Tourism has increased since the s and s from a few thousand visitors annually to nearly , visitors in Other notable bird species present in the Colca include the giant hummingbird , the largest member of the hummingbird family, as well as the Andean goose , Chilean flamingo , and mountain caracara. The Inca probably arrived in the Colca Valley around AD, and established their dominion through marriage, rather than through warfare. More roads were built in the s and s by the Majes Hydroelectric Project, a program to divert water from the Colca River to irrigate crops in the Majes region. Below Chivay the valley presents intensely terraced landscapes, continuing for many kilometers downstream.
It was so recognized by the Guinness Book of Records in , and a National Geographic article in January repeated the claim. Cultural attractions include the Wititi festival in Chivay, named as a "cultural heritage" of Peru. Souvenir sellers overlooking the canyon Colca Canyon in winter. The town of Chivay is located at the midpoint of the Colca valley. Franciscan missionaries built the first chapel in the valley in , and the first church in Below Chivay the valley presents intensely terraced landscapes, continuing for many kilometers downstream. Tourism has increased since the s and s from a few thousand visitors annually to nearly , visitors in Down to Huambo it is known as the Colca Canyon. More roads were built in the s and s by the Majes Hydroelectric Project, a program to divert water from the Colca River to irrigate crops in the Majes region. The Andean Condor typically lives about years, and has a wingspan of about 2. The condors can be seen at close range as they fly past the canyon walls, and are a popular attraction. Other hot springs, some developed for tourist use, are dotted throughout the valley and canyon. It is commonly referred to as the "Eternity Bird," as the bird is a symbol of long life and eternity. For this reason, they often put sacrifices and gifts to the gods in the river for it to flow to them. The Spaniards, under Gonzalo Pizarro , arrived in and in the s the Spanish viceroy Francisco de Toledo ordered the inhabitants to leave their scattered settlements and to move to a series of centrally located pueblos, which remain the principal towns of the valley. The Colca is also well known for crafts: Autocolca, an autonomous authority created by law in the s, is responsible for tourism promotion and management in the Colca Valley. The Inca probably arrived in the Colca Valley around AD, and established their dominion through marriage, rather than through warfare. Panoramic view of Colca Canyon from Achachiua Mirador, near Cabanaconde At the bottom of the canyon, near Cabanaconde, is an "Oasis" with several tourist resorts. Other notable bird species present in the Colca include the giant hummingbird , the largest member of the hummingbird family, as well as the Andean goose , Chilean flamingo , and mountain caracara. History[ edit ] Woman with a tame hawk in Yanque, one of the three main tourist towns of the Colca Canyon The Quechua -speaking Cabanas, probably descended from the Wari culture , and the Aymara -speaking Collaguas, who moved to the area from the Lake Titicaca region, inhabited the valley in the pre-Inca era. Attractions[ edit ] The canyon is home to the Andean condor Vultur gryphus , a species that has been the focus of worldwide conservation efforts. No passable roads existed between Arequipa and Chivay until the s, when a road was completed to serve the silver and copper mines of the region. Archeological sites include the caves of Mollepunko above Callalli where rock art said to be 6, years old depicts the domestication of the alpaca; the mummy of Paraqra, above Sibayo; the Fortaleza de Chimpa, a reconstructed mountaintop citadel that looks down on Madrigal; ruins of pre-Hispanic settlements throughout the valley; and many others. Other attractions include the Infiernillo Geyser, on the flanks of the volcano Hualca Hualca , which is accessible on foot, horseback, or mountain bicycle, and a number of casas vivenciales where tourists can stay with a local family in their home and share in their daily activities. Access today is usually via Arequipa.
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