The Colca Canyon is located in the province of Caylloma, 165 kilometers from Arequipa and 40 km from Chivay town (the capital of the province of Caylloma). The highest point in the valley is the Ampato dormant volcano (6288 MAMSL). The lowest point is between the Colca and Andamayo rivers (970 MAMSL).
The Colca Valley has an extension of 100 km long and occupies only one sector of the basin of the Colca River, located between the districts of Callalli and Huambo. The Colca route goes through the slopes of the Cachani Mountain and crosses plains full of ichus and yaretas (Andean vegetation). You can find alpacas and vizcachas in this place, which are beautiful camelids of the area.
It is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca River descends from 3,500 meters above sea level at Chivay to 2,200 meters at Cabanaconde. The other side of the road to the Canyon is about 4,000 meters away. The grey mass of Sabancaya (one of the most active volcano in America) looms in the background, and its docile neighbor, Ampato. Unspoiled Andean villages lie on both sides of the canyon, inhabited by the Cabana and Collagua villagers. Some of the extensive pre-Columbian terraces fields are still in use.
Day 01: Arequipa - Chivay
Day 02: Colca Canyon Trek - Arequipa
Crew: A Tierras Vivas representative in Arequipa, Colca Canyon and professional guide
Accommodation: If you would like to stay in Colc Canyon, choose your hotel or hostal contact with our taylor made departamento
Transportation: Tourist transport, local bus, van
We pick you up from your hotel in Arequipa at 8 am and we drive along the asphalt road to Yura, crossing Pampa de Arrieros and Pampa Cañahuas, observing the incompatible vicuñas, llamas, alpacas and migratory birds, and then reaching Viscachani where we enjoy of a mate of Coca, to acclimate the body, by the height. Continuing with the trip appreciating the tocjras, lagunillas and bofedales and at the same time observe some migratory birds like the Flamingos, ibis. Then we arrive at the highest point of Patapampa (4830 masl), also called the viewpoint of the Volcanoes, since from there you can see the Volcanic chain in particular: the Hualcahualca, Sabancalla and Ampato, then descend to the town of Chivay. (3600 masl), have lunch. and accommodation at the hotel.
In the afternoon is optional to visit to the Thermal Baths of La Calera, where we will stay for a period of approximately two hours. These Baths are of thermal medicinal waters, which exceed 40 degrees C; good for bodily diseases.
In the evening, we will enjoy a dinner in the hotel.
In the morning at 5:30, we have breakfast at the hotel. to then leave for the Cruz del Condor where we will stay for a lapse of 2 hours approx. Place where you can appreciate the depth of the Colca Canyon and the flight of the Condor at a short distance.
In return we will observe archaeological remains, pre Inca agricultural terraces and other panoramic views of the Colca Canyon. We will pass through the villages of Pinchollo, Maca, Achoma, Yanque in the latter we will make a stop, where we can see its typical churches, its craft center, the typical clothing of its inhabitants, among others.
Arrival to Chivay and Lunch.
Departure to Arequipa, where we will arrive at approximately 17:00 hrs.
This tour through the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas allows for a direct comparison between the cultures of past and present. Travelers on this tour can visit the modern market of Pisac, which is colorful and bustling (a great place for buying souvenirs, mostly homemade). Then, there are the ruins of Pisac, a window into the distant past. This pattern continues in the town of Ollantaytambo, which is a mostly quiet town that still has the old Incan layout and architecture, as well as two spectacular ruins in the area. Both a modern and ancient area, the Sacred Valley perfectly encapsulates the unique Peruvian history and culture.
The highest navigable lake on Earth at 3,812 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca is a unique and beautiful destination. This vast body of water is home to many, who live on floating islands, some of which are made by hand from reeds. These incredible landmasses can be visited by motorboat. The lake is full of delicious trout, which are very worth tasting, and as the main economy of the islands is tourism, it is easy to buy souvenirs or spend a night on one of the islands, although that is not included in the tour.
Machu Picchu is the crown jewel of Peru, the most popular tourist destination of the country and a site that is rich in Incan culture and history. It is so popular that government regulations have been imposed on the daily visitors to the site and on the Inca Trail there. However, the Inca Trail is quite challenging, and difficult to get tickets for, and there are much easier ways to get to the remarkable site. This tour includes transportation to and from Aguas Calientes, which is a charming town and has hot springs, perfect for relaxing after a long journey. The following morning, an early trip to Machu Picchu is a great opportunity to watch the sun rise over the city.
So many of the trips in Peru are heavy on hiking or full of tourists. This is a good location to get away from it all, to simply enjoy the incredible nature of the Cusco region, of the Andes Mountains. There is some hiking in this trip, but not more than most people can handle. The canyon is vast and beautiful, and, as the name would suggest, a good location for spotting the incredible Andean Condors, which have a wingspan of about 10 feet, or 3.2 meters. These animals, classified as Near Threatened, can live up to 70 years in some cases and are sometimes called “eternity birds” for this reason – truly a sight to see and an experience not to be missed.