The Colca Gorge is the gorge of the Colca in southern Peru, about 160 kilometers from Arequipa. It is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in America. In contrast, the walls are not as straight as at the Grand Canyon. The Cotahuasi Gorge, located more northwest, has been measured at 3,501 meters deep. The Colca Valley is a colorful area with picturesque villages. The local population still adheres to the old traditions and way of life and makes use of agricultural terraces. The name Colca is derived from the holes that can be seen in the canyon. These holes are called Colcas. They were used by the Incas and Pre-Incas to store food for worse times, such as potatoes and other foods that last longer. They were also used as tombs for important people.
A condor flies over 'Cruz del Condor'.
The Spaniards conquered the area and built churches everywhere. From 1980 you can reach the area via highways, which are built tightly along the edge of the gorge. The only way is from Arequipa.
'Cruz del Condor' is a tourist spot. The gorge is the habitat of the Andean condor. They fly through the canyon, usually in the morning and evening. In the meantime, they are looking for bait in a more distant area. The condors are popular with tourists, who can get close to the condors. Sometimes the condors approach up to 5 meters above the spectators. 'Cruz del Condor' is heavily visited by tourists. From this point the canyon is 1200 meters deep.
Chivay, the area's largest town, is home to the 'La Calera' hot springs.
Chivay is a distrito and the capital of the Caylloma province in the Arequipa region of Peru.
Chivay is located at an altitude of 3632 m above sea level, near the Colca Canyon, a large gorge in southern Peru. It has a central square and a lively market. Chivay is a short distance from the local hot springs.
The wingspan of the Andean Condor is 2.70 to 3.20 meters. The Andean condor does not have the largest wingspan, but it does have the largest wing area of all flying birds. The head-to-tail length is around 1.2 to 1.3 meters. The weight of the males can reach 11 to 15 kilos. The females are smaller and lighter, weighing 8 to 11 kg.
Like many other vultures, the Andean condor has a bald head that is easier to keep clean. The adult birds have black feathers and a white collar, which is larger in males. In adult birds, the wings have large white spots or bands.
In the males, the head is crowned by a large red comb, and the neck shows folds of skin. The skin of the crown and neck can turn red, which is used for exchanging social signals with conspecifics. In females the comb is missing.