Peru’s Colca Canyon

Hiking the Majestic Colca Canyon of Peru

South America is brimming with hidden natural wonders and ideal hiking destinations. One such ideal hiking destination is Peru’s Colca Canyon. This majestic canyon boasts unique land formations and a variety of trails that cater to amateur and professional hikers. Plus, this place is known for its excellent alpine hiking options, making it a popular destination for many travelers from around the globe.

Exploring Colca Canyon

According to, Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons around the globe. Hiking trails in this area involve plenty of breath-taking views, interesting wildlife, and spectacular valleys brimming with quaint villages that continue to practice ancient traditions.

Day hikes are best done on the rim of the Colca Canyon because going deep into the canyon may be too much for a one-day hike. For serious hikers, a five-day hiking trip from Cabanaconde to Andagua is a must. However, this trip needs a considerable amount of preparation because many hiking trails within this area are unregulated. For the five-day hiking trip, expect to see plenty of unique volcanic landscapes. This terrain is quite difficult so physical preparation before the actual hike is very important.

A popular alternative is the standard two-day hike. Through this standard hiking option, experience the best of Peru by staying one night at the Oasis, a popular spot down the canyon’s bottom. Aside from the Oasis, the Lahuar Hot Springs offer a soothing relief after a long hike.

Aside from panoramic views and amazing landscapes, Colca Canyon is the natural habitat of the Andean Condor. This spectacular species is a popular tourist attraction with many travelers flocking at the “Cruz del Condor” pass in order to see this majestic bird soar across the Peruvian skies. Experience the best of Peruvian culture by visiting charming villages and towns within the Colca Valley.

Hiking Tips

Since many hiking trails within this area are unregulated, it’s best to travel with a reputable hiking company. Just like many hiking paths with similar climate and trail conditions, common issues include altitude sickness, sunburn, and dehydration. Wild animals who consider the Colca Canyon as their natural habitat include scorpions and snakes. To avoid accidents, exercise proper caution and common sense. For longer hiking trips, basic Spanish conversational skills are quite helpful.

Pack animals are best used during longer hiking trips. When looking for pack animals for hire, the quaint town of Mina can be a source of mules for rent and mule drivers. Hiking gears can be rented in Arequipa. The best times to hike is during dry season which is from May to September. Aside from bringing enough water and food provisions, a first-aid kit is essential especially when on an independent hiking tour.

Accommodation Options in Colca Canyon

Cozy lodges and quaint villages are scattered throughout the Colca Valley. These accommodation options offer a rustic and homey ambiance along with comfortable rooms and high-quality service. Some of the accommodations in Colca Canyon also offer exciting activities such as fishing and horseback riding. For more details regarding accommodations within the area, visit official travel sites.

Accommodation example: Colca Lodge, Colca Valley, Arequipa, Peru

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How to get to Colca Canyon

From Arequipa, ride a bus going to Cabanaconde. From there, try to look for private travel services for a more comfortable and smoother ride. Conversing with the locals is also a good idea when trying to get directions. For more information on how to get to Colca Canyon, visit hiking sites that offer comprehensive lists of transportation options within the area.

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