DAY 1: AREQUIPA CITY to CHIVAY to CONDOR’S CROSS to SANGALLE
Between 3:00am and 3:30am we will depart to Cabanaconde in the Colca Canyon, which is about a 6-hour drive from Arequipa. On the way, we will stop for breakfast, and later we’ll continue to La Cruz del Condor, which is the best place to see the Canyon and the famous Andean condor birds. From here, we’ll continue another 20 minutes by mini-bus before starting our trek downhill. We will trek downhill for approximately 3 ½ hours, going from 3,300 metres to 2,100 metres into the canyon.
Upon arrival, we will have lunch and some time to rest in San Juan de Chuccho, a village with vegetation and some fruit trees. We’ll continue to the small towns of Cosñirhua and Malata. Then it will be time to start hiking even further into the canyon, this time to the deepest part of our trek to reach “Sangalle”, a village at an altitude of approximately 1,900 metres. Here you can enjoy the warm swimming pool, and relax after a long day spent hiking. We will arrive to Sangalle at approximately 5:00pm.
In the evening we will have dinner and stay overnight in bungalows near the oasis.
DAY 2: SANGALLE to CHIVAY to AREQUIPA CITY
At 5:00am we will start trekking uphill for approximately 3 hours to the town of Cabanaconde, with the help of torch lights. This part of the trek can provide spectacular views, as you’ll be trekking during the sunrise. We will have breakfast in Cabanaconde. From there we will head to Chivay. On the way, you will have a great view of pre-Inca terraces, some archaeological ruins, and colonial towns, amongst other views.
At around noon we’ll arrive to Chivay at the hot springs, with water temperatures of 38°C (optional). In Chivay, you can enjoy a typical local lunch if you wish.
In the afternoon, you will be taken back to Arequipa. On the way, you’ll descend from 4,830 metres to 2,325 metres, and will pass through the National Reserve and Pampa Cañahuas, the habitat of the four species of South American camelids (llama, alpaca, vicuña and guanaco). This is where you can get that all important selfie photo with an alpaca, or even a vicuña if you are lucky.
At the end of the afternoon, you’ll arrive to Arequipa between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, and we will drop you off at Calle Santa Catalina, next to Santa Catalina Monastery.
– Official Colca Canyon entrance tax of 70 soles is not included in the ticket price. This must be paid on the tour.
– For those that wish to finish in Puno: On return to Chivay at 1pm, there will just be 15 minutes for lunch before departing to Puno. Arrival time in Puno is 7pm, and the drop off point is at Puno Plaza de Armas.
– Rainy season lasts from December to March. We recommend you bring rain clothes (rain poncho) and a spare change of clothes. (these are available to rent or buy in Arequipa).