Disconnect from the “real” world on our classic Colca Canyon Tour and immerse yourself in the spectacular natural beauty of one of the deepest canyons in the world! On this tour, you will meet diverse Andean wildlife, take in breathtaking views of majestic volcanoes and discover the traditional cultures of the Colca Valley, both modern and ancient.
You’ll sleep in complete luxury at the Colca Lodge, located just outsider the tranquil valley village of Yanque. The Lodge has its own spa, which makes use of nearby natural hot springs, and is the perfect place to get back to Nature.
There are multiple hiking routes in the Colca Canyon, to choose the best route, simply decide how much time you have and what Colca Canyon attractions you wish to see. While most standard Colca Canyon tours are two days and one night. Whichever Colca Canyon trekking route you choose, a Colca Canyon hike is an unforgettable and memorable experience on a Peru itinerary.
Some of the trails are narrow and steep, so there are dangers like losing your footing. In some sections the trail has suffered from rock and landslides.
Remember, hiking the Colca Canyon is a lot of ups and down with multiple routes. But it worth because there are really nice viewpoints of the Colca canyon.
COLCA LODGE SPA & HOT SPRINGS (2 nights)
This resort offers a wide variety of spa services, access to thermal baths, 3 gourmet restaurants and rooms with garden views. Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs offers horseback riding through the Colca Valley and large sun loungers in the garden. It also has a basic satellite internet connection service at the reception. The rooms offer a cozy atmosphere and feature parquet floors, rugs, stenciled walls and decorated wood paneling. Some have private access to the hot springs and include a fireplace and a minibar.
A buffet breakfast is served daily, including regional jams and tropical fruits. The main restaurant is decorated with rustic walls and decorations. The Puye restaurant offers Alpandina cuisine and the barbecue bar serves typical Peruvian specialties next to the Colca River.
A private bus will pick you up from your hotel around 07:30 am. We will take the road to Yura, heading towards beautiful Colca Valley. The first stop will be at the National Reserve of Agua Blanca and Salinas, a place where you can observe the famous vicuñas and the great volcanoes of Arequipa.
We will pass “Tocra”, a high plain at 4500 meters, where we will observe migrant birds at stunning lakes and get pictures of the “Antiplano” with its Llamas and Guanacos. The highest point of our tour will be “Pata Pampa” at 4820 meters, from where we can observe the volcanoes Ampato, Sabancaya, Hualca-Hualca, Misti (the source of the Amazon River) and the “Cordillera Chila”. Getting close to the town of Chivay, we will enjoy some spectacular views of the multicolored terraces of the Colca Valley.
After lunch, you will have some free time to visit the market of Chivay before we drive you to your hotel. In the afternoon you will visit the hot springs where you can take a bath in one of the pools with water temperatures from 35 to 40°C and 80°C in the source. Enjoy the warm natural water and the nice outdoor pools, surrounded by the huge mountains and then after sunset, return to the hotel where you can order your dinner.
We will have our breakfast very early in the morning and then leave to the famous “Cruz del Condor” lookout point. Upon arrival, you will have enough time to enjoy the breathtaking view of the deep Canyon and if the weather permits to observe the majestic flight of the Condors.
After a coordinated time, our guide will take you for a short walk near the Canyon (aprox. 1 hour). On our way back to Chivay, we’re going to visit the traditional village Pinchollo and the “Antahuilque viewpoint” from where we can observe the wonderful 1500 year-old terraces which were once constructed by the Collaguas, a culture well before the Incas’ time. We will continue our journey by visiting Maca, and the village Yanque with the most beautiful church in the valley.
Afterwards, we arrive in Chivay to have lunch and to explore the town. You will have some time to relax in your hotel before you have the rest of the day free for personal activities such as hiking, horse riding or biking (not included in the package, but we can organize it for you if you like).
After an early breakfast at your hotel, a Coporaque resident will take you to visit his house and together they will plan the work to be done this morning. We cannot define exactly what this day will be like, since it depends on the season and the day of the week. However, the normal activities are -among others- support in the fields, grazing animals, preparing the land for planting or harvesting. Around noon, your host will accompany you back to your hotel to collect his luggage and then continue on your way to Chivay.
