Depending on who you talk to, the Cañón del Colca in southern Peru is the third or fourth, or maybe the fifth, deepest canyon in the world.
Some say Nepal’s Kali Gandaki Gorge holds the title. Where the river runs between the peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri the elevation difference reaches 5,570 meters (18,275 feet). For others the Tsangpo Canyon in Tibet is the deepest; though listed at 5,500 meters (18,000 feet) deep, at one point the river flows 6,009 meters (19,714 feet) below the land above it.
Interestingly, a few imaginative souls are holding out for the discovery of an even deeper canyon somewhere in the Himalayas.
Then there’s the Denman Glacier, hidden under the snows of Antarctica. Reaching 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) below sea level doesn’t make it the deepest in relation to the land around it, but it does make this glacier-carved valley the lowest point of dry land on Earth.
Aside from subterranean glacier beds and monster gorges with unicorns, Cañón del Colca seems to sit at #3 on the list of World’s Deepest Canyons. With a maximum depth of 3,501 meters, this remarkable hole in the ground is fully twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA.
Which is nice. But that’s not why we’re here.