Canyon de Colca/The Altiplano

When you leave Arequipa you have two choices: up or down. Going down takes you down to the ocean. Going up takes you to the Altiplano and either on to Lake Titicaca or to the Canyon de Colca. The High Altiplano is the high steppe plains of the Andes where life endures amid the desolation. To read my blog post of the area click here.

Vicuna in front of the Arequipa volcano known as El Misti. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

High altitude lake with Vicuna. (2011) Photo Karen Abrahamson

Alpaca grazing a rare type of moss in the Altiplano. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

High Altitude wetland, the Altiplano. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

Huaca, or shrine to natural spirits, built at the highest pass in the Altiplano where volcanoes surround in all directions. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

The Canyon de Colca is a deep rift in the Andeas and the second deepest canyon in the world. The Grand Canyon is a ditch by comparison. But the Canyon de Colca is inhabited by people and condors and has grand terraces maintained by the many small villages.

An archway in the town square of Chivay, the main town of Colca. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

 

Townswomen of Chivay. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

Town market, Chivay. Note the stone sculpture which represents the Colca terracing. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

Typical terracing in Canyon de Colca. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

Village church in Colca. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

Woman in traditional clothing, Canyon de Colca. Each village has their own style. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

Preparing the potatoes for transport to market, Canyon de Colca. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

Old woman, Chivay market. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson