Arriving in Colca Canyon, we were struck by both the poverty and the apparent wellness of the local people that we met there. Most lived very simply, farming dry rocky soil and living in mud huts. Those that had shoes, had predominantly simple leather sandals and many children had sunburned, chapped lips. Yet everyone was pleasant and smiling with rosy cheeks and healthy physiques. The women had beautiful woven garments and Carlos told us that it was not unusual for them to spend over $400 on the heavily embroidered blouses and petticoats used for special occasions.
The Colca Canyon Lodge was set near the river at the start of the canyon, complete with 3 natural hot spring pools and cozy private cabins with freshly thatched roofs. We relaxed in the hot springs and had dinner overlooking the river before heading to bed in preparation for our pre-dawn departure in search of the Andean condor.