The Cotahuasi Canyon and the towns and villages in the area are best accessed via Arequipa, although they are really towns of the central highlands, with many of the customs and the music from the area originating from Ayacucho. The area is very beautiful, and is full of wonderful mountain scenery making for some superb hiking. The Cotahuasi Canyon, considered to be the world?s deepest, is an incredible place, with sheet cliffs rising up from the riverbanks. Despite its attractions, the area receives very few visitors due to its inaccessibility.
Even if you are not going as far as the canyon itself, there are several places on the way that make for an interesting visit from Arequipa. These include the petroglyphs at Toro Muerto, which are over 5,000 etched rocks in the desert. There is also good, but not difficult, rafting at Majes, two hours from Arequipa, making a nice day trip.
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