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About Land Adventures

Highly recommended by travel forums

Unfortunately we haven't made it in a Lonely Planet yet or in another professional guide book. Even though we have been working very hard the last years we don't appear in any guide book so far. But you can actually read a lot of good comments on the internet in different travel forums. That is better than nothing. But in any case we are going to continue with the good work, we continue to provide a top service and very good quality and eventually also Land Adventures will appear in one of those books.

Good news came in 2007 from Germany. They informed us that we are now in the "Reise Know-How" guide book. We are very proud and glad to appear in this guide book.

The whole team is highly motivated to continue our work. We have very good guides who make for sure the big difference. Also we provide sustainable tourism which is an Unicom in Arequipa.

Below we have a few internet comments for you to read. Have fun and of course we hope to welcome you soon in Arequipa and to spoil you as well with our service and quality. See you soon in the sunny and white city of Arequipa.

i found Land Adventures in arequipa were great www.landadventures.net. the owner raul has amazing knowledge of the colca canyon region and is really into bringing together tourists and local communities. i think Land Adventures are also doing volunteering opportunities which might interest you. it is possible to save money and hike the canyon by yourself - or with some other tourists. either way its an amazing place, as is lake titicaca. i would skip puno and travel that bit further to cocacbana on the bolivian side - incredibly prettygood luck

I used Land Adventures. They were fine. Got the impression that most agencies offer exacly the same, in exactly the same places, for the same price. The guide will make the difference ...............but meet him or her before ........tricky! Loved the Colca Canyon. Did 3 days, 2 nights. Tough climb back out but well worth it.

You can trek the canyon yourself, taking public buses and asking locals which path to take.There are also many agencies in Arequipa that do 2 or 3 day trekking tours of the canyon and the prices are not too bad, and they will organise transport, accommodation and food. You can do it in 2 days however I recommend the 3 day tour if you don't want to do the ascent in the dark! The trek is not long but it is reasonably difficult as the ascent is 1,200 metres over a short distance.I personally did a 3 day tour with Land Adventures and I can recommend them as being good quality and good value.Good Luck.

I did a three day tour into Colca Canyon with a company called Land Adventures: it was great! We did trekking for two days from Cabanaconde down into the canyon on the first day, staying in one of the villages at the bottom. The stars at night are indescribable. Then we walked round the canyon to the oasis and climbed out again in the afternoon (1.2 vertical km in afternoon tropical sun is no joke, although I did see a condor at closer quarters than at Cruz del Condor). On the third day we went to Cruz del Condor (A tourist parade - annoying for anyone with a real interest in animals) and then returned to Arequipa, passing by Chivay on the way. Had a ball!

Near Arequipa in Peru there are some really good placements in the Colca Canyon. The emphasis is on helping to develop and sustain communities there so that the unique cultural traditions are not lost through emmigration out of the Canyon.www.landadventures.net organises placements It also works with the Elohim mission that has a school for children living in extreme poverty in Arequipa www.elohim.esmartweb.com Both organisations are really dedicated to helping local communities and have no commercial interests at all in the volunteer placements (although Land Adventures if foremost an adventure tour agency)

Just a couple of other Arequipa experiences that may interest other visitors:Highlights:
Arequipa backpackers... chilled out place, basic accommodation, cheery owner and staff, bbq facilities, breakfast included, 5 minutes from Plaza de Armas, 17 soles for dorm
Pisco Sour at Balcon la Serenata (restaurant on Plaza de Armas, touristy but worth one visit)
Land adventure tours: Finished the 3 day, 2 night Colca trek yesterday - 45 US$. Our guide, Carlito, was attentive, spoke basic english and had the speed of a mountain goat up that Canyon which was pretty inspirational.

I did a three day tour into Colca Canyon with a company called Land Adventures: it was great! We did trekking for two days from Cabanaconde down into the canyon on the first day, staying in one of the villages at the bottom. The stars at night are indescribable. Then we walked round the canyon to the oasis and climbed out again in the afternoon (1.2 vertical km in afternoon tropical sun is no joke, although I did see a condor at closer quarters than at Cruz del Condor). On the third day we went to Cruz del Condor (A tourist parade - annoying for anyone with a real interest in animals) and then returned to Arequipa, passing by Chivay on the way. Had a ball!

