Visiting Colca in Peru on bikes

The Colca region is a stretch of dramatic landscape, carved by the river of the same name, coupled with winds that lift heavyweight condors above all heights. It is a variety of places satisfying unique interests. It also consists of several settlements inhabited by culturally authentic people.

Although it is a popular destination among visitors and is considered a crowd magnet, there are ways to avoid the crowds by visiting and staying at unique and off-the-beaten-path locations. One great option to tour this wonderful area is by spinning the wheels of your own bicycle.

Our ‘Colca on bikes‘ itineraries are calling the attention of our adventure-seeking clients, whether you travel with your family or alone! This is a creative way to get around the overly visited locations. Here, we present you with a few options. Spend a single or up to three days in the region. Read through the following descriptions and decide how deep you want to travel into these highly unknown spots!

Stunning view of the terraces of the Colca Canyon - RESPONSible Travel Peru
Stunning view of the terraces, Colca Canyon

Day 1

This Route starts in Chivay (3.635 m) and follows along the river to Callalli (3.867 m). A small detour will allow you to visit unique places like the Mollepunku caves, where paintings and engravings of ancestral times are located. You will find rock formations known as “the castles”, the town itself, and its church can be visited as well. Of course, you can get lunch here, too! Continue on the last few kilometers towards the town of Sibayo (3.867 m) to be welcomed by your host family for a good night’s rest and replenish for day 2.

Travelers with Eusebio and Nieves from the homestay in Sibayo, Colca Canyon | RESPONSible Travel Peru
Eusebio and Nieves from the homestay in Sibayo with visitors from Holland

Day 2

Return to Chivay in a more relaxed manner! Enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings and stop to visit the town of Tuti (3.790 m), end at the hot springs of La Calera, near Chivay.

Girl on mountain bike riding along the route in Colca.

Day 3

This 3rd day of the 3d2n program can be done as a separate one-day plan.

Coporaque, Ichupampa, and Lari. Don’t worry! You will be supported by a motorized vehicle, especially during the steepest section from Lari to Pinchollo (3.330 to 3.625 m). Following this section, you will see the condors as they come back to their roosting sites at Mirador de la Cruz (3.800 m). Afterwards, you will be pedaling down one last time to your final destination in Cabanaconde (3.287 m).

Couple of mountain bikers standing in front of stunning Colca terraces.

Our services include the following gear and support along the whole way:

  • Front suspension bicycles
  • Helmet, gloves and shin guards
  • Guide (staff on bike)
  • Support vehicle
  • First aid kit
Mountain biking protection gear, provided by RESPONS.

Other options are the half-day excursions:

DOWNHILL Patapampa (Mirador) to Chivay [20 Km, easy to mid difficulty]

Patapampa is the highest point of the Colca circuit (4.900 m) and one of the ideal viewpoints for the chain of volcanoes in southern Peru. For example Ampato, the second highest mountain of Arequipa. In 1995, the ice maiden, known as Juanita, was found here.

A nice asphalt road is followed by the deepest valley of Chivay (3.635 m). For experienced bikers the route can be combined with dirt trails usually used only by local people.

CROSS-COUNTRY Chivay – Coporaque – Yanque [14 Km, easy and ideal for families]

Arriving in Chivay, the commercial village of Colca, you will follow the right bank of the river to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. Visit different villages, such as Coporaque to see the oldest Chapel and Temple of the whole valley. Then, head to Ocolle’s viewpoint to see the “amphitheater”, a place surrounded by pre-Inca terraces that show the impressive and advanced agricultural technology and irrigation system of the Collaguas Ethnic. On the way, you will also see the “Colcas”, niches in the rock that were used as grainers during that time.

The end of the excursion will take place at the hot springs of Chaccapi (optional) followed by a car ride to the homestay in Yanque.

Example of a mountain bike, provided to you by RESPONS.

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