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2-Day excursion to Colca Canyon from Arequipa

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Tour Details

Experience the awe-inspiring grandeur of Colca Canyon on a thrilling two-day adventure from Arequipa. Led by an expert guide, delve into this natural wonder, twice as deep as the US Grand Canyon. Explore an intriguing wildlife reserve teeming with diverse species, and marvel at the charming colonial architecture of two highland towns. Venture onto the foothills of a towering volcano, treating yourself to panoramic vistas of Peru’s stunning landscapes throughout this enriching journey. Transportation and two lunches are included in the trip package.

Embark on a scenic journey through breathtaking landscapes en route to the Colca Valley from Arequipa.

Witness graceful vicuñas, akin to llamas, grazing in the Vicuña Pampa Cañahuas Reserve.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Chivay, while visiting the picturesque towns of Maca and Yanque.

Marvel at the awe-inspiring views of Colca Canyon and catch sight of majestic condors soaring at the Cruz del Cóndor viewpoint.

Gain insight into the rich history and unique landscape of Peru’s southern highlands from your knowledgeable guide.

Price Includes

  • Professional English/Spanish speaking certified guide
  • 24/7 customer service support
  • 01 night in a 3-star hotel in the town of Chivay
  • 01 breakfast
  • 01 lunch
  • Water bottles
  • All transfers guaranteed
  • Pick-up and drop-off at your hotel in Arequipa (For hotels within the historic center of Arequipa)
  • Entrance ticket to the Cruz del Condor

Price Excludes

  • Extras and upgrades
  • Entrance ticket to the Cruz del Condor (25 Soles or approximately US$8)
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (optional)

Day 1Arequipa | Chachani Volcano | Toccra Pampa | Volcano Viewpoint | Chivay

After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, we’ll whisk you away from the captivating White City of Arequipa to embark on a scenic journey towards the Colca Valley. As we traverse the route, be prepared to be enchanted by the picturesque landscapes unfolding before you. Snow-capped volcanoes, rugged pampas, and traditional terraced farms paint a mesmerizing picture, while quaint villages preserve the essence of old-world charm.

Our first stop takes us to the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, a haven for wildlife nestled amidst sprawling plains. Here, you’ll have the chance to observe the graceful guanacos, alpacas, and vicuñas as they graze in their natural habitat. Spanning nearly 366,936 hectares, the reserve serves as a sanctuary for the region’s diverse flora and fauna, safeguarding their delicate ecosystems through dedicated conservation efforts.

Amidst the rich biodiversity of the reserve, you may also encounter the southern vizcacha, foxes, condors, and Andean flamingos, adding to the allure of this natural paradise. As we journey onwards, tracing the contours of the Chucura Volcano, we’ll ascend to the lofty heights of the Patapampa Andes viewpoint, situated at an impressive altitude of 4,900 meters above sea level. From this vantage point, soak in the majestic vistas stretching towards the horizon, where snow-capped peaks and volcanic formations adorn the Arequipa Region.

Our adventure continues as we arrive at the charming town of Chivay, marking the beginning of the Colca Valley. Delve into the rich cultural heritage of the region, marveling at the intricate terrace systems meticulously crafted by indigenous inhabitants. Wander through the streets lined with colonial-era buildings, a testament to the town’s Spanish heritage, before indulging in a traditional lunch (not included) at a local eatery.

Following check-in at our hotel, you’ll have the afternoon to explore Chivay at your leisure. For those seeking relaxation, a visit to the nearby hot springs of La Calera offers a soothing retreat amidst the natural beauty of the Colca Canyon. Take a dip in the rejuvenating thermal waters, renowned for their healing properties, and unwind amidst the tranquil surroundings.

Meals: Lunch

Difficulty: Easy

Day 2Chivay | Yanque Town | Condor Cross | Maca Town | Arequipa

Day 2 begins with another early start, as there’s an abundance of amazing sights awaiting! Our first stop is the renowned Cruz del Cóndor viewpoint, situated near the hamlets of Maca and Cabanaconde. Here, powerful winds rising from the canyon create a prime habitat for Andean condors.

These majestic birds, often seen gliding in pairs, favor early mornings and late afternoons. With luck, you’ll witness these impressive condors, boasting wingspans of up to three meters, soaring gracefully close to the viewpoint, providing an unforgettable spectacle. From this vantage point, you’ll also marvel at the breathtaking depths of the Colca Canyon.

Next, we’ll return to Chivay, making a couple of stops along the way. Our first stop is at the traditional town of Pinchollo and the Antahuilque viewpoint. From here, you’ll enjoy panoramic vistas of ancient agricultural terraces, dating back over 1,500 years, which curve along the slopes like a natural amphitheater.

You’ll also catch glimpses of the enchanting lagoons dotting the Colca Valley. Our journey continues to the Choquetico viewpoint, where we’ll encounter two fascinating features. Firstly, the hanging tombs, built by the Aymara-speaking Collagua around 1200 AD, are burial niches carved into the cliffs of Cerro Cabanaconde. Secondly, we’ll observe the litomaquette, a rock-carved model depicting the canyon terraces.

Continuing our exploration, we’ll visit the quaint Andean town of Maca, nestled on the slopes of the Sabancaya volcano and the Nevado Hualca Hualca. Following this, we’ll journey to Yanque, home to a charming white church, a small archaeology museum, and rejuvenating thermal baths by the river.

For the adventurous souls, horse riding facilities and mountain bike rentals are available in Yanque. Around 1:00 p.m., we’ll commence our return journey to your hotel in Arequipa.

Meals: Breakfast

Difficulty: Easy

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Solo Traveller

Embarking on the 2-day excursion to Colca Canyon from Arequipa was an absolute delight, offering a perfect blend of natural wonders and cultural immersion. From the moment we departed Arequipa, the landscapes unfolding before us were nothing short of spectacular. The Aguada Blanca National Reserve provided an opportunity to witness Andean wildlife in their natural habitat, adding an extra layer of excitement to the journey.

Arriving in Chivay, we were greeted by the charm of the Colca Valley, with its intricate terrace systems and colonial-era buildings. The afternoon leisure time allowed for a relaxing dip in the rejuvenating hot springs of La Calera, a perfect way to unwind after a day of exploration. The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the Cruz del Cóndor viewpoint on day 2, where we had the privilege of witnessing the majestic Andean condors soaring above the canyon depths. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience that provided a deeper appreciation for the natural and cultural wonders of the Colca Canyon region.

September 20, 2023