Reaches a depth of 3,400 m, 62 miles (100 km) long Colca Canyon is among one of the deepest canyons in the world, along with the Cotahuasi Canyon. The valley was the home village of huts and Collagua almost 2000 years ago, who built a system of terraces that catch the meltwater runoff from snow-capped volcanoes nearby. The colcas sheds (grain) are testimony to their presence. When the Spaniards arrived subjected the farmers to work in the mines and moved to the Collagua dispersed community in 14 villages, each with a main square and handsome colonial church.
Four hours to the north of Arequipa is The Colca Canyon, an Inter-Andean valley more than 3400 meters deep and surrounded by Andean plains and snow-capped peaks. Colca Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world.
The Colca surpasses the Colorado Canyon in the United States in more than twice its depth. The route to the Canyon goes through the national reserves of Salinas and Aguada Blanca, beautiful territories where camelids and other Andean species live.
The Colca Canyon has become one of the most important tourist places in Arequipa. A two-day tour will take you to Chival, an important city in the valley where the visitor can rest and enjoy the hot springs of La Calera or try a delicious trout (from the river).
Adventure sports lovers find the turbulent rapids of the river crossing the valley an irresistible challenge for canoeing or kayaking. In the valley, the climate could range from cold to semi-tropical in the deepest parts. This area has made possible the development of more than 20 species of cacti and 170 species of birds. The most important bird is the Condor, considered the biggest flying creature of the planet. Its flight can be seen in the famous lookout of “La Cruz del Condor” (The Cross of the Condor), a few minutes from Chivay. Here you can also see the tips of the Ampato Coropuna and the Mismi, whose melted ice gives birth to the Amazonas River. In the towns of the valley, there are churches and traditional parties. The Colca is characterized for its special arts craft: colorful embroideries, handcrafted pieces made from tin, candle, and carved wood.
It is the most important of the canyon, which offers a breathtaking view of condors flying over the valley point place. The observation site is occupied largely by tour buses and especially in the morning.
Originally inspired by the foothills of the Spanish women, Collagua still have little details on your clothes with colored embroidery. Women wear two or three skirts.
Ubication: 164 km. northeast of Arequipa
Altitude: 3500 MAMSL