Everyone has heard of the Grand Canyon in the states, which, at 1800 metres deep, is undoubtedly an impressive site. However Peru’s Colca Canyon is a jaw-dropping 4160 metres deep – more than twice that of its "Grand" little sister – and a visit to this spectacle is awe-inspiring and, in Go Andes opinion, a highlight of any trip to Peru or even South America.

Officially the second deepest canyon in the world (it only recently lost its crown to the re-measured Cotahuasi Canyon, also in Peru but much more inaccessible) the views from the top of the canyon are incomparable: terraced valleys so deep you can barely see the bottom, snow-capped mountains over 6000 metres high in the background, tiny villages clinging to the valley sides, and giant condor birds gliding high on thermals rising from the valley floor. Simply perfection. The Colca Canyon is generally accessed from nearby Arequipa on a journey that crosses high over the Altiplano where wild llama roam.

Arequipa, also known as the "White City" is Peru’s second city and many say its most beautiful. The city itself is full of interesting sites, including the Santa Catalina Monastery: a beautifully painted ancient walled monastery within the city only recently opened to the public after hundreds of years of secrecy, and  Juanita the Incan Ice Maiden: a well-preserved 500 year old mummy which is housed in a museum near the central plaza. The local food is also famous across Peru, with many restaurants serving traditional Arequipeña dishes.