Cotahuasi Canyon: New Tourist Destination in Southern Peru?
According to the Peruvian Newspaper La República, the Colca Canyon and the Cotahuasi Canyon are breathtaking destinations providing an amazing flora and fauna, culture and a landscape that is among the most beautiful in the Andes.
Both canyons are located in Arequipa, the beautiful colonial “whity city” of Peru. The Cotahuasi Canyon is a National Landscape Reserve in the province of La Union and claims to be a Natural World Heritage Site. Formed by the Cotahuasi River, the canyon has a maximum depth of 3,535 meters and is, therefore, one of the deepest canyons in the world. In Peru, only the Apurimac River Canyon is deeper. In total, one can find 12 life zones and 14 ecosystems throughout the canyon.
James Posso who discovered the Cotahuasi Canyon has promoted it as a tourist destination since the end of the last century. According to Posso, the canyon is the last wonder of the Andes. He has also announced the new version of the Ecoaventura Cotahuasi 2018 festival being an adventure sports competition which is popular among extreme athletes.
Apart from the marvelous natural landscape, the canyon also provides old pre-Inca platforms that descend hundreds of meters on the slopes of the mountains. Some of these platforms are still used as farmhouses.
After a tragic accident on the road to the Cotahuasi Canyon, President Martín Vizcarra promised to improve the access road, the bridges, and tunnels. After this improvement and the declaration of Natural Heritage of Humanity, the Cotahuasi Canyon wants to become the new tourist destination in southern Peru being a complement to the popular Colca Canyon in Arequipa.