Early the next morning, we set out for a 3 day excursion to the bottom of the Canon del Colca, the deepest canyon in the world. We toured with Land Adventures, led by our trusty guide, Raul... who made it a fantastic trek, with lots of laughs and even music as we hiked. Our first day was an incredible, but tiring 5 km trek down to stay with a local indigenous community for the night. At night the stars were absolutely incredible - clear and bright... but with constellations totally unfamiliar to me, of course.
Early (as usual) the next morning, we hiked another couple of hours the rest of the way down the canyon, to a small oasis at the bottom, where we relaxed, ate and swam for a few hours before beginning the steep climb up to the top again. Incredible views along the way, including a beautiful sunset.
Our third day was a little less intense, with a long bus ride back to Arequipa, broken up by two stops along the way. First, we stopped at Cruz del Condor, where we saw the magnificent condors effortlessly gliding on the canyon breezes, right above and below us... they are absolutely huge (up to 3 meters) and incredibly graceful.
Second stop was for lunch and a nice soak in the natural volcanic hot springs of Chivay. That makes it 3 different hot springs in South America so far for me! After that, we returned the rest of the way to Arequipa, where I spent the evening hanging out with Raul in the city.
It was an absolutely fantastic trip... highly recommended, but only if you're in pretty good shape, because I was exhausted by the end! But it was totally worth it!

Arequipa is a lovely city, a lot more laid back than Cusco, and less people hassling you and kids trying to flog you postcards, finger puppets and the like! When we arrived the first hostel was full, so they rang through to another, who then took us next door before we found somewhere we liked!! Very friendly and unexpected!!

First job was to get ourselves booked onto a trek into the Colca Canyon. This we did, with a company called Land Adventures who were brilliant. We were picked up from the hostel at 6am, for the start of the 3 day trip.

There were 7 of us in total, and then our host, Luis. We started with a 5 1/2 hour bus ride to the village of Cobacande (bad spelling!). A small village where we had some lunch and started the trek. The first part was "easy" 3 and a half hours down into the canyon, although going down actually is harder than you imagine! The canyon is the 2nd deepest in the world, (deeper than the Grand Canyon) and so was quite a way down!
From here, we crossed the bridge and had a couple of hours ascent to where we would stay the night. It was tough going, and a couple of people made use of the mules that were on hand to help!! We stayed with a local family, and our room was a hut above the room where they stored corn! No electricity so candle light was the order of the day.

Luis served us up a cracking meal, which was followed by pancakes for brekkie the next day. A good start to an amazing day. We walked for another 3 hours back down into the canyon, where there was an oasis. A pool to ourselves with freshwater in the depths of the canyon. It was class! The only problem was we knew we'd have to walk up to the top again after!!

This we did, some used mules again, as we began a 4 hr walk up over 1000 metres, at about 2.30pm, in the heat of the day!! It was tough going!! We made it though, back to Cobacande and to a hostel for the night. And a beer!

The next day was another early start as we were heading out to try and catch a glimpse of some condors in the canyon. This we certainly got. After a slow start they all came out to show off and take centre stage for the flocking tourists.

The trek was finished off with a trip to some thermal baths, to ease the aching muscles. That they did, although at around 40 degrees centigrade, it was pretty damn hot!!

