The Coporaque community has a place in the hearts of many of our travelers, and actually deserves a longer visit than this short excursion. But if time is not on your side, this quick Colca Canyon visit is your opportunity to still experience the Colca Canyon in a unique way!
Even in only two days (starting the first morning in Arequipa and ending back in Arequipa or in Puno at the end of day 2) you won’t miss out on any of the standard highlights that everybody visits in the Colca Canyon. As a bonus, you’ll spend one afternoon and evening with the lovely host families of Coporaque!
P.S. When you book this tour, please select the correct package according to your preferences: one finishes back in Arequipa but the best choice is the one that finalizes in Puno; we’ll drop you off at your hotel in Puno at no extra cost (if located in Puno center). If you book an excursion outside of Puno directly after this one, we can also arrange a drop-off in Juliaca or Cabanillas, please contact us to ensure a smooth transition.
Read our Travel Guide to Arequipa and the Colca Canyon if you’d like some more inspiration on these destinations!
Between 7:30 and 8:00 am, we will pick you up from (your hotel in) the center of Arequipa and you will travel to the Colca Canyon with a van (with a maximum of 15 passengers). The English-speaking guide on board will give you a lot of interesting facts along the way and some stops are planned at beautiful places. You will go through a reserve where many vicuñas live in freedom. The snow-covered volcanoes in the background complete this impressive landscape.
Arrival in Chivay, the capital of the Colca Canyon, where the van will stop at a restaurant. But you won’t have lunch there: you will be picked up by members of the Coporaque community and brought to the village with a taxi for lunch with your host family. With a local guide (who only speaks Spanish, translator optional at extra cost), you will explore the village and visit the viewpoint, where you can see the route for the next day at your feet!
Dinner and overnight stay at a local family’s private rooms (hot shower available, though it depends on the sunshine of the day!). To us the best place to stay during this quick Colca Canyon visit!
Around 6:00 am you will be brought to Chivay by someone from Coporaque, to go on the excursion to the famous Cruz del Condor. During the ride from Chivay you will make a few stops at interesting spots, but the highlight of the day will most definitely be the flight of the condor! If you are lucky you will see multiple condors flying close to the viewpoint where you will be situated, making use of the thermal winds rising up from the Canyon.
Back in Chivay you will have some time for lunch (buffet not included) before traveling to Puno (if you have chosen to end your tour there). This is also a shared bus with other travelers, and a host(ess) on board. Along the way, some photo stops are made to enjoy the wide landscape, characterized by volcanoes and vicuñas.
Upon arrival in Puno, you will be transferred to your hotel in the city center (hotels outside of Puno at extra cost). You will arrive here around 19:00 pm. Should you go back to Arequipa, you will of course arrive earlier, around 16:30 pm.
Please note that overnight stay in Puno is not included in this quick Colca Canyon visit.
Coporaque has comfortable and nicely decorated homestay accommodations for you. Almost every room has its own private bathroom ensuite; sometimes the bathroom is outside, but still private. Thick bedding and a hot water bottle in bed are provided; nights tend to be very cold here! Hot water for the shower is provided by a solar system; it generally works pretty well but it’s dependent on the amount of sunshine of the day.
There are rooms with twin beds, double beds and multiple beds. Usually, there is enough space for double occupation. Traveling families might have to share a room if there are other visitors in the same family; which rarely happens.
The guestrooms are located on the compound of the family’s own house; you’ll have to pass outside to reach your rooms. You’ll have your meals in the family’s kitchen.
No, they don’t. So far however, most of our travelers do not opt for an optional translator from Arequipa, since apart from the additional cost that might change the experience. Our host families are very used to having guests that don’t speak Spanish and their Spanish is easy to understand for those who speak other Latin languages.
Of course, learning Spanish beforehand is always a good idea! Use an app like Duolingo to learn the basics before leaving and enhance your experience whilst traveling.
It’s a combination during this quick Colca Canyon visit.
The transportation and tours (1st morning and the whole 2nd day) are shared tourist transportation from conventional tour agencies. This is by far the most cost-efficient choice.
The Community-Based Tourism side of this excursion is private; your host family will be your guide and make sure you’ll be ready for the next day’s tour. It always works out perfectly.
The contrast will make you value your experience even more; where the other tourists stay in standard hotels and “enjoy” busy thermal baths in their afternoon, you experience an authentic side of the Colca Canyon for just the same.
Yes, the Colca Canyon has entrance fees; currently 70 soles per person. Only children younger than 5 don’t pay.
As mentioned here, those fees are not included in the package price. You can pay them upon arrival to the Colca Canyon, in cash only.
Once you leave Arequipa, you’ll go up and up and travel at high altitudes for several hours. The highest point is almost five thousand meters (16,400 ft) above sea level; you will definitely feel it!
Coporaque, where you’ll stay the afternoons and nights, is situated at an altitude of around 3.580m (11,750 ft) which is (like the rest of the Colca Canyon) quite high. So please, as we always recommend, do make sure you have acclimatized well before leaving for the Colca Canyon. For example by staying two full days and nights in Arequipa! Here are some tips to spend your time in Arequipa well.
Coporaque has the typical Andean climate; when there’s sun it’s warm, when there’s no sun it’s cold. The rainy season is from December to April but occasional rains can occur anytime throughout the year. From May to August night temperatures might go below freezing point.
Find more info about climates in Peru in our blog “Best Time to Travel to Peru“.
Apart from the altitudes, not at all. You’ll be in a bus both of the mornings and the last afternoon. In the free afternoon you can hike as much (or as little) as you want, it’s adaptable. For those of you that enjoy being active it’s definitely possible to hike and enjoy the outdoors, of course!
The altitude, however, is definitely something to be aware off. For most travelers, the Colca Canyon is the first time they are at altitude. Make sure you take it easy, drink a lot of water and don’t eat too heavy before leaving for this quick Colca Canyon visit. Read more tips about the altitude here.
Impactful Travel (formerly known as RESPONSible Travel Peru) has been working with the Pumachiri families since 2013 and ever since the relationship has been perfect: mutual trust and respect, together working hard to improve every aspect of sustainability and the travelers experience.
Nowadays, Coporaque offers four comfortable homestays with good beds, private bathrooms and great food to travelers of all sorts; and everybody loves the Coporaque Experience. They support their fellow community members in several ways which makes it a destination with impact.
Don’t doubt longer: this is the place to be in the Colca Canyon!