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Best time to leave AM for Colca tour

Brussels, Belgium
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Best time to leave AM for Colca tour

Our family is visiting Colca Canyon in September. I wonder if anyone can give me some advice on ideal AM departure times from Arequipa and Chivay to avoid crowds. We have a private van/driver and a guide for the trip so we can decide the morning departure times each day. We overnight in Arequipa, than leave early next day to see the Canyon on the way to Chivay. Overnight in Chivay than continue on to Cruz del Condor next morning and on to Puno in the afternoon. The guide is proposing to leave Arequipa at 8:30 AM - arrival in Chivay mid day and than next day leave Chivay at 7 AM to go to Cruz del Condor. Would this put us on the path with thousands of other tourists? Should we leave earlier/later?

Thanks

Vanessa

4 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
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1. Re: Best time to leave AM for Colca tour

I think the times are OK, this is what most group tours do as well.

I am not sure what you have planned for the first day. Arriving in Chivay by mid day would allow time for some light hiking/exploring in the afternoon. Hot Springs?

For the 2nd day… Condors are more active early mornings 8~10 am, so this is when all the tourist go to Cruz del Condor, view point & visit a couple small villages. Shortly after lunch you should be on your way to Puno.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Best time to leave AM for Colca tour

Agree those are pretty typical times. It's not that busy a place. And like post 1 said, the condors are only active for an hour or two so all the tourists are there at the same time no matter what you do.

Paris, Canada
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3. Re: Best time to leave AM for Colca tour

You don't see the canyon on the way to Chivay but it is a scenic trip. Chivay is a town in the Colca valley. The canyon really only starts at the Cruz del Condor. If you want more views of the actual canyon go to Cabanaconde. There are several viewpoints there (it is also the base for a trek down into the canyon which is what we did... we took a public bus to Cabanaconde).

I would leave around 6 am on day 1 as most tours leave around 3 am or 8 am. The second day you want to be at the Cruz del Condor between 7 and 10 am, the best time to see condors. There will be lots of other tourists there but you can walk down to other viewpoints. It did not feel too crowded to us but we were there in low season. I think most tourists arrive around 8 am. I know a hostel in Cabanaconde that offers a trip to the Cruz del Condor late afternoon. They say sunset is a good time too and there would probably not be many people then.

Brussels, Belgium
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4. Re: Best time to leave AM for Colca tour

Thank you all for valuable advice, Vanessa

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