Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon, Arequipa Region: Address, Colca Canyon Reviews: 4.5/5

Colca Canyon
4.5
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
5,271 reviews
Excellent
3,595
Very good
1,205
Average
329
Poor
92
Terrible
50

Piero M
Mexico City, Mexico8 contributions
Mar 2022
The two day Colca trekl was full of breathtaking views and history! The first day, the guides picked us up from our hotel in Arequipa. They drove us straight to the head of the trail and he make sure the bags was securely stored for when we got back to Arequipa. The package included our guide, lunch the first day (prepared by cooks set up in tents in the mountain), bus tickets to and from Arequipa and Cabanaconde, a hotel for the night in the Valley.

Our guide had incredible knowledge as to the ancient culture and the area. He had answers to every question the group asked.

I definitely recommend to hike on this trek!
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sally
Ireland283 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
Colca canyon 1 full day tour.
We took this tour with Peru hop. Our guide Patricia picked us up at 3.30am from our hotel. It took about 3 to 3.5 hours to arrive at Chivay village for breakfast but we first stopped off at the active volcano view and watch it’s sprew ( there were so many volcanoes on view I can’t remember the name of t active one) It was cold and the altitude here is above 4000 m. Patrica was very informative about how to deal with altitude issues. In fact she talked (in English) for practically all of the tour about Peruvian culture, the nature, the Inkas and other civilization, local foods and drinks, dress, animals and behaviors of locals towards all of the above. She was fascinating to listen to. I think the fact she didn’t have to switch to Spanish made it easier to maintain attention and more fluid. The stop after breakfast was a small village called Maca for photos of the church etc. (Just 15 mins) after We made our way to the Cruz del canyon where we saw 5 condors, Spending about 1 hour there. It was amazing. After this we went to some natural springs where we zip lined with 2 separate zip lines (this is optional for just 50 soles each in low season) and had a dip in the hot springs (15 soles each) towels and bathing suits are available for rent apparently. There are showers and toilets there too. Lunch was 30 soles consisting of buffet back at chivay, but it was a very tasty lunch and worth the money. After this most of us were so tired.. Patricia kept up the banter and made the trip go so fast. The views all day were stunning and we had time to stop for photos with llamas, alpaca and vicuña. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. It was probably my favorite tour along the way owing you the best guide I’ve experienced. It’s a long day though. Also it’s 70 soles to enter national park at beginning of trip.. so all in all it cost 165 soles extra for all activities and lunch. I can’t seem to find Peru Andes tours on trip advisor which Peru hop used.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ScaniaSwede
Malmö, Sweden1,222 contributions
Aug 2019 • Couples
We came here as part of our travel itinerary set up by our travel agent, and included was a coach journey with guide in Spanish and English where we drove in the canyon from Yanque to see the impressive condors. It was amazing to see them sailing above our heads in the sky.
Regarding walking/trekking, I can’t comment as we on a coach trip, but it you do, I’m sure you need to be a very fit person on!!
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gary F
30 contributions
Jan 2020
This review should be a 5*. The Colca Canyon by motorcycle was fantastic. Abra Patapampa is one of the highest mountain passes in the world (elevation of 4.910m - 16,110ft) on the way to Chivay from Aqrequipa. It can be a risk for snow so plan to arrive early (we had 1 hour of snow because we arrived late from Puno). The road from Chivay-Huambo is amazing and well paved. The rest of the way to Majes is rough but very ride-able. The weather was sunny and mild.

PeruMotors Motorcycle Arequipa rental experience was not good. I over paid $500 for the rental in error and it took over a month denials before they agreed to give anything but it was less than half back. Bike was good but I wouldn't trust them.
Written March 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tim D
Affligem, Belgium6 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
We enjoyed a one day tour with a van to see the canyon highlights. In retrospect we were glad to choose this option and not trek since we did struggle with altitude sickness as well.

