Arequipa itself is a very large tourist hub in the southern high plains for trekkers and adventure travelers. After a nap and a late breakfast, we walked the crowded streets trying to get a sense of the place. We were really desperate for an uncrowded and natural setting, which seemed quite difficult to find around Arequipa, as every street in the city center was lined with tourist offices and souvenir shops. Right before dinner we finally decided to make the 5-hour journey to Colca Canyon and spend two evenings at the Llahuar Lodge, situated deep in the canyon.

We woke up at another ungodly hour to catch the 3 a.m. bus to Colca. We arrived at Condor Pass to watch the condors flying around against a gorgeous canyon backdrop. Then we arranged for a guide to take us into the canyon and show us the way to the lodge. The trek entailed a very steep set of switchbacks. After 4 hours of hiking downhill we finally made it to the bottom of the canyon. We crossed a bridge to a natural sulfuric pool and geyser, where we rested for an hour. Then it was a slightly uphill climb for one hour to the lodge, which intersected that same river and another river than ran from the top of the canyon down. The lodge itself was a sight to behold. We were greeted by the owner Yola, who told us to kick up our feet and enjoy the gorgeous view of the canyon from their dining room. We were then shown to our $10 per night hut. It was a perfectly idyllic place to call home for two nights. There was no electricity and we ate dinner by candlelight. We had our very own little hut in a Peruvian Eden.

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