Located 7,750 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 our 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 the deepest canyon 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. During your two nights in the canyon take ample time to relax in the hot springs! One morning you'll head to the Cruz del Condor where you'll have your best chance to see the Andean condor. In the afternoon you'll walk along the canyon edge to the pueblo of Cabanaconde for a taste of village life in the Colca.
An optional one-night homestay on Day 2 with a local family is available for travelers wanting to experience the daily and communal life in a Peruvian village. Travelers will return to the Colca Lodge for the night of Day 3.
Day 4 Return to Lima
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.