Our group was taken to a local restaurant in Chivay for lunch. Most of us thought that this was included in the tour. After the 13 soles meal, we were suprised to be asked to pay up. This created a lot of unpleasant argument. It was then that we discovered that the trip to the thermal baths and to the folkdance show were optional as well, and were not included in the package. Likewise, the tax to enter the Canyon.
Unique Suggestions: Since this was after the fact, there was no way that we could anticipate it.
Warning to others: ask before you sit down!
Fun Alternatives: Remember the saying ¨Caveat Emptor¨. Check and recheck your voucher. Clarify anything that lacks sufficient detail.
When you find a tourist agency to go to Colca Canyon, make sure they tell you that there is an entrance fee into the city, which I believe is 20 soles. Our agency did not include this fee in their price. Caught us off guard.
You will be in a very wellmade tourist trap once your tour will stop at about 4.500mt in a bar/shop, where there will be some people outisde with sheeps, dressing tipical dresses, trying to sell you whatever, from caps to tshirts and so on.
Basically, it could be inserted also in the shopping tip, but it so self evident that thopse people are just here because of the tourism, as also their price are something lik 4 times higher then the price you will meet in the real village you will see along the way leter one hours...
In the other hand, why should they not try to sell you something more expensive here as there are no competitors at all??
Up to you now..
One of the things I disliked most about the tour was that they made you meet them very early in the morning but then stopped at unnecessary places. First one was a convenience store barely out of town. I'm sure they get kickbacks on sales there and it seemed even more expensive than town too!
The second stop was in a small roadside restaurant for mate de cocoa, an herbal tea reputed to ease altitude sickness. This was a tad expensive too and there were hordes of women selling goods outside too. I could have slept an extra two hours or been in the Canyon earlier in the day.
Fun Alternatives: I think the next time I was to visit this area, I'd go by local bus as the buses run regularly and it's impossible to get lost!
All the tours stop in this restaurant located in the middle of nowhere, with stalls of handicrafts and a couple of alpacas. A real tourist trap.
Unique Suggestions: Don´t buy anything, i didn´t get even a coca tea.