Day 1. Arequipa – Colca Valley
Casa Andina Classic
Your tour to the Colca Canyon begins from your hotel. Departure from Arequipa is at 8:30 a.m.
Our spectacular travel to Colca Canyon begins in a northwest direction, winding behind the Chachani volcano and headed (eventually) to Chivay. Our first stop is at the National Reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca at 3,900 meters above sea level (12,795 feet). From here we can see three different types of South American camelid: vicuña, the endangered species from which the finest and most expensive fiber in the world is produced, as well as herds of alpaca and llama.
Nearby, we stop again at Patahuasi. Here, we will observe some rather unique rock formations; it’s also a good vantage point from which to view the surrounding mountains and volcanoes: Misti, Chachani, Pichupichu, Hualcahualca, Sabancaya, Chucura, and the Cordillera of Chila. Next, we get to Patapampa (4,910 meters – 16,108 feet) where we will sip some Mate de Coca (Coca tea) at a small local restaurant.
After a few more hours of travel, we arrive in Chivay, sitting at 3,650 meters (11,975 feet), where we will enjoy Andean cuisine: quinoa, lomo saltado de alpaca, mazamorra, and alpaca fillet with quinoa cream.
In the afternoon, we make a tour of the town and go to La Calera (natural hot springs) for a relaxing mineral bath.
At night, we enjoy a local musical show – where you will very likely be invited to dance – and enjoy dinner, partaking in more delicious Andean fare.
Overnight in Chivay.
Day 2. Chivay – Cruz del Condor – Arequipa
End of the Tour
Cruz del Cóndor
After an early breakfast, we head for Cruz del Condor – a 2-hour bus ride from Chivay. At Cruz del Condor, we enjoy a dramatic viewpoint, unsurpassed for viewing the spectacular flights of condors, as well as the depth of the canyon.
After an hour or so of watching and photographing, we take a short walk on one side of Colca Canyon to better appreciate its depth and beauty. Afterwards, we make our way back to Chivay, stopping at some viewpoints as well as visiting some villages with beautiful colonial churches and observing the locals in traditional clothes; the villages include Maca, Pinchollo, and Yanque.
After a buffet lunch in Chivay, we return to Arequipa. Arrival is sometime in late afternoon.