When my parents came to visit us in Peru seeing condors was very high on the list. From Cusco a trip to Colco Canyon involved a lot of driving, so we decided to visit the condor view point in Chonta Canyon through Kantu Peru Tours.
We started at 7 in the morning and on the way out of the city we stopped by to check out the Cusco Mural. This 50 meter by 6 meter mural depicts the history of Cusco and the Incas from the beginning of time. The amount of detail was fascinating and Alfredo did a great job of explaining the stories within it. Close to the mural, we also saw a scale model of the Cusco’s streets that show how it’s laid out like a Puma.
Once we were done in Cusco we were off to Chonta. Since it’s a long 3 hour drive and the condors don’t come out until the afternoon we made another stop in Izcuchaca to check out the farmer’s market. It was interesting to walk around and see all the different produce – many types of beans, corn, and other fruits and vegetables. We got some granadilla which became our favorite breakfast fruit.
We had one more stop before going to Chonta Canyon to check out the moon temple at Killarumiyoq. It’s not a frequently visited Inca ruin and we had the place to ourselves.
After Killarumiyoq we were on our way to Chonta. Off the main road, we turned up a curvy road through the mountain and we finally got to the start of the Chonta Canyon trail. We had a quick lunch and got started with the 2 mile hike. The views on the way to the condor view points were stunning and with the distance and elevation this turned into a good warm up for Machu Picchu.
We got to the view points around 3. Condors are huge birds and they need an updraft to fly. Unfortunately, the wind wasn’t blowing so this meant no condors. We just hung out and enjoyed the views. Alfredo was nice enough to escort the cow out of the view point, it was resting in the shelter when we arrived.
By 4 o’clock the wind picked up and we saw several condors. We first saw a few young brown condors. Then, towards the end of the day a full size ‘macho’ condor. He was black with a white head and even from a distance was obviously bigger than the rest. With all the condor sightings the trip was a success.
Around 5 we started the hike back and enjoyed some sunset views over the valley below. The Kantu team brought walking sticks which helped us hike up from the viewpoint.
The Tour Details
Our tour guide, Alfredo, picked us up at 7 from our AirBnB in a big tourist van. Throughout the day the driver stayed behind with the van and our belongings and Alfredo walked around with us and told us about the sites.
Disclaimer: we were provided a discount on the tour in exchange for this blog post, however even without the discount we would strongly recommend this tour.