Machu Picchu Travel

Getting to the Colca Canyon

Getting to the Colca Canyon

The deepest Canyon in South America is in Peru, to be exactly in Arequipa. The so-called White City will be your starting point for the Colca Canyon route. We’ll show you some ways to get to this stunning location. But first, let’s see how can you get to Arequipa.

By Plane from Lima: Arequipa's Teniente FAP Alfredo Rodríguez Ballón International Airport is only 8 kilometers from the city center. This makes it an excellent option for flights. Even though it is a small airport, it offers daily direct flights to and from Lima and Cusco.

By bus from Cusco:  The Pan-American South Highway connects nearly every country in the Americas. It's one of the most important ways to travel to Arequipa. Although is important to remember that if you decide to travel from Lima to Arequipa, the journey is 1020 kilometers long and takes approximately 16 hours by land travel.

The highway connecting Arequipa and Cusco is another key access route. These two towns are 625 kilometers apart, and, like Lima, multiple firms offer departures to Arequipa from the Cusco terminal. When deciding whether to purchase one of these tickets, keep in mind that the journey from Cusco to Arequipa takes around 10 hours. 

Now you know how to get to the White City, we’ll see which ways are available to get to the Colca Canyon.

Colca Canyon from Arequipa

If you choose to take public transport, you have to take the bus to the Arequipa terminal and take a colectivo to Cabanaconde. Colectivos are compact minivans that can transport 8 to 12 people and leave once full. The ticket should cost around S/.20  per person and take about 3-4 hours to travel.

Once in Chivay, you must walk or take private transportation to one of the Colca Canyon's views. If you visit Cabanaconde, you must walk or join a guided tour to la Cruz del Condor (the Condor viewpoint), the most popular in the Colca Canyon. From this viewpoint, you can see the condor flying through the mountains early in the morning.

Colca Canyon Trek

Trekking the Colca Canyon in Peru is an exciting excursion that requires planning and permits. Begin by getting the proper permissions, which are available at the Colca Canyon entrance. Make sure you're fit for the walk as it includes steep descents and climbs.

To start this first of the two-day hike, you have to head to Cabanaconde. Cabanaconde is a pretty village near the canyon's edge. On the first day of the walk, start in Cabanaconde and descend into the canyon. The journey is steep and hard. It takes 3-4 hours to reach Sangalle, also called the Oasis of the Palm Trees. You can relax by the pool and spend the night in rustic cottages.

To avoid the heat on the second day, return to Cabanaconde early in the morning. The journey is difficult but rewarding, with panoramic vistas of the canyon as you ascend. The ascent to Cabanaconde takes approximately 3-4 hours. If you have time, spend an extra day at Colca Canyon. You can visit nearby sights like the Cruz del Condor overlook. There, you can watch Andean condors fly.

Pack light, but, bring essentials like sunscreen, a cap, sturdy hiking shoes, lots of water, snacks, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight. Guided trips are available and highly recommended. Skilled guides on the trips can provide insights into the area's plants, animals, and local culture. 

This will boost your trekking experience. Finally, conduct responsible trekking by staying on approved paths, appropriately disposing of rubbish, and supporting local businesses along the way.

The Colca Canyon Tour

We highly recommend this option. Viagens Machu Picchu offers a 2-day tour of the Colca Canyon. It gives you the time needed to see what this amazing area has to offer. After our team picks you up at your hotel in Arequipa, we’ll head to do the Colca Canyon hike. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the beautiful landscape on your approach to the Chivay.

Our itinerary includes visits to Pampa Cañahuas, Colca Canyon, Mollepunko (optional), and Callalli. For the first day, you’ll rest in a comfortable hotel in Chivay. On this day, we will have to leave early in the morning to avoid missing the Colca Canyon's iconic show, the Andean condor flight. This viewpoint provides an excellent view of the canyon. 

You'll see beautiful villages like Yanque, Maca, and Pinchollo. They will captivate you with their scenery. If you still have energy, you can walk to the Cruz del Condor viewpoint, which is only an hour distant. From here, you can see the Colca Canyon from a high spot. You can also see the old, pre-Inca terraces and the valley croplands. After the expedition, we will return to Chivay for lunch, then we’ll go back to Arequipa.

Our goal at Viagens Machu Picchu is to give you the finest possible travel experience. Take a look at our trip packages to make the most of your time in Peru. Let us handle all the necessary for your trip so you can fully enjoy your trip to Peru. We are waiting for you!