Colca Canyon, Peru’s Little Known Wonder
When talking about canyons, Peru’s Colca Canyon wouldn’t come up in the conversation. This is quite expected, considering that it isn’t quite as popular as America’s Grand Canyon or China’s Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon. In fact, even in Peru, the Colca Canyon isn’t considered as one of the most visited attractions. It may be hard for a natural wonder in Peru to stand out, considering how the country boasts of some of the world’s most beauty natural attractions (for instance, the Machu Picchu). But nonetheless, the Colca Canyon deserves some attention—or a lot of attention, to be precise. One should travel to Colca Canyon to see why this attraction is just as marvelous as the world’s more famed canyons.
Colca Canyon, located in Arequipa, Peru, is often cited as one of the world’s deepest canyon. Some say that it is actually deepest, although others cite the Cotahuasi Canyon (also in Arequipa, Peru) as the deeper canyon. In any case, the Colca Canyon is still twice of as deep as America’s most prized canyon in Arizona, the Grand Canyon, although this may depend on where one does in the measurement. Just the same, the depth of the Colca Canyon makes it an overwhelming and spectacular sight to behold, arguably one of the most scenic and picturesque canyons in the world.
What makes the Colca Canyon unique from other canyons is how some parts of the canyon are habitable. In fact, pre-Inca and Inca terraces still exist along the canyon walls. There are also many small towns within the canyon. One of the more popular towns here is the Chivay, the Colca Canyon’s biggest town. The town itself has a number of attractions for tourist, something that would definitely make the travel to Peru worth all the trouble. For instance, the La Calera natural hot springs can be found in Chivay. Tourists can also enjoy the unique architectural displays in the town. Of course, tourists should also visit Arequipa, also a worthy attraction in its own right. Its historic center, for instance, is included in the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO. Other attractions in the town include the Santa Catalina Monastery, the Jesuits Architectural Complex, and the “Tambos,” a complex of buildings that sport of Spanish-style architectural wonders. These attractions give tourists a glimpse of how life was several hundred years ago for the locals.
Of course, the Colca Canyon offers more than just cities and towns; it also allows tourists to see some of nature’s most prized wonders, beyond what is written on travel guide or posted on a travel website. For instance, while not an attraction, many visitors travel to the Colca Canyon to see the renowned Andean Falcon. Although not yet classified as a threatened specie (therefore far from being extict), the Andean Falcon can only been seen in Andes, so seeing the falcon is still rare opportunity. One of the spots in the Colca Canyon, the Cruz del Condor, is popular as this offers a chance to see the condors pass. The Andean Condor can be seen at close range, since they fly near the canyon walls, hence making them popular attractions, especially for avid bird watchers.