We will stop for lunch in Chivay before taking the highway in the direction of Puno, crossing incredible landscapes of the Altiplano and leaving behind the beautiful landscape of the Colca Canyon. On our way we continue ascending a small path until we reach the highest point of our trip, the Andes viewpoint (4800 m/15,748 ft). At the top, we will get off the bus for a few minutes and enjoy the impressive landscape with the big volcanoes, including Mismi, Misti, Chachani, Sabancaya (active) and Ampato.
Along the paved road, we will see many small towns, as well as the beautiful Lagunillas lagoon, where we can explore trout hatcheries and observe Andean flamingos among many Andean birds. Following an ascending path we will then arrive at Viscachani. We have a short break and stretch our legs, use the bathroom if necessary and have a typical coca tea or coffee at the local restaurant.
Later, we will drive through the national reserve park of the Peruvian Altiplano to finally reach the beautiful city of Puno, near the majestic Lake Titicaca.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.View Essential Trip Information
The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.
To book this tour, a minimum of $ 200 USD per person is required, the remaining balance will be paid upon arrival in Peru, at the Cusco office.
Any other additional information, please coordinate with your travel agent.
Peru is a country of basically free access. Most of the countries of America and Western Europe do not require a tourist visa to enter Peru, and the maximum length of stay granted by the authorities is 183 days (it cannot be extended). For a stay for a longer period with other objectives (business, study, work, etc.) it is necessary to previously request the corresponding visa from the Peruvian consulates.
To enter Peru it is an essential requirement to present a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months from your entry into the national territory. Citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Chile can enter with their national identification document.
Traveling is one of life’s great pleasures and what most of us dream to do at one time or another in our lives. Discovering new cultures and visiting ancient ruins is what motivates us to travel. Peru has a rich and colorful history with many different regions to explore. While thinking of your Peruvian holiday you might want to also consider a group or individual tours in Peru. Both options are viable when traveling in Peru if you prefer the company of other people when you travel then a group tour will be for you. You’ll always have someone to keep you company along the route, but you don’t always have to walk together. Wherever possible your Andean Great Treks leader will allow everyone to walk at their own pace, regrouping regularly along the route.
The currency in Peru is the Sol. It doesn’t take long to get used to it. There are just over three Soles to the US Dollar (USD), around three and a half Soles to a Euro (EUR) and just over four Soles to the Pound (GBP). Rounding up helps you make quick conversions when deliberating prices and making payment. While some businesses accept US dollars and some ATMs allow you to withdraw it even, it is much easier to pay for day-to-day things with Soles including food and drink, shopping at local markets and entry to local attractions. There are ATMs in every major city in Peru and as a point of reference can also be found near each city’s Plaza de Armas (the main square). It’s highly unlikely that you will find any ATM in more rural areas including villages and small towns. The fee for withdrawing money at the Peru ATM is around $5-$7 per transaction. The maximum withdrawal is around $200 – $250 per transaction.
Like many other countries in developing destinations, the region’s beauty and uniqueness are countered by inequality and lack of investment. This has led to crime rates (mainly theft and scams) not being uncommon in the larger cities. We know this doesn’t sound very attractive, but it’s important to mention it regardless. Most experienced and well-traveled visitors will understand this well and not be too concerned. However, having said this, it is our duty to take care of you during your visit. That’s why we present you here with a few recommendations to be extra safe. Avoid walking alone at night on empty streets. Don’t flaunt valuables! If going for a walk or going on public transport, be sensible and avoid showing off expensive items such as expensive watches and jewelry. Be careful of pickpockets! Don’t leave your bags anywhere that doesn’t look safe, and make sure to take them with you.
If your Andean Great Treks starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Andean Great Treks will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Most people can start to feel the effects of altitude at over 2000 m (6561 ft) regardless of age, gender or fitness level. While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you make yourself aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. It’s important to take it easy, drink plenty of water and speak to your group leader at once if you feel unwell.
