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Colca Canyon

  • Arequipa Region, Peru

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 02 April, 2024

Two kilometres deep, surrounded by steaming volcanoes, and with condors soaring on the thermals, Colca Canyon is one of Peru’s great natural wonders. It’s twice the depth of the Grand Canyon, far wilder and has wonderful views at every turn.

Day-trippers come to peer over the rim and spot condors. Trekkers hike the rugged trails, stopping to soak in the hot springs or swim in the icy Colca River, which ribbons the canyon floor. And farmers still till the soil on the ancient valley terraces cut long before the Spanish arrived.

Don’t miss 

One of the most popular excursions is the journey up to Cruz del Condor. This incredible lookout at the heart of the canyon stands 1,200m above the river and is the best place to see giant condors in flight – so close you’ll hear the wind whistling through their giant wings. Single and multi-day treks will usually include a visit to Cruz del Condor before beginning the descent into the canyon on foot.

While you’re there

Some companies organise short two- to three-day mountain biking expeditions through parts of the canyon. A stop at Cruz del Condor is part of the deal.

Serious mountaineers can tackle a stunning five-day trek that descends into the canyon before climbing a 5,100m pass to the remote Valley of the Volcanoes.

Nearby El Misti, Arequipa’s volcano, provides an opportunity to go up instead of down. Reaching a height of 5,822m, it’s an exhausting climb, but not a technical one.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The canyon extends for around 70km and ranges between 1,000m and 2,000m deep. Most travellers arrive from Arequipa (160km away) and settle into one of the lodges at the head of the canyon. These provide a comfortable base for exploring the area’s myriad trails on organised hikes.

When to do it

Travellers visit all year, but trekking is best from May to August, when skies are clear. The best time to spot condors is in the morning and late afternoon.

The Colca river often floods in the heavy part of the rainy season (December to March). During this time, some sights, such as the hot springs, may be inaccessible.

Who to go with: organised tours

7

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

2 day 1 night trek / Colca Canyon

  • Arequipa

2 day 1 night trek / Colca Canyon

Viator

THIS TOUR IS THE MOST COMPLETE, IF YOU DON'T HAVE A LONG TIME, IN THIS TOUR YOU WILL APPRECIATE THE CULTURAL PART AND THE NATURAL PART OF COLCA, IT IS RECOMMENDED FOR ADVENTURE PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO WALK AND TANK EXPERIENCE. OUR GUIDES HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE. OUR GUIDES: FABIAN FERNANDO GUSTAVO CLEVER JORGE FRANK CHARLES RAFAEL CEASE

Price $76

Min age 18

Rating 4.74 / 5 [587 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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2 Day 1 Night Trek / Colca Canyon

  • Arequipa

2 Day 1 Night Trek / Colca Canyon

Viator

Come and enjoy an impressive 2 day trek through one of the deepest canyons in the world. Our guide will show you all the beauties of the valley such as huge birds, beautiful alpacas and vicuñas and more than 79 different types of cactus. Our tour starts very early to be able to arrive on time at the Condor's Cross and watch the condors flying over our heads and follow our route to Cabanaconde from where our adventure begins. Do not miss it and book now. It will be an unforgettable experience!

Price $99

Min age 12

Rating 4.37 / 5 [79 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Full Day Tour / Colca Canyon

  • Arequipa

Full Day Tour / Colca Canyon

Viator

Come and enjoy an impressive Full day tour through one of the deepest canyons in the world. Disconnect at least one day from the city and fully enjoy the nature that surrounds this valley. Our guide will show you all the beauties such as the huge birds, beautiful alpacas and vicuñas and more than 79 different types of cactus. Our tour starts very early to be able to arrive on time at the Condor's Cross and watch the condors flying over our heads, follow our route to different tiny towns and of course visit the relaxing hot springs.

Price $52

Min age 1

Rating 4.04 / 5 [65 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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2 Day Trek Including Transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon

  • Arequipa

2 Day Trek Including Transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon

Viator

Come and enjoy an impressive 2 day trek through one of the deepest canyons in the world. Our guide will show you all the beauties of the valley such as huge birds, beautiful alpacas and vicuñas and more than 79 different types of cactus. Our tour starts very early to be able to arrive on time at the Condor's Cross and watch the condors flying over our heads and follow our route to Cabanaconde from where our adventure begins. The second day after the Hot Springs we take you by bus straight to Puno and drop you off in your hotel if it's in the center of the city. Do not miss it and book now. It will be an unforgettable experience!

Price $154

Min age 12

Rating 4.61 / 5 [31 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Colca Canyon Trekking - 3 Days

  • Arequipa

Colca Canyon Trekking - 3 Days

Viator

You can enjoy the beauty of Colca while walking this ancient trails This trek is designed for those craving adventure but with moderate experience on trekking. Walking time is around 3 hours per day.

Price $265

Min age 10

Rating 4.90 / 5 [21 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

1

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Peru

  • Peru

Peru

Destination guide

A land of spectacular deserts, high mountains and rainforests that teem with wildlife, Peru is also home to an array of dramatically situated pre-Colombian ruins, including Machu Picchu.

Round-ups

1

Round-ups that include this experience