The Stunning Landscapes of Colca Canyon, Peru
We travelled over 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city, to the town of Chivay in the Colca Valley. The purpose of this trip was to witness the raw beauty of one of the deepest canyons in the world – the Colca Canyon.
Famed for its rugged landscapes and massive Andean Condors, the Colca Canyon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Peru. It’s also said to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in Arizona. With a bold claim like that, we had no choice but to see it for ourselves!
The bus journey took about 4 hours and passed through the “Mirador de los Volcanes” in the Andean plateau, reaching heights higher than 15,000 feet. The brochures and guide books didn’t lie – the landscapes are out of this world. Our only regret was not dedicating enough time to tackle some of the world class hiking trails in the area.
Below are some photos from our trip to the Colca Canyon.
Incredible landscapes along the “Mirador de los Volcanes” in the high Andean plateau
At the base of an intimidating volcano. Can you spot the wild llama?
A perfect volcano in the vast desert plains of the high Andean plateau. Beauty!
Years of erosion reveal interesting rock formations
A simple yet elogant church overlooking snow-capped peaks
One of many lookout points along the canyon
Checking out the breathtaking views. It’s a long way down!
A massive Andean Condor flies high above the “Cruz del Condor” lookout point
Dwarfed by the mighty Andes that surround the canyon
Nicole taking a look over the side. It’s a dizzying drop!
Not a bad place to spend the day! Beautiful scenery
To get a sense of scale, look at the people standing at the bottom of the above photo
Villages and lush terraces in the Colca Valley
Villages surrounded by Inca and pre-Inca agricultural terraces and irrigation systems
Read more from our time in Peru:
- There is MUCH more to Peru than Machu Picchu
- Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
- Daydreaming in Peru’s Massive Sandbox
- Pictures of Machu Picchu, the Lost Incan City in Peru
- Peruvian Desert Oasis of Huacachina
The Colca Canyon is the third most visited tourist destination in Peru. Can you guess what the other two are?
See map below to find out where this photo taken.