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Colca Canyon trek

chicago
Level Contributor
328 posts
8 reviews
Colca Canyon trek

Hi,

We are planning to take 4m express from Cusco to Chivay, than 5 pm bus to Cabanaconde. Next morning hike down to Llahuar, spend a night and take local bus/combi back to Cabanaconde and continue to Arequipa the same day (or next morning if it's late or we have to hike up from Llahuar). Apparently there is a bus or combi passing near Llahuar very early (5 am?) and another around 11 am. This will leave us time for Arequipa and Nasca and maybe Paracas. Is it realistic? Is a hike down to Llahuar enough for Colca Canyon or should we spend more time and hike to Sangalle, spend second night in the Canyon and hike up on day 3 (not very keen on that, we will do a lot of hiking earlier in our trip and my husband is too heavy for donkey/mule ride up). If we stay longer in the Canyon, we wouldn't have time for Nasca and probably would fly to Lima from Arequipa.

My main question is if the scenery on a hike down to Llahuar is comparable to a walk at the bottom of the Canyon (from Llahuar to Sangalle), or is it much better on Llahuar to Sangalle part (better enough to skip Nasca lines flight). Another possibility would be to stay 2 nights in Llahuar and do a day trip to Fure /waterfall and back to Llahuar.

Joanna

Paris, Canada
Level Contributor
7,854 posts
20 reviews
1. Re: Colca Canyon trek

I don't know about transport from Lhahuar (you would have to walk back to the road from the lodge) to Cabanaconde. You would have to ask the Llahuar Lodge or your hotel in Cabanaconde. I also don't think hiking up from the Llahuar Lodge is recommended. We hiked up from Sangalle and that took us 3.5 hours (steep). I think it is longer from the Llahuar Lodge.

I believe there are buses from Cabanaconde to Arequipa at 7 am, 9 am, 11 am and 2 pm. It takes 6 hours or so and so unless you take the 7 am bus you would not have much time left (if any) to explore Arequipa that day.

We enjoyed Llahuar and we hiked on to Fure and Sangalle and we thought that was amazing but it is really hard to say if the Nazca lines are better. You can't really compare the two. If you like nature and spectacular scenery the Colca Canyon won't disappoint. We were in Peru for a month and skipped the Nazca lines. It all depends on what appeals to you more. We did go to Huacachina and Paracas (Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserve). If you told me I would have to choose between more hiking in the Colca Canyon and Paracas I would probably choose the Colca Canyon but again, that is me. It depends on your interests.

The trek to Llahuar was amazing and I don't think the scenery gets much better when you hike further. But we enjoyed the different vantage points. And we love to hike. I think the Fure waterfall would definitely be worth it. We didn't get to it as when we got to Fure (where we wanted to sleep) we discovered the village had been abandoned and so we had to hike on to Sangalle and that meant we had no time to hike to the waterfall as well. Make sure though you know how to get back from Llahuar to Cabanaconde.

chicago
Level Contributor
328 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Colca Canyon trek

Thank you Sonia, I really appreciate your advice for me and others on this forum. I read about a bus from the road near Llahuar on Pachamama hostel website and they confirmed it exists. I will try to contact Llahuar lodge as well but I think they don't have internet. We will do some day hikes in Sacred Valley and Cusco area and than 6 day Ausangate trek with climb of Jampa, so we have enough hiking on this trip. But I still want to go down to the canyon since it's different and it's a long way to get there. I can skip Ballestas Islands but Nasca is very unique and appeals to me. The stop in Paracas (for Balestas islands and Paracas reserve) would be more for avoiding 2 night buses in a row (Arequipa to Nasca and Nasca to Lima), and it makes sense to visit places on the way when taking these long bus rides instead of flying. I guess we will decide once we get there, although it may be late to get plane tickets at reasonable price if we decide to fly Arequipa-Lima. We may be too tired after the climb to go down to the Canyon at all.

3. Re: Colca Canyon trek

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