After umming and aarring about what was best to do when one half of team Bishop wasnt at all normal we thought sod it and embarked on a 3 day trek in the Colca Canyon. At geometrically 3400m deep it`s the deepest in the world, though some dispute that claiming a neighbouring one is all of 160m deeper. Well so what, it can be the deepest as far as we are concerned. Thankfully we weren't trekking this depth but a mere 1300m and 400m up the other side.. and back along a different path. I wondered why I was feeling really excited about going on the trek, but it soon occurred to me that actually the cool thing about trekking with a guide is you get looked after by being fed and cooked for and the extra cool thing about this particular one no camping. Result: We met up with our local guide Luis who was a very spiritual, intelligent person and truly a really great guide who taught us so much more about the land, the locals and community and of course Pachamama. The organisation Luis worked for, Land Adventures, is an eco / positive tourism organisation so we were staying with locals in the community which has been one of the best experiences so far.
It was a 5 hour drive to the canyon passing over a 4800m pass before Chivay which wasnt the best for Bish's grumbling stomach but the moon like stark scenery and wonderful views prevailed and we were soon in Cabanaconde ready for the start. Over lunch Luis told us he had been suffering from throat and breathing problems over the last 24 hours and he was a bit worried. He wanted to tell us cos if the worse should happen, we have to know all we can do is perform a tracheotemy. Oh fabulous! Off we went and Luis dropped into a local medical tin pot centre for a second opinion and came out with some kind of medicine. We passed a cross which is where the annual 2nd February Fiesta de Apu takes place. All the local communites flock here that night with offerings/payments for Pachamama which are then burned and the locals porceed to have the "party of the year". It really was as everyone we met talked about it somehow.. the excitment was really there. As we approached the canyon and teetered over the edge we saw the most breath-taking views in either direction, a few small colca villages and a hell of a long way down. The villages can only be reached by the paths that we were to walk on and if they want anything from the nearest town its a 5 hour walk up and down each way (or much more for some of the higher ones) to Canbanaconde. The government had only 2 months ago given them electricty as part of a scheme to try and keep the villages going as all the younger generations head for Arequipa to work and study. We sweated it out going down no problems, even over one section where the support for the path is inverted in relation to the cliff edge. Once over the river and going up the other side it was hard to imagine that we had walked down the other side as it purely looked like a sheer vertical drop.
First night was in Coshirwa with a local family, namely Raphina, who had been working with the guides for a couple of years and had built some adobe sheds and bamboo beds for trekkers to sleep in. The money from the few trekkers each week has helped them immensely and they now also have a solar panel for hot water. We were beat and had a fabulous nights sleep under the purest, clearest stars only hearing the faint rush of the river below. And excitedly for me only to be awoken once in the night.. by an earth tremour! Having gone on about how I would love to feel one it woke me with an excited start, only to turn to slight fear as I realised we were teetering on the edge of a the world's deepest canyon. Perhaps not the best place. However in the morning after making sure no serious earth quake had happened anywhere in the region I revelled back in my excitement of having experienced a tremour. Wicked.
The second day morning was a cool walk across and down the side, stopping in Coshirwa medical hut for Bish as he was suffering badly with stomach pains. Luis got a 3rd opionion after having palputations at breakfast, and soon me and the 2 sick boys were on our way. One more stop in the next village was at a small museum full of local and traditional food, implements, cooking equipment and clothes. It was set up by a lady against her husbands wishes after he went away to work for 5 days. He soon saw the benefits when the tips from passing trekkers came in and so he thought he better build some shade for them! So after a delightful visit and a prickly pear later we were off for our main stop in the bottom of the canyon - a paradise, set in a meander of the river, with 3 gorgeous oasis pools which we had a refreshing dip in, chatting to some nice Brazilians and another dutch traveller.
We had to set off at some point though for the gruling 3 hours climb 1300m directly back up. In the heat it was hard. I ripped my trousers in a less then flattering place which meant I had to cover up some how whenever I passed a local with mules and Bish was.. again lets say having "problems". But there is nothing more rewarding that sweating it out in gorgeous surroundings, stopping only on the way to sit and chat to the saviour chocolate, banana and fanta lady who comes down each day to sell some things to help you make it to the top. And finally we did feeling invigorated. Not long after arriving back in Cabanaconde for our second night I realised I had left my best bikini in the world right at the bottom of this deepest canyon in the world, by the oasis drying on a rock. Goddamit. Luis came up with an elaborate plan which involved sending a note back down with a local to get a message to the man with the mules to send it back up on a mule... etc etc. I am not sure if that will happen and it was a little embarrassing for just a bikini, but hey its not going to be any use to a local so I secretly hope the plan works and it makes its way to East Knoyle par avion.
The next day actually involved no trekking but just a local bus so rammed people climbed onto the roof (not us thankfully, standing inside was fine). We stopped at Cruz Del Condor for a couple of hours to look for Condors believe it or not. Well we had somehow managed to not get a ticket to enter the canyon and couldn't strictly stop here so Luis took us down the road to another look out which was better, as it was our very own. No condors graced us with their presence that morning, but we did spy one flying lone when we went back to the road to hitch for a bus. Luckily at other points such as in the canyon and in Ecuador we have seen Condors so we were mightly glad we hadnt just opted for a one day bus to this point to condor spot, especially as the lone condor wouldn't have been visible from the 'expensive' cruz del condor.
We parted with Luis back in Arequipa feeling full of information, more memories and goodness from physical exertion and collapsed back in Bothy, wondering if after 2 weeks Bish was ever going to show signs of getting better. The drugs appeared to still not being working.

