The Andean condor is found down the entire Pacific coast of South America, but the population is particularly substantial in unspoilt Peru. It inhabits open grasslands and alpine areas up to 5,000 metres, and can live up to 50 years.
The condor’s preference for mountain habitats, where there’s little human development but plenty of carrion, means you will get excellent sightings in Peru. The birds soar remarkably gracefully over the valleys of Arequipa, and you might well see them nesting in Colca Canyon.
For hiking and bird watching, one of our favourite spots is Belmond Las Casitas, which looks directly out at Colca Canyon. You can get to some striking viewpoints on foot in as little as two hours, or venture out on horseback to travel further afield. Your best sightings of condor will occur from cliff tops or other outcrops where the vegetation thins out and you can look down and along the valley with an unimpeded view. If you are high enough, a condor might well swoop down below you, otherwise you’ll look at them on the same level