Be sure not to miss out on the Colca Canyon Tour on your next trip to Peru! Colca Canyon, also known as Valle del Colca, is famed the world’s deepest river canyon with a depth of 3, 270m and it’s also a popular location to watch the Cruz del Condor (flight of the Condors).
Having experienced a Canyon Colca Tour first-hand, I have put together this detailed guide with everything you need to know about a 1 Day Colca Canyon Tour including where to book and what to expect!
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WHERE IS COLCA CANYON?
Colca Canyon is located in Chivay, Peru.
Most Colca Canyon Tours operate out of Arequipa, a beautiful city in southern Peru.
The journey from Arequipa to Colca Canyon is approximately a 3.5-hour drive to reach the starting point of Valle del Colca in the Chivay region.
WHERE TO BOOK TOURS OF COLCA CANYON
There are dozens of tour operators and offices located in Arequipa to book a Colca Tour, but in my experience, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which operator to book a tour without being ripped off.
Alternatively, you can book Colca Canyon Tours online in advance to avoid the hassle of having to organize a trip once you have arrived in Arequipa.
I recommend finding a tour that best suits you on the Get Your Guide website. They have several Colca Canyon Tours available including 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day tours, Colca Canyon trek options, and much more!
Click Here to search for all Tours Colca Canyon and book online ahead of time!
Scenic mountain roads
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE COLCA CANYON TOUR
The Colca Canyon Tour from Arequipa starts bright and early at around 3 am for a hotel pick-up. The drive out to Colca Canyon in the minivan takes around three and a half hours to reach the town of Chivay and this is where breakfast is included before beginning the Colca Canyon one day tour.
After breakfast in Chivay, the Colca Tour continues along a winding mountain road, deep into the Colca Valley with several stops along the way at scenic viewpoints overlooking the most incredible landscapes!
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It’s difficult to get a clear perspective of the entire Colca Canyon, that’s why there are many lookout points to check out on this route.
The minivan then makes a two-hour stop at the most famous viewpoint, Cruz del Condor, and this is where you can spot the flight of the world’s largest flying bird, the Condor.
With a wingspan of more than 3m, weighing up to 15kg, and standing 1.2m tall, these raptors are truly a magnificent sight to see.
There are a number of walking trails and dozens of lookout points to explore while on tour, each of which boasts unreal views up and down the valley!
Walking trails at Cruz del Condor
If you are wanting to capture good pictures of the flight of the Condor’s then you’ll need a decent zoom lens on your camera. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right lens on my camera to get any decent photos of the Condor’s though it was an incredible experience seeing three or four Condors circling the skies above my head!
The Colca Tour continues back to Chivay for lunch and a short wander around the small village town markets before making the long drive back to Arequipa.
On the road between Colca Canyon and Arequipa, the minivan will stop at the Patapampa viewpoint, also known as Mirador de Los Andes, for majestic views of the Cordillera and surrounding volcanic landscapes. This is also the highest point on the tour sitting at 4, 910m above sea level.
The tour arrives back in Arequipa between 5 pm and 6 pm with a drop-off to requested hotels.
Death-defying drops – Arequipa Colca Canyon
BEST TIME TO VISIT
It’s possible to visit Valle del Colca any time of the year, though it’s recommended to tour Colca Canyon between March and June when the Condors are most active.
You’ll want to avoid the rainy season at Colca Canyon which is from December to March.
Colca Canyon altitude is 3, 500m above sea level so you may feel some lightheadedness
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Tours Colca Canyon
Village town markets – Colca Canyon One Day Tour
WHERE TO STAY IN AREQUIPA
Arequipa has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places to stay before and after the tour to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Queen’s Villa Hotel Boutique
Queen’s Villa has one of the best locations in Arequipa, close to the main square and only 15 minutes’ drive from the airport. This luxury accommodation features a swimming pool, beautiful gardens, a panoramic terrace, library, and cafeteria. The rooms are spacious and cozy, featuring a private bathroom and free wifi.
Mid Range: Selina Arequipa
Rated the best value in Arequipa! Selina has an outdoor pool, restaurant, and bar, beautiful gardens, a treehouse, cinema room, co-working space, library, and more! Choose from either a dorm room, double room, triple room, quadruple room, deluxe room, or a suite. Selina has something for everyone!
Budget: Wild Rover Hostel Arequipa
The name says it all! Wild Rover Hostel is an adults-only accommodation featuring a pool, garden, bar, table tennis, billiards, and an in-house restaurant. Wild Rover is a party hostel located in the center of Arequipa and guests can choose either a bed in a dorm room or a private room. Perfect for solo travelers on a budget.
For all other Arequipa accommodation, Click Here to search on Booking.com
Another option for accommodation is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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MORE CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Mexico: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- Cuba: 10 Day Cuba Itinerary
- Peru: Backpacking Peru – 3 Week Itinerary
- Bolivia: Things To Do In Bolivia
- Brazil: 2 Day Rio De Janeiro Itinerary
- Argentina: Things To Do In Argentina
- Chile: Things To Do In Chile
LONELY PLANET PERU
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Peru Guide!
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Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions at all about the Tours of Colca Canyon, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.