When people ask me where my favourite place in the world is, I can never give a definitive answer. There are, however, a few places, which always spring to mind, Colca Canyon in Peru being one of them. Colca Canyon truly takes my breath away for more than one reason…
Colca Canyon 2-day trek
My journey began early in the morning, as we boarded a bus from Arequipa, Peru. It was a long and bumpy bus ride before we arrived at our first stop, the Cruz del Condor lookout where you can watch the condors soar around the top of the Canyon. I was in complete awe at the size of these birds and the way they can fly so effortlessly. I could have watched the condors all day, but I decided to take a tour of the Canyon, which meant running on a schedule.
We drove a little further into the canyon before starting our two-day trek. As a keen hiker, I was off straight into the canyon and far ahead of my fellow hikers in no time. The hike was super steep and slippery, following a series of switchbacks along the side of a steep cliff, which made it important to watch my step, but this was difficult to do, as the views were just so unbelievably beautiful!
It wasn’t long before I reached the bottom of the canyon, where I raced to the flowing river to cool down. As it turns out, I made it down about an hour ahead of everyone else, so I had time to sit back and relax. We went to the very bottom of the canyon, then back up the other side to a local house where we stopped for lunch. By this stage, I was starving and couldn’t have been happier to arrive. We talked to the family living there and enjoyed a beautiful, home-cooked Peruvian lunch before the final – and hardest – stretch of the hike.
I must admit, during the final hours of the hike, I was struggling (not as much as some). It was nightfall before we arrived to our lodge in the base of the canyon; Day One was our longest day of hiking.
“This is one of the most breath-taking moments of my life and it’s one I will treasure forever”
After getting my shoes off and showering, I went outside and soon found myself in a state of admiration at what I saw next because never in my life have I never seen so many vibrant stars filling the night sky! This is one of the most breath-taking moments of my life and it’s one I will treasure forever.
Another early morning was on the cards, with us starting the hike back up the canyon wall at 5 am. I arrived at the top of the canyon at 9 am, after four hours of constant stairs. Despite being completely exhausted I was on a mission, determined to be the first to the top… and isn’t the power of the mind crazy? Because I did it – and was the first up and the first to have breakfast – and a well-deserved breakfast at that!
For me, there is nothing better than hiking in complete nature as I did in Colca Canyon; it clears my mind and makes me feel grounded. While this hike was very challenging at times, it is one that I am proud to have done because I can now say I have reached the depths of one of the deepest canyons in the world!