Cabanaconde, San Juan, Oasis Trek
During this 3 days Colca Canyon Trek you will hike from the village of Cabanaconde along a steep donkey trail down to the bottom of the Colca Canyon. Here you will visit the local village of San Juan and enjoy the subtropical environment of Oasis.
More information about the Colca Valley and Tours:
Driving from Arequipa (2450 m) to Chivay (3650 m), you will cross a high altitude pass at 4900 m, before arriving in the Colca Valley. During the journey you will enjoy passing through a range of unique ecological zones, from desert to altiplano and dry tundra. Animals spotted along the way, or in the valley itself include herds of vicuñas (a wild relative of llamas and alpacas) and a variety of birds, of particular interest the giant hummingbird, eagles, Andean geese and even flamingos (September through March)!
The town of Chivay (3650 m) is the capital of the valley, 176 km from the regional capital, Arequipa, and is well known to among locals and foreigners for the presence of the La Calera hot springs 3 km outside of town.
Chivay is also a good place to look for high-quality, locally-produced crafts, in particular goods hand-knitted from 100% alpaca fiber, and elaborately embroidered goods produced by hand on sewing machines (hats, coin purses, belts, etc.). Such crafts are also available in some of the miradors (scenic overlooks) along the highway, and in surrounding towns. Be careful not to be confused by cheaper, industrially-produced products of lesser quality.
From Chivay you will drive along the Colca Canyon towards the village of Cabanaconda. About 10 km before arriving at the village you will stop at the Cruz del Condor Mirador, the famous Condor Viewpoint, where you will usually be able to spot the mighty Andean Condor!
Between the villages of Callalli, at the high end of the Colca valley and Tapay and San Juan, in the depths of the Colca canyon, you’ll find a wide range of very different microclimates that vary with the altitude.
In the cold, dry, highlands, livestock production predominates, focused on alpaca and llamas; in the middle zone, agriculture is more important, featuring products such as corn, quinua, barley, beans, and a variety of potatoes, as well as dairy production; in the canyon, due to the warmer climate, fruit production is possible, including avocados, lucuma, peaches, and apples.
Extended itinerary Cabanaconda, San Juan, Oasis Trek
Day 1: Arequipa / Viewpoint of Tapay / San Juan de Chuccho
Once at the bottom of the canyon we will cross the bridge of San Juan of Chuccho, to arrive at the village with the same name, where we will spend the night in one of the homes of villagers. No worries, they are basic, but equipped to accommodate tourists.
Day 2: San Juan / Sangalle (Oasis)
Today we have an easy day to learn more about the hard, but peaceful live of the villagers down in the canyon, were no motorized transport can reach.
After breakfast we will ascent about 300 m to reach some local settlements. The first is called Cosnihua and the second Malata. These villages produce most of the fruits sold in the Colca Cañon. After lunch we will go down a bit the village of Sangalle (Oasis). In the mixed surroundings with Andean and tropical vegetation you can enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the natural pools (the water has a temperature of approx. 18 ° C). We will have a late lunch and relaxed afternoon, before we sleep our second night in basic cabins.
Day 3: Sangalle - Cabanaconde - Chivay - Arequipa or Puno
At around 04:30 am we will start our direct ascent (1300 m) up to Cabanaconda. It is a quite a steep zigzag and rocky path, but we will take it easy and after approximately 3 hours we will arrive in Cabanaconda.
We will have breakfast at a local restaurant and then drive in about 15 minutes to the Cruz del Condor Mirador (viewpoint). From this point you have a great view over the Colca Cañon and during most of the year you will be able to see several condors ascending from the depths of the canyon. After saying goodbye to the condors we drive back to Chivay for lunch.
Depending on the size of the group it will be decided if you continue from Chivay with the tour in private service or in shared tourist service towards Puno, or or back to Arequipa.
Included in this special Cabanaconda Colca Canyon Trek:
- Shared tourist transport (and additional public transport)
- Professional Guide in English (other languages available)
- 2 nights in basic accommodations
- Meals (3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners)
- Entrance fee of Colca Cañon (70 soles)
- Last lunch in Chivay
- Drinks and other personal expenses
- Optional entry to the thermal baths in Chivay (15 soles, if enough time)
Recommended to bring with:
Good shoes, good backpack, bading clothes, something warm for the night, sunscreen, torch, insect repellent, towel, Snacks, water (can be purchased at the tour), hat, walking sticks (optional).