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Colca Canyon Tours; Ultimate Travel Guide 2023

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The Colca Canyon trek is not easy. The altitude and the steep climb in and out of the canyon make it a challenge. However, it is one of the best things to do in Peru offering stunning views and the chance to see the majestic Andean Condor; one of the largest birds in the world. There are a variety of tours available in Arequipa, but they differ in quality and activities. From one day tours that do not include the Colca Canyon trek to 3 day tours that include two nights inside the canyon.

In this post you can learn all about the Colca Canyon trek and some advice to consider when booking your Colca Canyon tour. “Is the colca canyon trek necessary?”  “How many days do I need for the Colca Canyon trek?”  “Can I do the Colca Canyon trek on my own?” Read this article to answer these and any other questions you may have.

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Colca Canyon Tours; Ultimate Travel Guide 2023

Best Tours and Trekking in 1, 2, 3, or 4 day tours! We offer a great variety of Colca Canyon excursions and tours and hiking for travelling to the the Colca Canyon with fixed daily departures from Arequipa, Chivay, Puno or Cusco, in small groups and tailor made tours from one to four days.

In Arequipa region, the Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world. It is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Colca has an elevation of 3,400m/11,155ft at it’s deepest point.

The Colca Canyon was formed by the erosion of volcanic rock caused by the Colca River. the Colca Valley and Canyon is located in Arequipa city in south Peru in the heart of the Andes.

Private tours to the Colca Canyon are very popular because it is considered as the second deepest canyon in the world. Trekking, adventure, rural or cultural tour will take you to discover the natural viewpoints of the Colca Canyon.

Private and Group Colca Canyon Tours

This is a popular Peru tourist destination for I’ts beautiful andean landscapes, condors flight, the impressive giant hummingbird, llamas, vicuñas and alpacas. Find the informations related to this natural wonder located in the Peru Andes, Perou Voyage offers escorted and organized tours to the Colca Canyon from Arequipa, Chivay, Cusco or Puno.

One of the main reasons that visitants travel to the City of Arequipa is to take a guided trip to the famous canyon (the second deepest canyon in the world), surpass by the Cotahuasi, also located in Peru.

The Colca is a must-see during your vacation in Peru, famous for epic andean viewpoints, great hiking, Condor spotting and hot springs.

Adventure, Cultural and Trekking to Colca Canyon starting from Arequipa

  • Departing from Arequipa, the journey to the Colca Valley begins with a drive northeast by Yura, towards the volcanoes Chachani and Misti.
  • After about 2 hours, the bus stop at Pampa Cañahuas for watching wild vicuñas and then at Patahuasi to enjoy a traditional coca tea.
  • The final stop at Patapampa overlook (4,910 meters) where you can watch the mounatins range and take photos of the andean landscape.
  • The private transport arrives to Chivay, where you can taste local lunch.
  • After lunch, embark on a short guided walk through Coporaque, Yanque or Canocota town or take rest for relaxing in the natural hot springs and end the day at your lodge.

Colca Canyon Tour Departure From Arequipa, Puno or Cusco

  • A journey to the Valley usually takes about 3 hours by tourist bus, across the high Andean plateau, reaching a high point of 4800m/15,748ft at the “Mirador de los Volcanes,” which offers fine views of several volcanoes that soar to more than 6,000m/19,685ft.
  • You can find different ways for discovering the Colca Canyon. The tour options offered depends on the kind of service: private or shared. The 2 two day/one night or three 3 day/two night trip visiting: National Reserves, south american camels, (lamas, alpacas, vicugnas) and natural viewpoints.
  • Enjoy our trekking activities inside the canyon with our customized tour itineraries for discovering the Colca.

Tour private and shared tour service:

  • Colca Canyon One-Day Tour
  • Colca Canyon 2 Day/1 NightTour
  • Colca Canyon 3-Day Cabanaconde

Trekking into the Colca Canyon

Trekking in the Colca Canyon is difficult and these itineraries are specially designed for adventure travellers who want to go to the extra mile of the Colca Canyon.

The Trekking paths into the Colca Canyon have been used since the pre-inca period and are still used today by the local population. Treks can range from 2, 3 or 4 days.

Why should I visit the Colca Canyon?

Because the Colca is the world’s second deepest canyon in the world, a smidgeon shallower than near neighbor, the Cotahuasi, and twice as deep as the more famous Grand Canyon in the United States. Colca is replete with history, culture, ruins, tradition and customs.

Geography in the Colca Canyon

“Colca” is the name of the canyon, river, and valley located in Caylloma province at approximately 100 miles northwest of Arequipa City. The province border Cusco and Puno, two important regions in the southern Andes.

