Travel from the white-washed colonial city of Arequipa into the breathtaking landscapes of the Colca Canyon on this 4-day Peru extension itinerary. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center of Arequipa on an evening walking tour, travel through the Aguada Blanca National Reserve where wild vicuña roam, soak in the hot springs of Chivay and witness condors riding high on the thermals from the spectacular Cruz del Condor.
Images & Videos
Arrive to Arequipa, City Tour
Arrive at Arequipa’s airport, where you’re met with your guides and transferred to the tour hotel.
This evening, explore the sights of Arequipa on a history-filled city sightseeing tour. Stroll through the colonial districts of St Lazarus and Yanahuara before visiting the Monastery of St Catherine. This stunning site was closed to the public for nearly 400 years as it housed Dominican nuns. Open today, stroll through a tranquil plaza, narrow alleyways and fragrant gardens reminiscent of ancient Seville or Granada. Next, our tour takes you to Arequipa’s main square – Plaza de Armas – to see the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, which has a history that dates back to the 1500s. Although the structure has been rebuilt several times due to natural hazards, it’s still replete with history. Lastly, you visit the Iglesia de los Jesuita (Church of the Society of Jesus), founded in the 17th century by Jesuits and known for its cloisters and St. Ignacio Dome.
Return to the hotel this evening and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Explore Colca Canyon
Early in the morning, depart on a wonderful bus tour of the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest Canyons in the World. Travel across the Pampa Cañahuas in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, inhabited by herds of vicuñas and alpacas. As we journey, look out for pre-Columbian terraces still cultivated by native Collaguas.
Our travels eventually take us to Chivay town, where we have a leisurely afternoon. Visit the hot springs, explore the Andean village or rest at the hotel before enjoying a delicious dinner.
Condor & Canyon Viewing from Cruz Del Condor
In order to see the mighty condor in flight, we will pick you up early in the morning to drive towards the “Cruz del Condor,” a natural lookout point where you can see condors flying over the canyon.
Along the way to Cruz del Condor, enjoy spectacular views of the canyon bordered by hundreds of ancient agricultural terraces carved onto the slopes of the mountains. The people from these regions dedicate their life solely to agriculture, so expect to see fields full of crops if you visit in season. While driving along the edge of the Colca Canyon, observe the great Colca River as well as small communities nestled along the banks. Later, return to the village of Chivay for lunch. This afternoon, travel to Arequipa, where you can explore and discover local eateries at your leisure.
After breakfast, travel to Arequipa’s airport to catch your return flight.
Dates & Rates
Year-round daily departures available as an extension to any Peru tour.
Price $1150 per person, based on 2 people sharing in Tourist Superior Hotels
Single Supplement: $350
Please inquire for availability and pricing for larger groups.
• All Accommodations as outlined on the itinerary
• All meals as outlined on the itinerary
• Service of a bilingual guide (Spanish/English
• All transportation while on tour
• Full service of our Adventure Consultants
• Airfare to and from Peru
• Meals not specified on the itinerary
• Alcoholic beverages
• Items of a personal nature
FAQ & More
Weather in Peru varies by region, for the coast (Lima, Ica, Nazca, Mancora, Trujillo) the best time to visit are the months of November to March when it is summer on the coast. In February in particular you have events like Carnaval, a very fun time of year on the coast. You can visit coastal cities during the winter (June to August) but Lima will be fairly overcast and cold as well as some other coastal cities.
For Andean cities such as Cusco, Ayacucho, Huaraz, Puno and Cajamarca the best time to visit is during their dry season which runs from May to September. During this time you can expect warm days and chilly nights and very little rain.
The Amazon Jungles of Peru have two season and they both can be equally rewarding. If seeing lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) is your thing, then the December to May might be your best choice. (Remember: Despite being the "rainy" season, the Amazon only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the low water season). If jungle hikes, exotic migratory on their way through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season (June - November).
U.S citizens do not need a visa to visit Peru as long as it's a tourist visit of less than 90 days. You will be given your visa upon arrival in Lima. It's important that you hold on to this visa as many hotels will ask to see this document in order to exempt you from the IGV or Peruvian Sales Tax.
As Visa and Entry Requirements can change without prior notice, we recommend you check the current regulations before your trip to Peru with the nearest Peruvian Consulate or Embassy.
There are no required vaccinations to visit Peru unless you plan to visit remote areas of the Peruvian Amazon, in which case you will need a yellow fever shot and you may want to take malaria medication as well. The Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos areas have not seen cases of either Malaria or Yellow fever in recent times.
Check with your Travel doctor regarding visiting Peru, we strongly recommend you bring medications for bacterial infections (Ciprofloxacin) that can affect your stomach as well as antidiarrheal medication (Immodium). Dramamine is also great for Altitude and motion sickness. For more Health Information for Travelers in Peru visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Altitude sickness, also known as Soroche in Peru, occurs when there is not enough oxygen reaching your brain. This typically occurs at elevations over 10,000ft. Shortness of breath and a pounding heart are the first symptoms as the thin air in high altitude can make you feel light headed and dizzy. As your symptoms progress you can get extremely nauseous and suffer from vomiting and intense headaches if not remedied by either medication or descending in altitude.