The Plan B Adventure

Experience the world with Jeff and Becca!!

Our stop in Arequipa was inspired by a few factors. Just outside of Arequipa (just outside in Peru means 5 hours and two bus changes) is the deepest navigable canyon in the world and inside Arequipa are its quaint streets and colonial, yet locally-inspired architecture just waiting to be explored. Our first stop after, yet another night bus from the coast inland to Arequipa was the trekking travel agency of Peru Land Adventures. Since we only had five days scheduled for the area and wanted to take a three day/two night trek to the Cañon del Colca (this is the previously referenced deepest navigable canyon in the world) we had to get something scheduled right away. Thank goodness they had room….we didn´t realize Arequipa was getting so popular with the trekking crowd. We booked the trek that started the next morning and headed to hit the hay since the overnight bus ride didn´t allow for much sleep. Sidenote time: If anyone tells you they are a sound sleeper on the twisting bus rides of South America they are either lying or were heavily (we stress heavily) sedated at the time. Since “the 22-hr excursion” in Northern Peru we have smartened up and spent the extra cash for the plushest seats you can imagine….these seats are seriously like the first class seats on an international flight…wow. Unfortunately, you still can´t get what Becca terms “good sleep”. Oh well…..we will catch our catnaps at the hotel that morning.
The next morning started early….5AM! We were picked up by taxi and couriered to the local bus station where we got to meet our guide, Nestor, as well as our six travelling buddies. After introductions we all headed onto the local bus for a three hour trip to Chivay, the midpoint of our journey, and over the passes at 4800m (that is almost 16,000 feet)!! As soon as we hit Chivay the competition began….for bus seats that is. As we found out later the best reason to have a guide for this trek is the employment of another person in the battle for bus seats. The buses are jammed with fellow trekkers, local rural women and their multitudes of children, and others just commuting 3-4 hours to work.(Dad..and you thought the drive to Boeing Field was long!) As most people, we would be happy to give our seats up to the baby-laden, young mothers or weary commuters but the competition is not with them but fellow travellers. Most people are cordial and rational except for those few….who are usually French (sorry Frenchies it is true!) Okay…we won´t get into the unpleasantries exchanged (primarily because most of them were non-verbal) but needless to say Nestor is the man and our entire group was comfortably (well…that might be a stretch on any local bus) seated for the ride.
We arrived around midday at Cabanaconde which not only was the starting and finishing point of our trek but also hometown to Nestor, our guide. He is from the BIG city in these parts of the Andes which constitutes a population of 4500. As we start walking through the streets and heading for the canyon Nestor shares local stories and watches us with a smile as we all adjust to the altitude. Yikes….3300 meters is not easy on the lungs….just wait!!! Our first three hours were spent descending, learning, and in Jeff´s case…..hugging the trail close to the mountain. WOW….a 2000 meter drop doesn´t look that steep when you see it in pictures but when you are putting one foot in front of the other on the trail and are slip-slidin’ around on loose dirt, its enough to make you say “MEATBALLS”! a few times. On the way down we were educated on the ways and paths of the Inca conquerors as well as those that have lived in the area for the last two millenia. It is amazing to learn firsthand about the multitudes of unknown and tasty fruits; abundance of shaman-used hallucinogenic berries and seeds; dangerous acid producing tree; and most importantly to the local economy, the cactus parasite (please don´t ask us to remember all the names) which is sold for mucho dineros to international firms where it is used for cosmetic pigmentations as well as many other interesting uses. As we continue down (about 1200 meters) the Cañon delights us with so many amazing views of the river far, far below and the miniscule villages (always with a giant church) that dot the mountains. As we hit the river bend and adjoining rope bridge the impact of our descent hit us as we glance back up across the volcanic ash flutes and see just what we accomplished. It also hits us that when we were coming down we saw the village we would sleep in directly across from us……which now lies hundreds of meters above our heads!!! Looks like another two hours of hiking…..this time uphill. Well, at least it will get us ready for what´s in store on Day 2. Day One ends with us laying our heads in a very nice mud-hut and enjoying a wonderful, home-cooked meal with our trekking mates. Day Two starts with an even better pancake breakfast (no, these weren´t the crappy little crepe pancakes…but thick fluffy ones) and later we will find out why we needed it. After Nestor provides us with a great review of the small village we´ve just slept in and we encounter some of the friendly locals we start our morning descent to the Oasis below. The two hour hike downhill (yes…again…gosh our feet hurt) gives us a great view of what we accomplished yesterday and the 1000 meter climb that awaits us after our short dip and lunch at the oasis. The climb starts after lunch at around 2200 meters and ends 3 hours later at 3200 meters. The trials and tribulations of step after step and conversation after conversation with our new trekking friends will stay with us forever as we reach the top and realize that we have just completely traversed one of the deepest canyons in the world in just over 24 hours…..Next on our list was a warm shower, cold beer, and the final highlight of the trek….another competitive bus ride to see the Andean condors of Cruz del Condor. This tourist trap is worth it for most as you glance down another deep ravine and across to Mount Mismi (opposite side of the mountain contains the Eye of the Amazon), you get the chance to see giant 3-4 meter wide condors spread their wings and peruse the local landscape for breakfast. This trek from Land Adventures we highly recommend. Couple of caveats….make sure you do the 3 day-2 night trek as the other requires hiking at 3:00AM (yuk) and definitely make sure you like your guide as he will be fighting for seats in your honor…HAHAHA!

