We will depart Arequipa early (3:00 – 3:30 AM) and get on our way to the Colca Valley. Our first stop is the town of Chivay – the largest in the Colca Canyon. We will stop here for a quick breakfast before heading to our trailhead at the small town of Cabanaconde. Our trek begins at an elevation of 3,280 meters (approx. 10,700 ft.). From here, we will begin our descent to the canyon floor and observe the shift in ecology from the high Andean desert to the lush canyon inner canyon. We will hike approximately 4 hours until we arrive to the suspension bridge over the Colca River as we reach the town of San Juan de Chuccho. We will spend the night in family home-stays in this quaint Andean town. We will have time to interact with the locals and enjoy a traditional dinner before turning in for the night in the rustic, yet clean accommodations.
Walking distance: 6-8 kilometers, or 4-5 miles depending on community homestay
After a delicious breakfast with the locals of San Juan of Chuccho, we will start out again on the trail, now climbing gradually above the Colca River Valley. During our ascent, we will pass through the communities of Malata, Coshñirhua – and take a steep detour to the town Tapay (high up on a cliff) and enjoy the scene of their proudly displayed native traditions and rustic architecture. You will see what it means to be one with the Earth as we look out upon the terraced fields and see first-hand the ancient farming techniques in use for generations. Accompanied with the views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks, Andean wildlife and absence of any indication of the civilized world – take a moment to take it all in. After about 3 hours of hiking, we will begin our descent back towards the Colca River, finally arriving at the refreshing desert oasis of Sangalle. The lush tropical atmosphere of the oasis is a strong contrast to the desert walls of the canyon – and a chance to jump into the pool, explore nearby abandoned mines and waterfalls, and enjoy the wonderful climate before settling into one of the camping lodges for the night.
Walking distance: 6-8 kilometers, or 4-5 miles depending on starting point
On the last day of our adventure, we will get up early and begin our ascent out of the canyon and back towards civilization. After a three-hour ascent to the town of Cabanaconde (on a different trail), we will cool off and meet up with our van and head towards the nearby Cruz de Condor observation point. On most days, we can observe the Flight of the Condor, as the giant birds soar over the deep canyon. After visiting the overlook for 1 hour, we will continue by bus to get to the town of Chivay, were we will be able to soak in the hot springs and get a buffet lunch before heading back to Arequipa. At 1:00 PM, we will head back to Arequipa on the bus and get back around 5:00 PM. We will say our goodbyes and take you to your hotel or other departure point. This concludes the Colca Canyon trekking experience!
Distance Travelled: 6 kilometers or 4 miles