Following some 65km of the Río Andagua’s course, the VALLEY OF THE VOLCANOES (Valle de los Volcanes) skirts along the presently dormant volcano Mount Coropuna, the highest volcano in Peru (6425m) and the highest peak in southern Peru. At first sight just a pleasant Andean valley, this is in fact one of the strangest geological formations you’re ever likely to see. A stunning lunar landscape, the valley is studded with extinct craters varying in size and height from 200 to 300m. About 200,000 years ago, these small volcanoes erupted when the lava fields were degassed (a natural release of volcanic gas through soil, volcanic lakes and volcanoes) – at the time of one of Coropuna’s major eruptions.
The best overall view of the valley can be had from Anaro Mountain (4800m), looking southeast towards the Chipchane and Puca Maura cones. The highest of the volcanoes, known as Los Gemelos (The Twins), are about 10km from Andagua. To the south, the Andomarca volcano has a pre-Inca ruined settlement around its base.