by Erin Elaine
While staying in Arequipa I did a day trip to Colca Canyon. It was really beautiful and I wish I’d stayed the night and had more time to see the canyon. I really only got a taster. The Colca Canyon is 10,700 feet deep (over twice as deep as the Grand Canyon!) The deepest area I visited was about 3900 feet deep. It was a pretty narrow section but I couldn’t see the bottom!
We visited the towns of Chivay, Yanque, and Maca.
We got to see lots of majestic condors. Their wingspan is 3.3 meters (over 10 feet!!) Only the albatross has a larger wingspan. However, if you take into account weight plus wingspan, the Andean condor is considered the largest flying bird in the world.
We got to meet some adorable alpacas and see the process of turning their wool into textiles.
We learned about the history of the agricultural terraces. They’ve grown quinoa for centuries, and some of them are still used. Quinoa used to be an affordable staple in the diets of many Peruvians, but the recent craze across North America and Europe has driven up prices. Most locals can no longer afford to eat the quinoa they grow. Now, most quinoa grown in the country is exported instead of being consumed by locals as it used to be.
Finally, we checked out some impressive volcanoes from afar.