I just arrived in Arequipa (so gorgeous here!) and of course one cannot be here without visiting the Colca Canyon. Question is: exactly what kind of tour to do, and who to go with. Looking at the descriptions of the 2 day / 1 night tours, there's lots of extraneous "folkore music" and "hot springs" activities which I suspect are designed merely to flog tourists for their money, and which don't really add much above the 1 day trip. I'm not certain they might not still be preferable over having to leave at 3 AM in the morning, though.
So yeah, some personal experiences and recommendations here would be muchly appreciated. We're hoping to book by tomorrow, so swift replies particularly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
[ Edit: Edited on May 7, 2008, at 11:21 AM by Sander ]
The road to the Colca canyon is dreadful, and the ride is long, so don't expect to sleep on the bus on the ride to the Colca Canyon at 3 am. I will definitely recommend the 2 days trip, so you can relax at the hot springs after a strenuous ride to Chivay and sleep well to watch the condors the following day.
Also, on the 1 day tour, you spend most of the day (up to 10 hours) on the bus. It doesn't make sense to me if the ride lasts longer than your stay at the destination.
By the way, you can skip the folk dance show if you want. It is optional, not always included in the tour. And, you shouldn't miss the hot springs, they are pretty good.
Have a safe trip,
completely agree with gallegos.
You must take the 2day tour, the folk show will be at dinner of first day and it is nice to see while you re eating.
dont miss the hot springs, dont forget your swimming clothes and towels. by the way they rent towels
enjoy you visit
[ Edit: Edited on May 7, 2008, at 1:21 PM by PeruPlanet ]
Did the 3 day / 2 night about a month ago.
To be honest it is not that good a trek. Beautiful views but you spend longer looking at your feet.
Much much nicer canyons in the NW of Argentina.
The condors were spectacular though.
The other thing is we went with a company owned by a guy called Jack. He actually sent us on the wrong tour. I spoke to him nicely and he said he would give us nothing back. I told him I would put a chair through his window and funnily enough he admitted he shouldn't have and gave us some cash back.
The guide was fantastic. Called Alexandero.
I've been there about a month ago... We also planned to take the 2d/1n type of tour due to tight schedule, but at the end were convinced by Colca Trek to take the 3d/2n one. True, they are not the cheapest among the thousands of operators, but we made a good choice.
We didn't have to make the whole tour with several other tourists we stopped places where other tours not (we checked some other companies in Arequipa), and we felt really being the only ones being there. There were no stops with shopping, and we made it til Cabanaconde the first day. Next day we went down to the oasis, spent the nights in tents, and climbed back the morning the other day. Hot springs were also included, but with the locals at Yanque. They also waited the bus with us at the crossing on the way to Puno.
All in all I highly recommend them if you want to make some hiking and are with limited time. Otherwise (if you have more time) I guess you can do it cheaper with local transport.
It's a fantastic place