Canon de Cotahuasi
Canon de Cotahuasi
5
What people are saying
Magical trip with local guide
5.0 of 5 bubblesAug 2022
I was in Cañon de Cotahuasi for 5 days (Aug 2022). Bus from Arequipa Terminal Terrestre = S/35. I booked a guide for 3 days trekking to guide me through the Cañon. The whole experience was fantastic. We went through many different landscapes; saw Condors; stayed in villages and lived as the locals live (very basic conditions). I booked Pepe ( viajes.cotahuasi@gmail.com / asoturs-cotahuasi@hotmail.com +51 958 747 794 ). Pepe is not a professional guide but a local - he lives in Visbe, and speaks Quechua and Spanish. He knows the landscape and the people and their culture, very well. I am always questioning and he could always answer my questions. I met and was involved with working the fields with his family and friends. The next day I went to Baños Termales Luido - 40 degrees C (S/7 gives you access to all three pools) = wonderful after long days trekking. At either end of my 5 days I stayed in Cotahuasi town with Meylin, in a room which could take at least 4 people; there was ferociously hot water (solar) S/20 a night. Meylin made me breakfast (S/7) and lunch, when required. She also makes gorgeous cakes to order! So you can order a cake to eat during your stay. Throughout my time in the Cañon, I learned a lot; took hundreds of pictures of the diverse landscapes; practiced my Spanish and absolutely did not want to return to the real world. Life in the Cañon is magical, though very hard for the alpaca farmers who live at high altitude.
Some information about the Cañon de Cotahuasi
5.0 of 5 bubblesDec 2019
It is very recommendable to hike trough the Cotahuasi Cañon. You can reach the town of Cotahuasi easily by bus from Arequipa. There is only night busses from various companies that leave at Arequipa's terminal at around 7 p.m. You are going to arrive in Cotahuasi around 3 a.m. where you can find cheap hostels at around 10 to 20 soles per person. You can just ring the bell at night. You can find information in Cotahuasi from a man called Milko who owns a small touristic souvenir shop close to the main plaza. Just ask around for him, he provided us with loads of info. He is also organizing tours if you are interested. From Cotahuasi on there is plenty of things to do with a very good public transportation system: From Cotahuasi to Pampamarca: every day at 5 a.m. y 16 p.m. From Pampamarca to Cotahuasi: every day at 6 a.m. y 12 a.m. From Cotahuasi to Charcana: every day at 3 p.m. From Charcana to Cotahuasi: every day at 6 a.m. From Cotahuasi to Quechualla: every day at 1:30 p.m and Friday, Sunday and Monday at 5:30 a.m. From Quechualla to Cotahuasi: every day at 8:00 a.m. and Friday, Sunday, Monday at 5:00 p.m. From Cotahuasi to Alca: every full hour From Alca to Cotahuasi: every full hour In every town mentioned you can find cheap accommodation and also something to eat. We went to Pampamarca in the afternoon to see the Bosque de piedras at the next day. After spending one more night in Pampamarca we went to Cotahuasi again and took on the same day a bus to Charcana. In the following morning we walked to Quechualla, which is a really nice town! Afterwards we went to Velinga a small town between Quechualla and Cotahuasi which is only reachable by foot but the town I liked the most! Even though it might be harder to find information about the Cañon de Cotahuasi it is very much worth the effort. Go and try out for yourself!

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5.0 of 5 bubbles31 reviews
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26
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odju
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
I was in Cañon de Cotahuasi for 5 days (Aug 2022). Bus from Arequipa Terminal Terrestre = S/35. I booked a guide for 3 days trekking to guide me through the Cañon. The whole experience was fantastic. We went through many different landscapes; saw Condors; stayed in villages and lived as the locals live (very basic conditions). I booked Pepe ( viajes.cotahuasi@gmail.com / asoturs-cotahuasi@hotmail.com +51 958 747 794 ). Pepe is not a professional guide but a local - he lives in Visbe, and speaks Quechua and Spanish. He knows the landscape and the people and their culture, very well. I am always questioning and he could always answer my questions. I met and was involved with working the fields with his family and friends. The next day I went to Baños Termales Luido - 40 degrees C (S/7 gives you access to all three pools) = wonderful after long days trekking. At either end of my 5 days I stayed in Cotahuasi town with Meylin, in a room which could take at least 4 people; there was ferociously hot water (solar) S/20 a night. Meylin made me breakfast (S/7) and lunch, when required. She also makes gorgeous cakes to order! So you can order a cake to eat during your stay. Throughout my time in the Cañon, I learned a lot; took hundreds of pictures of the diverse landscapes; practiced my Spanish and absolutely did not want to return to the real world. Life in the Cañon is magical, though very hard for the alpaca farmers who live at high altitude.
Written 16 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aviv105
Israel153 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Family
We did five days' tour in this great valley and enjoyed it very much.
We did just after two days in colca valley so we can compare.