The 3-day Colca Canyon trek is fairly standard among the many travel agencies in Arequipa, although some groups take other routes and stay at different villages in the canyon. I booked the trek with Land Adventures (which is associated with The Point Hostel in Arequipa). On the first day, we met our guide at the hostel and took a taxi to the bus station, where we boarded a bus to Cabanaconde, a town near the top of the canyon. They say it takes 3 hours to get there, but it´s much more like 5 with the constant stopping. At Cabanaconde, we had lunch in a local restaurant with a few other tourists and their guides - standard menu fare (soup, rice and chicken, tea). At around 1.30pm we headed off, walking from the town centre through its outskirts and eventually following the trail that leads into the canyon itself.
The Colca Canyon is known as the deepest (or at least second deepest) canyon in the world - on average, 3,400m deep over 2 kilometres. The trail is a constant zigzag down, mostly grey gravelly rocks that, after awhile, makes you feel like you´re inhaling cement dust. Luckily the view is pretty spectacular, as you can see green trees far down and the white rooves of the village houses. The Colca River runs through the canyon and there is also an oasis which is green all year round due to water that springs from the mountainside.
The trail gets increasingly steeper as you get closer to the bottom but it´s not too bad (and I was extra careful, having had a knee operation a few years ago). At the bottom you cross a bridge and have to pay a tourist fee of 35 soles. Then it´s a short trek to the first town, San Juan de Chanchos (that name could be wrong, my memory doesn´t serve me too well these days), where most groups stay the night at little hostels. We soldiered on - by this time it was getting dark and cold - as the village we were to stay in, Cosiñihua, was another hour or so along the trek. We had to scale a smallish cliff face to get to the village, and were somewhat buggered by that time, so it was a relief to be able to relax in our ´hostel´. There was a big room with maybe 6 beds, lots of blankets, and it was quite warm, although there was no electricty. Our ´hostel´ also had hot water - a luxury as we found out from other trekkers who stayed elsewhere. No electricity, no doors (only a shower curtain separating you from the outside world) but gas-powered hot water! Dinner was soup and a creamy pumpkinish dish with rice and more tea. The hostel is run by a woman who lives there with her daughter - friendly, hospitable people.

