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Colca Canyon in Arequipa

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Colca Canyon in Arequipa

When visiting the 'White City' you are not only thinking of touring its countryside and the Ruta del Sillar, of strolling through its viewpoints and marveling at the imposing Misti; or in giving your palate a treat by trying its delicious and varied gastronomy. You also want that connection with nature, practice outdoor sports and get to know the native peoples of the area. And you can find everything in one place.


The province of Caylloma, located in the extreme northeast of the southern department, is one of the eight divisions that make up the Arequipa region. What makes this area so important is the natural treasure that houses its lands. It is not a national park, an extreme source of biodiversity or an imposing snow-capped peak. None of that: here lies the imposing and enigmatic Colca Canyon which, with its 4160 meters, is considered the fourth deepest in the entire world.


Located within the Colca Valley, the Canyon is one of the biggest tourist destinations not only in Arequipa, but also in Peru. Its easy access -a bus or private car from the city to the district of Chivay, does not take more than 3 hours and a half-. Varied activities take place here that make it so required by tourists interested in adventure sports, ancestral culture and nature lovers.


Because in the Colca Canyon you can connect with your more adventurous side and practice trekking, rafting or mountain biking, activities that are gaining more and more followers in these places. Once you have connected with nature, try to see the amazing scenes full of vegetation, until you reach one of the summit points of Colca, where from a viewpoint tourists are waiting for the apparitions of the majestic condors.


Yes, we are talking about those imposing Andean birds, considered the largest in the world, since they can weigh up to 15 kilograms and measure 3 meters wide -with their wings extended-. The Andean condor is a native species of Peru and the Colca is its home, a place where it is appreciated by travelers.


What can you do in the Colca Valley?


  1. Get to know the small towns of the Colca Valley

Like Pinchollo, Maca, Achoma, Cabanaconde, Coporaque, Yanque and other picturesque towns, where you can practice experiential tourism, horseback riding, trekking in the surroundings, cycling, adventure sports and see the beautiful nature and fauna of the place.


  1. Observe the Condor in its natural habitat

The Colca Canyon is the perfect place to see one of the most representative birds of biodiversity in our country, the Andean condor. You can watch their flight from the Cruz del Cóndor viewpoint and marvel at the size of these birds as well as the impressive views of the surrounding mountains.


  1. Chacapi Thermal Baths

2 km. from the Yanque district, you can find the Chacapi Thermal Baths, where you can rest and relax in its pools with waters that reach up to 50 degrees Celsius and that have healing properties for rheumatic diseases and muscle pain.


  1. Trekking in the Colca Valley

One way to get to know this destination to appreciate its beautiful nature is by taking several-hour walking tours through different towns. The beautiful hiking trails include stays in some of the towns such as Yanque or Sangalle. An unforgettable experience in your travel plan to Arequipa!


Other activities in the Colca Valley

If what you want is to relax, you need a dip in the thermal waters of La Calera, so that you renew your energy and you can continue with your trip like new. But if what you are looking for is to merge with the ancient history and the original peoples of Colca, you must do community tourism in the area.


The towns of Sibayo, Yanque, Callalli and Coporaque, with their ancestral customs, their friendly residents and a lifestyle inherited from their ancestors, are magical places where time seems to have stopped: you can stay in their homes, participate in their cultural activities or collaborate with their daily tasks and thus live the experience of rural tourism to the fullest.


This beautiful tourist attraction is not only recognized nationally or by the tourists who visit it. In 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) declared the Colca Canyon and Andagua Volcanoes as a world geopark, being the first and only one in Peru (and the third in South America). to receive this distinction.


What does Colca Canyon mean?

The Colca Canyon reaches a depth of 4,160 meters, making it one of the deepest places in the world. It was formed by the erosion of volcanic rock caused by the Colca River along the line of a fault in the earth's crust. In addition, it is located near the Valley of the Volcanoes, which is made up of approximately 40 volcanoes, which makes it a geologically active area.


How much does the entrance to the Colca Valley cost?

The price of the tourist ticket for the Colca Canyon, Salinas, Aguada Blanca and Valley of the Volcanoes tourist circuit depends on the age and nationality of the tourists:

Peruvians: Adult visitor: s/.20 Child visitor (6 to 15 years old): s/.5 Student visitor (Undergraduate): s/.5 Senior visitor (60 years and over) s/.5

Latin Americans: Adult visitor: s/.40 Child visitor (6 to 15 years old): s/.20

Foreigner: Adult visitor: s/.70 Child visitor (6 to 15 years old): s/.20


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