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One of the most fascinating places hidden in Peru is the Colca Canyon, also known as “The Valley of Wonders” and considered one of the deepest canyons in the world. It’s also the third most visited place in the country, so it’s no coincidence that you’re wondering how to visit the Colca Canyon.
And you’re in luck! As we know you’re thinking of travelling to Peru as soon as you can, here’s how to visit it so you don’t miss a single detail.
Where is the Valley of Wonders?
The Colca Canyon, with a depth of 3400 metres and a length of 100 kilometres, is located in the Andes Mountains. More specifically in the province of Caylloma, which is part of the department of Arequipa, in Peru.
There you can enjoy the Andean landscape surrounded by volcanoes, llamas and alpacas, its small colourful villages, the Colca River and, of course, the impressive Cruz del Condor viewpoint. From here you can watch the king of the Andes, the Andean condor, take flight.
So if you still didn’t know what to do in Arequipa… now you have an idea! The Valley of Wonders should be a mandatory stop.
How to visit the Colca Canyon from Arequipa
The Colca Canyon is 164 kilometres away from Arequipa, that is, about 3 hours by road. There are several options to visit it:
A good option is to take the two-day excursion to the Colca Canyon, which departs from Arequipa. This way, you can take a tour of the entire area of the Pampa Cañahuas National Reserve while a guide tells you all about the history of the place. You won’t even have to think about how to get there, as transport is included.
However, if you prefer, there is also the option of a three-day Colca excursion, if you have enough time and feel like spending an extra day in the middle of nature.
On your own
Another alternative to get to the Canyon is to take a taxis or bus, although this is a more complicated and time-consuming option.
Taxis can be taken from the bus terminal in Arequipa and it takes about 3 hours to get there. They cost around 20 soles (4.53 euros and 5.49 dollars), a little more expensive than buses, which take 4 hours and 15 soles (3.40 euros and 4.12 dollars). Besides, you have to buy the tickets there, at the stations themselves, you can’t buy them online.
They arrive at the village of Chivay, located in the upper part of the Canyon. From there you will have to take a bus to go to Cabanaconde, the closest place to the Cruz del Condor. From this village, you can start the Colca Canyon trek, although you will not have a guide to accompany you along the way.
If instead, you are thinking of reaching the Colca Canyon by car, it is an option that we do not recommend. It is a mountainous terrain where the roads are not in good condition and there are usually a lot of trucks passing through.
Without a doubt, the Valley of Wonders is one of South America’s greatest treasures and should be part of your guidebook to Peru.
Now that you know how to visit the Colca Canyon, have you decided how you are going to do it?
Which option do you choose?