Colca Canyon day trip
|Departures||Departures at 04:00 AM|
|Group size||Minimum 2 – Maximum 5|
|Level of Difficulty||Medium|
3AM you will be picking up from your hotel by our professional tour guide and our 4WD vehicle. This tour begins with directly travel to the first and most important town of the canyon, the travel to get Chivay town takes 3 hours on paved road over the Altiplano landscapes towards Chivay. At 5:30 you will be in Chivay (3600m), this is inter Andean town located on the left bank of the canyon surrounded by agriculture fields. Continue traveling with some stops for picture according the tour guide recommendations, you will see thousands of agriculture terraced date from Inca and pre Inca times, build over cliff. Along the way you will get off the transport for more contact with local people and feeling the pure nature of the Colca Canyon. At 8AM aprox you arrive to the most important point of the Colca Canyon, this is the condor cross lookout. Plenty time for wait and see the mighty Andean Condor (Vulture Gryphus). Those birds normally fly around the Cruz Del Condor and you can get the best pictures of impressive walls and deep remote towns located inside the canyon. After we decide to return driving we take the same dirt road to Chivay, along the way we stop at viewpoint to see the carved rock, it was model where the ancient architectures testing which part of the terrain was appropriate to build the terraces in the other site of the canyon. Continue going will stop next of huge cliff where is possible to see hanging tombs on the volcanic hillsides. You will arrive to Maca where is possible to observe nice colonial church from XVI century, next of this town is possible to see people from these regions dedicated life solely to work the terraces, therefore you will see many fields full of crops as corn, amaranth, kiwicha, potatoes, corn and more native product of Peru. Driving along the canyon you will see the great Colca River and small communities located on both bank of the canyon. At aprox 12PM we will arrive to the hot spring of La Calera, located on the head of Chivay town, you can enjoy the thermo medicinal and outdoor pools with are 45º Celsius, we will stay 1 hour in this place. All included in bus ride tour.
Do I need a sleeping bag?
No, there is no need for sleeping bags. For the 2-day and the 3-day Colca Canyon trekking, we overnight at local family houses and you will have rooms with beds and blankets. Should you feel cold at night, you can just ask for an extra blanket.
How cold does it get during the night?
There is a difference in temperatures to be noticed in the canyon and at the top of the canyon. In the canyon, the climate is more or less the same as in Arequipa, with sunny days and a bit chilly nights. In the Andean summer from November to March, temperatures range from 7 °C to 10 °C degrees at night. In winter months from July to August, temperatures drop down to 5 °C. At the top of the canyon in towns like Cabanaconde and Chivay, temperatures can get below freezing, particularly in June, July and August. We recommend bringing something warm with you for the nights.
What type of accommodation is used?
For the 3-day trekking, we spend the first night at a local family house in San Juan de Chuccho. The accommodation is a basic, but it is clean and comfortable. The beauty of the homestay is that you have a chance to experience the life of local people and to enjoy the food that they prepare. The second day you will overnight at a hostal in Cabanaconde, with private baths and a hot shower. For the 2-day trekking, we spend the night in the Oasis in cosy bamboo huts.
I am vegetarian, is that a problem?
This is no problem. Our guides can cook vegetarian food for you. Should you have special requirements for meals or you have allergies, just let us know and we will prepare other meals accordingly.
What languages does the guide speak?
All of our guides speak fluently Spanish and English, and some guides know the basics of German and French as well. Our guides are Peruvians and most of them grew up in the Colca region and are very knowledgeable about this area. We can organize a briefing with our guides one day before you start the trekking, so you will be able to have a chat with him/her.
Do I need to carry water with me from Arequipa or can I buy water in the Colca Canyon?
Every three hours you can buy water, snacks, toilet paper or other necessities in the canyon, so do not carry too much water with you. Everything is a bit more expensive in the canyon, as local people have to carry all the goods down into the canyon by themselves or with some help of their mules.
Will the altitude affect me?
On the first day, we pick you up from Arequipa (2300 m) to transfer you to the Colca Canyon and along the way you pass the highest point at Patapampa (4900 m). The starting point of the trekking is at Cabanaconde (3600 m) and you hike into the canyon descending 1000 meters. Everyone responds different to altitude and age, health problems and athleticism do not enter in it. It is very individual and it can vary from visit to visit to the same person. Some people might suffer from some side effects of the altitude, such as a bit headache and exhaustion, but as you are descending to the same altitude of Arequipa, your body will react to that. Here are some tips to help your body acclimatize to the altitude:
What do we need to bring?