Colca Canyon Tour

A Colca Canyon tour is one of the activities you must do when traveling to the beautiful city of Arequipa. The Colca Canyon is into a valley that is divided by the Colca River. This river crosses several towns and one of the largest towns is Chivay. Within the Colca the vegetation is abundant, it mainly feeds camelids such as llamas, alpacas and vicuñas.

These animals are the main attraction of this place, along with the condors and of course the incredible view of the precipices from the top of the canyon. Travelers from all over the world visit this place to disconnect for one or several days from the city. I have been inside the canyon 4 times and it is one of those places that you cannot stop visiting.

Colca canyon tour attractions

Condor

This flying bird is the second largest in the world after the gannet. The condor lives mainly in the Andes, however in one day it can fly more than 100 km to the beach in search of food.

Camelids

This is a group of animals that is made up of llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and Huanacos. Vicuñas have the most expensive wool in the world. A scarf made of vicuña wool costs around 6,000 USD.

Sangalle

This is a tiny town at the bottom of the canyon. It is inhabited by few families who currently offer lodging to travelers. In this place you can enjoy the beautiful landscape and the swimming pools.

Hot Springs

These are a group of small pools built next to the river. The water inside the pools comes from an underground source that is heated by a volcano and each pool has a different temperature.

Options to visit Colca canyon

Self guided tour

If your plan is to visit the Colca Canyon area for one day, doing it on your own may be a good option. However, if you want to go down for several days and camp or stay in a town inside the canyon, it may be the last thing you do in your life. The Colca Canyon is a beautiful place but at the same time dangerous. There are many people who have lost the way by going alone and have been found dead after long searches.

Difficulty: High

Full day tour

A one-day tour allows you to see most of the attractions without the need for long walks or having to go down the canyon. This tour is done by van or bus and is very relaxing. However, you should keep in mind that the Colca is 3,296 meters above sea level, so you may feel dizzy. To avoid the symptoms, it is recommended to drink coca leaf tea or buy some pills called sorojchi pill at the pharmacy.

Difficulty: Low

2 day trek

A Colca Canyon 2 day trek is perfect for those who can walk long distances without problems or for those who do not have much time but want to go down the canyon. On the first day you go down the canyon to San Juan de Chuccho, where you have lunch and then you walk to Sangalle, where you sleep. The second day everyone wakes up very early to climb up, visit the hot springs and return to Arequipa or Puno.

Difficulty: High

3 day trek

The 3-day trek to the Colca Canyon covers the same places as the 2-day trek, however, with more time available, each day is divided into less walking time, which makes this option perfect for those who cannot walk a lot every day and prefer to enjoy the time inside the canyon. It is possible that doing this route, the guide decides to do a longer walk on the second day to show all the participants beautiful places.

Difficulty: Medium

3 day trek Llahuar route

The Llahuar route is a path less visited, since it takes more effort to do it. It can be done in 3 days, starting from Cabanaconde and walking to Llahuar, the second day you walk from Llahuar to Sangalle and the third day you go up to Cabanaconde. This is a 32 km route and the landscape is awesome. In Llahuar you can see the union of the Colca River and the Huaruro River, which is one of the main reasons to go there.

Difficulty: Medium

Tour operator I recommend

To do any of the Colca Canyon tours I recommend booking with a local company from Arequipa called Trek The Colca. This is a company with certified and experienced guides who walk the area daily and therefore know the place very well. I have spoken with them and I have obtained a 10% discount coupon for any tour. This coupon can be used by anyone.

Deatils of the discount coupon:

  • This coupon can be used for all booking done through trekthecolca.com
  • This coupon is permanent, which means you can share it with other friends

Discount Coupon: FWTLTENP