The adventure to the Colca
The Colca Canyon is 150 kilometers from the city of Arequipa; by car, that takes about 3 hours to drive.
The adventure begins a few kilometers outside the city limits as the road passes very close to two of the large volcanoes, Mount Chachani and Mount Misti, which are the “Guardians of the City”.
Once you are behind the two mountains, you pass the massive Yura cement factory, drive across the areas known as the Pampa de Arrieros and the Pampa Cañahuas, and enter the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National reserve, where you will see vicuñas, llamas, and alpacas in their natural habitat.
We recommend you pause at the lookout point on the side of the highway and get out of your vehicle to take a look at the animals up close.
This is also the point upon the highway where you can see plenty of migratory birds crossing the zone.
After some time back on the road, you reach the highest point of the trip at Patapampa (4830 meters), also called Volcano Lookout.
What awaits you there is a spectacular view of Arequipa’s chain of volcanoes, in particular mounts Hualca Hualca, Sabancalla, and Ampato.
At last, the road begins to descend, and roughly one hour later, you enter to the town of Chivay, capital of the Colca Valley and its main entrance.
Las Casitas del Colca is 8 kilometers, or a 15 minute drive, from Chivay, in the town of Yanque.