Colca Canyon is Peru's Arequipa region is the deepest canyon in the world. The views are very scenic, almost the same as Macchu Pichu and is more cheaper to visit.
What to do in Colca Canyon
Canyon tours and treks
Bird watching - There are more than 100 bird species flying over the canyon. Cruz del Condor, a small town in the canyon area is one of the best viewpoints of the Andean condor.
Some tours may recommend visiting the canyon as a single day trip from Arequipa. It's not worth it. Keep in mind it takes at least 4 hours to get to the Canyon from Arequipa.
Arequipa is the regional capital. You can catch a flight or bus to Arequipa from almost all cities in Peru. From Lima, one-way flights start at about $40.
Tip: Spend one or two days in Arequipa to acclimate if you come from a low land region.
How to get to Colca Canyon from Arequipa
You can only get to the canyon by either bus or collectivo (public minivan).
There are two bus terminals in Arequipa: Terminal Terrestre ( serves the region) and Terrapuerto Internacional ( for intercity transport). Go to terminal Terrestre.
If you want to use a collectivos, they have their own several mini terminals a few minutes away from the bus terminals. Ask your taxi or Uber driver to take you to any of them.
From Arequipa take buses or collectivos headed for Cabanaconde. This is the town at the beginning of the canyon. Some buses and collectivos terminate their trip at Chivay. Don't take these, you'll have to make a second trip from Chivay to Cabanaconde. Chivay is 2 hours away from Cabanaconde.
Collectivos are faster than buses, they take 3 hours to get to Cabanaconde, buses take 4 or 5 hours.
There are three bus companies that run operate the route between Arequipa and Cabanaconde.
Express senor de Los Milagros - has 3 daily trips
Andalucia - have one trip at 9.30 am
Reyna- have one trip at 11.00 am
Fare for both buses and collectivos ranges from S/ 15- 20.
Getting from Cabanaconde to Colca canyon
There's a public bus that leaves from the plaza to the canyon entrance point. You could also arrange private transport from your hotel or hostel.
It takes 20 minutes to get to the gate.
Cruz del Condor is one of the canyon's best viewpoints, it's just off the main road.
To see the condors be at the canyon by 7. am.
If you want to do a canyon trek get a local guide in Cabanaconde.
Canyon entry fees: S/ 70. They'll grant you a permit that'll give you access to the entire region below Chivay. This includes the canyon itself, Cruz del Conde, and Cabanaconde.
Permits are purchased at Chivay, Cruz del Condo, or Colca Canyon entrances.