Our 2017 detailed guide to the Colca Canyon 3 Day Trek from how to get there, what to do, what to bring, and all your frequently asked questions.
Colca Canyon 3 Day Trek Guide Contents:
1. Trek Information– Check start time, prices, and more.
2. How to get to Colca Canyon – Compare transportation options.
3. What to bring– Be prepared for your tour.
4. FAQs – We answer your frequently asked questions.
5. Did you know?– Colca Canyon fun facts.
6. Photo Gallery – A few of the best photos of the Colca Canyon.
Peru Hop does not operate any treks of the Colca Canyon. To see Peru Hop’s recommended operators for this tour read below.
Colca Canyon 3 Day Trek with Peru Andes
Price: S/.170 soles (or $50 USD)
Hotel/Hostel Pick-up: Between 03:00am & 03:30am
Return Time: Between 17:00pm & 17:30pm (2 days later)
Special deal for Peru Hop Passengers – Tours booked with Peru Andes via FindLocalTrips.com allow date changes up until the evening before your tour begins at no extra cost.
This 3 Day Colca Canyon trek is recommended above the 2 day trek because you have more time to enjoy the views and take pictures. The trail is down hill, flat and uphill. Altitudes range from 1900 to 3300 meters above sea level. Generally very little acclimatization is necessary if you have spent time in Arequipa, Puno, or Cusco.
Detailed Itinerary 3 Day Trek:
Day 1: Arequipa City to Condor’s Cross to San Juan de Chuccho
Pick up from your hotel or hostel between 03:00 am to 03:30 am and depart from Arequipa. After driving 3 1/2 hours, we stop in Chivay to enjoy breakfast. Later, we continue to one of the most popular points of the canyon, “Condor’s Cross,” where we stop for about 40 minutes to watch the Condors fly. We will continue for another 20 minutes by bus, then our trek downhill begins. We trek downhill from 3300 meters above sea level to reach the bottom which will take approximately 3 ½ hours, at an altitude of 2100 meters above sea level. We will have lunch, dinner and stay overnight in San Juan de Chuccho village which has a tropical climate with a lot of vegetation. The accommodation here are basic rooms.
Day 2: San Juan de Chuccho to Malata to Oasis
08:00 am After breakfast, we continue to the town of Cosñirhua to see the production of honey made by the local people and taste the honey. It is possible to see archaeological ruins left by pre-Inca cultures around the area. Going on, we reach the town of Malata and its old Spanish church design. Then, we descend to the deepest part of our trek to Sangalle Village at 1900 metres above sea level.
Dinner and overnight in bungalows.
Day 3: Cabanaconde to Chivay to Arequipa City
05:00 am Trek uphill to Cabanaconde which will take approximately 3 hours. On arrival, we will have breakfast in Cabanaconde and then take our transport to Chivay on the way back to Arequipa. At approximately 12:00 pm, we will arrive to Chivay towards the hot springs.
In Chivay, we will have a typical lunch of the region and then head back to Arequipa. On the way back, we descend from 4830 meters above sea level to 2325 meters above sea level passing through a National Reserve and Pampa Cañahuas, which is a habitat for the four kinds of South American camelids. (Llama, Alpaca, vicuña and guanaco). We return to Arequipa at approximately 17:30 pm.
- Round trip tourist transportation – private bus so your seat is always reserved.
- Meals (3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners).
- English speaking trekking guide – local expert who knows everything about the Canyon.
- Two nights in the rustic huts
- First aid medicine kit
- Entrance ticket to Canyon: S/.70 soles – not included on any tour due to it being illegal to include it.
- Entrance to the Hot Springs: about S/.15 soles – OPTIONAL
- Last lunch in Chivay – Operators will direct you to the tourist buffet restaurants which cost around 30 soles. THIS IS OPTIONAL and you do not have to eat here.
- Tips for guides
- The passenger has the obligation to mention any health problem or past injury to assure and guarantee the safety of the trip.
- Tips for the guides are not included.
- Wear warm layers for the early morning transport, as the route to the canyon reaches altitudes of almost 5000 meters above sea level and can have freezing temperatures.
- NOTE: THIS TREK ISN’T EASY, SOME SAY IT’S HARDER THAN MACHU PICCHU’S!
For people who get tired during the trek, it is possible to hire mules.
