When someone throws up a claim like ‘The Worlds Deepest Canyon’ and tells you that it’s only going to cost $100USD to go trekking into it for 3 days, you are strangely compelled to jump at the chance. Well we did and the place certainly lived up to it’s name, a;lbiet I didn’t really have the equipment to confirm it’s ‘Deepest in the World’ claim. After our relaxing time in Arequipa we were due to more physical exersion so signed up for the 3day/2night trek into the Colca Canyon. It’s fair to say that the 3am start was horrific, but apparently we needed to get up this early so we could get to Cruz Del Condor and see the condors waking up and riding the thermal winds as the day warmed up. Either way we were on our way, passing over 4,800m, to see the canyon and all it had to offer.

 

Cabanaconda AS

Dropping an AS at the end of the trek

 

 Peru’s Colca Canyon

Ok, the facts. The Colca Canyon, at it’s deepest point, is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon at 4,160m. We didn’t quite get down to that sort of depth, but we did head down around 1,500m and back up again. The 3-day trek was a little more relaxing than our last 5-dayer with only 3-4 hours walking each day. What it lacked in distance it made up for in heat, the place was scorching and didn’t have much shade when we were on the trail. It made getting to camp a welcome relief. We joined up with Ashley and Jess a young British couple who were good value and made the trip a bit of a laugh.

 

Colca Canyon Day 3

The trekking crew nearing the top

 

Colca Canyon Morning

Morning rises over the canyon

 

Day 1 – Condors and into the Canyon

It started with an hour or so spent watching the condors ride the thermal winds of the morning. Following that it was a tough walk down into the canyon, the knees took most of the impact all the way down. We all slipped and slid at some stage, Jess was the only one to hit the ground, but dusted off pretty quickly after. A relaxing lunch siesta and late afternoon beer made up the remainder of the day. Going to bed by candlelight capped off the day.

 

Colca Canyon Trek 1

Making our way down into the canyon

 

Colca Canyon Trek 2

Bridge crossing at the bottom of the canyon

 

Colca Canyon Trek 3

Sunset beer on the first day

 

Colca Canyon Trek 4

Our accommodation and the view – stunning

 

Cruz Del Condor 2

Condors start to swoop

 

Cruz Del Condor 4

The mighty condor

 

Cruz Del Condor 6

Massive wing span

 

Cruz Del Condor 7

Not a bad spot to watch the action

 

Day 2 – Traverse the Canyon and Swim

 

Colca Canyon Trek 5The second day of the trip was the easiest. Starting out at a leisurely hour of 8:30am for the 3 hour wander through the canyon to our next accommodation spot. On the way Roy, our guide, taught us plenty about Incan history in the area and all the different uses that the trees and plants were put to. We were given the chance to sample chicha, an ancient Incan beer made from corn. It wasn’t quite Emersons Pilsner and Pachamama (mother earth) got her fair share of our cups as we politely tipped some of it to the ground. The day was scorching, so it was no surprise that we were ecstatic when we found out the next camp had a swimming pool. The pace quickened after the good news and we didn’t hesitate to drop our bags and hit the pool as soon as we arrived. The heat forced us to have another siesta – life is tough on the road. We went to bed with an early wake-up call set, so we could get back up the canyon before the sun crept over the hills.

 

Colca Canyon Trek 6

Pausing for a breath and a snap

 

Inka Terracing

Looking out over the Incan terracing

 

Colca Canyon Oasis

Now that’s what I want to see after 3 hours in ridiculous heat!

 

Day 3 – Up and Out

We were up and ready to go a 5:30am. Roy had said it was about a 3 hour hike out, uphill all the way. We put in a solid effort early on which paid off as we made it to the top of the canyon in 2 hours. Ashley had somewhat blown-out and worn jeans and was trudging his way up, changing into shorts when he reached the top. The guide could not work out his logic but it gave us plenty of good banter material. After the ‘we made it to the top’ photos, a big breakfast ensued at a local restaurant in the nearby village. Coffee and eggs never tasted so good! We started our way back to Arequipa, the van stopped so we could go to some natural hot springs, but us and the Brits decided that sitting by the nearby river with our feet in cold water was more appealing given the heat. We stopped at a couple of token villages on the way back, along with a stop at 5,300m to check out the surrounding peaks.