I would recommend doing the tour but don’t be mistaken, the bus leaves in Arequipa at 3am and it is a 3 hour journey to the canyon. Prepare for a long and exhausting day.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Annas
Albany, Australia3 contributions
Oct 2019 • Couples
The Colca Canyon is an incredible part of the world. We wanted to experience nature and culture without crowds of tourists so we hired a private guide for 4 days - Andres Calcina. Andres has good English and we planned the trip together by email, not really sure what to expect. We learnt that we could trust Andres! We were safe and comfortable in our private van with our excellent driver Joel. We had a magical time, Andres took us on hikes, we drove to isolated villages, stopped to photograph volcanoes and vicunas, saw a dozen condors with no-one else around, ate delicious meals and even went dancing together. Andres is so kind and knowledgeable, happy to answer questions and knows so many interesting places off the beaten track. Than you Andres, we are so lucky we met you.
Written May 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

skonthego
New York City, NY1 contribution
Mar 2011
I've never written here before but feel compelled to post about my recent trip through Colca Canyon because it was through tips on this forum that my husband and I found our truly fantastic guide: Carlos Arturo Munoa Guillen. If you are thinking of doing a Colca Canyon trek and are independent travelers interested in something beyond the usual package tour outfitters, not to mention the company of a sweet, knowledgeable and very passionate English-speaking guide -- I can't recommend Carlos (aka Carlitos) highly enough.

From start to finish, Carlitos was exceedingly easy to work with, accommodating, and eager to do anything he could to make our trip exciting and unique. My husband and I arrived in Arequipa without a concrete plan and I emailed Carlitos at the last minute, with the hope that he might be available to guide us on a trip starting the following day -- and it was no problem at all. He suggested we meet up for an hour that same afternoon so we could ask him questions and make sure that we felt good about the arrangements, and immediately upon meeting him we knew we had made the right choice.

Carlitos used to be a guide with Land Adventures but recently decided to strike off on his own as he finished his studies (he has been working towards a 6-yr degree in tourism from the University in Arequipa). To say he knows his stuff would be a gross understatement: he's been leading trips into the canyon for 5 years, and I think during the high season he is in and out pretty much nonstop! He speaks English and Spanish and has been teaching himself German. There was never a moment when I didn't feel that he was completely on top of what was going on. We got really lucky: we had a dozen condor sightings (some REALLY close up), as well as some fabulous conversations about everything from the local flora and fauna (which he knows a LOT about) to our favorite ABBA songs.

But, without a doubt, one of the best aspects of traveling with Carlitos was the welcome we got from local residents in the canyon. Unlike many other guides and tour outfits, Carlitos has worked hard to develop friendships with people there and believes strongly in sharing his business with them and showing his clients what real life is like for those living inside Colca. This meant that rather than staying at the usual dorm/guesthouses that most trekkers visit, we were able to spend our first night in the canyon in the guest room of a local family, to cook and eat our dinner with them around the open fire, play with their cats and chickens, to tell stories long into the night (no problem with Carlitos as translator and our broken Spanish!) and to laugh a LOT. As far as we could tell, there were no other travelers around. After a good night's sleep we got up early to see the sunrise and went down to the family's orchard to pick avocados and apples and oranges for breakfast, then lingered a while longer and said our reluctant goodbyes before setting off on day 2 of the trek. It was a beautiful experience that I will never forget.

After that, we spent the second night at the Oasis, resting up for our ascent in the morning. We all had a swim and again, Carlitos prepared our meals, which were simple but great. He even climbed a mango tree to get us some fruit! On the final day we woke at 4:30am to start walking (we had decided not to use mules, but Carlos is happy to arrange that if its what you want). It hard climb but SO worth it! And from there it was onto Cabaconde, another great breakfast, and back on the bus towards Chivay and the hot springs. We couldnt have asked for more. Of course, at that point Carlitos had MORE than fulfilled his role as our guide, but his kindness to us didnt end there. After hearing my husband I mention how we needed to book bus tickets leaving Arequipa to continue our trip south towards the Chilean border, he volunteered to meet us at the bus station the following day and help us arrange the tickets, just to make it easier. For nothing! Just to be nice!

I swear -- my husband and I both work in journalism, and afterwards we agreed that Carlitos had been much more than a tour guide -- really he turned out to be what we'd call a "fixer." As in, the guy who gets things done.

We feel truly lucky to have met him.

