Arequipa and Colca Canyon Tours
Dubbed the "white city" for its beautiful buildings made of a pearly volcanic rock, Arequipa nestles against the foot of the El Misti volcano. With its fine baroque churches and beautiful colonial buildings, Arequipa is said to have some of the best-preserved colonial architecture in Peru.
The spectacular terraced Colca Canyon, said to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, is a popular excursion from the city. The landscape in the Colca Canyon is remarkable for its Inca and pre-Inca terracing which goes on for many kilometers (the most extensive in Peru), along the valley there are several villages whose inhabitants are involved in agriculture and continue using the terraces today - life here has changed so little down through the centuries.
Possibly the most fascinating colonial religious complex in the country, the Santa Catalina Convent is a miniature walled town in the middle of Arequipa. Founded in 1579, it was only opened to the public in 1970 after centuries of mystery. The convent housed about 450 nuns who lived there in total seclusion except for their female servants. It has preserved the characteristics of XVI and XVII centuries perfectly. Narrow plazas, streets and gardens have Spanish names,remeniscent of ancient quarters in Sevilla or Granada. It has site museums where artwork has been collected including porcelain relics, sacred ornaments, sculptures and canvases from different schools.
Day 1 - Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Tour of the city and of Santa Catalina Convent that has remained the same since its foundation in 1580 but was only opened to the public in 1970. Then tour the Plaza de Armas or Main Square, the Cathedral, the church of La Compañía and the Colonial district of Yanahuara.
Day 2- breakfast, then morning departure for Pampa Canahuas, passing through Yura on the way. Arrive at Pulpera and Callali villages, and stop at Sibayo to visit the new and old town. Here you will see an Incan bridge. Lunch included. Continue on to Chivay village an its thermal baths, La Calera. Accommodation at the LODGE. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 3 - Breakfast at the hotel. The early morning excursion reaches an observation point, on a wide bend, where a wooden cross called CRUZ DEL CONDOR has been erected. The view from here is breathtaking: one can see the silvery thread of the Colca River flowing below in the roar of the canyon, while majestic condors soar overhead using the warm air currents from the canyon depths to rise towards the high peaks. Here the chasm is 1,200 mts. deep, but the highest part of the canyon wall on the other side is more than 3,000 meters above the river level, and permanently snow capped. Return to Chivay. On the way visit the Colonial church of Maca and Yanque. Lunch included. Return to Arequipa for overnight.
Day 4 - breakfast, then transfer to the airport.
Note* If you prefer, on day 3 you can go from Chivay to Puno by tourist bus (about 6-7 hours), with several stops along the way, instead of going to Arequipa. We can re-price for that option.
2021 Price per person in US$: (can combine hotels differently if you prefer - also see Cirqa all-inclusive).
Can also combine Cirqa Hotel with Titilaka Hotel for a complete luxury southern Peru experience. See details.
Prices include group day tours. We can also price with private tours.
Prices do not include any flights.