del Condor Viewpoint, you can admire several condors taking flight at just a few feet away. These majestic birds are the largest in the world with wingspans of nearly 10 feet.

They are so grand, so beautiful and so strong that it is hard to believe that they’re in danger of extinction and that only about fifty live in this part of the country.  Take this opportunity to learn to identify babies from adults and males from females as well as other facts about these amazing creatures. The best months to see condors are May through August as it is the region’s dry season.

Wild Herds of Vicuñas can be seen on your way to Colca
Agricultural Towns & Terraces Populate the Colca Valley
See Condors Fly Around You at Colca Canyon

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