There is a lot of superstition inside the canyon, and our guide told us a few stories about goblins and bad spirits who walk the trails at night. No local people walk at night, even between the villages. One guide apparently had an encounter in one of the villages with an evil spirit... there used to be a mine in the side of the canyon and one day something happened (a shaft collapsed, or there was an earthquake) and many miners died, so it´s said that their unsettled spirits walk in the canyon at night.
Inside the canyon itself it´s not too cold at night, as you´re at a lower altitude than in Cabanaconde. After a comfortable sleep, we had a very nice breakfast of pancakes with strawberry jam, yoghurt and tea or coffee. After suffering through a day of horrible stomach pains, it was a relief to wake up feeling relatively normal, particularly as you have to climb out of the canyon on day two. A moderate walk takes you to the oasis, which houses a few swimming pools with little waterfalls and tropical-looking cabins. Here we congregated with another group of two Israeli guys and two American girls (there was only 2 people in my group, me and this nice but rather boring English guy from the hostel who finally decided to stop watching TV all day and do the trek with me). Had a quick swim and dried off before lunch of soup, vegetarian spaghetti and pineapple juice (an odd combination), followed by an hours´ siesta in one of the little cabins which literally have a bed in them and nothing else.
At 3pm we set off on the trail out of the canyon. I don´t know why they wait till 3pm, maybe so it´s not so hot, but by the time you get to the top (some 2-3 hours later, depending on your fitness), it´s dark, cold and you´re at altitude so you risk getting sick due to being covered in sweat but horribly cold. Anyhow, while I made it to the top with little problem, it´s not easy and several times I wondered why the hell I wanted to climb into and out of the deepest canyon in the world. The path is similar to the way down except sometimes there are rock steps, which are harder on your leg muscles than trudging slowly up a path. There are a few lookout stops though, which are nice to sit in and enjoy the view. Nothing beats the sense of achievement once you reach the top, though. From there it´s another 20 minutes of walking to Cabanaconde. You can hire a mule for 30 soles to take your bags up to the top but damned if I was going to do that - I wouldn´t be able to wear my free canyon t-shirt with pride if I didn´t carry my own pack!
Once back in the town, we went to Hostal Virgen de Carmel to put down our things and have a hot shower (warning: you might be standing stark naked for awhile waiting for the water to come on) before our celebratory dinner in a restaurant. Unfortunately, I don´t remember the name of the restaurant, but we had lomo saltado (kind of a Peruvian stir fry) with alpaca meat - very nice. And a few drinks of course, while we watched last year´s Live 8 DVD in the restaurant.
The third and last day of the ´trek´ is really a lot of sitting around. We woke up early and had breakfast at the hostel (bread, jam, fried egg, tea) then caught a bus to Cruz del Condor. This is about 40 minutes´ ride from Cabanaconde, along the canyon, and is a lookout for the famous Andean condor. We perched on somewhat precarious rocks for almost an hour, and were treated to a little show by some eagles (which were cool in themselves). We were relatively unlucky as we only saw one or two condors - they´re huge birds with distinctive wing-tips - kind of like a hand on the end of each wing, with a dark body and sometimes white markings. These are birds with presence, and it´s quite breathtaking to spot one and watch it glide on the canyon´s currents. It was nice anyway sitting on the edge of the canyon and hearing the distant river and echoes of the canyon. As it happens, just as our bus was pulling away, a condor circled over the group of tourists still sitting at the lookout. Lucky bastards.
We caught a bus to Chivay before getting a taxi to the hot springs nearby. The water comes out of the mountains at some 70 degrees or more (celsius) and has to be cooled before being filtered into a big swimming pool. The temperature in there is around 37 degrees, I´m told - it was good for soaking your aching muscles, but just got way too hot with the midday sun beating down. But it was a nice way to end the tour. After lunch at Chivay (in a restaurant that served almost everything you could think of, from spaghetti to fried rice), we caught the bus back to Arequipa and got there well after dark.
For US$50, the tour is pretty good value, although the tourist entrance fee, hot springs and last lunch aren´t included in the price. But for people looking for a varied 3-day trip, I´d recommend it. And even if you´re not too fit, you´ll still make it up the canyon (if the English guy could do it, I´m sure many people can).

