Colca Canyon
18 May 2015

Birds in Peru

Birds you can spot everywhere in each country. I’ve got something with birds. The freedom they have while flying. There are no boundaries or limits.
Birds can have all sizes and colors. I'm always trying to spot animals when I'm traveling and it makes me happy if I see a colorful bird.

Great places where I spotted birds are Ndangane (Senegal) and if you are into flamingo's, Uyuni (Bolivia) is your place to go. Mexico you can add to your list for flamingo's and pelicans. And in Belize I have seen different species of birds like herons and eagles.

Colca Canyon

Colca canyon. Colca canyon with a depth of 4160 meters is twice as big as the Grand Canyon in the USA.
Here are living, if I could speak freely, the king of the birds. Condors choose to live in this area. Seeing the size of the birds I could see why. With a span up to 3 meters these birds are huge!
These birds choose the right place to fly freely and float on the air. They have loads of space and here there are no boundaries.

Tour to Colca Canyon

From Arequipa you can do a 2 or 3 day tours to this canyon. After a few visits of tour agents in Arequipa my brother Anton and I choose an organization and booked a two day tour. My suggestion is just to take the cheapest option. Later I’ll explain why.

The main goal of this tour was to see the big condor birds.
With the bus we drove to Chivay. Along the way we had a few stops. We saw a herd of lama’s and vicunas which are so cute to see!

We reached the highest point of that day at about 4800 meters. The air is really thin here and where happy we had some coca candies, together with drinking loads of water this should prevent us from getting altitude sickness.


We got a big bus, which was a bit uncomfortable. More people in the group and I got really motion sick because of all the hare pins.

In Chivay we went straight to our hotel, avoiding the expensive lunch arranged by the tour. Instead, we headed with 2 Japanese girls to visit the town and market. The village was really cute and the market was nice.

Later that day we did join the dinner show. The show was actually really funny which pictures the daily life and their troubles of life. On this show we met Tim and Charlotte. Friendly people from Jersey who are living their dream; Traveling around the world since 4 years already!

The next morning we needed to wake up at 5. Breakfast came too late, so we didn’t get on time. After a few stops to visit souvenirs market, a dancing girls show we finally left to go to Colca Canyon.

The surroundings are stunning! The canyon is really steep and really deep. Lush green mountains with colorful flowers.

At the Cruz del condor, where the birds are randomly seen, we only had to wait. There where loads of peoples waiting on the platforms to have a good view. As the birds let us keep waiting a bit, we walked further down the stairs with more platforms.

Finally, after staring in the air for about half an hour we saw a black dot coming close.
It became bigger and bigger, floating on the air with the wings wide open. Wow! That is so amazing! The big head you can see so clearly.
Soon a few other condors would follow. Not as close as I would’ve wanted, but good enough to be happy.

A short hike

We made a short hike with the guide in the area. This was a beautiful hike with very nice scenery. After a lunch, we got back to Arequipa.

So, why you should book the cheapest option?

This time my brother and I booked a tour which seems perfect for us. Slightly more expensive than other offers.
The agent claimed to have a small bus, small groups. Instead, we had a big bus. This is a bit annoying since it takes more time to get on/of the bus. Smaller buses makes me less motion sick, but this also might have something to do with the driver.

The guide was good and we had a great small hiking around the Cruz del Condor, this what I only would have paid more. The hotel was nothing special, really cold at night. And they kept us waiting at the breakfast way to long. The loads of stops on the way to the Cruz del Condor where interesting. But all written guides told us we need to get there early to see condors. Now it took us ages to get there. I preferred those stops after we have visited the condors.

All in all we noticed that the tours are almost the same. Just some slightly differences, which aren’t really important.