Colca Travel Guide

  • Colca
    by toonsarah
  • Terraces in the canyon
    Terraces in the canyon
    by adelinemmc
  • Things to Do
    by enjoytravelling

Colca Things to Do

  • Amazing landscape

    In the Colca Canyon I saw the most beautiful landscapes of my trip to Peru. I was even more impressed by these views than by the also spectacular ones of Machu Pichu. The landscape all along the canyon and the valley is just amazing and the watching of the condors in the 'Condor's Cross' is a great experience.

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  • The Andes...

    The road from Arequipa to Chivay pass through one of higgest part of the Andes. Beautiful views of the snowy mountains with some lakes and small towns.

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  • CRUZ DEL CONDOR

    Twenty minutes by bus from Cavanaconde is the Condor´s Cross were you´ll have the oportunity of watching the biggest bird in the world, the condor.Watching that costs 35 soles (12€). Maybe sbdy will offer you the ticket for the show before arriving here, in Civay or in the bus. I would recoemd to buy it when you arrive to the cross. Some locals try...

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Colca Hotels

  • Casa Andina

    If you do an overnight tour of the Colca Canyon, you will stay in Chivay, a small Andean town that...

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Colca Restaurants

  • Not So Nice Pizzeria

    After we went with our group to a local restaurant, we met up with another tourist from Israel at the pizzeria near our hotel. We ordered Sexo En El Colca and we got to play as much pool as we wanted as long as we ordered something. The next day, we decided to eat there for lunch since we enjoyed our stay the night before. When we noticed that out...

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  • Not Cheap

    The food seems overpriced, (probably because of the many tourists). The price for meals in Chivay were neither cheap, nor very expensive. Also, the portions are rather small. They do offer alpaca meat in some meals. So if you want to try something new, there you go. It does not taste much different than beef, however, it is somewhat tough....

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  • Best Alpaca Steak in Peru!

    There is a lovely restaurant in the guesthouse I stayed at in cabanaconde. I'm sorry I forgot the name, but I promiss i'll look it up in my journals later on. Anyway, I had a tasty Alpaca steak. It was jummy!

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Colca Nightlife

  • Diana_Banana's Profile Photo

    by Diana_Banana Written Jan 9, 2005

    We went with our tourist group to eat dinner at a restaurant. Some Chivay restaurants provide entertainment with the dinner. At our dinner, we had a band play along with two dancers with a unique traditional costume, unlike I have seen in the Southern Peru area. Entertainers did ask for tips...

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Colca Transportation

  • BUS

    There are about 4-6 buses to go from Arequipa to Cabanaconde. It cost 30 (8€) soles.Meditate and relax yourself, a looooong and unconfortable 6 hours travel is waiting for you. The road finishes in Chivay, the main city in the canion. After that the road is full of pot-holes.

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  • The jeep of the canyon

    The only one possibility to reach the Canyon of Colca is taking part of an organized excursion, or those are the info I know...So, just enter in any travel agency in Arequipa and BARGAIN!Usaully the transports are made with a 4 x 4 Jeep (essential!!!) but the one I got, had also an ossigemn box...just in case, you know...you will get to 5.200 mt!

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  • Pablo Tours vs. the local bus

    I would say I was happy enough with Pablo Tours but if I was to do it over again, I'd do it by public bus. The tour was $45 per person and included the guided tour to Chivay, lunch, breakfast, and accommodation there. You had to get dinner on your own. They took you to the hot springs and some had to pay to get in there, other (like us) didn't. The...

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Colca Shopping

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  • De compras en el - COLCA - Shopping

    En la carretera que conduce a la Cruz del Condor se van encontrando puestos en los que las descendientes de los Aymaras y de los Cabanas , vestidas con sus trajes y sus sombreros venden artesanías de la zonaOn the road that drives to the Cruzdel Conde you may find stalls where the Aymara and Cabanas descendants , dressed with their traditional...

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  • Colourful textiles

    Everywhere you go in Peru you'll find roadside stalls where local people sell handicrafts to the tourists. Mostly you'll see textiles but we also found musical instruments and small carvings. If you want any woven goods I think these are a much better place to buy them - the prices are lower than in the shops (although really they're pretty cheap...

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  • a beautifull place to chill and to shop...

    During your excursion in the Canyon del Colca, you will have a stop (where usually you overnight) in a small tipical Andean village. The altitude here is about 4.200 mt, and the village is so pretty and autentic...no turist trap at all!Here you can have a shop and the prices are the 25% ofd the request on the first stop (check my tourist trap tip),...

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Colca Local Customs

  • Coyaguas y Cabanas

    Los Collaguas , de origen Aymara , se consideraban guerreros e hijos del volcán Callahuanta y se caracterizaron en la antigüedad por la forma aguzada de sus cabezas, las cuales deformaban a los niños al nacer para respetar la forma del volcán del que provenían.Los cabanas , de origen quechua , procedían de las profundidades del nevado Hualca Hualca...

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  • Los amigos / The friends

    No hay que olvidar los buenos ratos que pasamos con los amigos We musn´t forget the good times we spent with the friendsToni , Antonio y Dorothy

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  • Terrazas / Terraces

    Para cultivar las patatas y el maiz hacían terrazas que llegan desde el valle hasta lo alto de las montañas . Impresion imaginar la época en que hicieron las terrazas y las cultivaban To cultivate the potatoes and corn they built terraces from the valley up to the top of the mountain. it is impressive jsut to think the days when the the terraces...

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Colca Warnings and Dangers

  • Coca , Chachacoma y Mura

    Uno intenta luchar contra el soroche (mal de altura) como puede , aunque no siempre se consigueEn este caso acabamos tomando un mate de Coca , Chacoma y Mura , estas dos últimas son hierbas de la zona , después de haber probado ya el mate de coca , la coca masticada , caramelos de coca , alka seltzer , coramina....We tried to fight against the...

