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Colca Canyon - Peru Travel Information

Photos from Colca Canyon

קניון קולקה (2001) Colca Canyon קניון קולקה (2001) Colca Canyon קונדור קונדור קונדור קניון קולקה (2001) Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world, and some claim that it is even the deepest one. The canyon's depth is double that of the Grand Canyon in the US, but don't expect to see something similar to the grand canyon. The canyon is deep but its walls are not as vertical as the ones of the Grand Canyon.

Nevertheless, the canyon offers impressive sceneries and an opportunity for a close meeting with the South American king of the skies - the Condor.

Visiting the Colca Canyon

There are 2 basic options for traveling to the canyon: an organized tour or a private tour.

An organized tour will cost you about $15 for a 2 day tour and will be more convenient.

The details below are referring to the private tour.


Recommended itineraries for the solo traveller are:

Option 1:

  • Take a bus from Arequipa to Cabanaconde.
  • Sleep the night in Cabanaconde.
  • Next morning, go down 1000 meters to the bottom of the canyon, to a place called the Oasis. You can rest there and even swim in the swimming pool.
  • Climb back and sleep in Cabanaconde.
  • Next morning, take the first bus that leaves from Cabanaconde to the Condor observation
    point, called Curz del Condor. It is important to catch the first bus! Sometimes the bus leaves before its scheduled time, so be there before the expected time of departure.
  • Take the next bus back to Arequipa.

Option 2:

  • Go by bus from Arequipa to the village of Chivay.
  • Take a hot bath in the hot springs.
  • Sleep the night in Chivay
  • Next morning, take an organized tour to the condor's observation point Curz del Condor. Go back to Chivay.
  • Take the next bus back to Arequipa.

Getting there

The village that functions as the visitor center for the canyon area is called Cabanaconde. The village is situated about 6 minibus driving hours from Arequipa (if the bus doesn't break down on the way). Don't expect a fancy bus - far from it. The first part of the ride (3 hours) is relatively comfortable, but the second part is bumpy.

The bus leaves from Arequipa's central bus station (from the local buses section) and the cost of the ride is about 20 Sol. It is advisable to purchase a round trip ticket, and make sure that the bus company where you bought the ticket has 2 buses coming back from Cabanaconde every day. This way you will be able to take the first bus, stop on the way to observe the condors, and continue with the second bus.