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3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

New York City, New...
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3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

We are scheduled to land in Arequpa at 4:15 p.m. on August 4, then we have 3 full free days, then on August 8 we fly out of Arequipa at 6:55 p.m. We want to do a canyon tour. So the question is whether we should do a Colca tour that takes up all 3 days, or just 2 days and have a free day in Arequipa. We know we'd like to see the convent and Jaunita, but it looks like we could do that in a half day before our flight. Thoughts? If we do a two day tour, what else should we do in Arequipa?

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1. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

I saw a similar post where people said it depends whether you like city or nature. We're from NYC and will be on a nature kick in Peru. We go to Cusco early on our first full day in Peru, spend two days in Cusco/SV before a 4 day Salkantay trek to MP, then another day in Cusco/SV. We have one more morning in Cusco before flying to Arequipa, where my question above begins. If we were debating between one or two days in Arequipa I'd do one full day and go for the longer canyon tour. But since 3 days in the canyon means the only time we would have to see the convent/Ice Princess is the morning/early afternoon before our flight, and I worry that might not be enough. But don't want to miss out on some of the majesty of Colca to spend more time in a city. Once we leave Arequipa, we go to Lima where we spend the night and will putz around there all day until our late evening flight back to NYC (that's our only day in Lima).

Cusco
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2. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

Hi,

I remember you when posting Lan questions

I would go for the three day tour and spend half a day in Arequipa cuty itself

Enjoy the second deepest canyon of the world and the condors fly!

Pensacola, Florida
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3. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

For me the 2 day...

the 2 day was cheaper $30 including lodging better

and was plenty saw it all...

Arequipa is an amazing city spend a day there...

Pensacola, Florida
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4. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

Antigua Miraflores does free LIM pickup...

www.limaeasy.com cheap great city tours

San Francisco, CA
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5. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

FYI, Juanita (the famous ice princess) is only at the museum in Arequipa a few months out of the year. I *think* she'll be there in August from what they said, but I'm not sure. Evidently they actually rotate in 12 different mummies they've found in area volcanoes, and the rest of the time Juanita is at the university being studied. So there's a chance you won't see Juanita herself, though you will see some mummy, and you only spend maybe 5 minutes peering in her dark refrigerated case anyway - most of the time is spent looking at the artifacts they found with the mummies.

We did a 3-day Colca tour where we went to Puno on the 3rd day starting early morning, so we basically had 1.5 days in the Colca Canyon. I personally liked that pace - we had time to take a walk along the top of the canyon on day 2, to walk up to some high up tombs on day 1, to drive all the way down to the overlook where you can see the path people take down into the canyon, to visit the hot springs (way better than the ones in Aguas Calientes, if less picturesque), etc. We did one full day in Arequipa but we actually killed a lot of the time wandering through the streets multiple times. The monastery you should probably give a good 2-3 hours at least since it's quite elaborate and it's fun to explore (we didn't get a guide, you may want to - we didn't get much info so it was just like "oh look, rooms"). The ice princess museum had less in it than I expected but is a set tour - I think it was like an hour 15min to an hour and a half? A guide takes you through and explains things, after you watch a 20-30 minute movie about the discovery of Juanita. The museum and monastery close by I think 4pm (maybe 5 for the monastery, with last admission at 4 or 4:30), though. So if all you want to see is those two sites, you'll be out of stuff to do by 5PM on Aug 8 anyway.

I guess having said all that, my short advice is - 3 day tour, and spending Aug. 8 before your flight in Arequipa is probably good enough. You'll have time to explore both the Monasterio de Santa Catalina and the Juanita museum, wander around the Plaza de Armas, maybe look at some of the other buildings of architectural interest, especially if you get to a reasonably early start (not too early - nothing opens before 8 or 9). And you'll have the evenings of Aug. 4 and Aug. 8 to see Arequipa at night (quite pretty) and get a couple good meals in.

dori7
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6. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

Hi,

You can do the 3 day colca trek or the one day bus ride and then enjoy arequipa.

I recommend peru schweiz explorer. I did my trek with them. You can contact abel by email peruschweizexplorer@hotmail.com.

Have a great trip.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

Thanks all! Hardtosay, you've had lots of helpful responses to my many questions. Sounds like our trips are pretty similar. We would like to do go with Giardino tours given their good reviews. They've also been responsive to my inquires. We have 3 options:

1) "classic colca canyon" 2 day tour (67 each)

2) 3 day that follows the 2 day "classic" itinerary, but gives a free day on the second day (121 each)

3) guided 3 day ("Colca Canyon Experience") (284 each)

The only differences I can see on the guided 3 day is that that one does a 3-4 hour hike into the canyon on the first day. Everything else is covered by the 2 day, though in a different order. The "classic" tour does a one hour hike near the canyon after seeing the condors (the guided 3 day does not). So that seems like a pretty steep price difference for a 3-4 hour hike. If we do the "classic" 3 day we'd have a free day in Yanque (casa de mamayacchi hotel). Would it be easy enough to access interesting hikes/activities from there?

new york
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8. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

HI Redpixie,

I'll be in Arequipa later in the year and was also wondering about the 2 or 3 day tour of Colca.

Please let me know what you did and how it worked out. I just don't know if it's worth spending another day "down there" if you can see and do most of it in 2 days.

Thanks,

Peter

Florida
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9. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

We were in Arequipa and Colca last month. We used Giardino Travel and did the 2-day Colca trip. You will be able to do all. I don't know if staying a third day will give you more... may be the hiking (which you also would be able to do it the first day in the afternoon.)

Giardino's staff in Arequipa are very nice and responsive, but we had bad luck with our tour guide "Erica". Hope you don't get her. She was not interested in her job, got bothered if we asked questions I guess because we disturbed her while she was reading the newspaper.... At the different stops during the way, she preferred to stay in the van while other tour guides got out with their passengers and explain the various sites. We think she is from the area, but unfortunately not proud of her town or did not want to share.

There are a lot of wonderful views and places to stop.

The Colca Canyon is definitely worth visiting. We all agree in my family that it was the most spectacular place we visit this time. The condors are just amazing. Try to sit by the Colca Canyon's sign just below where the buses leave you. There is a little wall where people stand or sit. Be patience and remain quite.

We saw around 20!

See the reviews of Mama Yacchi in Coporaque. It is an ok place to stay. For us the rooms were cold (we live in Florida). Heater is turned on around 5pm and turned off at 4am. Hot water for showers is warm not hot.

In Arequipa we visited Juanita, Santa Catalina & Santa Teresa convents. Also if you can go to the Cathedral it is the only one of 100 basillicas allowed to display the Vatican flag. There are also other interesting sites such as La Casa de Moral, museums & other excursions.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

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10. Re: 3.5 days in AQP/Colca- should I do 2 or 3 day Colca Tour?

Thanks cuacua. Very informative. Other comments about 2 or 3 days in Colca and tours are appreciated.