Chivay and Colca Canyon

We finally left Arequipa and headed back on the road. Our latest plan is to drive through the rest of Southern Peru, and then cross into Bolivia.

Our first destination was the tiny village of Chivay in the Colca Canyon. Colca Canyon is located about 100 miles northwest of Arequipa. It is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.

This was a big move for us. Since Soleil was born, we’ve been waiting for her to get old enough to head back into the Andes. This is one of the reasons we remained in Lima at sea level for the first few months of her life. For a new baby with tiny lungs, the Andes are no joke.

On our first day back in the mountains, we hit 16,000 feet. This was the highest Stevie had ever been! Sol is such a trooper. She handled it like a pro for most of the day, but became quite fussy in the evening. I can’t blame her, my head was hurting from the altitude too.


The drive up to Colca is absolutely spectacular. On the way we passed through the Zona De Vicuñas..

The vicuña, (Quechua language) is a part of the camel family. They live in the Andean highlands. Alpaca is a domesticated species derived from the vicuña.

Below is the village of Chivay. This place took my breath away!

The Inca were living here thousands of years ago, and their terraced ruins still remain.

We rolled into the central plaza and pretty much fell in love with the town right away. It’s SO nice to be back in the mountains.

Soleil has been receiving a lot of attention lately. They love babies in Latin America anyway, but they seem especially drawn to Sol. Everyone wants to hold her.

The other night we were in a nice restaurant in Arequipa and the waitresses just took her. They walked her around the restaurant, showing her off to the other customers and kitchen staff. Something like this would make me very nervous in the US. I would probably never allow it. But it’s ok in Latin America. Things are different here.

(don’t worry Mom, we still keep a close eye on her)

We found a great little hostel and surprisingly, they even had wifi. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the town.

Special Mention – Just want to say thank you to my very good friend,


for getting us this amazing child carrier. I have to be honest, at first I was like, no F’in way are we lugging that thing around in the van. Now it has become my favorite piece of baby gear. Well done LoLo.

Not sure how long we’ll hang here. Depends on how well Soleil adjusts to the altitude. In the mean time we’ll enjoy the sights.





  1. Auntie Alex says:

    Duh! Course everyone wants to hold her she’s as cute as a button and actually LET’S people hold her! A lot of kids scream their heads off. 🙂

  2. Bring back the baby . . .

  3. feet? Why isn’t your GPS set for metric? 😉
    We topped out at 4890m (16043 ft) on that road, so Stevie can claim higher if she wants.
    If you’ve got the time, a hike and stay at the bottom of the canyon is well worth it. Try to hit the hot springs too – they have pool-side service!

  4. Hi there,
    Bolivia next destination? Maybe we can meet in La Paz / La Mallasse? We’ll be there around the first 3 weeks of April. Hope to see you there!
    Karin-Marijke and Coen

  5. Beautiful pictures! How is Sol adjusting to the altitude?

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Sol was super fussy and vomited once when we climbed over 14k feet (she puked the other day at super high altitude too…poor baby). It freaked us out for a second there. But, we made it to the Sacred Valley, which is between 9k and 10k feet, and she is smiling, eating, laughing, playing, and sleeping normal. After 24 hours here, I think she’ll be ready for Cusco, which is 12k feet. That will be as high as we ‘stay.’ We’ll have to cross more super high mountain passes again, but at least those days are few and far between. Hopefully next time it won’t be so bad since she’ll be acclimatized to Cusco by then. All in all though, she handled it like a trooper. We couldn’t ask for a better baby. She has the sweetest disposition ever.

  6. Damn… Those are some funky dogs

  7. Montaña Azul says:

    bonita foto!!y esa bebe preciosa!!

  8. Awesome. Need to post and comment on things that don’t relate to tree doing a crazy adventure, or getting sick.
    Keep up the great pics and stories!

    • Meaning.. Good to hear the three of you doing cool adventure things.. sorry that Sol got a bit sick.. Looks like you guys are training her to climb some Pretty High mountains when she gets older.. Or at least guide you guys up them… Fair game IMO!

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