Peru is known for it’s high altitude mountains and trekking; the most popular and highly advertised is of course Machu Picchu. While in Peru, Peter and I wanted to take advantage of this beautiful terrain and find some treks a little less travelled. We learned about Colca Canyon from fellow travellers and online research. Anyone who had done the trek raved about it and claimed it to be a “must see” activity for the outdoor enthusiast.
On day one of our three day trek we left Cabanaconde (3,287m) early in the morning. It was a simple 10 minute walk out of town and then all of a sudden you are smack in the canyon, 360 degrees surrounded by mountains. The lower mountains made up the canyon and towering above are the Andes. I have never in my life seen mountains so grand. The hike took approximately four hours with few to no breaks. The entire time we didn’t see another human being. It was incredible to be passing through the canyon alone, no other sounds but of the rocks knocking together under our feet.
We chose to spend our first night in Llahuar (2,020m) because of it’s natural hot springs. We sat beside the river, mountains high above us, going back and forth between the hot springs and the freezing cold river water. What a way to relax after a day of hiking.
Day two of three was similar, we rose early and started our trek. We climbed 800 meters up the other side of the canyon only to descend 700 meters back down to Sangalle (2,160m), a small village built inside a natural oasis where we spent our second night.
One of the reasons I love hiking so much (apart from the beauty) is for the time spent to think. Whenever I’m in the mountains or in nature I find my mind clear and I’m able to think clear thoughts. On this particular day I spent my time thinking about my business. How do I want to grow coastal chains, what are my next steps, what can I do now to get me to my future goals? I came up with a couple new ideas and I know that when I am back home putting them into practice that I am going to be reminded of the Colca Canyon trek.
Then comes day three. The shortest but the most challenging of them all. We hiked 1130 meters directly uphill for three hours to reach town. What a great feeling it was when we reached the top. We immediately went for tea, coffee and breakfast to celebrate our adventure. We sealed the memories with a single “salud” (“cheers”) and continued to our next destination.