Famous for its white-stone architecture, active volcanoes, and plunging canyon, Arequipa is a dream destination for history buffs and thrill seekers. Three days give you enough time to enjoy all of Arequipa’s main draws, which include its historic center and the Colca Canyon.
Colca Canyon (Canon del Colca)
Plaza de Armas, Arequipa, Peru
Most Colca Canyon tours start in Arequipa, which doubles as a basecamp for 3-day treks through the Andes Mountains (be sure to go with a guide for safety reasons) and for overnight horseback riding or bus tours to the canyon. Upon arrival at the Andean valley, a plethora of options for tours and outdoor activities await: Hike to overlooks such as La Cruz del Condor, bike through the Colca Valley, or kayak or raft down the Colca River.
No matter what sights and activities you choose, guided tours are generally the easiest and most convenient way to travel, as most provide round-trip transportation from Arequipa. But if you’re seeking an independent sightseeing experience, you can book a bus transfer from Arequipa with stops at scenic viewpoints and attractions along the way.
2 Day Colca Canyon, Vicuna Reserve and Condors from Arequipa
$159.00 per adult
I highly recommend this...
I highly recommend this trip. Everything was on time. Jane has very good English and huge knowledge. She is extremely friendly and helpful. Views are unbelievable! We were very lucky to see condors. Colca Canyon is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
Magdalena M, May 2017
Recent reviews from experiences in Arequipa
Great day trip
Brian_M, Jul 2021
Full Day Trip to Colca Canyon from Arequipa
Great trip with local history of the colca canyon and the local people with a few encounters of wildlife, and incredible landscapes
Bings, Jun 2021
Full day tour / Colca Canyon
Our guide was very informative and helpful. Keep in mind this is a one day experience and they pack alot in. If you want more time I suggest doing a two-three day experience. The bus was very comfortable as well!
Drsue1951, Jan 2020
Colca Canyon: 2 Day Tour from Arequipa
Enjoyed the tour very much. 10 passenger van, very clean. Our guide spoke English, he was knowledgeable about the area and history. Overnight accommodations were charming and comfortable. We spotted several Condors, alpacas and other wildlife. Highly recommend!!
Sylvester_N, Jun 2021
Full day tour / Colca Canyon
This was a great trip and I'm glad the tour guides picked me up on time from my Airbnb as punctuality is not very common in Latin America. Pros: -Hotel pickup/dropoff -Many sites to see before and after viewing colca canyon -Although there was a lot we saw in this day tour I never felt rushed. -Guides were knowledgeable Cons: -I understand Spanish, but if you don't you're not getting all the history and information as they summarize it when speaking in English. -We started off in a big coach bus, but then switched to a small bus which sucked as we were packed inside. -Great tour, but after visiting the cañon you will be very tired even though you have like 6 more hours left before you get home. All in all, it was a long day trip, but I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to others. I just wished they would include an express option where we could drive straight to the canyon and back while avoiding all the touristy stops along the way - I would pay for that.
A great day!
Joel, Feb 2020
Colca Full Day Tour
Pedro was a fantastic guide! He and Eduardo (our driver) made sure that we had a comfortable and enjoyable time. Although we got a little stuck in the mud in the morning (there was a freak accident on the highway that we tried to circumvent off-road), they ensured that we made up for lost time. We even got to see some condors in flight, which was a real highlight. Well worth the money and the early morning!
holzbarclay, Jan 2020
3-Day Colca Canyon Trekking from Arequipa
Gustavo was an excellent guide and we had a wonderful time doing the trek. He really seemed to care for us and had lots of fantastic information and was very friendly. It was very well organised with taxis included at either end of the trip which made things easy! It was nice doing it over 3 days to make it more relaxed and gave us more time to enjoy each place (and recover sleep!).