Matka Ameriikkoihin

Vaihto-opiskelua ja maailman tarkastelua
Cuscosta Arequipaan (etelää kohti) matkasin toistaiseksi hienoimmassa näkemässäni bussissa (Cruz del Sur). Se lähti omasta terminaalistaan, matkatavarat luovutettiin sisällä tiskillä, ennen bussiin menoa oli “check-in” ja turvatarkastus, sisällä jokainen matkustaja kuvattiin videolle ja ennen liikkeellelähtöä oli lentokonetyylinen tervetulopuhe ja ohjeistus. Bussi oli viimeisen päälle uusi, todella mukavilla penkeillä varustettu ja kaikilla mahdollisilla vermeillä kuorutettu (oli telkkareita ja turvavöitä, gps-tietolinkki jatkuvalla yhteydellä terminaaliin, jopa WLAN-internetyhteydesä puhuttiin mainosvideossa). Hintaan kuului lämmin ja varsin kelvollinen illallinen, elokuvia pyöritettiin ja tottahan toki myös pelattiin bingoa!
Arequipaan saavuin viideltä aamulla, joten edessä oli heti pitkä sunnuntaipäivä. Kävin seuraamassa keskusaukiolla jokasunnuntaista lipunnostojuhlaa (uskomatonta, jos ne todellakin järjestää sen joka sunnuntai, sillä paikalla oli aika reilusti porukkaa), tutustuin mielenkiintoiseen luostariin ja järkkäsin itselleni paikan kolmen päivän vaellusretkelle yhteen maailman syvimmistä kanjoneista, Colca-kanjoniin. Illalla mulle tosin ilmoitettiin, että seuravalle aamulle tarkoitettu lähtö täytyi siirtää päivällä eteenpäin muiden ryhmäläisten sairastuttua. Seuraavana päivänä kävin matkanjärjestäjän toimistolla (Land Adventures, ystävällinen palvelu) vaihtamassa reissun kaksipäiväiseksi, reitti pysyi samana, mutta aikataulu muuttui mielipuoliseksi. Lopun päivää käytin kaupungilla kävelyyn ja etenkin Yanahuaran kapunginosassa käymiseen. Vihdoin sain myös testattua paikallista herkkua cuyta eli grillattua marsua. Se oli oikeastaan aika maukasta, mutta ajatus marsun syömisestä oli kyllä kokoajan vähän epämiellyttävä ja näyttihän se siinä lautasella varsin hmm. kummalliselta.
Seuraavana yönä mut sitten tultiin kello 1:20 hakemaan taksilla hostellilta ja vietiin bussiterminaalille, jossa tapasin muut trekkausryhmäläiseni eli viisi israelilaista. Matkaa jatkettiin normaalilla paikallisbussilla suunnilleen viisi tuntia kanjonin laidalle, jossa syötiin aamupala ja aloitettiin kävely. Maisemat oli hienot ja kanjoni syvä! Heti alkuun kävi selväksi, että meillä tulee olemaan ongelmia eri kuntotasojen vuoksi, minä ja kaksi muuta jätkää mentiin aika lailla eri tahtia kuin kolme tyttöä, joten erot venyivät todella pitkiksi. Käveltiin aamu kuudesta johonkin kahden kieppeille, jolloin pidettiin lounastauko (todella hyvät sapuskat), jonka jälkeen jatkettiin vielä pari tuntia ennenkuin saavuttiin yöpymispaikallemme, Oasikseen. Päivän aikana ensin laskeuduttiin kolmisen tuntia kanjonin pohjalle ja sen jälkeen noustiin toista puolta ylöspäin ja sitten taas laskeuduttiin pohjalle. Maasto vaihteli karun kivikon ja vehreiden pusikoiden välillä. Oasis oli kuin keidas keskellä aavikkoa, todella vehreä paikka kanjonin pohjalla, jonne oli rakennettu vaatimattomat, mutta todella kutsuvat uima-altaat ja hyvin alkeellisia majoja nukkumista varten. Uinnin jälkeen syötiin maittava illallinen ja seitsemän aikaan mentiin puolikuolleina nukkumaan. Herätys oli taas hieman kahden jälkeen yöllä ja nopean aamupalan jälkeen lähdetiin kuunvalon turvin nousemaan kanjonia ylös. Tytöt luovuttivat ennenkuin aloittivatkaan ja turvautuivat muulikyytiin. Minä ja toinen israelilaisjätkistä mentiin jonkun ihmeen vimman vallassa keskellä pimeyttä kuin viimeistä päivää ylös. Lähdettiin leiristä puoli tuntia muiden jälkeen ja huipulla oltiin parikymmentä minuuttia muita ennen. Jos edellinen päivä oli nautinnolista kävelyä hienojen maisemien keskellä oli tämä aamuyö puhdas urheilusuoritus. Ylhäällä kylässä odottelimme tunnin verran bussin lähtöä kuumaa kokateetä hörppien. Seuraava pysähdys oli kanjonin laidalla tunti kondorikotkia tiiraillen. Viisi kappaletta tuli omin silmin todistettua, oli hienoa katseltavaa seurata niiden vaivatonta liitelyä, mutta valitettavasti eivät tulleet tällä kertaa niin lähelle, että olisi päässyt hämmästelemään niiden valtavaa kokoa. Viimeinen pysähdys ennen Arequipaa oli jälleen kuumille lähteille rakennetuilla uima-altailla, jossa väsyneet jalat sai mukavaa lepuutusta.
Ilta Arequipassa meni kaapeli-tv:n, fantapullon ja sipsipussin seurassa, luksusta! Seuraavana aamuna olikin taas edessä kello kuuden herätys ja siirtyminen bussiterminaalille, mutta siitä lisää seuraavassa jaksossa.

