Just 3 hours and 45 minutes from Arequipa City is the Colca River valley and canyon, one of the most extraordinary destinations in Peru. Throughout the region, you can see colorful pre-Incan agricultural terraces still used today for growing quinoa, corn, barley, and wheat. During the pre-Hispanic era, the department was inhabited by the Collaguas and the Cabanas; today, the inhabitants have learned to conserve their Colonial churches in Yanque, Lari, and Madrigal, and they continue to wear their traditional clothing.
You can also do many types of adventure sports in the valley such as mountain biking, trekking, and white water rafting. And, at the Cross of the Condor, you can view the majestic flight of the condors. Other places of interest in the department are the Toro Muerto petroglyphs, the Andagua Valley of the Volcanoes, and the Cotahuasi Canyon.
The Colca valley is 100 km in length and occupies only part of the Colca river basin, comprising the districts of Callalli and Huambo.
There are sixteen villages in this zone made up of descendents of the Collaguas and Cabanas tribes, inheritors of rich cultural traditions. The towns of Chivay and Cabanaconde are the most visited by tourists.
In the latter, you can watch condors soar from the Cruz de Condor (Condor Crossing) Lookout. The Colca valley forms part of the South American tectonic plate and contains the active volcano Sabancaya, located on the volcanic mountain Hualca Hualca. This valley possesses a great diversity of flora and fauna. Among the most representative species are the condor, the kestrel, the peregrine falcon, and the Andean tinamou.