COLCA CANYON TOUR IN PERU!
Be sure not to miss out on the Colca Canyon Tour on your next trip to Peru! Colca Canyon, also known as Valle del Colca, is famed the world’s deepest river canyon with a depth of 3, 270m and it’s also a popular location to watch the Cruz del Condor (flight of the Condors).
Having experienced a Canyon Colca Tour first-hand, I have put together this detailed guide with everything you need to know about a 1 Day Colca Canyon Tour including where to book and what to expect!
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WHERE IS THE COLCA CANYON TOUR
Most Colca Canyon Tours operate out of Arequipa, a beautiful city in southern Peru.
The journey from Arequipa to Colca Canyon is approximately a three and a half hour drive to reach the starting point of Valle del Colca in the Chivay region.
Find All ∼ Hostels & Hotels in Arequipa
WHERE TO BOOK TOURS OF COLCA CANYON
There are dozens of tour operators and offices located in Arequipa to book a Colca Tour, but in my experience, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which operator to book a tour without being ripped off.
Alternatively, you can book Colca Canyon Tours online in advance to avoid the hassle of having to organise a trip once you have arrived in Arequipa.
I recommend finding a tour that best suits you on the Get Your Guide website. They have several Colca Canyon Tours available including 1-day, 2-day and 3-day tours, Colca Canyon trek options and much more!
Click Here to search for all Tours Colca Canyon and book online ahead of time!
Scenic mountain roads on the Colca Canyon Tour
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE COLCA CANYON TOUR
The Colca Canyon Tour from Arequipa starts bright and early at around 3 am for a hotel pick-up. The drive out to Colca Canyon in the minivan takes around three and a half hours to reach the town of Chivay and this is where breakfast is included before beginning the Colca Canyon one day tour.
After breakfast in Chivay, the Colca Tour continues along a winding mountain road, deep into the Colca Valley with several stops along the way at scenic viewpoints overlooking the most incredible landscapes!
It’s difficult to get a clear perspective of the entire Colca Canyon, that’s why there are many lookout points to check out on this route.
The minivan then makes a two-hour stop at the most famous viewpoint, Cruz del Condor, and this is where you can spot the flight of the world’s largest flying bird, the Condor.
With a wingspan of more than 3m, weighing up to 15kg and standing 1.2m tall, these raptors are truly a magnificent site to see.
There are a number of walking trails and dozens of lookout points to explore while on the Colca Canyon Tour, each of which boasts unreal views up and down the valley!
Walking trails at Cruz del Condor – Tours of Colca Canyon
Death-defying drops – Arequipa Colca Canyon
COLCA CANYON TOUR – CONTINUED
If you are wanting to capture good pictures of the flight of the Condor’s then you’ll need a decent zoom lens on your camera. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right lens on my camera to get any decent photos of the Condor’s though it was an incredible experience seeing three or four Condors circling the skies above my head!
The Colca Tour continues back to Chivay for lunch and a short wander around the small village town markets before making the long drive back to Arequipa.
On the road between Colca Canyon and Arequipa, the minivan will stop at the Patapampa viewpoint, also known as Mirador de Los Andes, for majestic views of the Cordillera and surrounding volcanic landscapes. This is also the highest point of the Colca Canyon Tour sitting at 4, 910m above sea level.
The Colca Canyon Tour arrives back in Arequipa between 5 pm and 6 pm with a drop-off to requested hotels.
BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR THE CANYON COLCA TOUR
It is possible to visit Valle del Colca any time of the year, though it’s recommended to tour Colca Canyon between March and June when the Condors are most active.
You’ll want to avoid the rainy season at Colca Canyon which is from December to March.
Colca Canyon altitude is 3, 500m above sea level so you may feel some lightheadedness
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Tours Colca Canyon
Village town markets – Colca Canyon One Day Tour
WHERE TO STAY IN AREQUIPA
Arequipa has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places to stay before and after your Colca Canyon Tour to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Queen’s Villa Hotel Boutique
Queen’s Villa has one of the best locations in Arequipa, close to the main square and only 15-minutes drive from the airport. This luxury accommodation features a swimming pool, beautiful gardens, a panoramic terrace, library and cafeteria. The rooms are spacious and cosy, featuring a private bathroom and free wifi.
Mid Range: Selina Arequipa
Rated the best value in Arequipa! Selina has an outdoor pool, restaurant and bar, beautiful gardens, a tree house, cinema room, co-working space, library and more! Choose from either a dorm room, double room, triple room, quadruple room, deluxe room or a suite. Selina has something for everyone!
Budget: Wild Rover Hostel Arequipa
The name says it all! Wild Rover Hostel is an adults-only accommodation featuring a pool, garden, bar, table tennis, billiards and an in-house restaurant. Wild Rover is a party hostel located in the centre of Arequipa and guests can choose either a bed in a dorm room or a private room. Perfect for solo travellers on a budget.
For all other Arequipa accommodation, Click Here to search on Booking.com
COLCA CANYON MAP
Another option for accommodation in Arequipa is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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MORE CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Mexico: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- Cuba: 10 Day Cuba Itinerary
- Peru: Backpacking Peru – 3 Week Itinerary
- Bolivia: Things To Do In Bolivia
- Brazil: 2 Day Rio De Janeiro Itinerary
- Argentina: Things To Do In Argentina
- Chile: Things To Do In Chile
LONELY PLANET – PERU
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Peru Travel Guide!
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WHAT TO PACK FOR THE COLCA CANYON TOUR
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE COLCA CANYON TOUR
Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions at all about the Tours of Colca Canyon, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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