Easy trips from Arequipa include jaunts to the relaxed small towns of Paucarpata and Sabandía, in the beautiful countryside surrounding the city. But the excursions of primary interest to visitors -- for many, the main reason for a visit to Arequipa -- is Colca Canyon, where the highlight is Cruz del Cóndor, a lookout point where giant South American condors soar overhead. The region around Arequipa is unimaginably blessed by nature. It has soaring, active volcanoes, perfect for experienced mountaineers and trekkers; the two deepest canyons in the world, Colca and Cotahuasi; and chilly rivers that lace the canyons. The opportunities for trekking, rafting, and mountaineering expeditions through the valley are some of the finest in Peru. Out in the desert are ancient petroglyphs at Toro Muerto.