Day 1 – From Arequipa into the deep canyon

Your expert tour guide will pick you up from your hotel at 7 in the morning to take you to the Colca Canyon by means of private van. Along the way you might spot some American Camelids, such as vicuñas, alpacas and llamas and you will witness breathtaking landscapes as you drive, such as lakes, glaciers and magnificent volcanoes. We take you to Cabanaconde (3700 m), the largest town of the Colca Canyon and after an energetic lunch, we start hiking down to the canyon. After 3 to 4 hours of downhill hiking follows a rocky path and you will make it to the first village, San Juan de Chuccho (2350 m), where a warm harty meal is waiting for you. You spend the night at a cosy local family house.

Day 2 – To Oasis and Cabanaconde

You can catch up some sleep in the morning, as your delicious pancakes breakfast will be ready at 08:00 AM. After breakfast we start our 3 hour trek to oasis, passing through the colca valley. Your guide will explain how the local people of these mountain villages live. After visiting a local hospital, school and a museum, you will feel more integrated into the lives of the villagers. You will also learn more about the different flora and fauna and how they are used in daily life of the local people. We will arrive at Oasis around 12 PM, the deepest spot of the Colca Canyon. After a typical lunch, you have the afternoon to relax at the swimming pool, to enjoy the warm sun and the stunning views of the canyon. In the late afternoon we start the hardest part of the trekking; we go up to the top again! After a 3 hour climb, you reach the top of the canyon and you enjoy the beautiful sunset and the priceless view of the canyon. Making it to the top will be the most memorable part of the trekking. If you are not up for the trek out of the canyon, there are mules available for hire. In Cabanaconde, a warm hearty meal is waiting for you and you spend the night at a hostel with private baths and a hot shower.

Day 3 – Cruz del Condor and Hot springs

After a hot shower in the morning and a typical breakfast, your driver and guide take you to the most spectacular place of the Colca Canyon, the Cruz del Condor Mirador. At this viewpoint, the depth of the canyon is at 1200 meter and it is the best place to spot the majestic Andean Condor flying over the canyon. The condor is the biggest flying land bird on earth, with wingspans that can measure up to 3 meters. Once we have some good pictures of the condor, we continue our travels to Chivay and along the way we will make some stops at typical small villages of the Colca Canyon. In Chivay you can visit the hot springs to loosen your aching muscles and after a delicious buffet lunch of typical Peruvian food, we travel back to Arequipa. Your arrival in Arequipa is at approximately 6 PM and we will transfer you to your hotel.

  • Private transportation
  • Pick up at the hotel
  • Accommodation for 2 nights
  • Expert tour guide (bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Entrance fee to the Colca Canyon ($ 30 USD)
  • All meals
  • Swimming pool in Oasis
  • First-aid kit
  • Hot springs entrance (in Chivay)
Not included
  • Water
  • Snacks

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:

  • Make sure you get sufficient sleep before you start the trekking. That is also the reason why we pick you up at 7 AM, instead of the early morning start at 3 AM as other companies offer.
  • Do not eat too much and try to avoid fat food
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not hike to fast, but just take small steps to let your body get used to the altitude
  • Drink coca tea, as this increases the absorption of oxygen in the blood.
Our guides will be evaluating each trekking through the first day and observing any signs of altitude sickness. Once you make it the first day, most hikers are fine. In the unlikely event that you suffer from altitude sickness, your guide will carry you to the closest populated area.

What do we need to bring?

  • Hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Rain coat (rain season from January to March)
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothes
  • Warm clothes for at night
  • Swimming clothes
  • Towel
  • Small back pack
  • Flash light
  • Extra money
  • Insect repellent
  • Water
  • Snacks