Peru 🇵🇪 - Colca Canyon

· 7 min read

Tips 👏

  • You can do a day tour from Arequipa, but that involve a lot of driving and early pick-up, we don’t recommend.
  • Take your hikking shoes since some of the sites need a bit of walking.
  • Commute during the day since the road is impressive.
  • Bring your swimsuit, there’s thermal water pools in Yanque.

🏠 Accommodation

We stayed at the Killawasi Lodge in Yanque and that was very good, more below.

🚲 Getting there

We took a tourist bus from Puno of 8 hours, more below.

⏱ Duration

We stayed two nights and that was perfect.

Getting there 🚎

Initially, we planned to grab a bus in Puno to Arequipa, and then do a day trip to Colca Canyon. After checking google maps, that didn’t seems much optimal, so we searched alternatives:

  • Day trip from Arequipa: that’s easier and cheaper, however very time restricted and super long day.
  • Two days trip from Arequipa: much better since late pick-up, more time to enjoy the area, but not super efficient if coming from Puno.
  • Two days trip from Puno, up to Arequipa: There’s a bus from Puno to Chivay, the town nearby the canyon, stopping in touristic places, going back to Arequipa the next day.

We’ve opted for option three, and got it organised by the Killawasi Lodge via their Whatsapp. They proposed us a package for 85$ including:

  • Pick-up in the Puno hotel.
  • Bus ride up to Yanque with guide and touristic stops on the way.
  • Free hike of 3 hours in Yanque to see ruins and surroundings.
  • Tour back to Arequipa to see the condors and the view of the canyon.
  • Discounts on the hotel rooms.

That was for us the fuss-free option with a honest price regarding the lenght of the trip. After few messages, we paid the deposit and agreed to leave the next day.

We’ve got picked up at 6:45AM in Puno, direction Yanque. We actually were the only one in a giant bus, which was perfect for us (probably due to holidays). We started a nice nap of 2h30 until the first stop, Lagunas Lagunillas. We stopped for 15 minutes to admire the view on the artificial lake, higher than the Titicaca but way smaller, to then carry on for another 2 hours until Patahuasi, a small village where we grabbed an Inca tea.

We then boarded a small minibus to Chivay, and stopped to take pictures with lamas on the way. At some point, we reached Volcano Point, at 4900m elevation, where we saw around 8 volcanos in the landscape, including some active. From there, we started our last descent to Chivay via a very scenic routes, where we started to see the canyon. Once in Chivay, we left the group and got transported to the Killawasi Lodge in the cute village of Yanque.


Killawasi Lodge 🏡

That was perfect place for a little retreat while travelling. This lovely lodge have nice and big bedrooms, all coming with a lovely terrace, private bathroom, heating and WI-FI. The breakfast is massive and served with eggs in the common area. You can also find any kind of mates for free (anis, coca…) available all day. They offer to do laundry for a fee.

The common area is actually a restaurant during the day, called Quinoa, where guests but also tourists can come and enjoy a nice lunch or dinner. It’s actually the best restaurant in the village, serving international food for a reasonable price. After food, you can either go back to your room and enjoy your private terrace or chill in the hammocks close to the restaurant.

They also propose horse riding, mountain bike and free hike everyday of three hours to show you the surroundings (more about that below).


A day in Yanque 👙

We started the day in the afternoon with calm by visiting the main plaza of the village, with a beautiful church and some people selling local products. From there we walked 20 minutes to Tumbas Shininea, an impressive suspended bridge on top of the canyon. It’s the only bridge in Yanque, at the north of the village.