A trip to Colca Canyon will allow you to see one of the most awe-inspiring natural sights in Peru. One of the deepest canyons in the world, the Colca Canyon stretches through the High Andes for over 100 kilometers, featuring diverse scenic palette which ranges from vast grassland to terraced fields to dramatic barren cliffs. Its sheer immensity coupled with rich cultural heritage make holidays in Colca Canyon a prime destination for all nature lovers and thrill-seekers passing through Peru.
Check out our guide on the Colca Canyon to know why you should not miss it!
- Colca Canyon is also known for its short but diverse trekking trails (hot springs included!). The most popular trip is a two-day trek down to Sangalle from Cabanaconde and back, check out this guide on the Colca Canyon trek to know more details.
- Cruz del Condor is probably the most astonishing point in Colca Canyon. At 3,287 meters above sea level, this iconic viewpoint offers a spectacular panorama of the area, but also a chance to spot wild condors, which nest at the rocky cliffs of the canyon.
- Village of Yanque is where you can take a glimpse into local culture, whether that’s through watching a performance of traditional dances, shopping for colorful native handicrafts or perhaps taking a photo with a llama or falcon.
- In Chivay, you will find the Astronomical Observatory located within the hotel called Casa Andina. The observatory hosts nightly shows for star-spotting.
- Uyu Uyu is the name of the archeological site within the Yanque community. This complex contains both Incan and pre-Incan ruins and artefacts.
- If you are looking to the best base for exploring Colca Canyon, the city of Arequipa may be the most convenient option. From the city, it takes about four hours to get to the canyon.
- All foreign nationals who visit the Colca Canyon are required to pay a fee of 70 soles (price as of May 2018).
- The canyon can be explored both independently or within an organized tour. If you want to shop around for best deals, head over to Plaza de Armas in Arequipa, where you will find a host of travel agencies and tour operators. Most of them offer two or three-day tours, but you can stay longer if you wish to do so.
Peru has seasonal weather, please sure to read up on the best time to visit Peru to plan a perfect holiday. If you are looking for more then do read our guide on the best things to do in Peru and if trekking is your thing then we have curated 10 best treks in Peru aside from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.