Colca Canyon: Tours & Treks For All Travelers
Colca Canyon Tours
One of the ways to see the beautiful landscape of Arequipa is by canyon tour. A number of different tours are offered throughout Colca Canyon, varying in length and price range. Most tours are either 1 day or 2 days and 1 night and the prices are usually around the $30 mark. On these tours, local people guide you through the canyon and show different scenery throughout. From the soaring condor bird at Condor’s Cross, to local villages and Alpacas.These tours are available throughout the year and vary in difficulty, catering to all levels of physical ability. Most tours include pick-up from and drop-off to your hostel/hotel in Arequipa. *Important to Note* – The official Arequipa Colca Canyon entrance fee of 70 soles is not included in the ticket price. This must be paid on the tour. I used FindLocalTrips to book my trek through the canyon and couldn’t recommend it more. FindLocalTrips helps to compare potential Arequipa Colca Canyon tour operators along with other tours and trips in South America and ensures quality and safety of service.
During the pre-Inca era, the valley of the canyon was inhabited by two groups of people: the Quechua-speaking Cabanas and the Aymara-speaking Collaguas, who moved to the canyon from Lake Titicaca. It is believed that the Incas arrived to the site around 1320 AD. It is also believed that they did not establish themselves in the canyon through the use of warfare, but rather through marriage and inter-connection with the Cabanas and Collaguas. Following the settlement of the Incas, the Spanish arrived under the command of Gonzalo Pizarro in 1540. In the 1570s, the Spaniards forced the inhabitants of the canyon out of their homes and to centrally located pueblos, which to this day remain the main towns of the area.
Colca Canyon Treks
As well as tours, 2 or 3 day treks are also available. These treks are a little more expensive than the tours, usually costing between $40-$50. On these treks, you have the opportunity to experience what life in Colca Canyon is really like, sleeping in rustic lodges in the heart of the valley. Activities on these treks includes:
Viewing the condor birds in flight
Visiting archaeological sites
Visit local villages
See llamas & alpacas
The distance from Arequipa to Colca Canyon is between 3-4 hours by bus.These treks are available throughout the year and the level of physicality involved spans from easy to difficult. *Important to Note* – The official Colca Canyon entrance fee of 70 soles must also be paid on these treks.
Hopefully this will have convinced you to visit this magnificent canyon during your visit to Arequipa. Walking the same paths that the Incas and earlier settlers walked in the Colca Canyon is often an attraction that travellers overlook. Don’t miss out on one of the most authentic sites in South America and book a tour or trek to the canyon. Trust me, you wont regret it!