Peru 13: Colca Cañon and southern Peru Coast

Following a relaxed Xmas time in Arequipa, we still wanted to observe the Condors at Colca Cañon and then make our way southwards into Chile.

Nach einer ruhigen Zeit in Arequipa hatte wir noch den Colca Cañon vor uns, wo die Chance, Kondore zu sichten, sehr gross war. Also machten wir uns auf den Weg dorthin, bevor wir dann entlang der Küste Perus auf Chile zusteuerten.

Leaving Arequipa we drove back to Tambillo and turned north passing through Huacán and Huambo before we got to the the Cruz del Condor viewpoint above the Colca Cañon.

We arrived at the viewpoint towards afternoon and were lucky to see some Condors flying along the deep canyon.

There was a possibility to camp in the older parking area although we found a small track going further down – here we decided to spend the night with a splendid view of the canyon. The surrounding mountains reached between 5600m to 6300m and, although our site was lower down at approx 4000m, it turned out to be a cold night, only tempered by the hot tea with a shot of rum before we retired.


Next morning we drove up to the viewpoint at around 10:00, the time when it is expected for the Condors to have sufficient thermals to rise from their perches. We saw only 4 in the distance after the mist had lifted and were grateful for the previous afternoon’s sighting. Many tourist groups gathered at the viewpoint and also we  were required to pay the substantial entrance fee of 70 Soles pP (especially considering that we did not see any Condors close up). However, we were rewarded with some hummingbirds feeding on the flowers on the canyon edge.

We returned to Arequipa via Maca, a small town with a quaint old church and known for the women wearing skilfully embroidered clothes and hats.


We continued via Chivay, Chucura and Yura to Arequipa, where we spent another night at Grace Valley hospedaje, conveniently situated around the corner of Plazavea supermercado so we could still do some essential shopping before dark.


Next morning we continued south through La Repartición, La Joya, Moquegua, Camiara to Ité on the coast.


On our way to La Boca del Rio,  we found a convenient wild camping spot at the deserted Club de Pescadores along the beach just below the main road, a few kilometres before we got to the town.

A pair of seagulls were repetitively diving towards me while photographing, although I could not spot their breeding spot.


Next day we travelled past Tacna and crossed the border into Chile without too many problems. The Chilean customs officials were thorough in their search for fresh fruit and vegetable, which cost us one apple and two potatoes after scanning the luggage. Even our top box was scrutinised. The border crossing took approx. one and a half hours.

Eventually we stayed just north of Arica at Camping Josefine where owner Paula, ably assisted by her lovely 6 year old daughter, runs the site. Not the best camping site but adequate for a night. The beach area, 2km away, teemed with terns and gulls.


This post covers 26th – 29th December 2016