Monday, August 13, 2007

Colca Valley

From Frommers:
Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian novelist and most famous Arequipeño, described Colca as "The Valley of Wonders." That is no literary overstatement. Colca is one of the most scenic regions in Peru, a land of imposing snowcapped volcanoes, narrow gorges, artistically terraced agricultural slopes that predate the Incas, arid desert landscapes and vegetation, and remote traditional villages, many visibly scarred by seismic tremors common in southern Peru. Some of Peru's most recognizable wildlife, including llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and the celebrated giant Andean condors, roam the region.

The Colca River, one of the sources of the mighty Amazon, slices through the massive canyon, which remained largely unexplored until the late 1970s, when rafting expeditions descended to the bottom of the gorge. Reaching depths of 3,400m (11,150 ft.) -- twice as deep as the Grand Canyon -- el Cañón del Colca forms part of a tremendous volcanic mountain range more than 100km (62 miles) long.

Here's a map --
And it looks a little something. Like. This.
Condor. A condor passing. El condor pasa.
Arequipa is where we'll spend my birthday, I'm a lucky girl.

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