Colca Canyon is one of the most impressive landscape I have ever seen. It is one of the deepest canyons in the world, and was the breadbasket of the Inca empire. We decided to do a 2 day, 1 night trek of the canyon and valle, and really experience all the region has to offer
The valley was the most impressive part of the whole tour. It was ineffable. There are snow covered mountains on top, followed by steep tree covered valleys. Then people have built terraces in the valleys since 4000BC in order to grow food. Then below that is the steep drop into the canyon, followed by the Colca River. The whole landscape was made up of so many layers, that it was overwhelming and awe-striking all at the same time.
The first day of the trek consisted of almost entirely down hill. Obviously it’s a canyon, you must go down before you can go up! We met up with our guide as well as the other couples we hiked with (2 people from Holland, and 2 from Canada).The sun is very intense here since we are close to the equator, so we were quite sweaty by the end of the day, but no sunburn to report. The trek had some really amazing vistas, especially once we got sight of the river.You could really get a feel for how deep the canyon is and how much people have depended on it as a source of life for thousands of years.
We spent the night at an oasis near the river in nicely sheltered and well equipped cabanas. There was a delicious hot meal and great company during the night. Although we were quite tired, so we didn’t stay up very late.
The following day we woke up at 5am to begin our hike out of the canyon, in order to beat the sun. The walk up was quite difficult and steep at parts, but with a slow and steady pace, we all made it out of the canyon and felt great about all of our hard work! In order to reward ourselves, we went to a nearby hot spring to relax our muscles. The natural hot springs were around 100 degrees, and felt incredible after 2 days of hard hiking. Overall, we had an amazing time and saw some of the most beautiful landscapes I could ever have asked for.
Many people don’t realize this, but Peru and Bolivia are extremely high altitude countries. They house some of the highest cities in the world, making the air very thin and tough to breathe. It is common for tourists to have problems with the altitude and get quite sick. So in order to fight the altitude sickness and give our bodies a break from the crazy travel schedule & trekking, we decided to take an acclimatization day. We just spent yesterday relaxing, napping and catching up on some emails. I am so happy we did, because I am feeling so much better today and no headache to report.