For many travellers on their way to Cruz del Cóndor and other spots in the valley, the town of Chivay, where you will spent the night, has the lion's share of restaurants and affordable hotels in the region.
Most visitors hit the soothing and clean La Calera hot springs while in town. Though they can't compare with the thermal baths of Colca Lodge, they're enjoyable and easy to get to, just a 4km (2 1/2-mile) walk or a "colectivo" ride from town, they're open daily from 8am to 8pm.
The first village past Chivay (10km/ 6 1/4 miles) is Yanque, a modest town with a baroque 18th-century church. In Maca, a village on the way to Cruz del Cóndor, you'll find Santa Ana, a restored, brilliant white church with a surprising gilded interior. Nearby, perched overlooking the river, is the Choquetico stone, a pre-Inca carved-stone scale model of the mountains across the canyon, as well as a handful of Inca tombs carved out of the cliff face.
The remote, reserved village of Cabanaconde, the last town in the Colca Valley, is a couple of hours from Chivay. Some independent travellers prefer to stay here because it is within walking distance, 15km (9 1/3 miles), or a 15-minute drive, from the Cruz del Cóndor lookout point which is well positioned for other hikes in the canyon and throughout the valley.
Cruz del Cóndor
Cruz del Cóndor, or Condor Cross, about 50km (31 miles) west of Chivay, is nothing more than a lookout point on one side of Colca Canyon that has become famous throughout Peru because the views of the canyon are tremendous, and you can appreciate the Andean condors the most impressive and largest flying land bird in the World. At a spot 1,200m (3,937 ft.) above the canyon river, large crowds gather every morning, zoom lenses poised, to witness a stunning wildlife spectacle. Beginning around 9am, the condors with awesome wingspans of 3.5m (12 ft.) -- suddenly begin to appear, theatrically circling far below in the gorge and gradually gaining altitude with each pass, until they literally soar silently above the heads of awe-struck admirers before heading out along the river in search of prey. Condors are such immense and heavy creatures that they cannot simply lift off from the ground; instead, they take flight from cliff perches. It's little wonder that the Incas believed them to be sacred creatures.
Note: This tour can be customized according to your requirements.
"Kusi Ñan Travel Agency"
Pasaje Quillichapata 310
Santa Ana. Cusco
Designed by TRANSERVICE