Peru travel Peru vacations Peru tours peru gateway travel
Use our unique PERU TRAVEL PLANNER to help plan your travel itinerary.
Toll free 1 888 671 2852
Contact Us
Peru Gateway Travelon  

Andean Condor

Peru Viajes

Edition 2015
The Tawantinsuyo
The Inka
Inkan Religion
General and City Planning
Materials and Lithic Tech
Inkan Architecture
Coca Leaves
Andean Camelids
Andean Condor
Inkan City of Qosqo
Present-day Festivities
The Cathedral
Saint Blaise Church
Convent of Our Lady of Mercy
La Compania de Jesus Church
Saint Francis Convent
Monastery of Saint Catherine
Maras, Moray, Pichingoto
Call Centers


Monday - Friday
From 9 am to 6 pm ET

1 888 671 2852 voice

Discounted Airfares Toll Free

1 480 247 4242 Fax

UK Tool Free

Australian Customers TOLL FREE

Rest of the world
+51 1 4443027 - 4457704


Peru Gateway Travel is member of ASTA

Home >> Peru Cities >> Cusco Travel Information >> Andean Condor



The most grandiose fowl of the American Andes Mountains is the Condor (Vultur gryphus) that belongs to the order of Falconiforms and to the Cathartidae family (New World Vultures) whose members are characterized by being fed almost exclusively with carrion. The Condor is a sedentary and monogamous large fowl with certain nocturnal habits. Its head does not have any feathers and the male is differentiated easily from the female by its comb or caruncle that carries on its front and part of the beak. Furthermore, the male is of greater size and has the eye iris of yellowish brown color while that of its mate is reddish; its vision is really extraordinary. Its beak is stout with a sharp hook and cutting edges; it has a voluminous maw that stands out when full. It has very strong legs and fingers but with relatively weak blunt nails. Its youth plumage is of grayish brown color and when adult it is generally bluish black and exhibits a white and large down necklace and also white stains in the extremities of its wings. An adult male can weigh about 12 kilos and measure between the extremes of its beak and tail 1.30 meters. Its spread in flight can reach 3.50 meters and it can fly over about 7000 meters of altitude and in favorable climatic conditions to maintain the flight during a certain time at about 55 Km/hour. It does not have large pectoral muscles, that is the reason why it only moves its wings when it is necessary, that is, when taking off, landing or in cases of emergency. Its long and broad wings make possible flying as a glider using adroitly the air currents. The female Condor incubates only once per year one or two white eggs that it deposits in depressions on the almost barren rock, alternating with the male to hatch it from 54 to 58 days. The nestling's development is slow and it stays in the nest for about six months, still depending on its parents for another half of a year. They will seek for food and will help it to eat. The Condor is fed especially with carrion and very sporadically could assault and kill recently born, injured, sick or exhausted animals; the Condor is neither ferocious nor an aggressive predator and has an astonishing capacity to resist hunger and thirst. It can remain as long as one month and a half without eating conserving always its vigor. Furthermore, it is known that this gregarious fowl can fly hundreds of kilometers far from its place of customary residence in search of food. It tends to eat until filled to such a point that it suffers difficulty in taking off.

There are proofs that in captivity an Andean Condor can get to live about 85 years and surpass the century in wild state. The Condor is found mainly in the Andes from Venezuela and Colombia as far as Tierra del Fuego toward the south of Chile and Argentina. Unfortunately today it is a species in danger of extinction. It is disconcerting that in the life of the Condor, according to tradition, its death is so peculiar. At the end of its long life the Condor feels tired and somewhat weak, it believes that its life does not have any sense any more, therefore, it opts for the end preferred by its race and practiced for millennia. Thus, the Condor decides its suicide for which it soars in flight and tries to reach a high altitude so that it may descend straight down at an extraordinary speed, finally getting dashed against the rocky face of a mountain, thus giving an end to a century reign in the Andean skies.

In Inkan times, the Condor or "Apu Kuntur" was considered a very special divinity that was supposed to join the "Hanan Pacha" with the "Kay Pacha". Certainly it had to possess special shrines for its cult, similar to that found today in Machupicchu. The peoples have created through the history many legends giving to it several characteristics, for example, tradition tells that a dead Condor fell in the courtyard of the Cusquenian Aqllawasi or House of the Virgins of the Sun, interpreting that as the announcement of the Tawantinsuyo's destruction. Today, the Condor is not an important God among Andean people any more, but it still maintains some of its "superior or divine characteristics".

