From sloths in Panama to an eel in Belize to more jawdropping animal encounters than I can count in the Galapagos, the highlight of any of my trips is ALWAYS an incredible animal experience. Peru was no exception.
Seeing Andean condors in the Colca Canyon near Arequipa was a once-in-a-lifetime memory, and the top experience of my entire Peru trip.
Yes, Machu Picchu was incredible — and I’m probably in the vast minority of Peru visitors with this opinion — but there’s something even more powerful about witnessing an Andean condor in its natural habitat, flying free above all of us teeny tiny humans below, the way its species has for centuries.
To see the condors, we visited Cruz del Condor (aka Condor Crossing or Condor’s Cross) and stopped at several view points along the way. The entire trail was gorgeous, but at several stops we were further rewarded with condors floating above us, sometimes coming almost frighteningly close.
Why frightening? Well, first off, I’m scared of everything.
Second, Andean condors are enormous, and the Colca Canyon condors are no exception.
I could barely peel my eyes away, and my photos don’t do them justice.
You’ll just have to go see for yourself.
Necessary Details for Seeing Colca Canyon Condors
I visited Colca Canyon on a Two Day, One Night Colca Canyon Tour through FindLocalTrips and Peru Hop. On the second day, we visited the most likely place to see the Colca Canyon Condors, and we were not disappointed! The guide told us that the condors are almost guaranteed to make an appearance.
The tour was just $28, and included roundtrip transportation from my hotel in Arequipa to Colca Canyon, a bilingual guide, and one night’s accommodation at a simple but comfortable hotel (2 people of the same gender per room with a private bathroom). The cost is an incredible value but does not include food (aside from bread at breakfast).
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While I was a complimentary guest of Peru Hop, all my opinions and advice remain my own.