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Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

London, United...
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Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

I’m planning my first trip to Peru. Very excited.

I have allocated 2 days to Arequipa and 3 full days to Colca Canyon. I am keen to explore Arequipa (I hear it is much nicer than Lima) and also do some hiking in Colca Canyon. But I don’t know if there is enough to do for the days I have allocated.

Do you think this is the right balance? Would you spend more or less time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

I welcome your suggestions (for this or any part of my itinerary):

Day Location

1 Lima —> Arequipa

2 Arequipa

3 Colca Canyon

4 Colca Canyon

5 Colca Canyon

6 Arequipa —> Sacred Valley

7 Sacred Valley

8 Sacred Valley

9 Sacred Valley

10 Macchu Picchu

11 Macchu Picchu + Huayna Picchu

12 Cusco

13 Cusco

14 Cusco (day trip to Rainbow mountains)

15 Cusco

16 Cusco

17 Cusco —> Lima —> Home

Thanks in advance!


7 replies to this topic
Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

You have plenty of time for both. 2 days in Arequipa and 3 days in Colca is plenty of time. If you like hiking (and it sounds like you do) you may switch 1 day from Arequipa to Colca to give yourself a little more hiking time. Arequipa is more about food, history, and colonial architecture.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

Are you flying from Arequipa to Cusco otherwise you seem to be backtracking. You can get a tourist bus from Chivay (in Colca Valley) to Cusco. It only goes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays - refer thttp://pachamamahome.com/busturistico.htm#bus-chivay-cusco for more information. There may be other bus companies too. I really liked both places and they are so different and I think you have the balance right.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

Honestly I found the Sacred Valley a much more interesting place to visit than Arequipa or Colca Canyon but I've spend lots of time in Latin America. I thought Arequipa was much overrated and compared to other cities in Latin America not particularly compelling. Sacred Valley much greener and more beautiful.

Zurich, Switzerland
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4. Re: Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

We had a very similar itinerary... If I could do it again looking at your itinerary, I would

- again do a 2 day trek in the Colca Canyon

- spend 2 days in Arequipa

- Spend time with hikes in the Sacred valley

You actually have a LOT of time in Cusco and the Sacred Valley now, it seems. I would consider may be stopping in Puno on your way to Cusco and do 1-2 days there (always travelling by Overnight bus). Instead of spending so many days in Cusco, I would do hiking trips from there or an excursion to Manu jungle.

You can find infos on our itinerary and experiences on the Colca Canyon on our blog: https:/…

Los angeles
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5. Re: Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

I think you have it about right. You need the time in Arequipa to get used to the altitude. Expect to see a lot of sick people (throwing up) going to Colca canyon.

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6. Re: Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

That is a really difficult question! We rented and apartment for a couple of weeks in Arequipa a few years ago and never grew tired of th city. Great food, lots to see and there always seems to be a fiesta going on. We could easily live there!

Three attempts to visit Colca and we finally made it last year. The previous two were foiled by earthquakes. There was one a few days before our last visit but we made it through ok. Some detail and photos on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/peru/ . If you have 5 days then spend at least two full days in Arequipa - Santa Catalina takes at least half a day on its own.

Only you know how long you want trekking in Colca, the condors are fabulous, if they turn up!

With regard to your itinerary. To get to the SV, you will need to go through Cusco to get to the SV and should be acclimatised by then so I would move that around.

As alluded to above, it should be possible to get from Colca to Cusco by tour bus, 4M, I think run that route. Otherwise, go back to Arequipa airport and fly. Crus del Sur run for Arequipa to Cusco - around 15 hours.

Also, you have a lot of time in Cusco. Nothing wrong with that, we have spent months there, but you could conceivably, squeeze in a trip to the jungle.

Have fun, it is an amazing part of the world.

7. Re: Spend more time in Arequipa or Colca Canyon?

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