Colca Canyon Adventure
Day 1 Lima or Cusco/Arequipa
You will be transferred to the airport for the early flight to Arequipa, where you will be met and transferred to a central hotel. Enjoy a city tour of Arequipa and the surrounding countryside, with a visit to the Convent of Santa Catalina, famous for its secluded quarters that housed a closed group of cloistered nuns centuries ago. The size of an entire city block, Santa Catalina was built in 1580 and enlarged in the 17th century and finally opened to the public in 1970. Known as the “white city,” the colonial architecture of volcanic rock takes you through the history of this unique city. [Elevation 7,630 feet]
Day 2 Arequipa/Chivay
Early this morning, drive towards the Aguada National Reserve where you can observe vicuñas wandering on the high plateau, as well as domesticated alpacas and llamas. On the way, enjoy views of the volcanoes: Misti, Chachani and snow-capped Ampato. Arrive in the small town of Chivay, about 100 miles from Arequipa, where the local people are known for their traditional embroidered clothing. In the afternoon, visit La Calera hot springs, a great place to relax in the thermal waters. Overnight at a local hotel in Chivay.
Breakfast, Box Lunch
Day 3 Colca Canyon/Arequipa
Early in the morning, start your journey towards Cruz del Condor to observe the flight of the majestic condor. From here you get a magnificent view of the famous Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest gorges and a very impressive sight. In portions of the Colca Canyon you can see extensive Incan and pre-Incan agricultural terracing that are still used by the local people today. Return to Chivay for lunch, and continue 3-4 hours back to Arequipa.
What to Expect
Duration 3 days
Best time to go is April to December
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.