On a trip to the Colca canyon we went with one of the travel agencies in Arequipa, which took us to the place by bus from the hostel. With this trip we had a good floor, because no one set the alarm clock for the morning and we almost slept for the trip, embracing each other on the run, before someone from the trip comes gathering people from under the hostels.
Tickets to Colca Canyon in Peru
Fortunately, we could still sleep a little more in the bus and in the morning we were already in Chivay, where we had to buy tickets to the national reserve. Prices depending on nationality differed a lot from each other. We, as guests from abroad, had to pay more than 3 times more than foreigners. We got tickets that looked like a leaflet with holograms glued on it, which entitled us to travel the entire route. Despite this, we have only checked them once.
Cruz del Condor – Condor’s Cross
The first stop, after crossing the gate of the reserve, we made at the Cross of the Condor. The place where the Colca Canyon has its beginning and every morning beautiful condors arrive there. Their wings can have a span of up to 3 meters. To see them you have to appear there very earlier, preferably already ok. 8:00 in the morning, because then the mountain air begins to warm up. Then the warm air begins to lift them up the ravine. You have to hurry, because it does not last long, because ok. 9:30 a.m. may no longer be there, and there are not many of them either. In the canyon lives about them. 50.
Unfortunately, with a small camera and a wide lens, it was not easy to shoot them a photo. If they already appeared in the frame – they looked like a small spot. The photo will not convey how the condor moves slowly and majestically anyway. You have to see it live.
Beginning of the march
After visiting the condors, we set off to the place of the expedition down the canyon. We took everything from our bus and were checked in by the guides. One of them was to go forward, and the other at the end to collect the survivors. We agreed that everyone can go at their own pace, and then at selected points we will gather together.
The view that awaited us is very impressive. The difference in height between the bottom and the top of the canyon is over 3-4 km, and it is known that we will not descend in a straight line, so we had a long way to go. By the way, it is one of the largest canyons in the world, twice the size of the Colorado Canyon in the USA (I guess everyone knows?).
First stop on the bridge
We made the first stop on the bridge that divides the canyon, but we had to get up again to reach a place where we could eat and rest a little longer. We waited for the rest and moved on.
Lunch in the canyon
At some point we had to cross the river barefoot. It might seem simple, but the water was cold and rushing, and full of stones on which you could easily fall over. At this point, we had to take off our shoes and roll up the legs well so as not to wet them.
If someone was a smelly lazy, he could also hire a donkey to take him or his luggage on a further journey to the oasis.
Although we wander around the mountain terrain and the roads are winding, we met roadside shops on our way, where you could buy food and drinks. In one of them we met a mother with her son, who began to accost our group. The girls were so impressed with him that they even let him play with their phones to take a picture with him.
Another bridge and bends
Finally, we reached the oasis, where the pool was waiting. We quickly moved towards him to find out that it was not here…
Oasis in Colca Canyon
Fortunately, following the signs on the stones, we finally reached our oasis, which looked even more interesting. We had a pool under the palm trees, and right next to the bar where we could have dinner.
The only place where there was electricity, and only recently, was a bar. So we had to quickly get to grips with our room to still bathe in the pool before it got totally dark. The cottages did not make a stunning impression. Four beds in a concrete house, with windows covered with bamboo. We made the lock on the door out of a stick.
Before we even went to bed, a group of girls softened in the room above us, because it was so cold that even before the evening they could not stand there, but fortunately the owner of the oasis found them another, more cozy home.
That evening, we jumped into the pool quickly, took a cold shower and went to dinner. The food was quite good, and we could order beer and drinks at the bar. Unfortunately, we could not go too crazy, because we neither had too much strength nor could we sit there for too long. In the morning, before dawn, we had to move up the canyon.
Exit from the Oasis
Still at night, before dawn, we went up to make it to the city before the evening. Thanks to this, we could admire the amazing sunrise and did not have to go in the heat to the top of the canyon.
There were so many opportunities for photos that I kept telling myself that enough was enough, but going higher and higher the view delighted me even more.
See for yourself.
Finally the top!
After a few hours we reached the mountain, when the sun began to warm up. There was a lady waiting for us there, who sold bars, but she also had tea and coffee to drink, which we did not fail to use. Residents know where to line up.
We took a small break to get the group together. We also took a few photos and headed to town for dinner.
Pisco sour – Bolivian cocktail
Returning from the canyon, we stopped on the way, next to a booth that resembled the stand of a girl who sells lemonade. Inside, however, there was an old lady serving drinks, mainly Pisco Sour, based on Pisco – alcohol based on white grapes and a power of approx. 40-50%. In the cocktail we also have lime juice, lemon, chicken egg white and bitter liqueur. It wasn’t the best drink I drank, but after such a climb it definitely refreshes.
At the booth we also met a small alpaca, which was tied to a peg on which her piggy bank was. We took a picture with her after the photo, since she wasn’t going anywhere. We were only a little sorry, because it is not known whether the small one is not used only as an attraction to attract tourists. Let’s hope that for the salts from the piggy bank he will get something good to eat.
Viewpoint of the volcanoes of Peru
Returning to Arequipa, which is surrounded by volcanoes, we visited a viewpoint from which you can see the mountain range of the Central Andes and one of the active volcanoes Sabancayo. We were not there for long, because the punk is at an altitude of 4910 m. e.g. p. m. and there is already a pronounced cooling of the air and slight symptoms of altitude sickness.
From this place we have already moved towards the city. By the way, we managed to meet again the whole field of alpacas, which willingly posed for photos.