The average distance from the peaks of the mountains to the river is 3,109 meters. This fact makes It one of the world’s deepest canyons. However Cotahuasi Canyon is a few hundred meters deeper.

Colca Canyon Weather

The weather is the typical of the Andes.

Dry Season

  • From May to November

Rainy Season

  • From January to March


  • Daytime highs: 20°C (68°F) Night average: 10°C (50°F)
  • During the day, temperatures vary with elevation. The lowest portions of the valley can get quite warm in the dry season, specially on hiking trails.

Altitude Sickness:

  • Here are some things you can do to prevent yourself from getting altitude sickness
  • Gradual acclimatization to altitude is important if you are traveling to high altitude areas Symptoms of “soroche” can include fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing and insomnia
  • The mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema or high altitude cerebral edema, both of which constitute life-threatening medical emergencies
  • Take time to rest much more than usual
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking and eat lightly
  • Make sure you are drinking enough water
  • Coca leaves (tea and chewing) are good for helping you to adapt to the altitude.

The Best Place to See Condors in Peru

Peru’s Colca is not only the second-deepest canyon in the world, but also one of the best destinations in South America for watching Andean Condors.

This is easily accessed by car from the colonial ‘White City’ of Arequipa.

Most visitors book on a tour from Arequipa, a beautiful colonial city with churches built from a white volcanic material called sillar.

While traveling from Arequipa you pass the Aguada Blanca National Vicuña Reserve, where you can see herds of vicuñas.

Also, you will watch viscachas, a native rodent that looks like rabbits. Then we will find the Patapampa Pass and the Mirador de los Volcanes in-route to the Valley.

Chivay is the main village from where we can access to the two sides of the Canyon, and is where most tours spend the night.

Colca is fertile and inhabited valley with pre-Columbian terraces and traditional Andean villages.

The Collagua and Cabana peoples who lived here for at least 2000 years, built an ingenious terracing system on the valley.

The smoking Sabancaya Volcano looms at 5976 meters is one of the most active volcanoes in Peru, next to the Sabanacay volcano is the Ampato at 6288 meters, where was found the famous ‘Ice Mummy Juanita’.

The River Colca descends from 3500 meters in Chivay reaching 2200 meters at Cabanaconde, the small, last village in the canyon.

On road from Chivay to Cabanaconde is located The Mirador Cruz del Condor, the best location to spot the andean condor.

The Andean condor is a national symbol not only of Peru, but of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, and plays an important role in the folklore the Andean regions.

Considered the animal of the spirit world according to Incan cosmology. Visitors will be able to see the birds fairly close.

Many people choose to experience on a two-day trek. Be prepared, this is for those who love trekking. However, less enthusiastic trekkers can always a mule ride or take a short trail for accesing to the Oasis in Sangalle.

It doesn’t matter the way you choose to experience it, here you will see some of the most beautiful andean scenery in the world.

How to visit the Colca Canyon Tours?

The most popular way to visit is on a full-day tour or a 2-3-4 day hike, organised from Arequipa, Puno, Chivay or Cusco. The best way to get from Arequipa is booking a tour which includes pick up from the hotel in Arequipa.

Most Colca tours start in Arequipa city, but is possible to start in Puno, Cusco or Chivay.

The tours include transport, accommodation, food and a guide.

However, if you’re not a fan of organised day tours and you prefer to travel independently without a tour guide and a group of tourists, then here’s a nice and easy way for you to travel from Arequipa via the lovely town of Chivay!

List of hotels in Colca Canyon: Colca Lodge, Belmond Las Casitas del Colca, Pozo del Cielo, Killawasi Lodge, Casa Andina Colca, Kuntur Wassi, La Granja del Colca, Tradicion Colca, La Casa de Mamayacchi, Kollawas Home Inn, Aranwa and Las Casitas del Colca.

Packing List for the Colca Canyon Tours

  • Documentation.
    Bring your original passport. You will need it both to start the Inca Trail Tour and to enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate.
  • Day Pack (30L)
    Bring a comfortable daypack with snug straps to wear while you hike. SAM Travel Peru and most of the companies offer extra porter to carry you things too
  • Reusable water bottle.
    Carry a reusable water bottle in your daypack. Another option is a hydration pack, like a CamelBak, which is a super convenient way to stay hydrated.
  • Clothing.
    Layers, layers, layers. You’ll pass through many different climates along the trail and dressing in layers is important. Pack lightweight pants, short- and long-sleeve shirts, a warm fleece jacket, underwear, and socks. Temperatures really drop at altitude when the sun goes down. To stay warm, thermal undergarments, a warm hat, and gloves are recommended.
  • Footwear.
    Comfortable hiking boots or walking shoes are a must. Also pack shower sandals.
  • Rain gear.
    Be prepared with a rain jacket and pants or poncho. Rainy conditions aren’t to be expected during the dry season, but it’s better to be prepared.
  • Sun protection.
    Pack a hat, strong sunblock, and glasses for protection against the sun.
  • Flashlight.
    Headlamp (with extra batteries) or small flashlight to use at night while camping.
  • Comfort.
    Light-weight travel towel to shower with and a small travel pillow for your sleeping comfort. Some trekkers may prefer to bring walking sticks, they are especially helpful in downhill sections.
  • Toiletries.
    Toothbrush, toothpaste, travel shampoo, tissues, toilet paper, wet wipes, insect repellent with deet, and any personal medications.
  • Snacks.
    You may want to bring extra (or diet specific) high energy snacks, such as some cookies, protein bars, chocolates, or nuts.
  • Money.
    Bring local Peruvian currency (Soles) in your wallet so that you can tip your trekking team.
  • Camera.
    Of course, don’t forget your camera, with extra battery packs and memory cards – No Electricity along the trek.