Quest04684841784, Nov 2019
2 day 1 night trek / Colca Canyon
We really enjoyed this 2-day trip to the Canon de Colca. The landscape was incredible and our tour guide, Eveline, was really competent and kind. She gave us some info and then let us free to enjoy this experience at our best supporting us in the hardes part of the treck. The tour was realised exactly as described (keep in mind that the place where you will spend the night is really basic) and we are happy to suggest it to those who wish to visit this amazing place.
Trip from Arequipa to Puma with condor watching and more
cinette58, Nov 2019
Full day tour including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon
The onlusten way to go from Arequipa to Puno in one day- iT was a long trip, but especially the morning part was worth while. Seeing the condors flyung clos boy was amazing.
Amazing tracking but not a easy one
angelica c, Nov 2019
2 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon
The treck is very nice but bit demanding under the sun. Services are basic: no hot water. The oasis is comfortable and beautiful but accommodations offer only the basics. Home cooked lunch in a local family house was tasty , the natural juices are always fresh and delicious. The way up (950m up) is demanding so don't take too much in your backpack.
773wangh, Oct 2019
Overnight Tour: Colca Canyon Including Horse Riding from Arequipa
Tour guide is very help and nice . He introduced Inca history and all things happen during the tour. Horse man is very experienced and care about us a lot , horse are all trained well . It was all a unforgettable memory.
KellyLA984, Oct 2019
Colca Full Day Tour
Really excellent one day colca canyon tour. The guide spoke excellent English and had a huge amount of knowledge, attended to the needs of all the full group. Had enough time at each attraction and didn’t feel at all rushed. A great way to see the canyon if you are pressed for time
Special place, great tour, superb guide (Sandra) and driver (Mr Joel)
edwardpereira2019, Jul 2019
Colca Canyon: 2 Day Tour from Arequipa
This tour was excellent overall, and accommodation exceeded our expectations, electric blankets on the beds, hammocks in the yard, and great spots to read a book or take in a steaming volcano on the horizon and all of the farmed terraces in between. The tour vehicle was spacious, clean and comfortable. The driver was conscientious and pleasant, always with passenger experience in mind. the tour guide was excellent, so knowledgeable of the region because she was born and raised here in the Colca valley. The education piece of her tour was a real highlight. Of course, the Andean Condor was a close second. Our tour included park fees and made the experience all the more worry free. The two big meals in the valley during the tour were both enjoyable and educational. One last highlight was sighting so many vucuña, and even Guanacos, mostly on the backside of Chachani and Misti volcanoes. Overall, we were very pleased with this tour, and especially pleased with the way that our tour hosts helped us address the effects of the high altitude, which maxed at about 4910m. It was fantastic to go through this unique experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
Multi-day Colca Canyon tours often include visits to nearby attractions in the Arequipa region, such as Puno on Lake Titicaca or the Pampa Canahuas Reserve, famous for its wild vicunas.
Day trips from Arequipa to the canyon can last up to 14 hours.
Stave off altitude sickness by allowing yourself a couple days to acclimate in Arequipa before attempting any activities.
How to Get There
The closest city to Colca Canyon is Arequipa, roughly 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast. From there you can book a bus or shuttle directly to the canyon, or take public transportation to Chivay or Cabanaconde on either end of the canyon. Chivay is the more popular choice, as it is home to relaxing hot springs. If you have the time and energy, you can make the 3-day hike. You can also reach the canyon via Cusco, though it is a longer journey.
When to Get There
May through September is the driest time of the year in Peru, and therefore it’s the best for hiking and other outdoor activities. December through February is the low season, which promises fewer crowds.
History and Andean Condors in Colca Canyon
Historical attractions—such as pre-Hispanic settlements, the pre-Inca Chimpa fortress, and the caves of Mollepunko above Callalli, where 6,000-year-old rock art shows the domestication of the alpaca—are plentiful in the canyon. Andean Condors are another draw as some of the world’s largest flying birds, with bodies up to four feet (1.2 meters) tall and wingspans of up to 10.5 feet (3.2 meters). Because of their size, they live in windy areas that can help them get off the ground.
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