The Colca Valley is an area of astounding scenic beauty, with giant Andean terraces and a deep canyon that reaches a depth of 3140 meters. A journey to the Colca valley will take you through high Andean plateau, reaching at one point a high pass of 4800 meters, which offers fine views of the Volcanoes of Arequipa. Along the way visitors can see herds of Vicuñas (a wild relative of Llamas and Alpacas) and various types of birds, of which stand out the giant hummingbird, eagles, gooses and the mighty Andean Condor. If you like adventure tours, the Canyon also offers wonderful treks down to its button, descending throughout huge mountains, exploring oasis-like valleys, thermal springs, and camping outdoors.
Program 2 days / 1 night
1º Day: Bus ride to the Colca Canyon - Overnight at the Colca Valley
Our excursion to the Colca Canyon starts at 07:30 hrs. Our clients are collected from their hotels by our local guide/representative. Afterwards we will board a small bus and will drive northwest following a paved road towards the "Colca Canyon". Before leaving Arequipa, we will stop at a small shop where our clients can purchase some chocolates, candies and coca leaves. Later on we will continue till Pampas Cañahuas (3500 m/11,482 Ft), a National Reserve where visitors may spot some Vicuñas & Alpacas. Unlike the Alpacas, Vicuñas are wild animals, and still can be seen running freely on these high plateaus. We will stop at this national park and our local guide will provide information about these shy Andean camels. Then we continue our journey to the Colca Canyon, little further up we will stop again at the little restaurant of Viscachani, where you can enjoy a stunning scenery of the Andes and also drink a typical coca tea. Afterwards we will continue ascending a dirt road till we reach the highest point of our trip, "The Lookout Point of the Andes (4,800 m /15,748 Ft). At the very top, we will get off of the bus some minutes to observe the landscape, having in the background the volcanoes Ubinas, Mismi, Misti, Chachani, Sabancaya (active) and Ampato. Later on we will drive down hill to the main village of the Colca Canyon, the Village of Chivay (3600 m / 11.811 Ft). In this town we will have lunch in one typical Andean restaurant, where visitors may enjoy their meals accompanied by Andean musicians. After lunch our clients will be transferred to our lodge located in a little village at edge of the Canyon.
Late, in the afternoon, you may walk around the village and get to know better the rural life in this corner of Peru. By the afternoon we will go to swim and relax to the Hot Springs of the Colca Valley (35° C / 95º F), a nice pool outdoors surrounded by huge mountains. After sunset, we will return to our lodge where we will enjoy a good Andean buffet. Overnight at our lodge in the Colca Valley.
2° Day: Early visit to the Cruz del Condor - Return to Arequipa
In order to see the mighty Condor, you will wake up at 05:00 h, breakfast will be served at 05:30 h, and by 06:00 hrs. we will be driving towards the "Cruz del Condor", a natural lookout point where you can see the flight of the Condors (we won't return to the hotel, which means you must bring all your staff along with you on the bus). On the road we will have the best view of the Colca Valley, as we drive along the edge of the Canyon, seeing on route ancient terraces still in use by the local farmers, who grow mainly varieties of corn and potatoes. We will make some stops for photos, and our local guide will give us a good insight into the Colca Canyon history. Here you will stumble upon a great rock, where ancient architectures carved the terraces, testing (perhaps) which parts of the Canyon were suitable for cultivation. This is a good place also to see the "Colca River" and hanging pre-Inca tombs. After approximately 2 hours we will reach Cruz del Condor, where we will spend an hour or so, observing the beautiful flight of the Condors as well as the depth of the Canyon. Eventually, we will return to the village of Chivay, passing typical towns along the way. At around 12:00 h, we will stop at a local restaurant at the town of Chivay for lunch and afterwards will return to Arequipa. We will be back in Arequipa around 17:00 h. Upon your arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Arequipa. End of the tour.