Chivay Travel Blog› entry 51 of 129 › view all entries
We left around 8:15 for Chivay and Colca Canyon. It is at Colca Canyon that you can see condors fly. I was pleasantly surprised with the van; it was new and takes around 15 people. For USD35 for two days, including one night’s accommodation, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We didn’t leave Arequipa until a bit before 9, after picking up another couple and stopping for some people to make last minute purchases. The guide kept going on about people getting sick as we were going to be at 5,000m asl and people who’d been in Cusco and La Paz still got sick etc, so some people went and bought medicine or coca leaves at the shop where we stopped. I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be sick, the way the guide was going on.
We stopped four or five times on the way to Chivay and nearly always there just happened to be a market. At one stop there were llamas and alpacas in a corral and the guide told us about the differences between the two. At another place it was the highest point, around 5000 metres asl.
When we got to the entrance to Colca Canyon National Park I had to pay the entrance fee of NS35, AUD13, on top of the USD35 for the tour. The guide was recommending a particular restaurant for lunch. The owners were very pushy, trying to get everyone inside.
After lunch we were taken to our hostel. Two other girls, from Casa de Avila in Arequipa, and I stayed at a place called Kolping Hotel, more like a motel. I had been wondering what accommodation I’d be getting, but it was a large room with twin beds and ensuite. Very basic, but fine for me. The others stayed in dorm style accommodation, four to a room, in the centre of town.
After a while I walked into town and wandered around the markets, then walked back to the hotel, which was on the edge of town.
We went back to the hotel around 9. Wore most of my clothes to bed as there was no heating.