Colca Canyon

Attractions & Activities In Arequipa & Colca Canyon


No descriptions nor photographs can prepare you for the sheer scale of the Colca Canyon, whose vertigo-inducing ravine is almost double the depth of Arizona’s Grand Canyon. In fact, at 10,725 feet – that’s almost four times the height of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper – Colca is among the deepest canyons on earth.

It’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru, attracting more than 150,000 visitors every year. But sightseers don’t just come to gawp at the vast valley. There are more things to see and do here during your private Peru holiday. You might visit the fascinating communities that dwell in the Colca Valley, among them the Cabana and Collagua people, who farm the land using the traditional terrace cultivation that their ancestors first adopted. Listen out for the different languages that can be heard: the Cabanas speak Quechua and are thought to descend from the ancient Wari people, while the Collaguas speak Aymara and are thought to have originally come from the Lake Titicaca area.

Wildlife-watching is another top pursuit in Colca Canyon. Even for those who know little about birds, the sight of the endangered Andean condor, one of the largest birds of prey in the world, soaring gracefully through the sky is thrilling. Cruz del Condor, a lookout spot, is one of the best places to see them circling over the canyon.

This vast valley also contains a scattering of captivating archaeological sites. Make a beeline for the 6,000-year-old cave art of Mollepunko, where the images demonstrate the process of domesticating alpaca. Also of note is the Fortaleza de Chimpa, a walled mountaintop citadel.

After a few days spent carving out your own adventure in the canyon, you may start to feel a little tired. Luckily, solace is never far away on our customized tours in Peru. Kuoda can arrange for weary travelers to rest and recuperate at the La Calera springs, near the town of Chivay, or at any of the several other hot springs found in the area.

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