A version of our 4 day/3 night Arequipa and Colca Canyon extension including a one night homestay with a local family in the village of Sibayo. This is a unique opportunity for travelers wanting to experience the daily and communal life of a rural Peruvian village.
Day 1 : Arequipa Day 2 : Colca Canyon and Sibayo Homestay Day 3 : Colca Lodge Day 4 : Cruz del Condor. Return to Arequipa
Located 7750 feet above sea level and surrounded by snowy peaks, Arequipa delights visitors with its colonial charm and friendly inhabitants. Upon arrival at the Arequipa airport, you driver will meet you and take you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city of Arequipa on your own, as this day is unguided. Visit the Santa Catalina Monastery (a 4.5 acre maze of gardens, plazas, and churches in the town center), people-watch in the main plaza or just relax in your colonial hotel.
As rich in history as the Cusco area, Colca's pre-Inca terraces rise straight up the canyon and ancient tombs can be found perched on vertical canyon walls. You'll leave Arequipa early this morning for one of the deepest canyons in the world. The drive takes you back in time, past herds of llamas and alpacas and through 400-year old colonial towns where residents raise potatoes and tend sheep according to the rising and setting of the sun. Pass through the Reserva Nacional Salinas and Aguada Blanca with its unique flora and native vicunas, the wild kin to the alpaca and reknowned for its fine wool.
We continue to the village of Sibayo where the host family invites you to share lunch with them. The homestay provides our travelers with a good perspective of the daily and communal life of the region. You will share meals with the hosts, participate in handicraft demonstration, and have the opportunity to visit their gardens (and join in to help harvest or weed if you want!). After dinner, listen to the stories and enjoy the stars! Travelers will have a private, comfortable room.
Wake up to the sounds of village and the smells of breakfast and begin your day participating in their daily activities. After lunch, we continue following the canyon on the way to the Colca Lodge in the heart of the valley, next to the Colca River and in the midst of ancestral farming terraces. Relax in hot springs and enjoy a local peña (folkloric show).
Day 4 Cruz del Condor. Return to Arequipa
The next morning we head to the Cruz del Condor where we have our best chance to see the Andean condor. Return to Arequipa in the afternoon, and travelers can either catch a flight to Lima or continue overland to Puno to visit Lake Titicaca. Alternatively, stay an extra night in Arequipa and fly to Cusco the next morning.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.