Arequipa To Colca Canyon

Arequipa to colca canyon; Peru is a unique country full of natural wonders and attractions, that has much more to offer than the Inca site, Machu Picchu. So our trip to the beautiful, old Spanish colonial city of Arequipa with the trip to Colca Canyon became another Highlight of our previous trip! The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon on earth with a depth of up to 3,400 meters and even deeper than the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Arequipa To Colca Canyon

How to get to colca canyon?

Our starting point was one of the most beautiful cities in Peru: Arequipa. Our Hostel was located in the center, near the Plaza de Armas and after only a few hours we fell in love with the charming city. The buildings were built almost all in a Spanish style and the background, you can see snow-capped mountains around.

On the same day, we informed ourselves in several travel agencies in the center about the various tours to the main attraction in the area, the Colca Canyon. “If you Arequipa and don’t go to Colca Canyon, that’s whether you’re in Cusco and don’t visit Machu Picchu.”

There are several different tours to and from Calco Canyon. From simple day trips by Bus to three – to four-day Colca Canyon trekking tours in the Canyon itself. Since we had already booked a permanent accommodation in Arequipa, we decided against a multi-day Tour and for a one-day Tour by Bus to Colca Canyon. The Tour cost was $ 15 per person and included the trip, an English Speaking Guide, breakfast and entry to Colca Canyon.

Trip to colca canyon

The next morning we started by Bus early at 3:30 am. We were picked up at our Hostel and started the tour to Colca Canyon with a bag of coca leaves, plenty of water and warm blankets, which we received from our Guide at the entrance to the Bus.

Since we decided to take the one-day bus tour, it was already clear to us at the beginning that we will be sitting on the Bus for a very long time on this day. After about four hours of a bumpy ride and at least some sleep, we reached our first stop in Acoma. Here there was in a small Restaurant, a standard Peruvian Breakfast of bread and jam, cheese, butter, juice, coffee, and Coca tea.

tours arequipa

After an hour’s bus ride, we visited the small town of Maca. The city is characterized by its Spanish church and is located near the volcano Sabancaya.

Continue for another hour in the direction of Cruz del Condor. The Cruz del Condor was the most distant stop of the Tour and was also a highlight of the trip. The viewing platform offers an incredible view of the gorge and is also called the valley of the andean condor. Only here you can shoot a unique photo of the cruz del condor, which fly almost floating over the canyon. The viewpoint is a tourist Magnet and at almost any time the rush is great. Nevertheless, we could get some wonderful pictures of the giant animals with a wingspan of up to three meters.

Colca canyon tour

As the vantage point was the most distant point on the day Route Arequipa To Colca Canyon, our bus journey then slowly declined. However, the long journey was interrupted every few minutes, as several stops with viewpoints were inserted. So we saw not only the Incan terraces and the Colca Canyon river. We were also allowed to taste a cactus fruit and enjoy the view of the breathtaking Valley. The countryside with its many terraces and mountains reminded us of Bali.

At lunchtime, we arrived in the small town of Chivay. It was possible to have lunch in buffet form for 20 Peruvian Sol. The Buffet was very rich and from Appetizer to Dessert, everything was there. Only drinks had to be paid additionally. But because we had to eat provisions here and in the 30 minutes something the city is explored, we decided against the Buffet.


Near Chivay is the small town in Calera. There are the Hot Springs, so hot springs. In the middle of nature, you can enjoy a total of three pools both a pleasant water temperature of 38 degrees and a wonderful view. Tips: The entrance to the thermal baths is not included in the tour price, but only cost 15 Peruvian Sol, which is equivalent to about 4 euros. A good hour you could stay here and recover from the Tour a bit.

Volcan sabancaya

On the way back, a stop was also placed at the highest point of the route, in Patapampa at an colca canyon altitude of 4,910 meters. Here, the thin air was felt and the breathing was heavier. From here we had a fantastic view of three volcanoes. The middle of the volcanoes with the name “Sabancaya” is currently active (August 2019). With some luck, you can see there an Eruption and black rising smoke. We were lucky and were able to observe two minor eruptions with our own eyes after only a few minutes-an an indescribable experience!

Our last stop was in Submay. Here we observed several flocks with (Baby)alpacas and Lamas and were able to shoot one or the other picture of them. From this point on, the Bus went back to Arequipa for a good three hours.

