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Visit the frozen Panagua Falls in Arequipa

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Visit the frozen Panagua Falls in Arequipa

The Panahua waterfall is simply amazing. Most of the year it is frozen, transforming into a unique 50 meter high spectacle of nature. 

In addition to seeing this show, you can also take pictures, go trekking, or watch the birds. Also on the site you can find interesting trails, caves and settings where rituals are performed to the Apus. 

The Panahua Waterfall

The Panahua Waterfall is a natural resource located at 4,367 meters above sea level, in the district of Orcopampa, in the province of Castilla, in the Arequipa region. The peculiarity of this natural resource, despite the fact that it is a waterfall, is that most of the time its waters are completely frozen. 

The Panahua waterfall has a height of fifty meters and in fact, in the solid state of its waters. Its climate is dry high-mountain Tundra with a minimum temperature of 10 °C in winter and a maximum of 12 °C in summer. 

Tourism in Panahua Waterfall

Among the activities that can be done at the waterfall are taking pictures, trekking, as well as peaceful bird watching. The road that this waterfall presents, also allows access to interesting paths such as caves, ritual scenes of payments to the Apus, among others. 

It must be borne in mind that there is no tourist infrastructure in the same resort, and that the closest one is in the town of Orcopampa.

What to do in the Panahua Waterfall?

These waterfalls are frozen most of the time: Paychi Paccha, Chillhuani and Pukara. You can also go up to the Intihuatana viewpoint and the Achachi Andean sanctuary. Only the waters of the Hatun Paqcha waterfall do not freeze because they have a higher level of concentration of this liquid element. 

Flora in the Panahua Waterfall

Among the flora of the area, nettle, moss, chilca, kishuar, ferns and trees such as eucalyptus and pine stand out. Within the fauna you can see foxes, vizcachas and birds like the kivio. 

Altitude of the Panahua Waterfall

The falls are located at 4,367 m above sea level, in the Panagua annex.

How to get to the Panahua Waterfall?

In order to access this resource, it is necessary to first go to Orcopampa. From the Orcopampa district, continue with a 4x4 vehicle to Panahua, where, at the resource entrance gate, you must pay the sum of s/1.50. 

The path from the entrance of the waterfall, to the same resource, includes a 600-meter trail, which can be completed in less than twenty minutes. As it has entry control, the Panahua waterfall can only be visited from 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon.

Orcopampa district

In this jurisdiction stand out viewpoints, colonial churches, frozen waterfalls, stone forest, pre-Inca temples and thermal baths. 

Orcopampa is one of the fourteen districts that make up the province of Castilla. It is located at 3,820 meters above sea level and 354 kilometers from the city of Arequipa, approximately 10 hours by bus. Its climate is extremely cold. 

The district of Orcopampa is known as "Dream of the Arequipeño sky", and its name derives from the Quechua word "Orco" which means hill and from the Spanish word "Pampa". Hence its name "Pampa del Cerro" or "Planicie entre Cerros". 

The jurisdiction was created on June 22, 1825, by decree of the liberator Simón Bolívar. It is a mining and services center, whose urban area is close to the mining area, which makes it susceptible to contamination. 

Orcopampa Tourist Attractions

Orcopampa is a very attractive tourist destination in southern Peru, located in the middle of the Coropuna and Huacrahuire snow-capped mountains and links the Colca Valley with the Valley of the Volcanoes, with routes for tourists on foot, horseback, and high-mountain bicycle , in addition to having places for camping. 

In Orcopampa we find the viewpoint of Panahua, the frozen waterfalls of Panahua, Huaynapicchu de Allhuire, the Colonial Mill of Misahuanca, the romantic square of Tintaymarca and the hot springs of Huancarama. 

Let's get to know its main tourist attractions:

Misahuanca National Heritage

It is located 3.5 km southeast of Orcopampa. Houses built with stone and ichu that are more than 300 years old can be seen. You can also see a colonial bridge, Spanish water mills, and a 16th-century church. The Ministry of Culture declared the pre-Hispanic archaeological monument of Misahuanca as National Cultural Heritage, which still preserves the Spanish architecture of the 16th century intact.

Orcopampa Lagoon

The lagoon is a recreational center for the whole family, its main attraction is the heart shape it has. 

Misapuquio Fish Farm

This fish farm is for trout, the water they use for their hatcheries is from the Misapuquio spring, which is crystal clear. In total this place has 5 tons of trout. 

Orcopampa Forest Nursery

It is a center for the protection of fauna and flora in the upper area of the province of Castilla. It has around 10 species in terms of fauna and some species of flora. In addition, the nursery has a greenhouse where rocotos, pumpkins, gherkins, lettuce, peppers, custard apples are grown. 

Sieneguillas Lagoon

It is located 10 minutes from Orcopampa in the Sarpane annex It has a large expanse of water which increases in the rainy seasons (January to March), is shallow and is home to a wide variety of fauna such as the huallata or Andean goose , wild ducks, etc. 

Thermal Waters of Huancarama

It is located 10 minutes from Orcopampa and is a place visited by tourists and residents of the area, its waters contain the enigma of cures for various diseases, due to the nearby presence of the valley of volcanoes. 

Valley of the Volcanoes

Located 377 km from the city of Arequipa, the best time to visit the valley is between April and November. You can explore the small Jallhua ice valley and the Huancarama thermal baths, in the Orcopampa district; also the Mamacocha and Chachas lagoons, the frozen icefall of Panagua and the impressive archaeological sites. 


The highest of the volcanoes is the Pucamauras, 350 meters above the level of the valley. There are others from 70 to 50 m and smaller, such as the Chilcayoc Grande and Chico, from 15 to 20 m high. One of them, located at the west end of the town of Andagua, is used as a bullring in the patron saint festivities. The Chachas lagoon completes the panorama. Its waters travel long kilometers underground to reappear and form another lagoon (Mamacocha) near the town of Ayo, in the lower section of the valley.

Best Trekking and Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views. 

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem. 

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