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Sam Corporations has flexible departure dates, willing to accommodate your needs and travel requirements as far as possible. We guarantee exclusive luxurious tours of the hidden gems of Peru, whilst providing the best quality and personalized service.

You can book confidently knowing we offer the best value for your money

What our clients say on Tripadvisor


feb. de 2023 • Pareja

Este Viaje es una de las mayores experiencias que tuvimos .con muchas cosas por aprender, conocer otras culturas, escapar de la rutina y romper barreras, miedos y prejuicios. Una de las de las mejores experiencias que pudimos tener es y sobre todo abrir horizontes, descubrir cosas nuevas .

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Oasis de Huacachina

ene. de 2023 • Amigos

El mejor tour de mi vida, visitar el desierto de ICA y el Oasis de Huacachina fue maravilloso, fuimos un grupo de amigos para conocer el sur peruano y nos fascino, nuestro guía fue muy divertido y muy informado sobre la historia del Perú, todo estubo excelentemente organizado sin ningún error y...

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David es el top!

ene. de 2023 • Familia

Esta compañía superó nuestra expectativa en el tour del Valle Sagrado y Machu Picchu, nuestro guía David fue estupendo y muy informado de la historia de los Incas. Nuestro conductor Junior fue increíble y muy apasionado con su trabajo.
Muchas gracias.

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Sam Corporations


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Our company is 100% locally owned. We directly contribute to economic development and environmental sustainability in Peru.

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The quality of our service is one of our most important values which demands all our effort, determination, and courage to be successful in what we are doing and the services we provide

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We aim to have a positive impact in all the areas that we visit. Through our training sessions and social projects, we empower women, indigenous communities and children

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Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you a personalized tour in our small comfortable vans

100% Customised Itinerary

Interested in visiting only specific destinations? No problem, all our packages can be fully customized to suit your budget and schedule. Contact our travel advisors to plan the most comprehensive trip of a lifetime.

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We commit socially and culturally to the community and adapt our business strategies to the preservation of the environment

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  • All Inclusive Tours with no hidden fees.
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  • Unique Tours & Trekking routes
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Similar tours that may interest you

Colca Canyon Tour 1 Day

Colca Canyon Tour 1 Day

The full-day tour of Colca Canyon takes you on a magical journey through the Colca Valley. Hike up to the famous Cruz del Condor viewpoint for the most expansive views of the Colca Canyon and an out of this world sighting of the imposing Andean Condor. Later enjoy, a relaxing soak in the serene thermal baths close by. Visit an amazing National Park for interaction with llamas, alpacas, and Vicuñas. This comprehensive one-day tour gives you unparalleled views of the Colca Canyon and the valley. Experience incredible fauna and interact with amazing animals and the local people along the way.


Colca Canyon Tour 2 Days

Our classic 2-day Colca Tour is a journey that will take you from Arequipa city to the amazing Colca canyon. In this excursion you will discover a place rich in culture and traditions, breathtaking natural scenery, and diveerse wildlife like wild vicuñas, llamas and alpacas. In addition; you’ll get the rare opportunity to observe the spectacular gliding of the Andean Condor between the walls of the great canyon. Our classic Colca Tour 2 days is flexible, allowing you to finish the excursion with a return to Arequipa city or continuing to the City of Puno on Lake Titicaca. We offer also a pick up from Puno city in order that you join our Tour. This is an unforgettable tour you won’t want to miss.


Colca Canyon Tour from Puno to Arequipa 2 days

The 2 day Colca Canyon Tour – Cañon de Colca in Spanish – offers travellers the opportunity to get up close and personal to countryside life in Peru, spot soaring Andean condors, bathe in secret thermal baths, uncover jaw-dropping vistas, stay in an oasis, and hike along dusty roads into the depths of one of the world’s deepest canyons.