Few remarks
This area is much much lass touristic than colca. It good as you almost on your own in every site. Also you will not find there all the shops and souvenir stalls.
One down side is that the hotels are very basic so be prepare and also do not expect much from the food. Also it is long drive from Arequipa.
The road to the valley is great. The views are changing dramatically between the desert deep valley of Majes and the high altitude dirt road near the volcano. See in the pictures that I attached.
As the way is long we did the way to the valley in two days and stop in the Majes valley to see the Petroglifos de Toro Muerto and learn more about the river pre Inca culture that inhibit this site
In the Cotahuasi valley we want to sapia waterfall and up the valley to Puyca and the pre-Inca site of Maucallacta. In this way there are other waterfalls to see.
There are also hot springs but we did not go to there.
We did this trip in August and please note it's cold during the nights and no heating in any of the three hotels that we stay
The way back took us 11 hours including lunch and another stop for high altitude Laguna
Overall you will see remote parts of Peru that almost untouched by the tourism industry, beautiful views on the way and in the valley.

If I compare it to colca them

The way to colca is shorter and in better shape but the views are less dramatic.
During August colca was dryer and yellower then Cotahuasi.
The hotels and other facilities are much better in colca
The condor attraction is unique to colca
The views inside the valleys are the same but Cotahuasi have more dramatic waterfalls

My advice is
If you have only very short time go to colca
If you need to choose go to Cotahuasi
If you have around a week go to both
Written 26 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Manuel S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
Hi there,
I've just been in the Cotahuasi canyon for 1 week and would highly recommend it if you want to experience spectacular nature, Peru´s countryside locals and thermal baths.

I couldn't find much info online, so here is some useful info:

- 3 bus companies leave from the Arequipa bus terminal at 7pm and arrive in Cotahuasi at 4am and Alca at 4.30am
- the thermal baths (4 Soles) in Luicho are open at that time and so they are a good place to start your Cotahuasi holiday. Luicho is between Cotahuasi and Alca, so just ask the bus driver to drop you off at Luicho
- I stayed in hostels in Alca and Cotahuasi which are both good places to stay at. Alca has a much colder microclimate, so bring warm clothes (the other places had very pleasant temperatures in early October). From both places you can do nice day hikes or take buses/combis to places. From Alca, I hiked up to Ayahuasi (20km return) - an interesting and remote mountain village.
- For a roundtrip, I would recommend you to take a 3pm bus from Cotahuasi to Charcana. From there you can hike up to some nice mountain cliffs with spectacular views at 4300m altitude (around 20km return, first part is a nice road then hiking path is not on Maps.me) and may see some condors. From Charcana, hike down to Quechualla (20km, 1500m descend) and stay at the hostel of Janet and Ramiro, a lovely farmer couple. I spent a few days with them and joined them to their vineyards and for net fishing - although I was useless haha.
- From Quechualla hike back to Cotahuasi (33km, approx 900m ascend) and visit a cactus forest and the Sipia waterfalls on the way. If you want to hike less, you could easily take the 8am bus and ask to be dropped of midway.
I actually did the round trip the other way around but then you have to ascend the 1500m from Quechualla to Charcana, which was a tiring.
- To get back take a 5pm or 7pm bus back to Arequipa which should arrive 10h later. In my case it took only 8h and thus I arrived inconveniently in the middle of the night.
- I also had to wait in Cotahuasi all day for the 7pm bus. In the morning the mirador is open where you can chill out. Or every hour you could take a bus from the Cotahuasi main plaza to the Luicho thermal baths (on the way to Alca).

I bet there is much more to do in the canyon and there is much more to come. They are investing a lot into infrastructure at the moment. Ramiro from Quechualla told me that they have only had electricity for the last 1.5 years and a road for 2 years.
Written 12 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sanne V
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
It might be tiring to get there (night bus arrives at 3am), but it is definitely worth it!
Cotahuisa is the perfect town from where you can do all kinds of excursions - single day or multi-day. There are plenty of options! Definitely stop by the tourist office (open mon-fri), they are very friendly and helpful!

We especially liked:
- Hike from catarata de sipia to Quechualla,
- Pampamarca: bosque de rocas,
- Thermal baths (we did Luicho but others are probably nice as well),
- Climbing cerro Huiñao and hike to Tomepampa,

... but there is so much more to discover!

