Friday - - Travel -

Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon (be­low), Peru’s Colca Canyon (above) sits high up in the An­des at an el­e­va­tion of 3,650 me­tres and de­scends to 3,400 me­tres at its deep­est point. This mag­nif­i­cent fis­sure in the heart of Inca ter­ri­tory is the coun­try’s third most pop­u­lar at­trac­tion and home to the en­dan­gered An­dean con­dor. Vis­i­tors can get up close to one of these ma­jes­tic birds that reg­u­larly soar through on ther­mal up­drafts, of­ten swoop­ing over­head at close pho­to­graphic range. Trekking at al­ti­tude isn’t for every­one and there is also the op­tion of a 600-me­tre zi­pline be­tween the canyon walls or, for the more low-key trav­eller, a ses­sion at Calera hot springs. Keep those en­ergy lev­els up and eat Novo-An­dean cui­sine at Quinoa Restau­rant in Yanque, with al­paca burg­ers and Peru­vian trout es­cabeche; or, sat­isfy pri­mal urges with a wood-fired ar­ti­sanal pizza at Ca­bana­conde’s pop­u­lar Pachamama hos­tel restau­rant. Stay in the rus­tic stone house Casa An­d­ina (from Dh260), which also has its own mini plan­e­tar­ium with nightly view­ings, or chill out at Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs (from Dh650) where the ther­mal wa­ters are a bath-robed step away. Get­ting there: Air France flies to Lima via Paris; then catch a con­nect­ing flight to Peru’s sec­ond city, Are­quipa.

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