A tour to the Colca Canyon is one of the best decisions if you are traveling through Peru. Colca is an area within the mountains of Arequipa that has an extensive valley full of vegetation and camelids. Among the camelids that can be seen in the Colca are the vicuñas, alpacas, llamas and if you have a little more luck you can see the Huanacos (wild camelids similar to llamas).

The Colca Canyon is famous because it is one of the deepest canyons in the world and within it lives the Andean condor, which is the second largest flying bird in the world after the gannet.

Having mentioned that, you will not want to miss visiting the Colca Canyon and we will show you the different tours that you can book.

Tours to the Colca Canyon

There are 3 good options to visit the Colca Canyon and most companies offer them. Below you will be able to know a little more about each of them and see which one suits you according to your time and budget.

Colca canyon full day tour

A one-day tour to the Colca Canyon will allow you to get to know the area without too much physical effort. The tours in Arequipa normally leave very early (3:00 am) to avoid the traffic of the city and to take advantage of the whole day in the Colca. During this tour, different stops are made to appreciate the valley, the canyon and a short walk is made until reaching the “Cruz del Condor”, which is a beautiful viewpoint where there is a 90% chance of seeing condors fly.

This tour is recommended for people who do not want or cannot do much physical effort and for those who have little time to travel and still want to visit the Colca.

Colca canyon 2 day trek

If you book a colca canyon 2 day trek, you can go down the Colca Canyon in an area called Cabanaconde. From this little town the walk begins and you walk around 3 hours until you reach the bottom. This hike is relatively easy as it is downhill. After a short rest, you walk up to a town called San Juan de Chuccho where you have lunch and then the tour continues to the town called Sangalle, this last part being more difficult, since you walk up and down.

In Sangalle there are different lodges, where travelers stay to sleep and in each of them there are swimming pools and small bars.

The next day the tour starts very early (5:00 am) and you walk back to Cabanaconde using another route. This is for many people the most difficult part of the entire route, because you walk up all the time. After the ascent, all the participants gather at the top of the canyon and admire its beauty.

In the 2-day tour, the condor cross is also visited before going down to the canyon and before returning to Arequipa, different stops are made to see alpacas and simply enjoy nature.

Colca canyon 3 day trek

In the 3-day tour the same route is made as in the 2-day tour, however the first day you walk from Cabanaconde to San Juan de Chuccho, the second day you walk from San Juan de Chuccho to Sangalle and the third day you walk from Sangalle to Cabanaconde (you go up the canyon). This tour is perfect for those who want to go down the canyon and enjoy it for longer or for those who do not want or cannot do much physical effort.

Note: Most tour operators offer these 3 options. However, they differ in their organization, the experience of the guides (their ability to share interesting stories and facts about the place), and in prices.

The experience of the guides is something very important, since there is little signage and it is very easy to get lost in the immensity of the canyon, that is why doing the tour with a company with a high reputation will make a big difference in terms of safety.

Best tour operators for the Colca canyon

Below we will mention the best companies so that you have an excellent tour to the Colca Canyon. These companies have an excellent reputation and stand out those that have easy reservation system and good prices. All of them offer tours in Spanish and English and have departures everyday.

Trek The Colca

This tour operator is the most outstanding, due to its great experience, good organization and friendliness of its guides. This company has done tours to the Colca canyon since the 1980s and has been able to adapt to new technologies to offer its customers easy ways to book tours. They have group tours every single day but also offer private tours under request. To all the tour options they have, travelers can add transfer to Puno instead of come back to Arequipa, which is very useful since going from Chivay to Puno takes the same time that going from Arequipa to Puno.

Experience = Very good
Organization = Very good
Booking system = Very good
Price / quality = Very good

Website: trekthecolca.com

Colca Trek

This company has received various awards for the excellent quality of its tours, which are private and VIP. Due to the facilities they offer, the prices of all their tours are quite high. However, this company is an excellent option for those who want to take a luxury tour in this beautiful canyon.

Experience = Very good
Organization = Very good
Booking system = Bad
Price / quality = Very good

Website: colcatrek.com.pe

Colonial Tours

This tour operator offers different options for a tour to Colca. The prices of each tour are quite fair and they departe every day from Arequipa. In their agency in Arequipa you can also book bus tickets and flights.

Experience = Very good
Organization = Good
Booking system = Bad
Price / quality = Very good

Website: colonialtours-peru.com

Giardino Tour Operator

Giardino tour is another option to take a private tour to the Colca Canyon. They are distinguished by their excellent organization. Most of their guides speak Spanish, English and French.

Experience = Very good
Organization = Very good
Booking system = Bad
Price / quality = Good

Website: giardinotours.com