This is (in our opinion) a better and more impressive alternative to Colca canyon. There aren't many tourists and the people are very friendly!

There are hospedajes in every town so it's very easy to visit different towns and stay the night (and cheap as well!).
Only the bus hours are a bit of a hassle. They often leave very early (around 5am) and come back at noon. Ask around for the exact hours!
Speaking Spanish is quite handy as the people don't speak English.

If you have the time to go there (minimum stay 4-5 days), we would definitely recommend!

Written 4 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

luchozuzunaga
Portage, WI8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014
We are talking about the deepest canyon in the world, the trip from Arequipa to Cotahuasi is long, the scenery fantastic, but in Cotahuasi you will find very basic hotels. This is not a trip for everyone, just the adventurous and fit people will be able to enjoy. The Luicho thermal baths are awesome, the people very nice. On the way you will border the Coropuna mountain, the highest in Southern peru.
Written 2 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steven Aldons
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
We are an avid hiking family and the Cotahuasi canyon was spectacular. So many hot springs, so many waterfalls, very few tourists, in other words a hiker's paradise. Our agency Machupicchu Center put together a superb itinerary in this area, the only draw back is that in order to get to the off-beaten path, they had to choose hotels that are considered 2-star or homestays by western standards, but they were clean, comfortable and the owners are typically locals that are so welcoming and friendly, we were treated very special. Food was just so delicious, my wife got some cooking lessons and brought some of the spices from the region to get that special peruvian flavor.
Written 5 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pierre W
Brussels, Belgium23,020 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Solo
Quechualla at the bottom of the canyon is a superb village oasis, and I stayed in a pleasant homestay with good meals. The Cotahuasi Quechualla road is spectacular (one morning bus).
Then Pampamarca, a traditional Andean village, with good hiking, great views and ancient terraces. The hospedaje here is so so (one daily bus).
I was the only tourist at both places.
The town of Cotahuasi is less interesting.
The weather is much more stable in rainy months than in the high Andes.
The road has been much improved and the comfortable busses from Arequipa take 8 hours. But a reason the tourists don't come is the horrible schedules of all the busses, both ways, departure 6 or 7 pm and arrival around 3 am ! You can't appreciate the scenery along the way ! And who would want to arrive anywhere at 3am ?
Written 12 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amecameca
Central Mexico and Gulf Coast, Mexico16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Solo
This place is so much better than the Colca Canyon.
Beautiful views, great hiking, many nice small villages to explore.
No tourist hordes.
Best of all is the bus trip to the lowest part of the canyon where the road ends.
Written 24 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Guidzi
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil179 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Solo
I liked the guide who was very easy going, patient and would take me anywhere i want. Also i loved the fact that they were no tourists and i was alone with the guide ! Cotahuasi is the deepest canyon in the world. There is nothing that i disliked. I enjoyed all of it and i took my time !
Written 18 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carla
Munich, Germany10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
It is very recommendable to hike trough the Cotahuasi Cañon. You can reach the town of Cotahuasi easily by bus from Arequipa. There is only night busses from various companies that leave at Arequipa's terminal at around 7 p.m. You are going to arrive in Cotahuasi around 3 a.m. where you can find cheap hostels at around 10 to 20 soles per person. You can just ring the bell at night. You can find information in Cotahuasi from a man called Milko who owns a small touristic souvenir shop close to the main plaza. Just ask around for him, he provided us with loads of info. He is also organizing tours if you are interested. From Cotahuasi on there is plenty of things to do with a very good public transportation system:

From Cotahuasi to Pampamarca: every day at 5 a.m. y 16 p.m.
From Pampamarca to Cotahuasi: every day at 6 a.m. y 12 a.m.

From Cotahuasi to Charcana: every day at 3 p.m.
From Charcana to Cotahuasi: every day at 6 a.m.

From Cotahuasi to Quechualla: every day at 1:30 p.m and Friday, Sunday and Monday at 5:30 a.m.
From Quechualla to Cotahuasi: every day at 8:00 a.m. and Friday, Sunday, Monday at 5:00 p.m.

From Cotahuasi to Alca: every full hour
From Alca to Cotahuasi: every full hour

In every town mentioned you can find cheap accommodation and also something to eat. We went to Pampamarca in the afternoon to see the Bosque de piedras at the next day. After spending one more night in Pampamarca we went to Cotahuasi again and took on the same day a bus to Charcana. In the following morning we walked to Quechualla, which is a really nice town! Afterwards we went to Velinga a small town between Quechualla and Cotahuasi which is only reachable by foot but the town I liked the most! Even though it might be harder to find information about the Cañon de Cotahuasi it is very much worth the effort. Go and try out for yourself!

Written 20 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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