Colca Canyon

Pampas de Patapampa

Pampas de Patapampa

Leaving Arequipa for a 2-day trip to Colca Canyon, our bus picked us up in the morning & would take the road to Yura along the snowy plains of Chachani with great views on the volcanos Misti, Chachani & Pichu Pichu that surround Arequipa. Great was our surprise when we saw Marie & Magda hop on the bus. They were 2 sisters from Hamburg, Germany that travelled for 3 months in South America and that we met in Huacachina.  Another girl we met was Lenny from the Netherlands & Gabby from Brazil.

Wetlands of Tocra

Wetlands of Tocra

Before hitting the road, we all bought some coca leaves & coca candy to chew against altitude sickness because we would stay at  heights of 4900m and more in the next couple of days.  In Yura, we passed the biggest factory of volcanic stones of which the white ones were used in Arequipa’s churches, cathedrals, colonial houses, etc. for its strenght. Those white volcanic stones in Arequipa’s architecture gave the city the name ‘La Ciudad Blanca – White City’. The road to Cañahuas brought us through the National Reserve of Aguada Blanca, Salinas & the wetlands of Tocra, a beautiful area where we spotted a huge variety of migratory birds & the a bunch of the famous alpaca’s.

El Mirador de Los Andes

El Mirador de Los Andes

Passing through the pampas of Patapampa & the crater of the extinct volcano of Chucura, we finally arrived at the highest viewpoint ‘El Mirador de Los Andes’ at 4910m with a panoramic view on the surrounding volcano’s. From there we drove all the way to the small, authentic town of Chivay. Traditional clothes & a simple lifestyle gave this town a unique touch!

Hot springs of Tambo 'Puye'

Hot springs of Tambo ‘Puye’

In need for some relaxation, we went to the hot springs of Tambo at La Calera, whose medicinal thermal waters range from 35 º to 38 º degrees Celsius in the pools. In the evening, we strolled around town & went for dinner at the local restaurant ‘El Horno’ where we enjoyed some nice, traditional Peruvian dances.

Mirador del Antahuilque

Mirador del Antahuilque

After a difficult night in freezing rooms and with bed bugs, we left at sunrise to the villages of Yanque & Maca, which had beautiful colonial churches and where people still lived a simple, traditional lifestyle. That brought us to a viewpont where we could admire the spectacular & elegant flight of the condor. On our way back, viewpoints such as Choquetico & Antahuilque, gave us breathtaking views on the valley terraces and pre-Inca tombs.

2 Responses to “Colca Canyon”
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