Everything is bigger in Peru’s Colca Canyon

Everything is bigger in Peru’s Colca Canyon

Everything is bigger in the Colca Canyon The tall cliffs of Peru’s Colca Canyon are lined with brick like terraces that give the impression of a Lego-like landscape.  The irregularly shaped plots of farm land are thickly filled with wheat, corn, and quinoa.  These fields glow in a rich variety of colours that emphasis the otherwise unidentified contrast of green on green.  As visitors pass through the gorge that marks the entrance to the canyon they realize that they’ve come to something much more spectacular than they have ima gined.  In many ways this is a canyon on steroids.  Up until just recently, at more than three times the depth of the Grand Canyon, this was advertized as the world’s deepest canyon.  However, more recently visitors have flocked to this colossal gorge for another reason, to see if they can spot the world’s largest flying bird: the Andean Condor. In the early morning tourists line up at a point in the Colca Canyon known as Condor Cross in anticipation of the flight of these giant floating taridacto-like creatures, and for good reason.  This spot in particular has one of the highest concentrations of condors in the entire world.  National Geographic has even set up a research centre at the base of this bird highway.  Visitors to the Condor Cross will definitely not be disappointed by their experience.  On a bright morning as many as 15 or 20 of these flying beasts can show themselves, and many come within a few meters of the ooing and ahhhing onlookers. Around mid-morning this bird, which can reach heights as tall as a meter and a half, dives from its cliff-side nesting site into the chasm.  Using the thermals up-winds created in the majestic canyon this member of the Vulture family effortlessly soars along the cliff sides searching for remains left behind from the kills of Pumas and Foxes.  Without luck, these birds of a wingspan of as big as three meters wide often make the journey over 100 kilometres to the Pacific coast to find prey in the form of Sea Lions and, perhaps, unattended eggs. The Condors aren’t the only oversized flying creature that feeds from the walls of the Colca Canyon.  The Andean Giant Hummingbird is in many ways a contradictory giant to the Condor.  This hummingbird relentlessly and frantically flaps its way through the canyon dining on the flowers while vicariously hovering over the steep edges of the canyon.  Normally the size of fists, this version of the hummingbird has been found to be as tall as 20-25 centimetres in height.  These super-charged sweet-teeth are maybe even more impressive than...

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