The Colca Canyon is more than 3000 meters deep, which is deeper than the Grand Canyon. In certain places in this gorge’s steep walls, you can find hot springs, some with medicinal properties, like those at La Calera and Yanque. It is, furthermore, located in the Colca Valley that lies west of the city of Arequipa in a region that is far from the main roads. The canyon is famous for being one of the deepest on Earth and was formed by the Colca River. It has also become a hot spot for adventure sporting, like white water rafting and paragliding. There are 14 quaint and colorful towns scattered along the valley.
As you drive along the road that hugs the canyon edge, you reach a place known as Cruz del Condor, a lookout point, where previous visitors report “spectacular” panoramas, with the Colca River thundering 1200 meters below and the opposite mountain wall rising 3100 meters to peaks that are covered with perpetual snows. And, looking downwards, it’s possible to catch glimpses of condors soaring effortlessly on the canyon winds. There are two small towns you can visit in this area: Coporaque, possessor of a grand church and a particular history, and Yanque, boasting hot springs, which can also be found at Maca and Achoma. Nevertheless, you should visit Colca Valley since it guards a wealth of history and architecture because some of the country’s oldest and most beautiful churches, with intricately painted walls and priceless paintings from the Spanish Colony, are found in its towns and villages.