IN JANUARY 2012, THIS IMAGE WAS SELECTED RUNNER UP TO THE TRAVEL WORD’S PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2011.
This photo was taken in the town of Tisco, which is just located about 200 kilometres north of Arequipa, Peru. It is one of the highest settlements in the Colca Valley. Its geographical location, in the midst of a large area of puna and grassland, make this area suitable for raising animals such as llamas, alpacas and sheep.
The church pictured here was built when members of the order of Dominican monks lived in the area before their expulsion in the 18th century. Made with local materials, following the characteristics of colonial architecture that can be found throughout the Valle del Colca, it is distinguished by its red décor which is made with ochre, a red pigment made from the area’s rich soils.
Beyond the extensive puna and altitude, Tisco is characterised by the presence of the Colca River, which crosses through the town twice. The waters add an extra dimension to the beautiful landscapes in which this church has been set since the earliest days of its construction and will continue to provide a backdrop for many years to come.