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Colca Canyon - Giardino Tours?

New York City, New...
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Colca Canyon - Giardino Tours?

Traveling to Arequipa and then planning a 3D/2N tour to the canyon. I'm leaning towards GIARDINO tours but haven't seen any recent reviews. I see reviews from 2013 and earlier, nothing more recent -- which I find odd.

I like that their group tours are capped at 15 people and they use their own transportation. I'd love to do a private tour ($352pp without hotel) but I've decided to do a group tour so I have extra money in case we have to change our plans last minute due to strikes/road blocks.

Has anyone used them recently? Any recommendations for other tour companies that don't pool travelers onto larger buses?

Fruita, Colorado
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1. Re: Colca Canyon - Giardino Tours?

I am considering them as well, so can't cite experience. But they were listed in a Jan 2015 National Geographic guidebook as one of just a few companies listed for Colca Canyon touring, plus a tour group I am using in Puno referred me to them to transfer to a Colca Canyon tour.

Roseville...
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2. Re: Colca Canyon - Giardino Tours?

We took a one-night "drive-by" 21-22 May. Left Arequipa early Thursday, stayed overnight in Coporaque (La Casa de Mama Yacchi), and went down to Cruz del Condor Friday AM. After lunch back in Chivay, we were back on the road to Puno. So that's the program I'm reviewing.

Pro: Reasonably well-guided; kinda seamless handling of logistics, incl. tourist tix. Loved their lodgings: Mama Yacchi is a GREAT place to stay, in my opinion. Be sure to check out the church up the street. I didn't - and it turns out it's one of the oldest if not THE oldest in the Valley.

Con: Their mini-buses are small and seats are crowded. This is definitely a negative, especially if you are heading on to Puno. We were picked up last (stayed in a non-Giardino hotel), and got the back seats - ugh. The next morning we got to the bus early, and got seats behind the driver - MUCH better.

I hope this helps!

california
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3. Re: Colca Canyon - Giardino Tours?

I believe you can book the tour from Arequipa with just one night in Mama Yacchi. Then after the condor tour the next morning, ask them to drop you in Chivay. If you want to stay another night, then you don't have to stay on the Mama Yacchi side (eg you could go to Yanque by taxi). The next day you can take the 4-M Express bus to Puno, if you're going that way.

At the time I used Giardino, which admittedly was a few years ago, they also booked the 4-M Express for me (it wasn't mandatory to use their van to Puno).

I was also lucky in that there were only two of us in the van on the way up to Chivay! With the smaller van there was also more flexibility on where they stopped along the way. If you take a pool tour from Arequipa on a big bus, I don't even know if they make stops between AQP and Chivay?

And I liked their guide very much.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Colca Canyon - Giardino Tours?

Thanks all! I decided to book Giardino tours for three days two nights with transfer to Puno on their van. We traveled last week and it was great! I loved the Canyon, so beautiful!!

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5. Re: Colca Canyon - Giardino Tours?

We traveled with Giordano tours to Colca Canyon in early June (3D/2N). Our group and group leader, Herbie, created an exceptional not to miss experience. Organization, lodging, guides knowledge could not have been better. It was great fun and we had an aerial show with 15 condors.

6. Re: Colca Canyon - Giardino Tours?

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