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Colca Canyon

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Four hours to the north of Arequipa is The Colca, an Inter-Andean valley more than 3400 meters deep and surrounded by Andean plains and snow-capped peaks. That is to say, it is the deepest in the world.

The Colca surpasses the Colorado Canyon in the United States in more than twice its depth. The route to the Canyon goes through the national reserves of Salinas and Aguada Blanca, beautiful territories where camelids and other Andean species live.

The Colca Canyon has become one of the most important tourist places in Arequipa. A two-day tour will take you to Chival, an important city in the valley where the visitor can rest and enjoy the hot springs of La Calera or try a delicious trout (from the river).

Adventure sports lovers find the turbulent rapids of the river crossing the valley an irresistible challenge for canoeing or Kayaking. In the valley, the climate could range from cold to semi-tropical in the deepest parts. This area has made possible the development of more than 20 species of cacti and 170 species of birds. The most important bird is the Condor, considered the biggest flying creature of the planet. Its flight can be seen in the famous lookout of "La Cruz del Condor" (The Cross of the Condor), a few minutes from Chivay. Here you can also see the tips of the Ampato, Coropuna and the Mismi, whose melted ice gives birth to the Amazonas River. In the towns of the valley, there are churches and traditional parties. 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 MAMSL.

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