You can contact him at carlitos_arequipa_peru@hotmail.com OR carlitos.arequipa.peru@gmail.com

Please tell him Sarah and Joe say hi!
Written April 26, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BAUER12
London, United Kingdom26 contributions
May 2011
After reading many of the reviews on trip advisor we had no doubts about which tour guide we would try to go to the Colca Canyon with. Carlitos was the obvious choice and he did not disappoint! We arranged to do a slighty abbreviated 3 day 2 night tour as Carlitos had just got back from a 6 day trek and didn't want to set off at 3am the next morning. This suited me and my partner as 3am starts are not high on our agenda.

Carlitos met us for dinner in Arequipa to discuss the itenary and our options. We found him friendly, consciencous and extremely fun to be around from the word go.

We had an amazing 3 days. We stayed the first night in Cabanconde where Carlitos took us to a lovely hostel and a fantastic restaurant for dinner (all included). He took the time to show us around the town and invited us to try the local hot drink sold on the street. If you get a chance it's worth a try - it was delicious and packed full of local plant extracts; all of which are supposed to boost your health.

The next 2 days were spent trekking into the canyon where we spent a night at the Oasis, followed by an early start to trek up and out of the canyon. Carlitos arranged for us to have breakfast in Cabanconde then we took the bus to Cruz del Condor.

We agreed a price inbetween the full 3 day itenary ($115 per person) and the 2 day itenary ($95 per person) which included everything. On the final day we joined another tourist bus to get to the hot springs and the buffet lunch. Whilst all of the other tourists had to dig into their pockets to pay for these 'extras' we sat back and Carlitos took care of everything.

Even on our return to Arequipa Carlitos joined us for a coffee, arranging taxis, free storage for our bags, we were even offered a hot shower before he made sure we were safely on our night bus to Nazca. He truly does go above and beyond, but manages to maintain a friendly feel.

Trekking with Carlitos was more like trekking with a (knowledgable) friend than a guide. We couldn't recommend him more highly and wouldn't spare a thought for doing the Colca Canyon any other way.

His contact emails are:
carlitos_arequipa_peru@hotmail.com
carlitos.arequipa.peru@gmail.com

N.B Carlitos can also arrange tours to the Canon del Cotahuasi
Written May 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sonia_Theos
Sydney, Australia3 contributions
Mar 2011
My husband and I went to Peru and had organised a private trek of the Colca Canyon with a guide who we knew as Carlitos. I had read many excellent reviews about him on TripAdvisor and thought I would take the chance and book directly through him(no agency) and provide a deposit etc. My husband was a bit weary but I had a good feeling about him and faith in my decision. Well I was met in Arequipa by our wonderful tour guide Carlitos. He provided the most amazing experience for us, and listened to what we wanted and delivered in ever aspect from the itineray, to his knowledge of the area, culture etc, and he is also a fantastic cook! I highly recommend Carlitos and if you are interested in a trek that is tailored to you, then email him directly and he responds quite swiftly: carlitos_arequipa_peru@hotmail.com.
The Colca Canyon was definately the highlight of our time in Peru thanks to Carlitos
Written May 31, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KateG123
11 contributions
My partner and I just returned from an amazing tour to the Colca Canyon with Carlos Guillen (aka Carlitos).

We have travelled around South America for 7 months and try to avoid tour agencies after many disappointments!

Carlitos is an independent tour guide. He is very friendly with the locals and his tour is based around supporting the canyon local communities. There were 6 of us on the tour so he hired a local guide to accompany us and help out. The other tour agency groups we met only had 1 guide for large numbers of tourists.

Carlitos bought notebooks and pencils that we gave out to local children along our way. We visited a local family who took us to pick (and eat!) fruit and the ladies in our group got to dress up in local dresses.

Carlitos was enthusiastic, informative, organised and spoke great English. We ate amazingly well throughout the tour and felt it was great value for money.

By the end of the tour we saw Carlitos as a good friend and highly recommend him.

His contact emails are:
carlitos_arequipa_peru@hotmail.com
carlitos.arequipa.peru@gmail.com

Thanks Carlitos from Kathryn and Sam
Written May 19, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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