Colca Canyon

Colca canyon is the major attraction of the Department of Arequipa and also one of the most important in Peru. It can be divided in two parts: between Chivay and Pinchollo, Colca is a wide, fertile and populated valley, characterized by scenic terrace cultures and picturesque Indian villages. Further downstream, the valley narrows to transform into a deep, steep-sided canyon, which can be observed around Cabanaconde. There are essentially 2 types of tours: bus tours in which the canyon is seen from above, from some spectacular viewpoints, and treks in which one hikes down to the bottom of the canyon from Cabanaconde
Below we present a few possibilities of organized tours. We also provide useful information for people who wish to go on their own, including a map of the main paths in the canyon with walking times and bus schedule between Arequipa and Colca

Classical 2-day collective Colca tour
The easiest way to visit Colca canyon is to take the classical, 2-day group tour. Compared to private tours described later, the group tour has the big advantage of a very accessible price, reason for which most tourists take it.

Day 01
This is how the tour goes. You leave Arequipa at about 8.00 a.m. in a touristic bus (generally a small van but it can be a larger bus in high season) that picks you up at the hotel, and then go to Chivay in the Colca valley. This is an approximate 4-hour drive, that passes on the Altiplano (highlands) where you stop several times to see the local animals (lamas, alpacas, vicu˝as). You pass at a maximum height of 4900 m (about 16,000 feet). You arrive at Chivay for lunch, there are small restaurants there (meals are not included in the trip, but it's quite cheap there). In the afternoon, the tour sometimes includes a small and easy walk through the terraces around the village, which help to acclimatize to altitude (Chivay is at 3500 m above sea level). You can also go and have a thermal bath in hot-spring pools. You sleep in your hotel in Chivay. Another possibility is to sleep in Yanque, a small, less touristic village where there are some good hotels.

Day 02
Next morning, you wake up soon, have breakfast and then go with the same bus and the same group of people to the Mirador de la Cruz del Cˇndor (about 1.5 hour drive). This is a Natural Park where you have a very beautiful view on the Colca Canyon. At this place the river is more than 1000 m under your feet and, in front of you, you see escarpments more than 2500 m high. This is also the place where you'll be able to observe several flying condors, sometimes passing very close to you (up to a few meters). You then go back to Chivay, passing and making a few stops in some small villages in the valley, have lunch in Chivay and go back to Arequipa, where you arrive at about 5.00 pm

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Day 01
Between 07:30 ľ 8:30 a.m. Pick you up at your Hotel and departure from Arequipa ( 2325 m.a.s.l) towards north west direcction behind snow-covered Chachani; we see wild vicu˝as, alpacas & llamas in Pampa Ca˝ahuas national reserve, some birds like flamingoes, ibis, andean gooze, ducks, andean eagle "Kara Kara" view point of the Volcanoes and snow covered mountains in Patapampa (4,800 m.a.s.l). Arrive in Chivay (3600 m.a.s.l), capital of the valley. Then we continue to Yanque town it is 15 minutes driving from Chivay. There is our hostel (www.tambohostelcolcaperu.com). This village is quiet, less touristic than Chivay there are many tourist attractions like ruins, pre ncan terraces and of course our NATURE TAMBO HOT SPRING. Every day At 14:00h we will visit this places mentioned above the hiking is for 3 hours with local guide. Afternoon dinner and Overnight.

Day 02
Early morning after breakfast (06:00) leave for a full day excursion in the left shore, beautiful typical towns, like Yanque & Maca, colonial churches, gently people with typical needlework dresses, hundreds of pre inca terraces still in use with Andean growings like corn, quinua, kiwicha among others. After a 2 hrs driving we get the most visited point ôthe cross of the condorö here we are able to see the depth of the canyon and the flight of the Condor.
After lunch return to Arequipa. (17:30 hrs. approx. in Arequipa).

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Trekking in the canyon (2 days)
If you have only 2 days but still want to do some trekking in Colca canyon, we suggest the following tour. You leave Arequipa with the 3:00 am bus arriving at Condor Cross at 8:30 am, We still make as top at the Cruz del Condor viewpoint at the time where condors use to be there.After we continue to Cabanaconde at about 9:00 pm. From there, you go down hiking with a guide towards the bottom of the canyon. You might also to go to San Juan then until Oasis Lodging is in "bungalow", actually a rudimentary refuge with bed and blankets but no running water Next day, you wake up early and climb back the 1000 m high cliff up to Cabanaconde by the other way (3-4 hours). There we will have breakfast and we will catch the bus to Chivay, which gives you some time for lunch and possibly for a short bath in the hot springs. You arrive to Arequipa in the late afternoon.

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Main paths in Colca canyon with hiking times in hours
You can also make a longer trek in 2 days if you accept to leave Arequipa earlier, with the 2:00 am bus. This gives you enough time to hike the following tour: Cabanaconde-San Juan de Chuccho-Cos˝irhua-Malata-Oasis-Cabanaconde, spending the night at the Oasis

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Trekking in the canyon (3 days
3 days, this is a reasonable time to enjoy a trek in the canyon. According to your level and the time you want to leave from Arequipa, you'll be able to do the small tour (Cabanaconde-San Juan-Cos˝irhua-Oasis-Cabanaconde) or the big tour (Cabanaconde-San Juan-Tapay-Cos˝irhua-Fure-Llahuar-Cabanaconde). If you're not keen on getting up early, you can also leave from Arequipa with the 3:00 am tourist bus and spend the first night in San Juan de Chuccho
The next 2 days, you walk the small tour

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Trekking in the canyon (4 days
With 4 days, you should be able to do the big tour (Cabanaconde-San Juan-Tapay-Cos˝irhua-Fure-Llahuar-Cabanaconde), even if you choose to sleep one night (first or last) in Cabanaconde for a better comfort.

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Also we organize tours in Cusco, Puno, Nazca specialist in Arequipa like:
-City Tour
-Country side tour
-Horse riding in Arequipa-Colca Canyon
-Rafting in Chili and Colca River
-Climbing to Misti, Chachani volcanoes,
- *Climbing to MISMI (Amazonas River)
- We can organize any kind of package tour according to your possibilities.

Yanque - Ca˝on del Colca
Celphone: 51 54 959688125 - Phone: 51 54 786887
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