Stay in stone brick and thatched roof cottages, surrounded by hot thermal springs at the foot of the Colca Valley.
Encircling El Misti and Chanichani, head towards the Colca Canyon. Traverse the breathlessly high Patompampa Pass and journey onwards whilst llamas and vicuñas meditatively prune what there is of the stark terrain that surrounds you.
Observe the landscape change from mottled browns to green whilst leaving the city for the Río Colca. Head towards the staggering heights and obscure depths of the canyon that is almost twice as deep as America’s Grand Canyon, yet rarely spoken about.
This silence is mirrored in the valley itself, as you trek this altiplano there is no other soul in sight. The quiet hush gives space to breathe in the purest air and feel the reverberations of the beating wings of the Andean Condor’s flight.
Visit weaving villages where pre-Incan archaeological sites are frozen in time, and deep Wari culture remains prominent today. Adjust to the unhurried atmosphere in each of the 14 hamlets that occupy the valley. Legend states that the Collaguas themselves sprung from the volcano's bubbling core... Meet the Children of the Volcano dressed in charming straw hats and colourful ribbons.
Pay a visit to the colonial churches in Achoma, Maca, Pinchollo and Lari, built from volcanic stone and boasting stunning baroque and rococo architecture. Step inside to reveal the popping colours of Andean murals and the depth of religious paintings.
The magic of the valley lies in the harmonious correspondence between the inhabitants and nature. The historic terraces lining the landscape are a stunning reminder of Peru's ancient genius, and of course coherence with its environment.
Due to its temperate climate, the Colca Canyon can be enjoyed year round. However, if you're seeking out the world's largest bird in all it's glory, March and June are when the Condor is at it's most active. For those seeking an adrenaline fix, the rapids at the foot of the valley are at their best from March to December as the water levels are higher, (Class I - II) perfect for beginners and intermediates. Tying in a Condor safari with some white-water rafting is an invigorating way to experience the Colca Canyon, and we recommend setting aside some time to relax in the thermal springs and a day trip visiting the Wari village communities nestled into the glorious landscape.
When venturing onwards out of Arequipa towards the world's deepest canyons, Colca Lodge offers a unique experience of the natural volcanic hot springs in the valley. Surrounded by naturally heated pools Colca Lodge is an opportunity to bathe and relax after a day of trekking, wildlife encounters or horse riding. Belmond Las Casitas offers fantastic holistic experiences on site and further into the valley, so angle for your dinner in the trout lake or take to your surroundings by horseback to uncover hidden picnic spots for a traditional Andean lunch.