Valle del Colca

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condors over the Cañon del Colca
...watching condors soaring on morning thermals over the Colca gorge, deeper than the Grand of the highlights of Peru. This area is becoming more visited, but it's still a bit off the beaten path--no airport or train station near here--you have to take a 4x4 or a bus from Arequipa, several hours away over the llama-strewn altiplano on a rough road, surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes and an almost lunar-landscape. At the highest point, you go over Patapampa pass, about 16,000 ft./4910 m. above sea-level--be careful if altitude sickness has been an issue for you...
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