If you have ever visited the Grand Canyons in the US and were wondering what’s impressive about the Colca Canyons in Peru, for starters, the Colca Canyons are twice as deep as the Grand Canyons! Colca Canyons were discovered in the recent past and added to the Peru map. So if you enquired about Colca Canyons with an elderly person in Peru, good chances are, they might not have heard about these canyons when they were kids.
From the little and windy town of Chivay, early in the morning we dressed up in layers and took the rocky roads to see the Colca Valley and the Colca Canyons. Several turnouts along the way, shows off panoramic and magnificent views of the Colca Valley. The green terraces and the rich vegetation on these terraces are a common sight along the drive. From a specific viewpoint, we also saw a lake that was the shape of Peru itself!
We drove past the Colca Valley into the Canyons to see the condors, considered sacred by the Incas because they were believed to carry the soul into the heavens. During peak season, I heard one can see at least 25 condors at a time, flying at eye level. We visited Peru in the end of November, which is supposedly the time the condors nest.
But, we turned out to be a lucky group! At first, we saw a couple of condors flying at a distance about the green terraces. They were so far away that they looked like crows. My tour group shared the same sentiment. Thank god, I brought my binoculars with me; I was at least able to see the unique shape of the condor’s wings.
After a long waiting time, one flew towards us and eventually right above our heads! Patience paid off! And we saw another one swooping around the valley, close to us. Several tourists flocked together at one spot to capture pictures and videos of this one intrepid condor!
With all smiles, we continued our journey to Puno stopping at the sinking land of Maca on the way to visit a magnificent church.