Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Trekking the Colca Canyon of Peru

My alarm goes off at 2:55 AM. I gather my back pack, and find my way to the designated pick-up spot, waiting for the tour van to pick me up at 3:30 AM. At 3:50 I wonder whether they've forgotten about me as I sit on the sidewalk, shivering in the darkness. The pick-up was a special arrangement made by my AirBnb host and her friend who owns the travel company, enabling me to save time by not having to travel downtown Arequipa even earlier.
5 minutes later the van finally appears. I climb in, fifteen others packed inside, one seat available. We drive 3 hours arriving at the Colca Canyon, the world's second deepest, close to 7 in the morning. 
Stopping at a look-out, several eagle-eyed adventurers spot Andean condors circling high in the sky, describing them as tiny black dots. They point in their direction, but alas, they're too distant for me to distinguish. I turn my attention back to the depths below. 

Scrolling down you'll find a few videos, followed by photos of the Colca Canyon experience. In my next post, I'll describe the "Drama in Malata" (the tiny, tiny town inside the canyon) where we lost our guide for the afternoon and entire night.
Enjoy the visuals.
Colca Canyon from above, a few different angles

waterfalls near the bottom of the Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon gorge + river
first view of the canyon
Colca Canyon gorge + river
a river at the bottom of the gorge
Colca Canyon gorge
Colca Canyon
a cactus patch
Colca Canyon lookout
in the distance
Colca Canyon lookout
river in the Colca Canyon gorge
the gorge below
a dog from a local village keeps us company
riverbed in the Colca Canyon
it's been a dry year
cactus at the bottom of the Colca Canyon
cactus at the bottom
flowers grown at a village at the canyon's bottom
flowers grown at a village at the canyon's bottom
rugged Colca Canyon scenery
scenery always looks better with a little green
rugged Colca Canyon scenery
still pretty awesome

rugged Colca Canyon scenery
early morning Colca Canyon scenery
one of my favorite shots
great shot of Colca Canyon scenery
pretty cool shot if I say so meself
fiesta in Malata Colc Canyon
annual fiesta dancing in the tiny town of Malata

fiesta in Malata Colc Canyon
the church in Malata
fiesta in Malata Colc Canyon
fiesta time

the Colca Canyon near the bottom

Colca Canyonas the sun rises
This is about 5:50 AM, notice the lighting difference as the sun rises
Colca Canyonas the sun rises
again, part of the mountains are still shaded at this early hour
cactus flower near canyon peak
a cactus flower near the top
agriculture- steps with water
maize in the Colca Canyon
maize (corn) a Peruvian staple with the high Andean peaks in the background
beautiful rugged scenery in the Colca Canyon
love the colors here
colors of the Colca Canyon
looking up the canyon in the morning 
agriculture adds colors to the Colca Canyon
the final lookout as we leave the Colca


  1. Beautiful landscape. So dry, yet the ruggedness has its own beauty I think. I love the sunrise shot, lovely.

    1. It was especially dry this year. Normally there is more water. The canyon does have a rugged beauty to it, but it seems to me that you're like me and prefer greenery :) Feel free to follow the blog man, and thanks for your comment again.


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