COLCA CANYON TOUR IN PERU – A COMPLETE GUIDE

COLCA CANYON TOUR IN PERU – A COMPLETE GUIDE

Be sure not to miss out on a 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!

 

Wondering what Camera & Photography Gear I use while backpacking around the world? Click Here to view my gear list and essential travel items that I recommend for your next adventure!

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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.

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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 through 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!

I personally booked my Colca Canyon Tour with Madre Tierra Travel, an adventure tour company that offers dozens of tours throughout South America.

Click Here to book Tours of Colca Canyon with Madre Tierra Travel.

Note: There is an additional Colca Canyon entrance fee that is not included with any tour that you book. The fee to get into the park is 70 Soles ($22) that must be paid upon arrival in Chivay.

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WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE COLCA CANYON TOUR

The Colca Canyon Tour from Arequipa starts bright and early at around 3am 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!

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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 5pm and 6pm with a drop-off to requested hotels.

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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.

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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 favourite places to stay in Arequipa to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travellers. 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.

Click Here to check availability and rates at Queen’s Villa Hotel Boutique.

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!

Click Here to check availability and rates at Selina Arequipa.

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.

Click Here to check availability and rates at  Wild Rover Hostel Arequipa.

For all other Arequipa accommodation, Click Here to search on Booking.com.

Airbnb Arequipa: Another option is to stay in an Airbnb, which has some great deals in Arequipa – Get your $40 Airbnb discount here!

COLCA CANYON MAP

Want to travel full-time? ∼ Click Here To Learn How!

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.

Happy Canyoning! 🙂

MORE PERU

If you are planning a trip to Peru, be sure to check out my other travel guides below that you might find useful while putting together your Peru Itinerary:

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