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  • Soroche

    Because the trip from Arequipo to Chivay consisted of many curves, a terrible stretch of dusty rocky road, and very high altitudes, I got altitude sickness at the very highest point. I had taken numerous cups of coca tea, as well as chewing coca leaves along the way. Fortunately, there was a Red Cross nurse at the top who helped me. I took a...

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  • knees take a beating...

    Make sure you are fit and your knees in good shape before deciding on the descent as it's rough going and steep. We did quite a bit of training before the trip and plenty of hiking before. It was still a humbling experience with our knees sore and legs just exhausted by the end. The cool pool felt so good as a reward. :)

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Colca Tourist Traps

  • Tour stop.

    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. Don´t buy anything, i didn´t get even a coca tea.

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  • Free lunch

    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...

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  • Entrance Fee Into Chivay

    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.

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Colca What to Pack

  • Warm clothes.

    It was very hot during the day, but at night the place was really cold, we slept with our clothes on. So bring warm clothes even if you´re not travelling in winter time.

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  • Warmth

    * Bring PLENTY of warm clothes!!! It gets very cold.* Bring a towel and bathing suit for the hot springs * Have lotion at hand, very dry weather. * Purex!!! It gets very very dusty!

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  • someone to protect you...

    Only a small pack is needed and in fact allowed on the tours due to limited space. Wide angle for the big canyon and circular polarizer to reduce glare. Zoom for vicuncas as you don't get THAT close. Someone to ward off the mice in the hut! Besides, an oasis is more fun with two. ;=>

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Colca Off The Beaten Path

  • Petroglyphs and rock paintings

    En route to the Colca Canyon from Arequipa our guide turned the vehicle off the road and on to a small track. When this petered out we walked a short distance to a cave where rock paintings and petroglyphs were to be found. I read later that these paintings date back between 5 800 BC up to 3 000 BC.

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  • Inca terraces

    Although much of the canyon is dramatic and rocky, just as you might imagine, other parts are much greener and dotted with farms and small villages. In these areas you can see both Inca and pre-Inca terraces. It's amazing to realise that a system for farming devised to suit this terrain is still in use to day - and still the best way of doing...

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  • Village life

    Our guide took us to Maca, one of the small villages in the Colca Canyon. She knew some of the people living there and we were invited into one of the houses. I'm never quite sure how I feel about these experiences - am I taking advantage of people's good nature to peer at them as if in a zoo, or am I as interesting to them as they are to me and/or...

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Colca Sports & Outdoors

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Updated Mar 7, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hiking is the best way to explore nature and the Colca Canyon is no exception. By using your own power, you get closer to what you want to see and experience. You can be quiet and not disturb things, at least that should be your goal. Try and blend in with your surroundings and feel at one with it.

    Equipment: Good boots are essential for any serious hike and though this one is short, it's steep enough that you should take it seriously. Sunblock and water are two more things not to forget and and a hat is something you'll be happy you brought too. Forget the bag of granola. ;)

    you just get closer hiking

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Colca Favorites

See all 9 Favorites in Colca
  • glad we did a three day tour...

    Luckily we had signed up for the three-day tour so we would not have to return with the guide that had botched the whole affair up. Another guide came to take just the two of us into the canyon on foot. Again this was not quite as explained on buying the tour. We had to walk a good two hours along a dusty road just to get to the area from which...

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  • a nibbler stikes while we are away

    We came back up to the resort and had a couple more beers before dinner. It was fun to sit under the stars in the deep dark canyon. But with a three am (we had a two-hour climb before catching the morning bus home) wake up call the next morning, we retired early. The cozy little hut we had fell in love with in the friendly afternoon light now...

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  • get to the bottom of it all!

    For my money to go to the Colca Canyon and not hike to its depth would be a waste of time. Everyone on our tour that just did a one night trip said it was not really worth coming all the way out there to just turn around an hour later to go back to Arequipa. So, by all means, if you are able, get down to the the bottom of it all! Seeing a condor in...

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Explore Deeper into Colca
COLCA CANION
Things to Do
Vicuñas...
Things to Do
Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca.
Things to Do
Market.
Things to Do
Andean Condors....
Things to Do
Views of the canyon.
Things to Do
Mirador Cruz del Condor.
Things to Do
Iglesias /Churches
Things to Do
Museo
Things to Do
Chivay
Things to Do
Apachetas
Local Customs
Vizcacha
Local Customs
Llamas y llameros
Local Customs
Gente - People
Local Customs
Cruz del Condor
Things to Do
Condores del - Colca - Condors
Things to Do
Aguada Blanca
Things to Do
Traditional costume
Local Customs
Take the Road from Chivay to Cruz del Condor
Things to Do
Go for a walk!
Things to Do
Local transport!
Off The Beaten Path
Hot springs
Things to Do
Condors
Things to Do
Look at the traditional dansers
Things to Do
Walk next to the canyon from cruz del condor.
Things to Do
Cruz del condor
Things to Do
Tunnels
Things to Do
Colca
Things to Do
Hot Springs
Things to Do
Highest Point
Things to Do
Aguada Blanca National Reserve
Things to Do
Coca Tea
Things to Do
Map
Off The Beaten Path
Burials
Off The Beaten Path
Keep Eye Open For Small Stuff
Off The Beaten Path
The village in the middle of the Canyon
Things to Do
Avoid to shop in such place build up only for tour
Tourist Traps
Take a bath at 5K meters!
Things to Do
Canyon del Colca
Things to Do
on the way to the Colca Valley
Things to Do
Map of Colca

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