Top things to do

Nature Reserve in Reserva Nacional Salinas Y Aguada Blanca

Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca

The paved road from Arequipa climbs northeast past El Misti and Chachani to this national reserve, which covers 367,000 hectares at an average elevation of 4300m. Drives here take you up to an oxygen-deprived 4910m …
Museum in Yanque

Museo Yanque

Opposite the church on the plaza sits this university-run museum, unexpectedly comprehensive for a small village, which explains the culture of the Cañón del Colca in conscientious detail. Exhibits include informati…
Observatory in Chivay

Astronomical Observatory

No light pollution equals excellent Milky Way vistas. The Casa Andina hotel has a tiny observatory which holds nightly sky shows in Spanish and English. The price includes a 30-minute explanation and chance to peer …
Peruvian in Chivay

Innkas Café

An old building with cozy window nooks warmed by modern gas heaters (and boy do you need ‘em). Maybe it’s the altitude, but the lomo saltado tastes Gastón Acurio–good here. The sweet service is backed up by even swe…
Thermal Baths in Yanque

Baños Chacapi

From the plaza, a 30-minute walk down to the river brings you to these hot springs, a kind of poor-man’s La Calera. The early-bird opening time is mainly for locals, many of whom don’t have hot water in their houses…
in Chivay

Casa Blanca

A warm subterranean restaurant with a fireplace, friendly Casa Blanca has a pick-and-choose menú that includes unusual local specialties. Portions are huge but service can be slow.
Viewpoint in Reserva Nacional Salinas Y Aguada Blanca

Paso de Patopampa

The highest point on the road between Arequipa and Chivay is this almost lifeless pass which, at 4910m, is significantly higher than Europe’s Mt Blanc and anywhere in North America’s Rocky Mountains. If your red blo…
Wildlife Reserve in Reserva Nacional Salinas Y Aguada Blanca

Pampa de Toccra

Pampa de Toccra, a high plain (pampa) that lies between El Misti/Chachani and the Colca Canyon has an average height of around 4300m and supports plentiful bird and animal life. You’re almost certain to see vicuñas …
Landmark in Reserva Nacional Salinas Y Aguada Blanca


The only civilization between Arequipa and Chivay, save for a few scattered farmsteads, is this fork in the road that acts as a kind of truck/bus stop and fill-up point (buses head southeast for Puno every hour). A …
Viewpoint in Cañón Del Colca

Cruz del Cóndor

This famed viewpoint is for many the highlight of their trip to the Cañón del Colca. A large family of Andean condors nests by the rocky outcrop and, with lots of luck, they can occasionally be seen gliding effortle…