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What is the Andean Condor?

Chonta Condor Sighting Tour

The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is a South American bird, part of the vulture family and is the only member of the genus Vultur. Found in the whole Andes mountain range and sometimes at the banks of Pacific coasts in the western South America, the Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world with its 3.3m (11 ft.) wingspan; exceeded only by the wingspans of four seabirds and water birds in the world.

The male Condors have a white collar of feathers surrounding the base of the neck and a large white patches on the back of the wings. The females does not have crest and are mainly grey color; both of them have the head and featherless, they are monogamous which means they form couples forever and the male is larger than the female.

The Andean condor is a scavenger, with a great sense of smell, feeding mainly on carrion and death animals as the Andean deer or cattle, which normally is spotted many miles away. They get reproduce after five or six years of age and nest at high elevations of up to 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), normally on inaccessible rock ledges of the mountains; they normally laid one or two every four years and that is why it’s reproduction is very slow. The Andean condor is one of the world’s longest-living bird, with an average of over 70 years.

Salkantay View, Apurimac Canyon

The Andean Condor is found in the most of the South America countries, including Venezuela and Colombia in the northern Andes, but mostly seeing in the Andes of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. In the last decades its range has been reduced greatly due to over-population and industrial activity.

In Peru there are several places where people can experience the Andean condor sighting activity on its natural habitat which is normally open grasslands and alpine areas up to 5,000 m (16,000 ft.) high elevation above the sea level. The Andean condor prefers normally open, non-forested areas which allow it to spot carrion from the distance with its great sense of smell.

In Peru some of the deep and peaceful canyons became the favorite Natural habitats of the Andean condor, it is the case of the Colca canyon in Arequipa, Apurimac and the amazing Chonta Canyon in Cusco with its dozens of condors soaring in their natural habitat.

You should take one of our tour itineraries below to see the Andean Condors:

Chonta, Condor Sighting – Tour Options