We arrived in Cabanaconde in the late afternoon, just in time for watching the sun set over the canyon. It was breathtaking. The town sits at an altitude of 3287m and would be our base for trekking into the Colca Canyon, the bottom of which is around 2100m above sea level, a long, long way down from the town.
After a massive nine hours of intense walking, five of which were constant up hill, with barely any water and in the searing heat, we finally made it to Malatta, a quaint little village high up the mountain side, and fully stocked with water. Our lips chapped, mouths dry, and fully panting, we collapsed at the closest shop and downed water and coke as quickly as we could. An extremely satisfying moment that must have been utterly strange to the poor lady we desperately grabbed the drinks from.
Realising that we are definitely not as fit as we thought, and that we had certainly bitten off far more than we could chew, we ditched any ideas of up hill walking for the day, and ventured straight down to the bottom of the canyon to the oasis by the river. The primary destination of the Canyon is the Oasis, or Sangalle as it is traditionally called, which is a small grouping of lodges set amongst luscious green trees and grass nestled beside the river. It is an Oasis due to the severe contrast with the dry, arid mountains of the canyon that surround it.
Our trip to Canyon del Colca was intense and unforgettable. Despite what we put ourselves through we really enjoyed it, and thoroughly recommend anyone heading to Peru to visit. We learnt many vital lessons from our mistakes, and we are praying that the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu isn’t as hard.
Click here to view our photos.
Next stop Cusco…