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Colca Valley, Arequipa, Peru

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Home » Arequipa » Colca Valley, Arequipa, Peru

The Colca Valley is one of the deepest canyons in the world and the second most visited attraction after Machu Picchu.

If you are in Arequipa and you think that visiting only its countryside, the Sillar Route, strolling through the viewpoint and being impressed by the Misti Volcano you have already known the white city, then this means that you have not seen the most impressive of this beautiful city.

The imposing Colca Valley or Colca Canyon has a depth of 4160 m and is among the four deepest canyons in the world. Exactly, it is in the province of Caylloma and as main tourist attraction.

History of the Colca Valley

The Colca Canyon, also called the Valley of the Collaguas, is so called because it was inhabited by a pre-Inca tribe. They were also artists in weaving and stone carving and in colonial times its inhabitants worked as masons and composers of "huayllis" music.

This beautiful place bears the name of Colca because in ancient times its pre-Inca and Inca settlers had installed deposits known as "colcas" that served to store grains that is why the valley took the name of Colca for having a large amount of these same.

Currently, you can visit some of the colcas among them and the most important is that of Pumunuta which is a frozen cave, actually the whole region stands out for its beautiful landscapes that form terraces and are used for planting products that governs since Inca times, some natural and others with artificial irrigation.

Along the Colca Canyon you will find numerous hot springs, archaeological centers as well as Chachawani, Oqolle, Choquetico, Wañaqasqa, Wapullja, among others, but that's not all here you can also see the tutelary bird of the Andean world the giant condor and other endemic birds of the place.

Condor Andino Valle Del Colca
Andean Condor, Colca Valley

Where is the Colca Valley located?

The Colca Valley is located in the province of Caylloma, at the northeastern end of the Arequipa region, about 40 km from Chivay (main town) and 165 km from the capital Arequipa.

How to get to the Colca Valley from Arequipa?

To go to the Colca we must go to the bus terminal of Arequipa, from here leave cars in the direction of the town of Chivay, we must look for those cars that go to that direction, usually the cost to this place is between 10 to 15 soles with a trip of three hours.

When you arrive in Chivay, you will find several tour options that will take you to the Colca Valley if you haven't booked a tour yet. If you already have a guide, all you have to do is take care of enjoying the ride to the viewpoints of the canyon.

During the trip you will reach the famous condor's cross and you can see the panorama of the beautiful Colca and visit other tourist sites.

Undoubtedly, a visit to the canyon is a must when you are in Peru, because it will help you get in touch with nature, pure air and landscapes that will leave you speechless.

What to see and do in the Colca Valley?

Mirador Del Condor Arequipa
Mirador Del Cóndor Arequipa

In the Colca you can do a variety of activities:

  • Trekking
  • Rafting
  • Mountain biking
  • Go to the viewpoint of the Cross of the Condor
  • Rock climbing
  • Experiential tourism

What should I bring?

To visit the Colca you should bring some things that will be very useful:

  • Light and warm clothes because it gets cold at night.
  • If you are going to visit the hot springs, bring your bathing suit.
  • A good camera to capture the best moments.
  • Sunscreen, hat or cap.
  • Rain poncho (in case you go in rainy season)
  • Snacks and plenty of water
  • Documents and cash, remember you are in a rural area.
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