Cañón del Colca

I wanted to do a 3-day trekking in the Colca Canyon. Since the area was in alert of another possible earthquake, any travel agency wanted to organize a tour there. I talked to a local guide, he suggested me not to go down the canyon, that could be very dangerous at this time. I decided then to do a two-day tour in the canyon. In the city exit we already could see the volcanoes: Mist (means gentleman), Chachani (means well dressed, referring to its snow top) and Pichu Pichu (means peak). In the way we stopped to see Vicuñas (a wild relative of the llamas) in the Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca. An hour later we stopped to have a coca leaf tea to go through the highest point of the tour.

From the viewpoint we could see the volcanoes and the snow peaks in the area. In this place people do offerings to Pachamama to protect the travelers, these are called “Apachetas”. It is a pile of rocks with coca leafs under it. From there we went to Chivay, the biggest  town in Colca Canyon. In the way we saw a vizcacha, a typical animal from the area that looks like a rabbit and has a tail like a squirrel.

In Chivay we went to an “aguas calientes”. It was wonderful to see the sunset from a hot water pool. That evening we went to a “peña turística” for diner and to see some local dances. In one of the dances a man was wearing long skirt. This was the story or the romance from the Inca Mayta Capac who fell in love for the Collahua (local tribe) princess, Mama Iancaray Yachi. Her father forbade the love, so the Inca go to a party disguised as a woman and steal his beloved.

Next day we woke up early to see condors at “Mirador de la Cruz del Condor”. We sat down to wait. When the sun rises and illuminates the canyon they start to fly. Since this was a sacred place for the Incas, the Spanish put a Christian cross there, so they would adore it also.

We came back to have lunch in Chivay stopping in the viewpoints on the way. The place is incredibly beautiful, a huge canyon with agricultural terraces and small villages. Once again I would like to have more time to spend ours there just enjoying the landscape. But unfortunately we didn’t have much time.

One comment to Cañón del Colca

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.