Colca Canyon and Condors

After Arequipa, we took a bus to Yanque, a small village in the Colca Canyon. It was about a 4-hour ride, and along the way we crossed the Patapampa pass at over 16,000 feet! This is over 1,500 feet higher than any mountain in the United States except for Alaska. And at the top of the pass, there were mountains on either side of us that went up a lot higher. If you’re interested in seeing where Yanque is, check out the “Where are we now” page on our blog, and zoom in on the map that’s there.

Here’s a picture of the entrance arch going into Yanque. All of the villages in the Colca Canyon had one of these.

Colca Canyon

This is a picture of the street where we stayed in Yanque.

Colca Canyon

In Peru, the Colca Canyon is often referred to as the 2nd deepest canyon in the world. The deepest supposedly is nearby Cotohuasi Canyon, also in Peru. Many Americans would think that the Grand Canyon is the deepest, but at its deepest point, Colca Canyon is actually more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. According to Wikipedia, Colca Canyon is 13,650 ft (4,160 meters) deep, while the Grand Canyon is about 5,700 feet (1,737 meters) deep. However, in doing some further research, we found some canyons in the Himalayas of Nepal that are claimed to be even deeper.

Here are two pictures of Colca Canyon, from a lookout called Cruz del Condor.

Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon

Besides the natural beauty of the area, one of the highlights of our visit to Colca Canyon was seeing one of the largest birds in the world, the Andean condor. The rest of this post, which gives more information about condors, was done by our kids, Jamie & Jason.

Andean Condors – by Jamie & Jason

When we went to the Colca Canyon (in Peru), we saw two Andean condors. We wanted to learn more about them, so we looked up information about them, and made this post.


Its wingspan is up to 10 1/2 feet. It has the longest wingspan of any bird. It’s the biggest bird that can fly. Its weight is up to 33 pounds. The Andean condor’s body length is 4 feet (average) when it is fully grown (almost as big as Jason). They need wind to fly, because they are so heavy. They glide on wind currents. Because of this, they need to live in windy areas. They live along the coast of western South America, and in the Andes mountains.

Condors are carnivores. They are scavengers, and they act like a clean-up crew, by cleaning up the leftovers from dead animals. They’re actually a type of vulture.

They are endangered, and they only have one chick every two years. The Andean condor is in better shape than its California condor cousin. The Andean condor gets some help through breeding programs.

Condor Peru

Condor Peru

Here is a picture of a condor we saw in Colca Canyon and a close-up of its face.

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