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|COLCA CANYON Description (Arequipa Peru)|
COLCA CANYON (Arequipa Peru)
Colca Canyon is a canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru. It is located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Arequipa. It is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. However, the canyon's walls are not as vertical as those of the Grand Canyon. The Cotahuasi Canyon to the northwest is a deeper canyon at 11,488 ft (3,501 m). Since they are such major features of the landscape, the Colca and Cotahuasi canyons are both easily recognizable in even low-resolution satellite photos of the region. The Colca Valley is a colorful Andean valley with towns founded in Spanish Colonial times and formerly inhabited by the Collaguas and the Cabanas. The local people still maintain ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces.
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 La Calera natural hot springs are located at Chivay, the biggest town in the Colca Canyon.
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