Colca canyon Cruz del Condor where we watched Condor flying
(Note: this tour took place on August 15th 2015)
Colca Canyon is the second deepest Canyon in the world, with the depth as twice from the Grand Canyon. The first thing we did in the morning was Condor watching at the place named Cruz del Condor. In this place, we could see condors flying over the canyon and people gathered over there just to see flying Andean Condors. Usually, even before the condor starts to fly, people already huddled the lookout point. Even without the condor flying, the place is beautiful with the valley spread before us.
Locals selling handicrafts in Cruz del Condor
Watching condors, or any other birds was my first time ever. At first, I didn’t feel excited about it. The main reason is that birds do fly, and we can shoot the condor from up-close near the market (there are locals who bring condor in their hand and offer taking picture with the condor for some soles). Also, it takes sometimes waiting before the condors start to fly.
I remember waiting about almost an hour before the first condor started to fly. The condors said to start flying after they feel the heat of the sun. From our spot, it looks very small. And then the second one flew and it happens every 10 to 15 minutes and I started catching some excitement. People took pictures, shot after shot when the bird was flying over us. It took about 2 hour with only less than 10 good picture of the condor (out of hundreds shot were taken).
The most vivid and close-up picture of the condor that i took that day. Out of hundred shots, only this one that i think looks best (should i spend another hours? or should i change my camera?)
Our guide, Frank, and four of us took picture in Santuario del Condor (Cruz del Condor)
After condor watching, we went to another lookout point to watch the real beauty of the Colca Canyon. On that spot, we could see the bottom of the canyon, with some green terraces spread around the landscape, it was such a spectacular view. Around the lookout point were some local residents sell knitting products, fruit, and other colca souvenir. And after that, we continued our journey to Yanque village where we visit the church. At that time, there was an ongoing marriage ceremony inside the church, so we just waited outside the Church.
Colca Canyon view, here we can see the Colca River flows through the Canyon
Terraces in Colca Canyon
Handicrafts, souvenir, and fruits stall in the lookout point
Church in Yanque Village
The difference between Peruvian dress in Puno (left) and in Colca Canyon (right). The color is much braver in Puno’s dress, and less pattern. While those in Colca Canyon has softer color and pattern embroidered on the dress.
After the Church, we took some lunch and then headed to Coporaque Village. This is where things started to get REALLY exciting. That visit to the local village is our third visit to Peruvian village. The first one was in Puno around sillustani, the second one was in Uros Island Titicaca Lake.
This time we had more time to explore and learn about indigenous living in the colca canyon. We stayed about almost 3 hours and did activities that they usually do. The owner of the house was a woman, whose husband stayed quite far away from her, and her child work in Arequipa. This lady woke up every 4 or 5 in the morning and walk to her farmland where she started to crop. After cropping, she usually back to her home to feed the horses, cook, and clean the house.
Again, we were allowed to tried the traditional dress, so four of us changed our clothes with the traditional Peruvian dress (except for Adrian; he only wore farming gadget and cowboy hat 😉 ). We took lots of picture in it and joke around with the lady. This dress although have the same models with those in Puno, has a different motives and pattern. It is because they are from different tribes.
Four of us and the lady
one fine afternoon with the lady and Frank (i have to blame my brain for forgetting the Lady’s name 🙁 )
After that, we were invited to feed the horses. The lady has two horses, my friend Adrian and I took the horses for some drinks around the village while enjoying the view.Right after horse feeding, we went back to the house where we helped the lady peeled corns that had been sun-dried. The lady also cooked some peeled corn for us. After that, we sat together in the living room enjoying the corn and coca tea and had a chat together. It was one of wonderful moment I would never forget.