Сanyon Colca (part 2)


A lot of tourists came to see condor’s flight. Fortunately, the weather was fine, sunny and not cloudy. The condors didn’t disappoint. They floated in the air high above us.

The Andean Condor is the largest flying bird in the Western hemisphere. Wingspan is 274-310 cm., males weight 11-15 kg, females and 7.5—11 kg. Length of adult birds ranges from 117 to 135 cm. We were lucky to watch them in their home.

After a while I decided to go down to the Colca river. It wasn’t enough time for the descent. The road wasn’t hard and I easily went down for 15 minutes. But when I started to go up to the viewing point I realized that it was hard to breath. It was hard not only for me. In fact at 4300 m. above the sea level we feel a lack of oxygen. Locals chew coca leaves which help at the highness. At first I didn’t want to do it but then I changed my mind. Coca leaves really helped. At last I returned to the bus. We took pictures waiting for departure.


Our next stop was Mirador de los Andes. It’s the highest point of the road Arequipa – Chivay there is a lookout that offers a beautiful view of the volcanoes. You can see 6 volcanoes: (Misti, Chachani, Ampato, Mismi, Solimana и Coropuna).Despite the fact that the height of the volcanoes is about 6 kilometers, they practically do not rise above the horizon. The fact that the observation deck is located at an altitude of 4910 meters above sea level! when we got out of the bus the heart jumped in the throat and eyes watered from the strong wind. The view was amazing!


This is one of the highest places in South America and is the highest paved road on the continent. Here at the highlands live vicuna, in the harsh conditions of eternal cold and winds. Despite a constant shortage of food, water and even oxygen, the vicuña is perfectly adapted to this more than Spartan living conditions. Graceful animals are able to live in the mountains largely due to the warm soft wool of which they were endowed by nature. Rare vicuna wool is highly valued in the world of high fashion. To be precise, this wool is considered the most expensive of all known in the world. Theese animals are impossible to tame. Once a year locals catch them and cut the wool. The clothes from it may cost more than $1000.
We stoped to make photos of vicunas from the bus.



Also at the highlands lakes you can see pink flamingos. We saw them but at the long distance.
In the evening we returned to Arequipa.

Life at the highlands

Canyon Colca

Canyon Colca, Peru (part 1)

I’d like to tell you about Canyon Colca in Peru. Peru has a lot of sights well known all over the world: Machu Picchu, Naska lines etc. Canyon Colca isn’t so popular. But I highly recommend visiting. Canyon is 3400 m deep. It’s deeper than Grand Canyon (1800 m) in the USA. Canyon Colca isn’t so famous because it hasn’t steep slope as Grand Canyon. But Canyon Colca is very picturesque.

on the way to Canyon Colca

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How to get
You can get there from Arequipa or from Puno. There are many tourist agencies which can offer a lot of excursions to the canyon. You can spend 1-3 or even more days there.
Also you will be able to go by bus. But it’s not convenient because you need to catch bus on the road.

When to go
The greatest attraction of Canyon Colca is the flight of Condors. They fly in the morning when they can soar in the air streams. So if you have only one day you should start nearly 3a.m. from Arequipa.

So we did. Started at night from Arequipa we were at Chivay at 7 a.m. It was really cold. We had breakfast with coca tea which was necessary on high altitude.  Early in the morning it was very cold. I got frosen in my sandals and had to buy woolen socks at local market. After breakfast we visited the main square (Plasa de Armas) and beautiful Church of our Lady of the Assumption. Surprisingly, the Saints were dressed in colorful clothes. Next to the church you can buy national crafts and take pictures with alpacas.

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After a break our bus started to the Canyon. We were lucky. The weather was sunny. I can’t imagine what to do in the Canyon when it rains. We came to “Mirador el Condor” The best point to watch condors.