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Arequipa and Colca Canyon Geography

The geography of the Arequipa region is maybe one of the most dramatic in the country, and in a country as Peru this is quite the statement.

Located in a region filled with more than 80 volcanoes, among them several active, the two deepest canyons in the world in their back yard and with a volcano well over 5000 meters looking down over them, this region is a playground for geologists.

Located at an altitude of 2328 meters above sea level, in a large plain at the river Chili, this city has expanded its wing to the high rising flanks of the volcanoes flanking the city and on the other side stretched out over the entire plain. On the other side of the Misti you can find the Colca River.

The Colca River starts high in the Andes at Condorama Crucero Alto; below the Colca canyon, as it crosses the plains of Majes it is known as the Majes River, and then is known as the Camana before reaching the Pacific Ocean at the town of that name. Parts of the canyon are habitable, and Inca and pre-Inca terraces are still cultivated along the less precipitous canyon walls. The small town of Chivay is on the upper Colca River, where the canyon is not so deep but where many terraces are present in the canyon, continuing for many kilometers downstream. As the canyon deepens downriver, a series of small villages is spread out over the approximately 56 km between Chivay and the village of Cabanaconde.

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