Ermak Travel Guide


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Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon







History of Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon is one of the largest and deepest canyons in the World measuring a depth of 11,155 feet (3,400 m) and stretching for 62 miles (100 km). First people who settled Colca Canyon were Cabana and Collagua natives. They inhabited Colca Canyon and neighboring Cotahuasi Canyon and shaped to fit their needs. Terraces that were cut from the mountains were used for cultivation 2000 years ago and still impress with magnitude of work. Melted snow from the peaks was collected in these dry lands and used effectively. Many colcas (storehouses) are still visible through out the canyon. Inca empire that controlled these lands developed a system of storehouses through out its empire to prevent starvation. If one region was struck by natural disaster or military conflict resulting in failure of crops, richer regions would share their food supplies from the storehouses. Spaniards unfortunately didn’t preserve the system and Collague people were forcefully resettled into new 14 villages. Each followed a similar plan with a square and a church in the middle of each community.


Today tourists enjoy the scenery of Colca Canyon on their way to lake Titicaca. Bird watching in the canyon might give a rare chance to see the largest flying bird- condor that has a wing span of 10 feet (3 meters). White water rafting is also available in the Colca Canyon. With 300 rapids Rio Colca has a lot to offer. The most popular route starts at Chivay and follows a stretch of 25 miles (40 km) of the river.






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