Tuesday, June 4, 2013

#823 Colca Canyon, Peru

Surrounded by 6600m high volcanoes, and going as low as 3100m deep, this 100km long canyon is the world's second deepest (nearby Canyon del Cotahausi is 150m deeper), and a spectacular place with such extremes. It's depth makes it around twice as deep as the more famous Grand Canyon in the USA, although geologically it is quite young.
It's a beautiful place and quite a drive to get into it - the mountain pass from Arequipa goes high up into the mountains, and sleepy travelers are often pulled out of the bus away from their warm blankets to photograph themselves in the stark frozen landscape at sunrise. The warm weather in the canyon, however, helps to create superb updrafts, which makes it a fantastic place to see the condors soaring as they look for prey, such as the viscachas, a South American rodent. The south bank of the upper canyon also has some amazing Incan terraces, just south of the village of Chivay (famous for hot springs). 
Many visitors hike down into the canyon from Cabanaconde, deep into the canyon. This wasn't our path, however, and we were unfortunate not to see parts of the canyon floor due to mists and clouds, but it was still a spectacular place!
Source: Lonely Planet Peru, 7th Edition

No comments:

Post a Comment