A lively culture, stunning landscape and adventure
Why visit Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon has impressive landscapes and natural viewpoints. It is the habitat of the largest bird in the world, the Andean condor. The canyon also has impressive geology composed of hot springs, natural landscapes and cultivated terraces. The customs and traditions of the valley people have been handed down through generations and are maintained today.
The Ampato route is in the lower part of the Colca Valley. There are many tourist attractions including beautiful countryside, agricultural irrigation, geological, archaeological and architectural sites. On your green holiday you can experience ancestral customs and traditions and sample local gastronomy.
The right side route of the Colca Valley is made up of four districts (Coporaque, Marigal, Lari, Ichupampa, Tapay). Highights of the area are the landscapes, archaeological sites, temples and hot springs.
Culture & Local Life
The Colca Valley offers dazzling nature, a lively culture, traditions and delicious cuisine as well as relaxing hot springs. You can enjoy tourist sites in the different districts of the valley and participate in adventure sports. This valley has a great diversity of flora and fauna, including the condor, the krestel, the peregrine falcon and the mountain partridge. There are also tarucas and deer. Its terraces provide the Colca Valley with one of the most impressive landscapes on the continent.
To get to the Colca Valley, the only acces is by road. The city of Arequipa is the starting point and the journey is 151 km. It leads to the Colca Valley and Chivay is the first town to be reached, in three hours by bus. On your green hliday the trip to Colca can be undertaken independently or through a travel agency.
In the Colca Valley different types of transport include tourist minivans, taxis and motorcycles. The drivers are friendly, attentive and trained to provide safe tourist services.
Nature & Wildlife
Possessing a backyard filled with a unique connection between the reef and thThe Colca Canyon is considered the deepest canyon in the world. It offers breathtaking nature, a lively culture, delicious gastronomy and relaxing hot springs. The Andean condor, considered the world’s largest bird, lives in the Colca Canyon. Among the variety of fauna, the following species stand out: the condor, the lama, the alpaca, the vicuña and the vizcacha. There are nearly 300 species of flora. They are used as medicinal plants, as fuel, as dyes and as pasture for domesticated and wild animals. Agricultural areas are traditionally associated mainly with watercourses, as in the case of the Colca river basins. e rainforest, Port Douglas Daintree offers a wide range of opportunities for visitors to appreciate the natural environment.
The Colca Canyon preserves its ecosystems, flora and fauna, as this is the basis of tourism and the local economy. There are people in charge of safeguarding the natural sites, taking care of the ecosystems.
Health and Safety
To deal with the COVID-19 (corona) virus, all eating and drinking venues and tourist attractions in the Colca Valley ensure social distancing, wearing masks and frequent handwashing. For more information about Covid 19 in the Colca Canyon, visit the Autocolca.
Good Practice Story
Community tourism in the Colca Valley has been developing for years and has generated income for local families. There are several districts that offer community tourism. Its purpose is to improve the standard of living of the native population, using tourism resources.
Travel tips from our editors
Fortaleza De Chimpa
The Fortaleza de Chimpa offers an unique view of the Colca Valley. This site was a military installation built in stone by the Collagua culture. You can walk through the fortress and from the top enjoy an incredible view of the canyon with its terraces.
The Colca Canyon
In the Colca Canyon there are impressive views of geology and nature. There are viewpoints where you can see the landscape and appreciate the flight of the Andean condor. The valley is ideal for activities such as canoeing, zip-lining, calbagatas, trekking, cycling and observation of flora and fauna.
Valley of the volcanoes
This is a fantastic place, possessing a beauty created by several dozen volcanoes that rise from the ground like gigantic petrified bubbles in a sea of basaltic lava. Geologists have identified eighty-five volcanic cones of various heights ranging from thirty to sixty centimeters, to eighty to three hundred meters.
This tourist destination stands out for the hot water that comes out of the subsoil with pressure that reaches 20 meters high and has a sound that is compared to the engine of an airplane. It is located 15 minutes by car from the village of Pinchollo.
Trekking to Sangalle
One of the best known trekking routes in the Colca Valley is the Sangalle route, which starts in the city of Chivay, then the Pampa San Miguel, from where you will descend 1,200 meters in about four hours to reach the oasis passing through different villages. On your green holiday you can also enjoy natural pools with healing properties.
The Chachas Lake
This is a special attraction. It is at an altitude of approximately 2,900 meters above sea level, with a depth of 10 to 15 meters in the dry season and 15 to 30 meters in the rainy season.
Colca Canyon was selected in the both the 2020 and 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories.
What does it mean?
- They have shown at least 60% compliance with the Green Destinations Core Criteria. Check out their scorecard to see their performance on each criterion.
- They have submitted a story that was selected to the list for its innovative, effective and / or transferable good management practice.
Colca Canyon Good Practice Story
Colca Canyon submitted Good Practice Story’s. It was about to found a sustainable way to implement rural tourism in an area of Peru that has much to offer. Read the full story here.