4 Days / 3 Nights TOUR COTAHUASI CANYON AND VALLEY
Cotahuasi Canyon Trekking is the deepest canyon in the world, situated in the northern of Arequipa, in the Union province. The Cotahuasi canyon, which extends from the foothills of the Solimana snowcapped mountain until the confluence of the Ocoña River, has 3535m deep in the Marpa sector, being the deepest part of a wonderful trip where you can enjoy revitalizing thermo medicinal waters, white glaciers and a great variety of flora and fauna. The canyon is full of a great variety of sceneries that increase its beauty thanks to the vigilant presence of the Snow-capped Coropuna and Solimana Mountains.
The weather diversity in this region has helped creating the adequate habitats for a variegated flora and fauna. Species such as the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), the vicuña (Vicugna) and the millenarian natural treasures have found in the depths of the Canyon, which added to the archaeological and cultural attractions in the zone, collaborated on it being declared National Tourist Reserved Zone in 1988.
Day 1: Arequipa – Majes Valley – Cotahuasi Canyon
8am pick up from your hotel and we leave from Arequipa. We will visit Toro Muerto Petroglyphs and Pre-Inca tombs. Next we will explore the Majes valley, Andamayo Canyon and the geological natural formation called the Castilla Castle, spending the daytime at Majes Valley.
7pm continue travelling to Cotahuasi Canyon by bus.
Day 2: Cotahuasi – Sipisa Waterfall
At 4am we arrive at Cotahuasi town, followed by a short rest at the hotel. We then trek, descending 4 hours, to the valley of Piro, Cuyao bridge, Toro bridge and finally arriving at the valley and Sipia waterfall. We will observe geological walls of the deeppest canyon in the world, a spectacular large river going to the Pacific Ocean that can be appreciated in this beautiful place with a variety of contrasting colors. This is a lovely place of wild canyon geography. We then return to Cotahuasi town.
Day 3: Cotahuasi – Puica – Luicho Hot Springs
At 6am we travel by bus 3 hours to a highland village, called Puica (3600m). This is a typical village with several habitants dedicated to agriculture and domesticated animals.
From here we start to do a small hike, approximately 2 hours, to Jatun Llaqta archeological site. This is well-connected with the Wari culture and Inca times, and was used as an administrative center by the Inca army for this zone. After lunch we will descend the canyon and to Alca valley. This walk is a light 4 hour hike, with impressive sights of agricultural terraces (over 1400 years old) and many varieties of flora and fauna.
2pm we arrive at Alca town and visit and swim in the medicinal hot springs of Luicho that are 45ºC. We will dine and rest at this charming village.
Day 4: Cotahuasi – Arequipa
After our breakfast, at 8am we begin walking to the left of the Cotahuasi river. Today we will hike 6 hours to the Cotahuasi town, going through terraced areas, small towns, suspension bridges, little rivers that flow into the canyon. We will stop briefly in villages and observe the local people in their uncorrupted lives.
At 2pm we travel by bus 10 hours back to Arequipa, ending our trip.
- Official English-Speaking guide.
- Round trip public bus tickets (Backpacker Service only).
- Private transport (Private Service only).
- All meals according the program.
- Tea time (hot drink, biscuit, pop corn).
- Overnight in a family lodge (Backpacker Service only).
- Camping gear as four season tents and sleeping mattresses (Private Service only).
- Entrance to Toro Muerto petroglyphs.
- Entrance to the hot spring of Luicho.
- Breakfast on the first day.
- Sleeping bag (-15ºC can be hired in our local office of Arequipa).
- Tips for guide and camp staff.
- Personal horse for ride, can be hired for $58 USD per day including a horseman and his food and accommodation.
What you need to Bring?
- Small backpack (45lt).
- Rain jacket or poncho, plastic ponchos can be purchased in Arequipa (just in the rain season Dec – April).
- Strong comfortable and waterproof footwear.
- Sweater and jacket (something warm).
- Bottle of wáter.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun.
- Sun block (sun protection cream).
- Insect repellent.
- Toiletries, towel and toilet paper.
- Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc,
- Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries.
- Swimsuit (you can swim in the hot springs of Luicho).