Introduction to Colca Canyon Tours
When you enter the Colca Canyon, you are venturing into a crack that cuts deeper than the Grand Canyon (10,725 ft or 3,270 m). A mixture of famous red rock face and lush, fertile crescent, the Colca Canyon is rich territory for hiking and exploring. Colca Canyon Tours are next level. Home to the famous Andean Condor as you descend into this tear in the earth, the lingering mysteries of the ancient Inca begin to envelop. Rivers, volcanoes, mountains and the constant gaze of nature herself fill the canyon with an ethereal spirituality.
The Colca Valley and Canyon are active geological zones, and a visit will serve up young volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. It was these geographical and corporeal features the Inca chose to worship, as opposed to invisible figures in the sky. They worked the Andean Condor into their religious beliefs, and this isn’t so incomprehensible. The birds are giant, at 15kg and a three metre wingspan. Some of the largest that can fly, and vanishingly endangered, with an apparent population only in double figures.
Colca Canyon Tours
Most Colca Canyon tours will depart from Arequipa. A typical 2-day tour will have you staying overnight in or near Chivay.There are plenty of hotels and hostels in this town and also hot springs not too far away. Prices will vary depending on the quality of the accommodation. We prefer staying overnight in Yanque town because is less tourist and also is a charming town.
The tour will involve driving from Arequipa to Chivay via the Salinas National Reserve. Passing through here you will see volcanos and wild vicunas. On the following day, tourists will go to Condor Pass, where you can really take in the canyon and observe the eponymous bird of prey cruising the air lanes.
Colca Canyon tours from Cusco
Tours from Cusco are less common, due to the distance. The actual tours will be largely identical to tours from Arequipa, save the 8 hour drive to and from Cusco.
What to see and do in the Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is not just a pretty face. It is also inhabited by native Cabana and Collagua people, and one can observe their culture and way of life in their villages and agricultural terraces. The local wildlife, as well as the grand condor, includes vicuña, llamas and alpacas grazing in the green fields.
Activities in the Colca canyon
As well as hiking – can include horseback riding, biking and rafting. Homestays with local families can also be arranged.
Places of Interest:
The Oasis – also called Sangalle, this is a beautiful spot engorged on all sides by canyon walls. Incredible when viewed from above looking down, it’s ideal for a one day trip within the canyon. Overnight accommodation is also possible here.
Llahuar – also spelt, Llawar or Llahuar, this is a spot of clandestine majesty, very little known and very beautiful. There are a smattering of restaurants and accommodation and even some hot springs to relax in. It’s about 5-6 hours hiking from Cabanaconde. There are some isolated villages in the area too where you can interact with the local people.
Condor Pass – a popular spot to observe these creatures and also the wonder of the canyon itself.
Hot Springs – in the vicinity of Chivay,Yanque and there are also some at Llahuar, as mentioned. Excellent after some hard hiking.
Our Colca Canyon trips in Arequipa , Peru
Colca Canyon Luxury Tour from Arequipa – 2 days – Easy to Moderate
Disconnect from the “real” world and immerse yourself in the spectacular natural beauty and rich culture of Colca Canyon. On Classic Colca Canyon tours, you will meet diverse Andean wildlife, take in breathtaking views of majestic volcanoes and discover the traditional cultures of the Colca Valley, both modern and ancient.
You’ll sleep in complete luxury at the Colca Lodge, located just outsider the tranquil valley village of Yanque. The Lodge has its own spa, which makes use of nearby natural hot springs, and is the perfect place to get back to Nature.
Colca Canyon Immersion Experience – 3 days – Easy to Moderate
Your Colca Canyon local experience will immerse you in the rich traditional culture of this very special region. Enjoy a truly unique few days living with local indigenous Collagua families, whose culture predates that of the Incas. Learn traditional crafts such as candle-making and hand-spinning, and gain an understanding of the day-to-day life of the villagers in the isolated communities of the Colca Valley.
You will also have the opportunity to enjoy the fabulous natural scenery of the Colca Valley. Look for llamas and vicuñas in the Pampa Cañahua National Park, enjoy fabulous volcanic vistas from Patapampa Pass, and watch the majestic Andean condors soaring over spectacular Colca Canyon.
Colca Canyon Trek from Arequipa – 3 days – Moderate to Streneous
The beautiful scenery on the way to Cabanaconde is part of this unique adventure. On your Colca Canyon Trek, you will trek down one of the deepest canyons in the world and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience when watching the majestic condors fly. While trekking to the Village of Llahuar, the apachetas will guide your way just like in ancient times. Deep in the Canyon, you will fall in love with the Sangalle oasis, a perfect place for trout fishing, taste mouth-watering nutritious local foods, and relax in the natural hot springs.