Finally, we arrived very tiredly and happy at about 18:30 clock again in our Hostel. The bus ride was very long, but the landscape of Peru compensates a lot and makes even a total of almost 12-hour bus ride a real experience.

Colca canyon trek

We can answer this question with “yes”. Even though we did only take a one-day Tour to Colca Canyon by Bus, and in a short time we were able to marvel at the various stations, we were completely overwhelmed by nature. In our opinion, the city of Arequipa should not be missed on any trip to Peru. Arequipa to colca canyon is once again another Highlight that you will not forget so quickly and is one of Peru’s top attractions!

Arequipa To Colca Canyon

If you have enough time, you should plan several days for the Colca Canyon. To experience the gorge and the nature-intensive is worth the hike through the mountains on our way to Cabanaconde. For the two – to three-day Trekking Tour, however, you should only decide, if you are not a hiking Amateur.

The walks extend to more than 1000 meters difference in altitude. It is also worth booking the Tour on-site in Arequipa! The prices are here with the same offer a lot cheaper compared to all internet portals.

Arequipa canyon

After our flight over the Nazca Lines, we drove on the same evening with a night bus to Arequipa. The ride was very winding, the road was bad and so for those with a sensitive stomach very exhausting. We thought about going straight to the canyon but rejected this plan to give us a break. At the terminal, we briefly planned and informed us about tours to the Colca Canyon. Surprisingly, these were very cheap, so we booked a tour directly in the terminal.

From the terminal, we drove with two taxis to our hostel.


Peru, like most countries in South America, has experienced a tremendous rural exodus. The growth within the cities focused mostly but only on the capital. While Lima has 10 million inhabitants, Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest city, has just under 1 million inhabitants.

Arequipa is at 2400 meters. The Chachani volcano, with a height of 6057 meters, borders directly on the city. Around Arequipa, there are several volcanoes. In 1784 the Misti broke out and caused great damage in Arequipa. The city has recovered from this and was quickly rebuilt. In Arequipa, there are many colonial buildings, which contribute to make Arequipa the most beautiful city in South America.

Arequipa what to do

We visited the historic center of Arequipa again with a free walking tour. At the main square is the cathedral. To make the church seem larger, it was not built frontally but laterally to the main square. The entrance is thus on the side.

inca trail

Our guide shared general information about Peru, such as the country’s geography, and much about Arequipa. The city is surrounded by volcanoes and is located in an earthquake area. The conditions are therefore not optimal, but Arequipa has developed into the second-largest city in Peru.

Arequipa to colca canyon

While Lima is considered the largest and most modern city in Peru and Cusco is the capital of the Inca culture, Arequipa combines both. During the tour, for example, we stopped at a church at the front of which Christian and indigenous symbols were used. This mixture should help the local population to win Christianity. Many other Christian representations were also adapted to the local culture. For example, at the last supper, Jesus and his disciples feed guinea pigs, which is considered a delicacy in Peru and eaten at celebrations. At the end of the tour, we were able to taste Chicha, an indigenous corn beer.

In addition to the guided tour, we explored the city alone and stopped at several churches and the Santa Catalina Monastery. This looks more like a fortress from the outside. Unfortunately, we missed the time for a visit, because of the size you should plan for half a day.

Colca canyon trip

Arequipa to colca canyon: In Arequipa, we spent only one day. On the second day, we started our tour in the Colca Canyon early in the morning. We were picked up at 3 am at the hostel and drove towards Colca Canyon. We had to cross the volcano area. This made itself felt especially by the enormous difference in altitude sickness to Arequipa. The highest point was 4900 meters and the whole area was covered with snow and ice. For these temperatures, we had not prepared, but we drove down to the Colca Canyon again over 2000 meters and the temperature rose again. The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.

machu picchu hike

From Cabanaconde we started the descent into the canyon. We had great views of nature. For lunch, it was the first time traditional Aplaca meat. In the descent, we passed several small villages until we finally arrived in San Galle in our accommodation. The small village is located deep down in the canyon right on the river. We enjoyed a cool refreshment in the pool of our accommodation and had dinner. The next morning started again early and we started the ascent without breakfast. Breakfast was waiting for us. We left before sunrise. It was a strenuous but very nice climb.

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