The Colca Valley is an area of astounding scenic beauty, with giant Andean terraces and a deep canyon that reaches a depth of 3140 meters. A journey to the Colca valley will take you through high Andean plateau, reaching at one point a high pass of 4800 meters, which offers fine views of the Volcanoes of Arequipa. Along the way visitors can see herds of Vicuñas (a wild relative of Llamas and Alpacas) and various types of birds, of which stand out the giant hummingbird, eagles, gooses and the mighty Andean Condor. If you like adventure tours, the Canyon also offers wonderful treks down to its button, descending throughout huge mountains, exploring oasis-like valleys, thermal springs, and camping outdoors.
DAY 1: BUS RIDE TO THE COLCA CANYON - OVERNIGHT AT THE COLCA VALLEY.Our excursion to the Colca Canyon starts at 07:30 hrs. Our clients are collected from their hotels by our local guide/representative. Afterwards we will board a small bus and will drive northwest following a paved road towards the “Colca Canyon”. Before leaving Arequipa, we will stop at a small shop where our clients can purchase some chocolates, candies and coca leaves. Later on we will continue till Pampas Cañahuas (3500 m/11,482 Ft), a National Reserve where visitors may spot some Vicuñas & Alpacas. Unlike the Alpacas, Vicuñas are wild animals, and still can be seen running freely on these high plateaus. We will stop at this national park and our local guide will provide information about these shy Andean camels. Then we continue our journey to the Colca Canyon, little further up we will stop again at the little restaurant of Viscachani, where you can enjoy a stunning scenery of the Andes and also drink a typical coca tea. Afterwards we will continue ascending a dirt road till we reach the highest point of our trip, “The Lookout Point of the Andes (4,800 m /15,748 Ft). At the very top, we will get off of the bus some minutes to observe the landscape, having in the background the volcanoes Ubinas, Mismi, Misti, Chachani, Sabancaya (active) and Ampato. Later on we will drive down hill to the main village of the Colca Canyon, the Village of Chivay (3600 m / 11.811 Ft). In this town we will have lunch in one typical Andean restaurant, where visitors may enjoy their meals accompanied by Andean musicians. After lunch our clients will be transferred to our lodge located in a little village at edge of the Canyon. Late, in the afternoon, you may walk around the village and get to know better the rural life in this corner of Peru. By the afternoon we will go to swim and relax to the Hot Springs of the Colca Valley (35° C / 95º F), a nice pool outdoors surrounded by huge mountains. After sunset, we will return to our lodge where we will enjoy a good Andean buffet. Overnight at the Pozo del Cielo Lodge in the little village of Chivay.
DAY 2: EARLY VISIT TO THE CRUZ DEL CONDOR - RETURN TO THE CITY OF AREQUIPA.In order to see the mighty Condor, you will wake up at 05:00 h, breakfast will be served at 05:30 h, and by 06:00 h. we will be driving towards the “Cruz del Condor”, a natural lookout point where you can see the flight of the Condors (we won’t return to the hotel, which means you must bring all your staff along with you on the bus). On the road we will have the best view of the Colca Valley, as we drive along the edge of the Canyon, seeing on route ancient terraces still in use by the local farmers, who grow mainly varieties of corn and potatoes. We will make some stops for photos, and our local guide will give us a good insight into the Colca Canyon history. Here you will stumble upon a great rock, where ancient architectures carved the terraces, testing (perhaps) which parts of the Canyon were suitable for cultivation. This is a good place also to see the “Colca River” and hanging pre-Inca tombs. After approximately 2 hours we will reach Cruz del Condor, where we will spend an hour or so, observing the beautiful flight of the Condors as well as the depth of the Canyon. Eventually, we will return to the village of Chivay, passing typical towns along the way. At around 12:00 h, we will stop at a local restaurant at the town of Chivay for lunch and afterwards will return to Arequipa. We will be back in Arequipa around 17:00 h. Upon your arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Arequipa. End of the tour.
- 7:30 h. Pick up from your hotel in Arequipa.
- Tourist bus transportation. (Group Service)
- Entrance fees to the Colca Canyon National Park.
- Professional English speaking guide.
- Meals included. (1 Breakfast / 2 Lunch / 1 Dinner).
- Entrance fees to the hot springs of La Calera in Chivay. (the hotel provide the towels)
- Accommodation at the Colca Valley. (rooms with private bathrooms, hot water and heaters)
- Guided visit to the Cruz del Condor Lookoutn Point and the little Andean villages located on route.
- Extra Meals
- Extra Drinks
What you need to take
- On this tour you must bring warm clothing, as the weather in Colca Canyon used to be very cold, especially in winter time (from June to September) when temperatures drop fast in the afternoon and nights are freezing due to the altitude (3600 m / 11.811 Ft.)
Our TeamOur people set us apart.
Our team is composed of some of the most responsible, efficient, and knowledgeable professionals, experts in their area, that will make unforgettable experiences in the routes of Cusco.
OUR OFFICE STAFFOur office is in Cusco, Tupac Amaru urbanization,D-2, San Sabastian.
Please feel at home when you visit us. Our office staff will be willing to provide you with all information and help you may need. We are the following:
General Management and Administration:
- Edwin chara chilo
- Jhon Junior Laurente C.
OUR GUIDES:CUSCO EXPLORER relies on an extensive network of highly trained guides and expert ambassadors as a premise to guarantee excellence in our services. We are fully conscious that an excellent guide is key to making your trip a memorable experience, which is why we are extremely demanding when recruiting and regularly training our guides.
Our team is composed of whom we consider to be the best guides in the region, all officially licensed and holding Tourism Degrees. The superiority of our team is backed both by excellent tourist reports, which are available at our office in Cusco and some online on this website, as well as by their expertise earned from several years of experience in leading a wide array of different guests and profiles.
Knowledge, leadership, enthusiasm, availability and help, communication skills, language proficiency, empathy and interpersonal skills, friendliness and sense of humor, punctuality and an excellent treatment to our team of chefs, porters and wranglers are a must. Our guests evaluate their guide after each service and your constructive critiques help us to keep improving constantly. We have guides fluent in English and Spanish, but also in other languages, the most commonly requested being French, Italian and German. We will always consider the language as an integral part of the quality of the guided service, so when the language is beyond the scope of our guides, we can offer a translator.
Our team is also composed of specialized guides: bird watching, spiritualism, flora & fauna, archaeology, history, architecture, anthropology. These guides are not just available for specialized trips but have also been trained to run our treks and traditional programs, adding a wonderful value to their general knowledge and explanations.
Finally, more than 80% of our guides have now already been internationally trained in Advanced First Aid & Rescue, making this one of our most significant advantages of our guided services. Our team is regularly updated through seminars and courses in their respective fields.
OUR COOKS:In all of our trekking trips, the chef ensures high-quality meals on time, and manages the team of porters.
An adequate diet both in its quality and quantity is essential in high-energy trips such as the adventure programs we run. CUSCO EXPLORER has already become renowned for its outstanding menus and food quality. The secret lies in the careful selection of our team of chefs, whose top-quality restaurant background, creativity and passion for their jobs provide an unequalled touch to all of our meals. We do not have set menus since we wish to give our chefs the chance to create, innovate and surprise our clients through delicious dishes in every trip.
Additionally, the chef manages the team of porters and/or wranglers. Every person has a role in the team and is very aware of the team’s responsibility, and only excellent logistics will allow for an outstanding travel.
OUR PORTERS AND HORSEMEN.Porters and horsemen are an essential element in any trekking organization.
The porters carry all the collective equipment; some depart early before the group to make sure we get a good location at the campsite and to have everything ready and set up by the time you get to the lunch spot or campsite. Porters carry up to 20kg of load according to the Inca Trail regulation, which we fully respect by giving them a maximum of just 18kg each. In all treks other than the Inca Trail, wranglers are in charge of the horses or mules that carry the equipment.
Our porters are not numbers; they are our friends. We provide our team with excellent meals along the route, convenient accommodation, equipment, life and medical insurance and, most importantly, with one high wage.
our people are happy, enthusiastic, extremely helpful and simply exceptional. They are proud of working for us and of their absolutely outstanding working performance. And we are also very proud of having them with us.
The Horsemen are an essential element in any agency dedicated to hiking.
Our Horsemen are in charge of the horses or mules that carry camping equipment. Our carriers are trained in relief and rescue in high mountain. Our wranglers have sufficient knowledge of safe zones and camping places, they are precisely the people who installed the camps in safe areas for your comfort. If your concerns are the mules feel sure they are well treated, since charge between 20 to 15 kg. And are very well fed with forage in the camps.