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.
Interesting articles about Colca Canyon
When you enter the Colca Canyon , Arequipa, 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.