If you are looking for information about treks of the Colca Canyon, visit FindLocalTrips.com where you can compare itineraries, operators and prices.
How to get to Colca Canyon
How to get to Colca Canyon:
The Colca Canyon is located about 4-hours outside of the city of Arequipa. The best way to get there is to take a tour or trek which includes transportation to and from Arequipa.
If you are looking for information on the best buses to take to Arequipa, visit our passes page. Select your departure city, the countries you want to visit, and amount of time you have to travel. Then browse our passes to see which include your desired stop in Arequipa.
What to bring
What to bring:
- Photocopy of passport and immigration card (TAM)
- Light backpack
- 1.5 to 2 litres of water for day 1 (if you need more you can buy it at the small shops at the villages BUT expensive)
- Sun cream (very important)
- Hats, sunglasses
- Trekking shoes or boots
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Warm layers, sweater or jacket (IMPORTANT) –Temperatures reach lows of -10 Celsius
- Shorts or pants for walking
- Swimming suit, sandals, towel – swimming pools in the oasis, and thermal baths in Chivay on the way back to Arequipa!
- Flashlight/ headtorch – Early trek out of the Canyon starts at 5am before sunrise (It is dark!)
- Basics like toilet paper, etc
- Snacks (Breakfast on the last day is AFTER the early morning hike out of the Canyon – bring enough snacks to fuel you up the climb!)
- Insects repellent
- Personal medications (if necessary)
- Hiking sticks (optional)
- Money for drinks
What is the difference between the Colca Canyon TOURS and TREKS?
During the tours you will have limited walking sections as most of the time you stay on a bus and only get outside at several viewing points. The tours are more recommended for travelers who want (or because of physical conditions) have to take it easy. Treks however, are perfect for people with good physical condition. With treks you will definitely get more and intense views of the beautiful and unique landscape of the Canyon.
What’s the difference between a 2 Day and a 3 Day Trek?
The routes for both tours are the same. The 3-day trek just offers more time to relax and enjoy the canyon. Because of that, the tour is easier than the 2-day trek. But still both treks are not easy!
I do not want to take all of my stuff with me. Where can I leave my big bag?
Hotels and hostels in Arequipa will normally store your bags in their safety deposit for free whilst you are away at the Canyon, until you check-in again upon your return. Head off for the trip with just what you need and leave the rest in storage. Especially for the trek as you will need to carry what you take.
Do I need to bring trekking shoes?
Not necessarily, but as you will spend several hours hiking up and down through the canyon, we recommend to wear at least stable and comfortable shoes.
Do I need any camping equipment?
You do not need any specialist equipment with you to be able to tackle the Colca. A tent is not required. Accommodation is in small rustic huts which is provided in the ¨Oasis¨ at the bottom of the Canyon. It can get cold at nights and very warm during the day so you need to pack for all weathers and have comfortable footwear (trekking shoes or good trainers are sufficient). Some guides also recommend to bring flashlights and some snacks.
Can I rent mules?
Yes, It cost S/.80 soles per day or S/.60 soles during the uphill section on the last day from Sangalle to Cabanaconde.
Will I see Condors on this tour?
There are quite a few Condors out there and as we visit different viewing points the chances are quite good. We still cannot guarantee that you will be able to see them but if you get lucky they will fly just above your head!
Can I have a private room if I travel alone?
Yes, of course but you will need to pay an extra 20 soles. You must inform your guide on the first day of your tour.
Is there an upgrade possible in accommodation, instead of a basic hotel?
No, this Colca Canyon provider does not offer alternative accommodation. If you wish to stay in a different hotel or lodge in the Canyon it is recommended you book a private tour of the Canyon.
Did you know?
Did you know?
- The Colca Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon!
- The area surrounding the Canyon is famed for its traditional and colourful towns which you will pass through along the way.
- In the Canyon you can find over 100 kinds of birds, over 300 types of plants and more than 30 types of cactus.
- The highest point of the Canyon is Ampato at 6388 meters above sea level. These snow-capped peaks form an impressive backdrop to the Canyon.
- The Andean Condor Bird can weigh up to 12 kg with a wingspan of over 3 metres! The CRUZ DE CONDOR viewpoint is famed as the best place in South America to see the Andean Condor in flight.