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Colca Canyon

Why visit Colca Canyon?

This 100km long, 3,400m deep canyon is renowned for its beauty, and for the Andean Condors which soar above it. It is also a great place for hiking, cycling and rafting. 
Reasons to visit Colca Canyon include: 

  • A place of outstanding natural beauty, twice as deep as America’s Grand Canyon.
  • Watch the morning Cruz del Condor as these magnificent birds rise up on the morning thermals.
  • Go white water rafting on the Colca River, one of the sources of the Amazon.
  • 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.
  • Immerse yourself in La Calera Thermal Baths.
  • Travel to the 700 hectare Mejia Bird Sanctuary, home to 180 species of birds.

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 from 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. 

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

Accommodation in Colca Canyon

There are a variety of places to stay in this region, including places in the main town of Chivay, and some with more rural situations.  Our favourite is Colca Lodge which is the best quality in the area and it has its own hot springs. 

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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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