Mirador Cruz del Cóndor

A drive to the top of Cruz del Cóndor Lookout

Mirador Cruz del Cóndor is a stunning lookout at an elevation of 3.287m (10,784ft) located in the the Department of Arequipa, Caylloma province, in Peru.

The road to reach the Cruz del Condor viewpoint is called 1SE. It’s asphalted but includes unpaved sections. This fabulous lookout has become the most sought after spot for viewing the depths of the Colca Canyon, the beauty of the entire surrounding countryside, and the majestic flight of the Andean Condor, the region’s most representative bird as well as the largest flying bird in the world. The lookout is is the most popular place for condor watching. At this point the canyon floor is 1,200 m (3,960 feet) below the rim of the canyon. This place was originally called Chacllacruz yet is now known by the title of “Cruz de Condor” (Condor’s Cross) for two reasons: one, for the flyovers performed in this area by this famous Andean bird, especially in the morning hours, that seem to be done as if the bird wishes to please the visitors, and two, because of the stone cross built overtop a striking stone promontory.

The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. Any barriers along the edge afford little more than token protection. The Mirador Cruz del Condor is the most popular point for viewing the canyon – it’s around 1200m deep here – and you can almost guarantee seeing several condors circling up from the depths against the breathtaking scenery. The condors are best spotted from 7 to 9am; the earlier you get there the more likely you are to have fewer other spectators around. These days it’s a popular spot, and most mornings there will actually be more tourists here than in the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa. For safety’s sake, stand well back from the edge. The Colca Canyon in southern Peru's Arequipa region is an area of astounding scenic beauty, and one of Peru's top tourist destinations. It is best known as one of the world's deepest canyons, reaching a depth of 4.160m (13,640'), whose depth can most easily be appreciated from the Cruz del Condor, a viewpoint where Andean Condors can be seen most days throughout the year.


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