Cotahuasi Canyon

Cotahuasi Canyon is located in Arequipa region in Peru and It is the deepest canyon in the world. Cotahuasi is located between two mountains: Coropuna (6377) and Solimana (6093).
The Canyon was cut by the Rio Cotahuasi, a tributary of the Rio Ocoña, to a depth of approximately 3354 meters, over twice the depth of the Grand Canyon, only slightly deeper than its nearby rival, the Colca Canyon.

cotahuasi canyon

Where is Cotahuasi?

The Cotahuasi Canyon is located at 375 Km. from Arequipa city, It takes 10 hours traveling by bus and at 8 hours by private car.

Cotahuasi is the preferred destination of adventure and nature lovers. To get the full experience of this natural wonder, you need to set aside about 3 days.
The only road leading to the canyon goes through Chuquibamba. The journey begins on the Panamerican Highway near Arequipa. Four bus companies start daily from the Arequipa bus terminal, between 5 and 7PM.

Highlights:

  • The landscapes have a large biodiversity including medicinal plants : muña, retama, tara, coca, jara (malva sylvestris), ruda (ruta graveolens), kiwicha, yareta (azorella compacta)
  • Ideal trip destinations for watching condors, vicuñas, and andean foxes
  • See The Sipia waterfall at 150 meters high
  • Cross the Cotahuasi River along a suspension bridge
  • Thermal hot springs of Niñochaca, Luicho and Lucha
  • Walk along forests of Puya Raimondi

Map:

Cotahuasi canyon map

Where to Stay:

Perou Voyage offers the tour packages with the next accommodation:

  • Hatun Wasi: Calle Centenario 307
  • Hotel Valle Hermoso: Calle Tacna 106
  • Casa Primavera Hostel: Union 112

When to go:

The best time for visiting Cotahuasi is furing the dry season (from June to September).

Dry season:

The dry season goes from June to September is the best time to visit the Canyon for the ideal weather conditions. Days are warm and sunny. Nights are cool. Expect average temperatures of 64-70 F during the day and 45 F and below at night.

Rainy season:

The rainy season goes from December to March creates muddy conditions on roads and trails and dangerously high water levels in the river.

What to Pack:

  • Backpack
  • Trekking Boots or shoes
  • Warm Jacket
  • Towel
  • Swinsuit
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect Repellent
  • Peruvian currency
  • Hat or cap
  • Camera
  • Shorts

Cotahuasi Tourist Attractions:

Sipia Waterfalls:

A beautiful waterfall located at 9 kilometers from the town, along the way you will pass through a bridge and then hike for around 20 minutes.

Bañadero del Condor Viewpoint:

Located at 30 kilometers from the town, you can go there taking the route to Allhuay view point and then hike down for around 15 minutes to Toro and then walk for around 10 minutes.

From this viewpoint you can watch a waterfall of 400 hight meters. At this point is possible to watch condors  (from january to July).

Quechualla:

At 44 kilometers from Cotahuasi town, Quechualla is best known beacuse of the wine production, fruits and  shrimp farming.

Judio Pampa Forest:

It takes more than one hour to arrive to the cactus forest, which is located at 1936 MASL. This area is ideal for birdwatching: hummingbirds, andean birds and bats.

Tomepampa:

Located at 20 minutes by car, this small village is recognized because of It’s beautiful architecture. Also you can visit Locrahuanca, a natural view point at 3390 MASL at one hour hiking from Tomepampa main square.

Alca:

In this small village is located Lucha hot springs (45 minutes by car from Cotahuasi).

Huaynacotas:

In huaynacotas is located Luicho hot springs, which is very popular between locals for It’s medicinal properties.

Puyca:

Situated 44 kilometers by car from Cotahuasi. At 2 kilometers by foot you can find Maukallacta ruins, an important administrative center from Wari culture.

Another important tourist spot is the Puyas of Raimondi Forest, at 4000 MASL.

Pampamarca:

At 10 minutes by car, this small village offers 2 important tourist attractions: Uskune Waterfall and viewpoint and Huito Forest Stone.

Cotahuasi Canyon Tours:

Cotahuasi Canyon Trek: