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Colca Canyon

Why visit Colca Canyon?

This 100km long, 3,400m deep canyon - which some say competes with America's Grand Canyon - is renowned for its beauty, and for the Andean Condors which soar above it. It is also a great place for hiking and cycling, once you have acclimatised to the altitude.
Reasons to visit Colca Canyon include:

  • The magnificent and diverse landscape, with towering volcanoes, rushing rivers and the ancient, man-made terraced fields that dot the canyon's verdant, steep slopes.
  • Head to Cruz del Condor for the unforgettable sight of majestic Andean condors rising up on the morning thermals.
  • Hike or mountain bike past ancient, pre-Incan crop terraces.
  • Explore more than a dozen local villages, with their charming colonial churches, and where the women wear colourful traditional hats, waistcoats and skirts.
  • Visit the village of Yanque - witness the daily traditional dances in the main square by the baroque church and learn about the history and culture of the region in the museum.
  • Immerse yourself in La Calera Thermal Baths.
  • Visit the pre-Inca ruins of Uyo Uyo.

When to go to Colca Canyon

Most people tend to avoid the worst of the rainy season from about December to March. For more information about when to travel in Peru, see our When to visit Peru page.

How to do it

You can drive to here from Arequipa, which is about 4 hours’ drive away. It is about a day’s drive (+/-7 hours) from Lake Titicaca. Given this, a typical road journey would go from Arequipa to Colca Canyon (stay a couple of nights) then travel on to Lake Titicaca for a few days here. Alternatively you could travel in luxury on the Belmond Andean Explorer sleeper train.

It is at about 3650m so altitude sickness could be an issue for you if you've not yet acclimatised.

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Colca Canyon accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT-5hrs

Flight time:

Both KLM and Iberia have flights to Lima via Europe, leaving the UK early in the morning to arrive in Lima in the evening. The flight time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly to Lima via America.

Language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages.

Visas:

Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.

Health:

There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.

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