 

Colca Canyon Trek 8

Cel standing at the top

 

Colca Canyon Trek 9.1

Stoked to be up the top before 9am

 

Colca Canyon Trek 9

Enjoying the morning sunshine

 

Llama Colca

The highly heralded llama

 

River Dip

Stopped off for a dip in a local river to cool off

 

Volcan Chucura

Miles above the ocean by the looks

 

It was an awesome trip, easier going than the Salkantay and a bit more time for relaxing, but, as the photo’s show, it was just as impressive. We’d been into and out of the deepest canyon in the world, albiet not the deepest part of the deepest canyon. It’s still worth claiming though!

 

Cruz Del Condor 3

My stunning condor watching pants

 

Time was up in Peru, our return to Arequipa saw us packing up the bags and booking a ticket that would take us through to Bolivia. Peru has shown us some amazing natural wonders and given our lungs a good test as well. The highlights were without a doubt the Salkantay and Colca Canyon treks – getting out into nature seems to be one of the best things to do in Peru.

7 Comments

  1. […] rest to get back on the active bandwagon. We decided to take another trek, this time 3 days in the Colca Canyon. Trekking in a canyon certainly sounded unique and we were promised some condor action – the […]

    Reply

  2. Sophie Bates says: September 13, 2012 • 05:29:42

    Wow your photographs are oustanding.

    Reply

  3. Royce says: September 15, 2012 • 10:45:38

    Amazing!!! What an adventure!!! such wonderful experiences to share together!!1 memories for life!!!
    Love you Guys. Mwah xx00

    Reply

    • brendonfry says: September 19, 2012 • 22:23:43

      Absolutely and they just keep coming, amazing 3 day tour on the Salt Flats and surrounding areas – photos to come in a few days Mwah

      Reply

  4. Top 5 Experiences: Latin America « BrendonFry.com says: December 2, 2012 • 19:15:55

    […] Trekking into the deepest canyon in the world. There is clearly not too much left to explain with an intro like that! We couldn’t help but put that cliche onto our tour list and we found out that it was definitely more than just a claim to fame. It was an early start on the first day to get to a lookout point to watch condors ride the thermoclimb – it was nature at it’s best as the massive birds hung, dove and swung through the air with mountains as the backdrop. Heading into the canyon itself was an effort, a scorching hot day, loose gravel and no shade to be seen, it was hard going but rewarding when we got to the bottom. An eery peacefulness existed at the foot of the towering cliffs we’d climbed down, with only the odd dog breaking the silence. Walking through the canyon was pretty easy stuff, meaning we could enjoy the views, villages and guided commentary on how the indigenous people of the area use the land and it’s fruits in everyday life. The trip was capped off with a soak in a fresh water fed pool, at our final camp-spot before we heaved ourselves up the cliffs again to get out of the canyon. Something we’ve done once and will probably never get the chance to experience again, Colca Canyon – Deeper than you’ve ever been before. […]

    Reply

  5. Ashley says: February 13, 2013 • 01:42:23

    hey buddy,

    I have just read through this and it was an incredible trek thank you for the experience and laughs pal.
    i hope all is well and give my regards to Cel also. I look to take a trip next year to that part of the world just as a holiday so we will be in touch and meet hopefully.
    You can show me the art of fly fishing haha that should be comical and i wont forget my jeans.

    take care and hope to see you both soon

    Ashley

    Reply

    • brendonfry says: February 18, 2013 • 17:24:00

      Hey Ashley,

      No worries glad you can read back over it and enjoy the trip, it was a great time. Would be awesome to have you out here mate, we’d definitely be stoked to have you out here and would be sure to look after you. Time on a local river would be a must.

      Look forward to it mate.

      Brendon

      Reply

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