The Colca Valley and the Indigenous Communities

The Colca Valley and the Indigenous Communities
The Colca Valley and the Indigenous Communities

In the heart of the Southern Peruvian Andes you will discover a place where nature and people live together in harmony and where old traditions make the Colca Valley a unique place.

To reach the Colca Canyon the departure from Arequipa will take place in the morning. The first stop will be the Aguada Blanca National Reserve where South American camelids like vicunas, alpacas and llamas live alongside one another. On the way you will see one of the highest points in the Andes: the Chila range with its high peaks and perpetual snow. Volcanoes such as Hualca Hualca, Sabancaya or Ampato will also welcome you. Here an old belief says that if you build a little house called “Apacheta” you will be very lucky in life.

The little square in Chivay is the starting point for exploring the Colca Valley. An early morning wake-up call will ensure that you can enjoy the magical flight of the Condor , the ancient deity of the Andes. The tour will continue with a visit to ancient communities that still work using old agricultural techniques and old fashioned methods on the slopes of the Colca Canyon.

Maca is a traditional small town in the Colca Valley, a settlement with a Christian church built in 1759. Parallel to the main square, you will see the farming terraces in use since Pre-Inca times. A very peaceful place where you will love taking pictures.

Achoma has a church dating back to the XVI century, entirely built in ashlar (sillar). Every year, on 6th January, local people celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Bethlehem and the population comes together from all over the valley to dance the colorful wititi.

Yanque is the final destination before heading back to Arequipa. The Baroque church, named after the Immaculate Conception, has a facade embellished with numerous saints and a representation of the Andean world. This church is considered the most beautiful Colonial Church throughout the Valley. The district of Yanque treasures the legacy of the forefathers "The Collahuas"; customs, traditions, architecture, archaeological remains like the ruins of Uyo-Uyo, as well as the museums, nature and the thermal water pools that are a visitors’ delight.

If you want to understand the Andean world you must visit the area and you will be captivated by the atmosphere of the Colca Valley.