4 Days / 3 Nights
Upon arrival in the City of Arequipa, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city and has grown substantially both in population and economy over the last 2 decades due to the mining industry in the region. It is known as the “White City” due to the many buildings constructed using the white sillar (volcanic) stone making it one of the most beautiful as well. This morning you will do a walking tour of the centre of the city including the Plaza de Armas or main square, the cloisters of Jesuit monastery, the Cathedral and the renowned Santa Catalina Monastery, very aptly described as a city within the city. Your guide will explain about the local history of the area as well as some of the modern day traditions.
After the tour, you are free to see more of the city. We recommend a visit to the San Camilo market, designed by the French designer Gustave Eiffel, which offers you a look into the day to day life about the city. Another site of interest is the Museo de Santuario home to the “Juanita” mummy. Visits are an hour long and consist of a video showing the expedition and discovery of the child mummies, a small exhibition room with pieces that were found with the mummies and lastly at least one of the mummies as the mummy known as Juanita oftens travels to museums around the world. It is also possible to take a taxi to the Yanahuara lookout point which gives you a view over the city and of the 3 surrounding volcanos.
For dinner we recommend trying some of the local cuisine. From the stuffed hot pepper or Rocoto Relleno to the delicious pork stew known as Adobo and the use of crayfish in a chowder known as Chupe de Camarones, there are many delicacies to choose from.
On Day 2 of your Colca Canyon Tour, we will leave Arequipa early. We will drive for about 2 hours to visit the Vicuna National Reservation (Salinas y Aguada Blanca). The high point on this day is 4,900 metres from where we can appreciate views of volcanoes that form part of the Pacific Ring of Fire such as Misti, Chachani and Ampato (the mountain were they found the Inca mummy), and mountains like Sabancaya, Walka Walka and Mismi, the source of the Amazon river. We will arrive in Chivay the capital of Colca / the Caylloma region on time to have lunch.
After lunch we will have a quick visit of the village of Chivay, giving us a chance to see some of the local produce and to learn a little about the embroidery typical of and exclusive to the Colca region. We will then check into our hotel and arrange a time with the guide for our visit to the local hot springs (entry not included). Although the smell of sulfur is strong as you walk into the compound, the water is crystal clear and flows constantly ensuring their cleanliness. This is a highly recommended visit.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
After a very early breakfast we will travel 2 hours from Chivay to the Cruz del Condor where we can appreciate the canyon and if lucky, the impressive condors soaring overhead. For many people this is the highlight of their Colca Canyon tour. These majestic birds are actually vultures but with a wingspan of up to 3m and the ability to ride the thermal currents high into the sky as they effortlessly drift over the canyon, they are a site to be seen. After viewing the condors we will return to Chivay for lunch and visit traditional villages and stop at some of the lookout points along the way to be able to take in not only the impressive geography of the area but also the incredibly human geography of terracing that covers the area. There are vizcacha, an Andean chinchilla that leave in the area so keep your eyes peeled amongst the rocks to see if you are able to spot them.
We will arrive in Arequipa at approximately 5:00pm.
Accomodation: Hotel Las Torres de Ugarte
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Today you will be transferred from your hotel to the airport. Services end at the Arequipa airport.
Contact us to get more information.