Cycling above the Clouds

Riding the Andes by Bicycle

Colca Canyon

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You need a stomach for heights!

After arriving in Puno and to the shores of Lake Titicaca, we promptly booked ourselves on a bus (yes, a bus!) to take us straight out again to visit the famous Colca Canyon. With a depth of 3,270m, this vertiginous river valley is nearly twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.  Much of the canyon is used for agriculture with the lower valleys producing crops and the upper levels being used for grazing sheep, cows, llamas and alpacas. The pre-Incan terraces lace the steep valley sides and are still very much in use by the local farmers.

We stayed at an amazing lodge right on the edge of the canyon and away from the villages. The famous Colca Canyon condors and eagles swooped right over our heads during the day and at night, the hillside was illuminated by the night sky. A wonderful place to take a short break.

Condor action – so close you can hear the air rush past their wings

Condors flying over our room

The upper end of the Canyon covered in pre-Incan terraces

A vicuña, a shy (wild) member of the camelid family and the national animal of Peru, spotted en route to Colca Canyon

A smoking volcano en route to Colca Canyon

Dinner by the fire – Sara-Ann calculates we need more calories;)

Llamas vs Alpacas

We see loads of llamas and alpacas (also members of the Camelid family) grazing in the fields as we ride along the Peruvian roads. We’re not very good at knowing which is which though;).

Here’s a quick guide:


  • Weigh 150 lbs
  • Have a soft luxurious fleece
  • Are very gentle and timid
  • Can learn tricks
  • Need to be protected


  • Weigh over 400lbs
  • Have a coarse fleece
  • Are very brave
  • Can carry heavy packs
  • Serve as heard guards

So now you know!

One thought on “Colca Canyon

  1. Who Sarah! Beautiful photos, views and wonderful to hear your stories. Safe travels and have a fabulous time. Lots of love and miss you and your parents always!

    P.S. Come visit us when you have time. 😉


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