Today, in some remote villages of Qosqo and Apurimac, peasants annually celebrate what is known as " Yawar Fiesta" (Yawar = "blood" in Quechua) or "Blood Celebration", for which it will be indispensable to capture a live Condor using two systems: usually peasants must go to a far away place frequented by Condors where they kill a horse, mule or any other large animal; the body is left open in a visible spot to attract the Condor. After some time a Condor will descend to devour the remains of the animal, but it eats too much and becomes too heavy to soar in flight again. Catchers take advantage of the situation and run, protected with "ponchos" in order to catch the Condor. Another means of apprehension is to dig a large hole in the ground that is covered with sticks and over which remains of a dead animal are placed; when a Condor lands over the place, someone hidden inside the hole ties its feet making possible thus its apprehension. The Condor will be driven toward the village or community where peasants will perform various ceremonies in its honor. It will be very adorned and peasants will offer to it wine or rum to drink; the fowl will probably get drunk after a while. The principal day people will build an improvised inclosure as a ring in the village's main square to which all the population attend. For the spectacle the feet of the Condor should be sewn onto the loin of a bull and thus, the two animals will be left free in the ring. When feeling its feet bound and trying to recover its freedom, the Condor will use its powerful beak against the bull's back. The bull will then undertake a crazy, angry race and struggle to get rid of the Condor. The bull will not surrender and ends up losing a massive amount of blood. At the end of about 15 minutes the peasants will stop the spectacle; the animals will be separated and the death of the bull will not be allowed. People believe that like this the Condor that is the connection between the sky and the earth will remain satisfied having eaten fresh blood and meat. Next day, peasants will have another ceremony in order to release the condor that is carried to a nearby mountain and let go in unconditional freedom. The next year people will have a similar ceremony and possibly they will capture the same Condor. The "Yawar Fiesta" is developed not only in order to honor the "Apu Kuntur" but also as a form of "revenge" that today Andean people represented by the Condor have against the humiliating conquest and Hispanics represented by the bull that was imported from Spain.



Mon-Fri 9 Am - 6 Pm ET
please allow pop-ups





Ms. Jenniffer
Wednesday, March 25th 2015

Hi Mr. YenSeng Yong
We wanted to thank you for the wonderful trip you organized for my family, it was an excellent job, and as ...

J. Brown
Monday, February 9th 2015

Dear Luis,
We would like to thank you for organzing for us a great trip, we enjoyed the tours, everyday was an adventure and it was more than ...

Paula J.
Saturday, January 17th 2015

Dear Yen,
We had a fantastic trip!!! We can't thank you enough, and because of you we are inviting to others ...

Wednesday, December 03rd 2014

Hi Yen Seng,
I just want to say how fantastic this trip was. All of the hotels exceeded our expectations and every time we were to be picked up ...

Friday, November 21st 2014

Hi Yen,
We want to thank you for the amazing experience we had in the tour of Peru...

Date: Thursday, October 23rd 2014

Dear Yenseng
We are home and we like to use the opportunity to thank you for everything.
Throughout our planning...

Date: Sunday, October 05th 2014

Luis, I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful Peruvian experience. We all had an amazing time through all the tours...

Karen Fitchpatrick
Date: Tuesday, September 30th 2014

Hi Yenseng. Just wanted to let you know that we had a really awesome trip. Everything was so well organized and scheduled that we were able ...

Date: Thursday, August 28th 2014

Hello Luis, I am writting to you to share my opinion about our stay in your Country.
First of all, I want to thank you for your assistance in preparing our beautiful trip...

Melanie Friesen
Date: Saturday, July 12th 2014

Hi Luis, First of all I want to thank you for putting together a great tour. We had a wonderful time...

Tatyana Ukhanova
Date: Tuesday, Jun 24th 2014

Dear Yenseng, we had a wonderful trip to Peru. Thank you so much. Unforgettable time! ...

Alex Beric
Date: Saturday, Jun 07th 2014

Thank you very much for organizing our exciting trip to Peru. Everything was flawless and we enjoyed our trip tremendously...

Date Thurday, May 28th 2014

Thank you for the follow-up email. My friend and I enjoyed our trip immensely! The various tours were well organized and nicely presented...

Date : Thurday, May 28th 2014

We had a great time in Peru. And your staff and service was fantastic.
We really appreciated the personalised pick-ups from the hotels...

Date: Sunday, May 18th 2014

This is Alina- nice to write to you again. Recently we came back from our long five countries vacation...

Matthew Williams
Date: Tuesday; May 13th 2014

Thank you for making our trip so wonderful and accommodating. Our tour guide in Machu Picchu was wonderfully entertaining and informative...

Margaret and Roy
Date: Monday, April 9th, 2014

We have returned to Australia from our trip to Peru and Chile. We would like to thank you very much...

Read More testimonials... »




Av Pardo 601 Suite 701-702 Miraflores Lima Peru
Peru travel guide,hotels, tours,vacation holiday planner for Machu Picchu,Cusco,Lima and all of Peru
 US TOLL FREE - 1 888 671 2852
 Non US customers call +51 1 4443027 - 4457704

 Contact Us
 This information is current as of today
 © 2000-2015 Peru Gateway Travel, all rights reserved