Situated on the Colca River, a short distance from Machu Picchu, the world’s second-deepest canyon is twice the depth of the Grand Canyon. The surrounding landscape is shrouded in history, with little-altered Inca and pre-Inca culture and traditions inherent in the verdant valleys.
Soaring giant Andean Condors overlook remote villages, where farming is still based on the pre-Inca agricultural terraces that decorate the canyon landscape. Comparatively quiet (but challenging) trails make this a hot spot for trekkers, while the Colca River is also popular for rafting adventures. The fertile land attracts plentiful flora and fauna, including llamas, alpacas, hummingbirds, vicuñas and vast cacti.
La Cruz Del Condor
The Cruz del Condor (Condor’s Cross) is the most popular point for viewing the majestic canyon, perched vertiginously over one of its deepest sections. It is also one of the best lookout points for spotting the giant Andean Condor, which has the second-largest wingspan of all birds, trailing behind only the albatross. Here, the great birds nest and glide on the thermals rising from the canyon.
The starting point for most Colca Canyon hiking tours, colonial Arequipa is a gem in its own right. Shrouded by the imposing Andes, the ‘white city’ thrums around the hub of Plaza de Armas, the main square, where the city’s renowned colonnaded architecture, built from white volcanic stone, is most prominent. While the conception of the city was Spanish Colonial, it was constructed entirely by local endeavours and ingenuity. The rugged location is undoubtedly stunning and the presence of three active volcanoes nearby gives Arequipa a uniquely edgy feel, with residents constantly at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Located upstream from Colca Canyon, Chivay is a traditional town where it is possible to meet local Colca women, in their decorative costume, in the bustling market. Nearby, the charming main square is an ideal place to take in the unique ambience of this throwback town, relaxing with a strong coffee after the hectic exertions of exploring the market. Just outside town, La Calera Hot Springs is a thermal bathing springs, where a number of naturally heated pools have been constructed.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
The Canyon enjoys a cold, dry climate with an average temperature of 15°C. November to March is dry, with sunny days and clear cold nights, with January being the hottest month. Temperatures can dip below freezing in June, July, and August, while the rainy season usually lasts from December to April. February is the wettest month.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Colca Canyon.
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Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance.
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.