Colca Canyon

Ok—this is it. It only took me SIX MONTHS to finish editing and posting my photos from PERU. And I have so many more plans for them! Stay tuned for some other projects that may come up (time allowing) around my images from this trip.

From Arequipa, we were trying to figure out how to get to Colca Canyon on our own. We spent the trip making our own way to the things we wanted to experience, and our one time with a guide, at Machu Picchu, was laughable. Turns out Colca Canyon is quite a haul from where we were, and our time was becoming limited. We stumbled into a tour company to ask for advice—we had no intention of buying anything—and we’re so glad we did. At the Colca Trek Arequipa office, we were swept over to a table where we were sat down and told all about the services this tour had to offer. Conveniently, there was a tour leaving the following day, heading down into the canyon with stops along the way to view all kinds of Peruvian wildlife, an overnight stay at the company’s lodge, followed by a trip back with opportunities to see Andean Condors wheeling out over the canyon, returning to Arequipa the day before we were flying back to Lima, heading home. There were two seats left on the tour—go figure. With very little deliberation, with signed up.

And boy are we ever glad that we did! Our guide, Sabino, was very knowledgeable—we learned so much about the history of the areas we traveled through, as well as the current status of political and social issues facing Peru and this region.

Indeed we had the last two seats on the bus. We stopped and saw vicuñas, a rare relative of alpacas, incredible stone formations, herds of alpacas being watched by their traditionally-dressed keepers and a high mountain pass at 15K feet, from which we could see an active volcano! From there we headed down into the town of Colca for a delicious lunch, and then deeper into the canyon, terraced hillsides rising up all around us. At the lodge we dropped our things in our room (by far the most luxurious place we’d stayed) we joined the group for a walk down to the edge of the immense canyon to watch the sunset.

The next morning we were up early to get to a favorite site of the famed Andean Condor—a truly majestic bird of prey. I am not ashamed to admit how shutter happy I got during this portion of this trip—I took about 500 photos that day, about 300 of which were of the condors. Let’s put that in perspective—on the ENTIRE THREE WEEK trip I took a total of three THOUSAND images. It’s all relative.

So—that wraps up my images from Peru, for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoyed seeing what we saw! It’s such a big country—I can’t wait to go back and see more.