Preventing altitude sickness is easy, always allow for an extra day to acclimate when you visit in a location with high altitude. Relax in your hotel and lie down, drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous exercise. It can take up to a week to become full acclimated, many travelers don't have that amount of time so in order to acclimate fastest it is best to take it easy, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy foods. If you begin to feel mild symptoms then we recommend you drink some Coca Tea (legal in Peru), even drinking carbonated drinks like Coca Cola help. It's important to realize that you get altitude sickness by not feeding your brain enough oxygen, so make sure you are breathing well, take decongestants if you have a cold or can't breathe well. Prescription medications such as Diamox can also be a great help.
In the higher elevation locations such as Cusco it is possible to purchase oxygen and buy medications in case you are having a real hard time acclimating. Most larger hotels in these areas can also offer extra oxygen to be pumped in your room for an additional charge.
The weather in Peru varied; it has 28 of the world's 32 different climates. Generally speaking, May through October is the dry season; November through April is the rainy season, and the wettest months are January through April in the highlands. In mountain areas, roads and trek paths may become impassable. Peru's climate, though, is markedly different among its three vastly different regions. The coast is predominantly arid and mild, the Andean region (highlands) is temperate to cold, and the eastern lowlands are tropically warm and humid.
On the desert coast, summer (Dec-Apr) is hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 77°-95°F or more along the north coast. In winter (May-Oct), temperatures are much milder, though with high humidity. Much of the coast, including Lima, is shrouded in a gray mist called garua. Only the extreme northern beaches are warm enough for swimming.
In the highlands from May to October, rain is scarce. Daytime temperatures reach a warm (68°-77°F, and nights are often quite cold (near freezing), especially in June and July. Rainfall is very abundant from December to March, when temperatures are slightly milder 64°-68°F. The wettest months are January and February. Most mornings are dry, but clouds move in during the afternoon and produce heavy downpours.
Though the Amazon jungle is consistently humid and tropical, with significant rainfall year-round, it, too, experiences two clearly different seasons. During the dry season (May-Oct), temperatures reach 86°-100°F during the day. From November to April, there are frequent rain showers (which last only a few hours at a time), causing the rivers to swell, and temperatures are humid.
Packing for your trip depends on the season and locations you will be visiting. Peru has almost all of the world’s climates nestled between the coast, the Andes and the Jungle. For that reason it is important that you to pack layered clothing, that is bring a piece of clothing for both hot and warm conditions, clothing you can take on and off easily as the climates change. Refer to the provided packing list for details of what to bring on your specific trip.
Peru is generally safe to visit and the security in the major cities is getting better as the economy and tourism grows. That is not to say that there is no crime, like any of the other big cities of the world opportunistic crimes such as pickpocketing and theft are present. Below are some tips to minimize your chance of falling victim to these crimes.
1. Travel in groups and avoid dark streets at night – Basic advice but good. Thieves will target you if you stumble alone into a dark street. Avoid areas that are not well lit, this applies even if you are in a group
2. When using ATM, have a friend with you – They can keep guard from behind when using an ATM and always check that the card entry slot has not been tampered with.
3. Keep belongings out of site in vehicles - When in taxis or other modes of transport put your belongings under your feet or in the back where they cannot be seen.
4. Valuables – Most hotels will have room safes where you can leave your valuables or will have a safe in reception.
5. Blend in - don't carry large bags or luggage with you all the time, leave valuables at your hotel, try and look and act like a local. If you must check your travel guide or map then step into a cafe or restaurant.
6. Wear backpack on front, bring travel purse - Again avoid carrying large bags, if you must carry a backpack wear it on your front. Invest in a travel wallet, where you can have your money and valuables hidden from view.
7. Be Aware - a commonly used phrase in Peru is Mosca or Fly, the saying means to be aware of your surroundings. When leaving a restaurant or nightclub be sure to check that you have not left any personal belongings.
8. Taxis - If possible always have your hotel call a reputable taxi driver for you if you decide to go explore your location further. Always agree on a price before you get into a taxi to avoid confusion later, taxis are seldom more than S/.20 for a local trip. If catching a cab away from your hotel be sure your driver has identification visible, if possible go to the nearest hotel and ask them to call you a cab.
The currency in Peru is called the Nuevo Sol or just Sol. The current dollar to sol exchange rate is $1 = S/ 3.00
Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). If you want to use a 110-volt appliance in Peru, you’ll need to buy a power adapter. Most outlets in Peru accept US standard two flat blade male. Some larger Hotels have US 110 volt outlets available.
We recommend you do some reading on Peru's history to make the most of your trip. Travel guides are a great resource, this way you get to know a little more about the locations you are visiting.
We can't stress the importance of learning about the incredible cuisine. Search for recipes online and make a list of dishes to try in Peru. These should include Ceviche, Pachamanca, Anticuchos, Papa a la Huancaina, Causa, Rocotto Relleno among others, there really are too many to name.
Learn a little Spanish. A little Spanish goes a long way in Peru, not only will it help you get better prices in cabs for example but you will be able to barter better on souvenirs and goods. Interacting with Peruvians will be more rewarding as you will learn where the local hot spots are as well as get recommendations for places to see and restaurants to try. Even just learning to say thank you (Gracias) and please (Por Favor) when asking for things will go a long way in how well you are treated by others.
Most importantly we ask that you travel with an open mind. Peruvian culture is very different from the westernized world with different values and customs. You should always be mindful of these and be very patient with people.
Although Peru is going through a great period of economic growth and prosperity it is still a third world nation and the service sector still needs room to better develop. We're sure you'll have a great time in Peru if you visit with no expectations and with an adventurous spirit, a relaxed attitude and curiosity to explore a new culture.