The Colca Canyon is located outside the city of Arequipa. Measuring more than 1 km (3280 feet) from cliff-edge to river bottom it is considered the deepest canyon in the world! Discover the Colca Canyon's picturesque pre-Inca terraces, the impressive scenery and its friendly Indian villages (e.g. Chivay) with traditionally dressed peasants, that have been existing since ancient time. If you are lucky, you can even see the famous Peruvian Condors, cycling in the hot air, just a couple of meters from where you stand. The Condor is the world's biggest flying bird and was holy to the Inca. This tour is an impressive and unforgettable experience!
You will be picked up from your hotel in Arequipa between 7 and 8am. En route we will see incredible landscapes, beautiful terraces and snow-capped volcanoes, including Arequipa's El Misti Volcano, at 5,825masl. You will also pass through reserves where rare vicuña live (Peru's national animal - similar to alpaca). After this we will stop in Patahuasi, where we can have coca/muña (natural peppermint) tea. From here we continue, passing through Tojrapampa, where we can appreciate wetlands with various types of birds, south American camelids, and finally we reach the highest point at 4,910masl at Patapampa. This is an Andean viewpoint and from here offers great views of surrounding volcanoes and peaks. At around 1pm we arrive in Chivay where we will have lunch and check into the hotel. After lunch we will head straight to the thermal baths of Calera (15 minutes outside the village) and Ethnic Museum. After a good soak, we return to the centre of Chivay where you can visit the artisan's market of the village or simply relax in your accommodation. At dinner live Creole music provides some light entertainment.
Today we start early to give us the best chance of seeing the Condors! At 5:30am we have continental breakfast before setting off to the 'Cruz Del Condor' by bus, stopping at the small towns of Yanque and Maca and the Choquetico viewpoint. At this last lookout point you can enjoy stunning views of Colca Canyon and hopefully see the impressive Andean condors soaring above the void. On the way back to Chivay you can investigate the Pre-Inca tombs hidden in the mountainside. We also visit the 'Litomaquetas', the clock tower of the terraces and you will stop in 3 unique traditional villages to take a closer look at local handicrafts and customs. We pass through Chivay again around 1pm before continuing on to Arequipa where we arrive at approximately 5pm.
Additional options in the Colca Canyon include hiking or horse back riding tours of several days. Beautiful scenery, certainly recommended. For an extra $ 20 you will be accommodated in a *** hostal.