5 Places to Enjoy at the Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is one of the deepest and most beautiful canyons of Peru. Its deepest part (3400 meters) is located in the town of Canco, almost in the provincial limit between Caylloma and Castilla.
The canyon is a geologic formation caused by a fault in the earth’s crust, where it continues to operate on the millenary erosion of the river of the same name. The area is surrounded by volcanoes like Coropuna, Ampato and Sabancaya.
The most touristic sectors of the canyon are the towns of Chivay and Cabanaconde because of its accessibility. In the latter village is the viewpoint of the Cruz del Condor where you can appreciate a depth of 1 250 meters. To access to the river level is necessary to descend about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
#1 Hot Springs of La Calera
It is located 5 km from Chivay, at an altitude of 3633 m.asl. In this complex you will find five heated pools where arrive waters from the Cotallumi Volcan, which initially have a temperature around 80° C (176° F), but during the journey the temperature decreases and reaches the complex itself with a temperature of 38° C (100° F), which allows bathing in its waters.
The hot springs of La Calera are visited because they have healing properties of various diseases, especially rheumatism and many other related muscles and skin deseases. Limekiln water containing 30% calcium, 19% zinc and 18% iron, elements that can be absorbed through the pores and greatly help in the muscle and bone pain.
Entrance Fee: S / 15
Chivay is the gateway to the Colca Valley. It is located 151 kilometers from the city of Arequipa at 3,651 masl. You will find here most of hotels and restaurants for tourists visiting the Colca Canyon.
# 3 Yanque
Yanque has two mountains: K’iparani Pallaqlli and both are the highest in each of the banks of the Colca river hills, and the two of them are the main sources of irrigation canals: the Mismi and Waranqante.
#4 Church of Maca
It is located in the main square Maca district, 24 km from Chivay.
The Colonial Church of Santa Ana Maca was built in 1760 in Romanesque style mixed with strong influence. It is longitudinally located Maca ‘s main square . It is surrounded by a wall of ashlar on which decorative elements occur as large planters. Its plan is a Latin cross shape, with its tallest ship of the detached chapels forming the arms of the transept.
# 5 Cruz del Condor Viewpoint
It is one of the most accessible places to see the Colca Canyon. From the viewpoint you can see the spectacular scenery of the canyon. It is 1,250 masl of elevation from the river; but on the other side, taking as reference the Bomboya Mountain, the slope reaches 2,700 masl.
This is one of the few places in the world where you can see up close and often the flight of the condors, which have become used to human presence; it is possible approach without scaring them.
How to get to the Colca Canyon?
There are 2 ways:
- By public bus. You should go to the bus terminal in Arequipa, as many buses depart from there to the Colca Canyon. You should be aware of the departure time, as the journey to Chivay takes 3 hours, and 1 hour more to get to the Cruz del Condor. The recommended hour to see the condors is 8 in the morning. The cost of the bus is apox S/ 20
- Organized tour of an Agency. It is the best option, as the visit includes many stops in the way to Chivay and in some towns and viewpoints in Colca. The cost of the tour in shared service is aprox $ 30
Entrance Fee :
- Tourists: S/ 70
- Peruvians: S/ 20
Where to buy?
- Auto Colca Office in Arequipa: Av. Grau 116
- Entrance to Chivay
Where to eat?
- There are some restaurants in Chivay that offer buffet meals at S 25. Includes soup, main dishes and desserts. Soft drinks are not included.
Where to Stay?
- There is a variety of hotels at the Colca Valley, most of them are in Chivay. The more exclusive hotels are located in the towns close to Chivay such as Yanque or Coporaque.
I hope you liked this post. I invite to share it with your friends and of course, I invite you to visit the Colca Canyon.