The Colca Canyon, Arequipa - Stein Travel

    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months

Welcome to The Colca Canyon

The most popular excursion from Arequipa is to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, and twice the depth of Arizona's Grand Canyon. The Colca valley is extremely picturesque, dominated by huge mountains, with little villages and a distinctive traditional dress, lively market places and grand churches, green agricultural terraces hugging the hillsides and herds of wandering llamas. The Crux del Condor Lookout is the most popular viewing point and also the best place to see giant condors soaring on incredible wingspans above the dramatic depths of the canyon below. Many people stay in the quaint market town of Chivay, three hours from Arequipa, with a good range of accommodation, restaurants and bus services, and an excellent base from which to explore the region at leisure. There are many hiking opportunities in the surrounding hills and energetic travellers can hike down to the bottom of the canyon and overnight in one of the tiny Indian settlements below.

Spanish and Quechua are the official languages, but many other dialects are spoken. English is spoken only in major tourist centres and hotels.

The official currency is Nuevo Sol (PEN) divided into 100 céntimos. Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but all major international credit cards, including Diners Club and MasterCard, are accepted in many, but not all, establishments. Outside Lima facilities may be more limited. Travellers cheques may also be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages, and travellers are advised to have cash on hand. US Dollars are the easiest currency to exchange and plenty of restaurants, hotels and shops in the main cities accept dollars for payment. Casas de cambio(exchange bureaux) often give better rates than hotels and banks and can be found in any town on the tourist circuit. ATMs are available in the main cities.

Local time is GMT -5.

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