The Colca River starts high in the Andes at Condorama Crucero Alto and changes its name to Majes, and then to Camana before reaching the Pacific Ocean. Parts of the canyon are habitable, and Inca and pre-Inca terraces are still cultivated along the less precipitous canyon walls. The small town of Chivay is on the upper Colca River, where the canyon is not so deep but where many terraces are present in the canyon and continue for many kilometers downstream. As the canyon deepens downriver, a series of small villages is spread out over the approximately 35 miles (56 km) between Chivay and the village of Cabanaconde. The canyon reaches its greatest depth and, in contrast, about 15 miles (24 km) to the southeast rises the 20,630-ft (6,288-m) Nevado Ampato, a snow-capped extinct volcano.
The valley lies in the Callalli and Huambo districts of the Caylloma Province.
The Andean condors are attracting more and more visitors each year to the Colca Canyon. The Canyon is home of this majestic Condor and tourists can see the big condors at fairly close range as they fly through the canyon walls. The canyon is the natural habitat of the great Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), a species that has seen world-wide effort to preserve it.
'Cruz del Condor' is a popular tourist stop to view the condors, the pass where condors soar gracefully on the rising thermals occurring as the air warms. The condors hunt in the early morning and late afternoon, so it is best to be there during those times. At this point the canyon floor is 3,960 ft (1,200 m) below the rim of the canyon.
The Colca Canyon is also ideal for Adventure Sports. In addition, the La Calera natural hot springs are located at Chivay, the biggest town in the Colca Canyon.
credited to wikipedia and flickr users: VirginiaBA, homo styriacensis, jungle_boy, kram cam, cmdrgravy, patrick.gerety, kayseap, pasajero, anilso7o721, Boyd_, Tim Kelf, nomadical, Dick dangerous, Alex Sthrahman!