We recommend seeing your doctor if you have any health concerns before undertaking the trip. Particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition or take any medication.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Andean Great Treks are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your tour guide on the first day of the trip.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers COVID-19, personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects.
No vaccines are required in order to enter Peru but some are recommended for protection against disease. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.
Recommended travel vaccines for Peru
Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in Peru. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your tour guide or the hotel where you’re staying where filtered water can be found. It’s advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating. There’s no need to worry about keeping your mouth closed while you shower, but if you have a particularly sensitive stomach, you may wish to use boiled or filtered water to brush your teeth or wash fruits and vegetables.
When ordering cocktails or smoothies, try to avoid drinks with ice. You can always ask the waiter or vendor if they use filtered water to make ice, but if you’d rather not risk it, just order your drinks ‘without ice’. Single-use water bottles contribute to a huge environmental problem, so your best bet is to bring a portable water filter or water purifying tablets, and a large reusable bottle to refill at canteens or hotels. Brands like Steripen sterilize water using UV, while bottles from Sawyer remove most bacteria through an in-built foam purifier.
Water safety tips for Peru
Here are some handy tips to follow when it comes to drinking water in Peru:
Most hotels, large retailers and tourist attractions accept credit cards but will usually charge a fee (about 5% to 7%) for using them. Make sure you carry cash for when you’re dealing with small vendors, family-run restaurants and market vendors.
There are many situations where you might want to use your mobile when travelling. It could be to call a hostel to book a room, arrange a meeting point for breakfast with your new travel friends, or contact loved ones in an emergency.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Peru’s cities, but may not be available in more remote and mountainous areas. You will be able to use your mobile/cell phone while in Peru, but only if you have activated global roaming or purchased a local SIM card. If you choose to activate global roaming, don’t forget to check with your provider as to what costs will be incurred to avoid any unwanted surprises when you get your phone bill – it’s often painfully expensive! You should also make sure you check that your phone is unlocked before leaving home or the local SIM may not work overseas.
Buying a local SIM in Peru
Many travellers prefer to buy a local SIM card instead of a roaming plan as it works out much cheaper. You can buy a SIM card at most airports and phone retail shops in the bigger towns and cities. There are several carriers to choose from in Peru, with both prepaid and postpaid options available. Though postpaid is slightly cheaper, it may require a minimum commitment period, so you might be better off going with the prepaid option. As far as carriers go, Movistar, Entel and Claro are some of the biggest and will offer you decent coverage, though it may be poor or cut off completely in more rural or mountainous areas like the Andes.
Peru has a mix of both squat toilets and western-style flushable toilets. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as they are not always provided. Some public toilets charge a small usage fee. Expect to use squat toilets if travelling on the Inca Trail.
ATMs can be found in most of Peru’s major cities and tourist areas. ATMs are far less common in rural areas and small villages so have enough cash to cover purchases when travelling away from the larger cities.
Every Andean Great Treks holiday has been thoughtfully planned and crafted by our specialists. They draw on their own extensive travel experience and the guidance and expertise of our local partners to create superb holidays. Our specialists are committed to making every aspect smooth and enjoyable; they genuinely want to ensure that the holidays they create leave you with wonderful lasting memories.
Every Andean Great Treks traveller is accompanied by an experienced tour guide, you will be immersed in Historic cities, ancient ruins and unfamiliar landscapes are all brought to life by our carefully selected local guides. They want to share their expertise and help you make your own discoveries too; their sole mission is to ensure you enjoy every moment.
Giving you the freedom to make your holiday even more memorable. We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday and we pride ourselves on the choice and flexibility that we offer to enhance every aspect of your experience. Whether it’s getting to the airport, upgrading your room or booking an additional excursion, we can help.
Our guides are the stars of the show; it is their unrivalled knowledge, passion and expertise that will transform your tour experience from good to truly extraordinary!
