Very close to Arequipa, you can enjoy one of the most imposing and amazing landscapes in the world, The Colca Canyon. The Canyon is one of the most beautiful landscapes that the Andean country boasts and is also home to the Andean Condor, one of the native condors of the mountains of South America. The condor can be seen throughout the continent, but still one of the best places to appreciate it is in Peru. The entire Colca region is an attraction in itself, known for its amazing landscapes, history, local culture, and the beautiful native condor that flies in its skies. For this reason, together with Machu Travel Peru, we want to tell you everything about the Colca Canyon Condors and how to appreciate them on one of the many tours that go through the Valley.
EVERYTHING ABOUT THE COLCA CANYON CONDORS
THE ANDEAN CONDOR
The numerous Colca Canyon Condors inhabiting the Valley, today are in great danger of extinction. The Andean Condor has been the focus of several international conservation projects because we are talking about one of the largest land flying birds in the world. The Condor has an average measurement of 1.3 meters (4.2 feet) and can weigh up to 15 kilograms (33 pounds). Being so large, these animals need environments with strong winds to be able to stay in the air, and the Colca Canyon is home to strong increasing winds, making it a perfect home for the bird. The Condor takes advantage of the windy region to fly at will within this imposing and magical corner of the Andean country.
Within the hollow spaces of the canyon walls, is where the nests of the colony of more than one hundred Colca Canyon Condors live. And these from early in the morning begin to spread their wings and begin their majestic flight over the Canyon in search of food. It is this ceremony that attracts thousands of tourists to the place in order to appreciate one of the most beautiful animals in Peru.
WHERE TO SEE THE CONDORS?
Within the Colca Valley, there are a few beautiful places to appreciate the Colca Canyon Condors. All these places are appreciated within any tour or tour within the Valley, making it difficult to miss the majestic flight of the King of the Andes.
- Canocota Canyon: The Canocota Canyon is not as well known and it is not that deep, but it is still full of local flora and fauna. Among its many animals, you can have the opportunity to see the mara rabbit, the great Andean rabbit, or the beautiful Andean Condor.
- Chimpa Madrigal Fortress: This ancient pre-Inca military site is located high in the Colca Valley (at about 4,412 meters) and is usually a fairly famous hike within the Colca Canyon tour. To get to it, it is necessary to do a fairly steep trek but of moderate difficulty, although there is also horseback riding options to it. Thanks to the height you will be able to witness a panoramic view of the Valley and hopefully appreciate the Andean Condor in flight.
- Mirador Cruz del Condor: If you are going to visit Colca Canyon, the Mirador is one of its main points to enjoy the sighting of condors. This observation point is the central location where tourists look for the majestic birds in the skies. It is also a great spot to acknowledge the depth of the Canyon. While you wait for the arrival of the Condors you can enjoy the wonderful scenes of the surrounding landscapes.
WHEN TO SEE THEM?
As with any bird or wildlife sighting, it is not always guaranteed. And this also applies to the sighting of the Colca Canyon Condors. But we can still give you some interesting tips about the right time to try and appreciate them. In general, there is a greater probability of seeing condors during the dry season of Peru (April to November), but even so, this does not mean that during the rainy season (December to March) you cannot see the Andean Condor in flight. This can be seen throughout the year, it must be borne in mind that the most important thing to see the Condor is not the season or the weather, but the time of day. Birds are usually seen flying in the morning around 8 a.m. at 10 a.m. and also in the late afternoon between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Similarly, you can never predict when they will leave their nests or how close they are flying. But, by general testimonies, the morning is usually the best time to appreciate the birds. Being able to see the Condor is one of the best things to do in Arequipa and its surroundings.
OTHER ACTIVITIES TO ENJOY
Similarly, being able to appreciate in flight the native birds of Peru is not the only activity to undertake within the Colca Valley. There are numerous entertainment possibilities in the vicinity and many of them with adventurous tones. You can enjoy various hiking treks where you can appreciate the incredible views that the Canyon offers. You can check our Colca Canyon trek guide so that you are aware of everything you need for a successful trek. Or you can also immerse yourself in the varied and beautiful Colca Hot Springs after an arduous tour through the Valley. Whatever your decision, you can have an incredible moment in this magical corner of Peru.
“IF YOU WANT TO FLY, GIVE UP EVERYTHING THAT WEIGHS YOU DOWN”
Machu Travel Peru hopes to have been able to clarify your doubts regarding the King of the Andes. For a good sighting tour, you can consult with our qualified advisers to inform you about all the aspects to be covered. And remember that you can do much more in the Valley than witnessing the beautiful Condor.