The Colca river extends along 450 km on the eastern slope of the Andes mountain range, along its course it changes its name to the Majes river and then becomes the Camana river. The Colca valley corresponds to the first portion of the basin of this river and it is there where the Colca canyon is located.
An important fact to mention is that in 2005, the Polish mathematician and expeditionary Andrew Pietowskidio announced that in the area adjacent to the town of Quillo Orco, in the district of Huambo, the depth of the Colca Canyon reached 4,160 m on the north side and 3,600 m on the south side. A previous measurement made in 1981 gave the depth as 3250 meters.
As for the settlement of these valleys, it is believed that the first inhabitants arrived here about 8000 years ago, as there are remains from more than 5000 years ago in the Sumbay cave. Later, 3000 years ago, a Neolithic revolution took place when the settlers improved their tools and mining techniques. Nowadays, terraces more than 1000 years old are still used for agriculture.
This privileged place is located in the district of Cabanaconde. From this viewpoint you can observe the walls and the bottom of the canyon. In addition, you can often observe the flight of the condor, since they are accustomed to human presence.
From Caylloma to Canco there are hot springs with a maximum temperature of 85 C° at the spring outlet. Among the best known of these are the thermal baths of La Calera, located near Chivay.
The most important and most notable inhabitant is the condor (vulturgryphus), master of the heights and the largest flying bird in the Andes. Also worth mentioning are the LequeLeque (vanellusresplendens), Guallatas (Chloephagamelanoptera), Pariguanas (Phoenicoparrusandinus) and among the mammals we can mention the Andean fox or atoq, the skunk or añas, wild cats or osjos, vicuñas, taruca, vizcacha, wild guinea pig, among others.
The cultural manifestations of the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the Colca Valley are the terraces, which are gigantic terraces that cover a large part of the valley. Their construction dates back to the time of the Collaguas and Canaguas, others are older and others belong to the Incas.
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