Colca Canyon Travel Blog› entry 12 of 12 › view all entries
By 8:20 in the morning, we were standing at a lookout point 31 miles outside of Chivay at Cruz del Condor, or Condor Cross. We waited about half an hour before we caught our first glimpses of the graceful Andean condors, who have wingspans that can reach up to twelve feet, circling below us in the gorge. A crowd of tourists from around the world gathered with us, zoom lenses ready to capture the stunning wildlife spectacle. There are only about forty of these immense creatures, which have earned the title of the world's largest bird, who inhabit Colca Canyon. They stand at over three feet tall, and since they are too heavy to simply lift off of the ground, they must take flight from cliff perches.
Following our stay at the Condor Cross, we continued on the road, slowly making our way back to the sleepy town of Chivay. On our way, we again stopped at several viewpoints to capture more snapshots of Colca Canyon. We also made a quick stop in a small town called Maca, which was largely destroyed by a 1979 earthquake.
The bus then continued on to the small town of Chivay, where the three of us found a small pizza place directly off the Plaza de Armas. We enjoyed a quick lunch on the patio as we watched a small, unorganized band of about nine people march through the square, blasting their music as they passed. They stopped in front of the church and played there for quite a while.
After lunch, we endured an uncomfortable three-hour bus ride back to Arequipa. Once in Arequipa, the three of us enjoyed our last dinner together in the city, well aware that we would be on a plane home the following afternoon. We shared our favorite memories from the trip, and unanimously we all enjoyed the Inca Trail the most. I told them they would thank me when it was all said and done! I think we are all leaving here with an assortment of memories that will never be forgotten. Now we have to get to planning the next big trip!