Colca Canyon: 2 Day Tour from Arequipa
The Colca Canyon, reaching a depth of 3,400 meters, is one of the deepest places on the planet, and is home to the Andean Condor, the region's most popular attraction. These giant birds can be seen at close range as they fly past the canyon walls.
Enjoy a 2-day excursion to the Canyon, and visit the Colca Valley, a colorful Andean valley with pre-Inca roots and towns founded during the Spanish colonial era. It is still inhabited by people of the Collagua and the Cabana cultures.
Departing from Arequipa you’ll embark on a 160-kilometer drive to the picturesque village of Chivay, capital of the Province of Caylloma. Early on you’ll have views of the majestic Misti, Chachani, and PichuPichu volcanoes.
As you approach the Pampa Cañahuas National Reserve your driver will make a short stop so you can observe the wild vicuñas (a type of American camel) in its natural habitat. At this point you’ll be around 3,400 meters above sea level.
Head next to Pata Wasi, an Andean community at the opposite side of the reserve. See the natural formation of rocks and a back-side view of the Misti and Chachani volcanoes. To prevent altitude sickness you’ll have a mate de coca drink in Sumbay at 3,800 meters.
Continuing on you’ll pass through Tocra, at over 4,500 meters, where you’ll see lakes with their migrant bird populations and the altiplano, with its llamas and guanacos. The highest point on the drive will be Pata Pampa, at 4,820 meters, where you’ll have views of a number of volcanoes and the Cordillera de Chila.
Close to the town of Chivay, there are spectacular views of the multi-colored Colca Valley terraces. In the afternoon you can enjoy a dip in the local hot thermal baths, and a dinner featuring a llama steak as you’re entertained by Andean music.
Early in the morning you’ll travel to the Cruz del Condor viewpoint to see these majestic birds in flight. Your guide will take you on a 1-hour canyon walk, and then you’ll return to the vehicle for the drive back to Chivay. En route stop to visit some interesting villages, and stop at scenic lookouts (miradors) to take in views of breathtaking valley terraces and Pre-Inca tombs.
After lunch in Chivay you’ll be transferred back to Arequipa.