The small town of Chivay, gateway to the Colca Canyon, lies four hours to the north of Arequipa at an altitude of 3,600 metres. The Colca canyon is deep – twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and the second deepest canyon in the world at a depth of 3,191 metres, or about two miles!
We arrived in Chivay, and immediately found ourselves short of breath due to the altitude – 300 or so metres higher than Cusco. I developed a throbbing headache and my mother (whom I am travelling with for a few weeks) briefly needed bottled Oxygen. It was worth the pain as the Colca Canyon is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen – surrounded by snow capped 6,000 metres Andean peaks, it is surely one of the natural wonders of the world. The sight of Condors soaring over the Canyon from Cruz del Condor is something I will never forget.
Photos of the Colca Canyon and Condors
Note: For the record buffs amongst you, the deepest canyon in the world is the Cotahuasi Canyon in Peru, 163 metres deeper than the Colca Canyon with a depth of 3,354 metres.
4 thoughts on “Video: Colca Canyon Condors, Peru”
I have a small obsession with canyons, purely due to their size and the awe they inspire.
Here are some more geeky facts:-)
Depth alone is not all that matters when it comes to measuring canyons.
Width is a very important factor too since it has a significant impact on the “canyon” factor of a formation.
Bearing that in mind, the world’s deepest canyon is the Vikos Gorge in northern Greece. It is the world’s deepest in proportion to its width, and at one point measures 2950 feet (900 meters) deep and 3600 feet (1100 meters) wide from rim to rim. Its depth is an impressive 82% of its width at that cross-section.
Many gorges are deeper than Vikos Gorge but are significantly wider, giving them a smaller depth/width ratio, such as the Colca Canyon you visited, Kings Canyon in California and Hell’s Canyon, dividing Oregon and Idaho (7,900 feet deep from Devil Mountain down to the Snake River).
The world’s deepest valley is the Yarlung Zangbo Valley in Tibet, with an average depth of 16,400 feet (5000 meters) from rim to river, and 17,657 feet at its deepest point.
The world’s largest land gorge is the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in Arizona at 277 miles long with an average width of 10 miles and depth of 1 mile.
Thanks Mr Stats!
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Thank you Artz!