Into the Colca canyon - there and back again

Colca Canyon Travel Blog

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Start of the trek

The next two days we would climb into the Colca Canyon. As it is the almost deepest canyon in the world, we are taking one whole day to descend to the river, and another whole day to get out of it again and return to Arequipa.

 

Starting from a typical Colca Canyon town with lots of donkeys, I believe it was called Cabanaconde, which is already halfway down to the bottom of the Canyon, we descended. The first half an hour or so we walked through a landscape of terraces and agriculture, just outside the town. Sometimes our road would go straight over the edges of the terraces and become very small.

 

Then the abyss of the canyon opened up before us and the road plunged right in there! Turning left and right and left and right it took a few hours to get down. (Good work on the knees!) I must say that the Colca descent wasn’t as spectacular as the Inca Trail, because we had the same view the whole of the trek.

The Colca river
Just going down with the wall of the canyon at the other side.

 

During our trek the sun rose and quietly sneaked into the canyon, and we were covered by sun the final hour. I can tell you that it is pretty hot down there! It is a world of difference, compared to the town we left that same morning. Up in the mountains it is chilly, with thin air, but down in the canyon after descending a kilometer or so, the climate changes into tropical. There was an oasis down in the canyon near the river where we would stay the night and it was really hot. Good thing there was a pool as well where we could put our feet in!

 

Then disaster struck! Together with our guide we went for a last walk through the bottom of the canyon. He showed us some exciting things, such as the remains of abandoned houses and fields of cacti that people harvest for aloe vera. When I crossed the bridge to the other side of the canyon, a gush of wind came by and took away my cap! It was taken up in the air and did a few somersaults before landing into the Colca river.

 

Later that day I went down to the river at our campside to see if, wonder over wonder, my cap would be there at the side of the river. Instead of the cap I found a group of Spaniards. I explained to them using my hands that I lost my cap and asked them if they had found one in the river. They were very nice people and helped me look along the river. They were all yelling to eachother to ask if anyone found anything and they were looking everywhere, but no success. I hope a Peruvian found it.

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Start of the trek
Start of the trek
At the edge of the canyon
At the edge of the canyon
The Colca river
The Colca river
Going down
Going down
Into the abyss
Into the abyss
An oasis in the deep
An oasis in the deep
Fields of cacti
Fields of cacti
ahhhhh very nice pool
ahhhhh very nice pool
Tropical down here
Tropical down here
The Colca river
The Colca river
Fields of Cacti
Fields of Cacti
Nice Spanish people looking for my…
Nice Spanish people looking for m…
Colca Canyon
photo by: Vlindeke