Because the have grown up in the area and know it like the back of their hand, so they can help you experience whichever aspects most interest you. They’re passionate about sharing their corner of the world with you, and as you explore together, they’ll open your eyes to the intricate details, provide background to enhance your understanding of what you’re seeing, and share stories that will bring everything to life.
“Your inspiration for a trip can be a single word or a highly evolved outline, but it’s the conversations we have that help us understand the experience you’re looking for. Meanwhile, I’m looking back on the time I spent at the destination.
‘The great thing about working with a specialist at Andean Great Treks is how they take your complete jumble of ideas and turn them into something absolutely spectacular.’
As you begin to share your ideas with your specialist, it will connect them immediately back to a time in their own travels. Conjuring a picture of the rest time they made that same discovery, reminding them how it felt.
Your specialist understands that, when the journey is right, it has the power to excite your emotions in the most profound ways after all, that was the effect on them.
They carry a treasure box of moments, captured over many journeys, into every suggestion they’ll share with you, as they ask you how you want to feel on your trip.
EXPERIENCES THAT CALL TO YOU
It’s what you do in a destination that helps bring it to life. It’s why we strive to choose experiences that help you connect to a place, absorbing a little of its complex character. Wherever your passions lie, we’ll recommend experiences that speak to you, and we’ll recommend the guide or local expert who’s most qualified to help you explore. Packing your holiday full of special experiences means some early starts and long days, but you can be sure that you’ll return home with many incredible memories! Read our Tours and check the Physical Ratings to see if the pace and activity levels are right for you.
STAYS WITH DIFFERENCE
We know that where you stay is a cherished part of your travels. So, we go to great lengths to find places to stay that exceed expectations, or go above and beyond the ordinary, whether in their character, hospitality, or location. Over the years, we’ve discovered the very best properties, trying and testing them, so we can choose the right one for you. We’ve nourished long-standing relationships with these establishments and the people who founded them, and we’ve stayed there many times often, we’ll even know which rooms have the best views (and reserve them for you).
Our style of travel — authentic, thoughtful, and focused on building meaningful connections to the people and places you visit — is inherently respectful and considerate of the destinations we love. We design each aspect of your trip exactly as you want it, which includes its sustainability. That might mean choosing a train journey instead of a flight, staying at eco-friendly wildlife lodges, or opting for experiences that give back to the communities you’re visiting. The choice is yours.
Responsible travel has always been at the heart of what we do. First and foremost, because it gives you the best experience, but, also because it helps to preserve the communities and landscapes you visit. This isn’t new for us we collaborated with local communities and outside experts so we can grow to be better ambassadors.
The most authentic and interesting experiences often directly benefit the local people. We prefer to buy local products that are produced in the organic farms of the Sacred Valley, we also have alliances with local artisan organizations who provide us with souvenir items for our clients, your money directly benefits the local economy.
‘There’s a saying: we don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. When we show you our country, this philosophy guides everything we do. It’s our responsibility to preserve the environment and wildlife, and support communities. That means using slower modes of transport, like cycling, employing local people, and working with communities who’ll benefit directly from your visit. This also gives you the best, most authentic impression of the places we want to share with you.
We prefer to buy local products in ecological bags, to avoid the use of plastic bags, likewise we teach the use of soaps and ecological products in each tour that we organize. We also work on reforestation projects with local communities who take care of landscape resources such as communal reserves, national parks.
Sublime landscapes, wildlife, history, culture - Peru has more than its fair share. Its famed snow-capped Andean peaks shelter the temples and fortresses of the Inca and other pre-Columbian cultures, linked by a network of paved trails.
Travel to Peru to retrace the steps of the Inca, Peru's fascinating ancient civilization. Travel from Cusco, through the fertile heartland of the Sacred Valley and to the magnificent Ollantaytambo ruins, hike the best inca trail to Machu Picchu.
Feel the magic and the energy of Cusco and Machu Picchu, then continue to where the legend began – Lake Titicaca, to get off the beaten path and immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the peace and tranquility on the shores of the Lake.