Located in the Andes mountain range in Peru, Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world. With a depth of over 10,000 feet, it is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. The canyon is home to various wildlife, including the Andean condor, which has an impressive wingspan of up to 10 feet. The area is also home to several indigenous tribes living in the canyon for centuries. Colca Canyon is a must-see if you're looking for an adventure and want to explore one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

History of Colca Canyon

The first people to live in the Colca Canyon were the Collagua and Cabana cultures. These people were farmers and lived in the canyon for hundreds of years. They developed terraces to farm on the steep slopes of the canyon. In the 15th century, the Incas conquered the area and made it part of their empire. The Incas built Inca Trails and bridges in the canyon. They also built aqueducts to bring water from the Colca River to their cities.

The Spanish conquest of Peru began in 1533. The Spanish conquistadors destroyed many of the Inca buildings in the canyon. They also brought disease and violence to the area. The Colca Canyon was largely unknown to outsiders until the 20th century. In 1912, an American explorer named Hiram Bingham visited the canyon. He wrote about his adventures, which helped to make the Colca Canyon famous. Today, thousands of tourists visit the Colca Canyon every year. They come to see its beautiful scenery and to learn about its long history.

Geography of the Canyon

The Colca Canyon is located in the Andes mountain range in Peru. It is one of the deepest canyons in the world, with a depth of over 3,000 meters (9,800 feet). The canyon is home to a variety of plant and animal life, as well as several indigenous communities. The Colca Canyon was formed over millions of years by the erosion of the Andes mountains.

Flora and Fauna

Colca Canyon is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The canyon is home to over 100 species of birds, including the Andean condor, and a variety of mammals, such as llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas. The canyon is also home to several plant species, including the native cactus.


In the Colca Canyon, the weather is generally warm during the day and cool at night. It can sometimes be pretty windy, especially in the higher parts of the canyon. There is little rainfall in the gorge, but it can cause flash floods when it does rain.

Getting There

If driving to Colca Canyon, you must take the Pan-American Highway north from Arequipa. The trip up to Colca Canyon generally takes around 3 1/2 hours by public bus, crossing the high Andean Plateau, reaching its highest point of 4,800 meters (15,800 feet)--so be careful about elevation and the cold--at Mirador de Los Volcanes, which offers beautiful views of multiple volcanoes towering over 6,000 meters (20,600 feet). It is possible to complete a Colca Canyon trek in only one day, so you can see the highlights -- Sangalle Oasis, located at the base - and get back to Arequipa before nightfall. It is important to note that you will need to spend one night in Cabanaconde to be able to do the Colca Canyon Trek in a single day.

Chivay is the center of Colca Canyon, 160km outside of Arequipa. Most visitors want to use La Calera hot springs, located three kilometers outside the city. Roads run down the Colca Valley of the town of Chivay, with villages scattered throughout most of the path. The Colca rivers remotest source is accessible from Colca Canyon by way of Theth, a one-day hike to a spring 5,120 meters (16,800 feet) high, where Mismi snow melt pours off the cliffside. The Colca river and valley were known to the Incas and their precursors. The Spanish established towns in the valley, doubtless planning to use Rio Colca Valley as their way into Cuzco and other Andean locations.


Several accommodations are available in Colca Canyon, from simple hostels and guesthouses to more luxurious hotels. Most of the housing is located in the towns of Chivay and Yanque, the main tourist hubs in the canyon.

For those looking for a budget-friendly option, there are several hostels and guesthouses in both Chivay and Yanque. These typically offer basic rooms with shared bathrooms; some also have dormitory-style accommodations. Prices start at around $10 per night.

If you're after something a bit more comfortable, there are several hotels in both Chivay and Yanque. These vary in price and amenities, but most offer private rooms with en-suite bathrooms and features such as swimming pools, restaurants, and bars. Prices start at around $50 per night.

Things to Do

1. Hike the Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is a great place to hike and explore. There are plenty of trails to follow, and the scenery is stunning. Be sure to wear proper footwear and bring plenty of water.

2. Visit the hot springs
There are several hot springs located near the Colca Canyon. These are a great way to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of hiking. Be sure to ask for directions, as some springs can be difficult to find.

3. Go tubing down the river
One of the best ways to experience the Colca Canyon is by floating down the river on a tube. This is an excellent activity for all ages and can be done with a group or alone. Be sure to bring life jackets and follow all safety guidelines.

4. Explore the ruins
There are several ruins located in and around the Colca Canyon. These are a great way to learn about the area's history and see some fantastic architecture that once existed here. Be sure to bring your camera, as these ruins are genuinely breathtaking.

When to Go

The Colca Canyon is a beautiful place to visit all year round, but the best time to go is from May to September. This is because the weather is dry and sunny, and the temperatures are warm (but not too hot). It can be pretty rainy and cold in the canyon from October to April, so it's not ideal for hiking or visiting the hot springs.

Tips for Travellers

When traveling to Colca Canyon, there are a few things to remember to make the most of your trip. Here are some tips for travelers:

  1. Start planning your trip well in advance. This will allow you to book accommodation and tours at the best possible prices.
  2. Make sure you are physically fit enough to tackle the hikes in Colca Canyon. The treks can be pretty challenging, so it is essential to be prepared.
  3. Bring plenty of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. The sun can be powerful at high altitudes, so protecting yourself from UV rays is essential.
  4. Be prepared for cold weather conditions. Even though Arequipa is generally a warm city, the temperature can drop significantly at night and in the early morning hours. Make sure you pack some warm clothes for your trip.
  5. Finally, ensure adequate travel insurance before embarking on your journey. You never know what might happen while you are away from home, so it is always better to be safe than sorry!


When traveling to Colca Canyon, it is essential to know the potential dangers. The canyon is home to many dangerous animals, including snakes and spiders. There have also been reports of people being attacked by wild dogs.

It is essential to be cautious when hiking in the canyon. Stay on marked trails, and do not wander off alone. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and bring plenty of water.

If you plan to camp in the canyon, choose a safe campsite away from cliffs or bodies of water. Ensure your tent is securely anchored; never leave food or garbage in the open.


If you're looking for a unique natural wonder to explore during your time in Peru, Colca Canyon should be high on your list! This incredible canyon is one of the deepest in the world and offers stunning views, plenty of hiking opportunities, and a chance to see some fantastic wildlife. Here are our recommendations for making the most of your time in Colca Canyon.

First, give yourself plenty of time to explore the canyon. It's easy to underestimate how big it is, but with a depth of over 10,000 feet, it's worth taking your time to wander around and take in all the sights.

Second, don't miss the chance to go hiking! There are plenty of trails of varying difficulty levels, so there's something for everyone. Even if you're not an experienced hiker, we recommend at least doing a short hike to get a taste of what this fantastic place has to offer.

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for some of the wildlife that calls Colca Canyon home. The most famous residents are the Andean condors, but you might also spot llamas, alpacas, vicunas, eagles, and more!