Ad Arequipa l'agenzia Land Adventures di Santa Catalina 118-B si segnala per la professionalità nell'organizzazione del trekking nel Colca Canion.

Una buona escursione nel Colca Canyon di 3 giorni è stata organizzata dall'agenzia Land Adventures di Arequipa.

Just got back from a 3-day trek this past weekend to Colca Canyon. I went with a company that was recommended to me by a couple of German travelers I met on a bus: Land Adventures. I thought it was well worth the $$, time and occasional huffing & puffing. Very professional, good food, English-speaking guide, fantastic views, and a condor sighting. They´re located on Santa Catalina (near the Plaza de Armas) in Arequipa. I´d give them a look: they seemed to have a lot of satisfied customers.

Travellerspoint Travel Community

Whilst in Arequipa we stayed at Hostel Santa Catalina , was clean and lovely, and the owners were extemely helpful. I would defo recommend staying there. They recommended the tour agency, Land Adventures. The guide we had, Oliver was very helpful and we couldn't have asked for better.
Have a great trip!!!

Diary Of A Gringo...Back Home!

So Monastaries and museums were visited in Arequipa and I felt very cultured. The other big thing in/around Arequipa was a three day trek in the Colca Canyon, which is this really big canyon. It's famous too. Our guide was a very interesting guide called Luis from Land Adventures. We were also joined by a Dutchman, a Scotch girl, and a couple who were from Austria and Germany. I wish them luck, although alliances between those countries have not suceeded in the past. Anyway, twas a good group. The main purpose of the trip was to see the small communities that live in the canyon, to see who their lives differ from those in the big cities, etc. The walk down into the canyn took three hours, then a further hour and a half walking to a village along some paths and across a stream, crossing a makeshift bridge built by the villagers. There was a man from the village to meet us with a mule to carry one person, which I thought was a nice touch.
So it took us 4-5 hours to get down into the canyon. I noticed that the family we stayed with had a really big fridge in their kitchen. You cannot access the canyon by car. I was confused. Apparently it took the family SIX DAYS to bring the fridge from the nearest big town, Cabanaconde. I think after I few days of carrying that thing i'd be like, "you know what guys, I don't mind if my beer gets warm, let's just leave it."But they didn't leave it, and that evening we enjoyed lovely cold Coca-Cola! Good job!There was a lot of walking on that trip. The company we went with, 'Land Adventures', promised that they 'go the extra mile'. The German guy said, "I fail to see how that is an advantage." Quite.
The next day we were up for a pancake breafast at 7am, then we walked to the local museum a lovely woman called Doris had set up. The museum showcased local culture and was really interesting, especially all the examples of natural medicines. It's crazy, they spread melted donkey fat on broken bones and for birth pain they wrap a LIVE snake around the woman's abdomen. Apparently it helps.
After the museum, (where Doris let us try cactus fruit which is nice but has lots of seeds in) we walked for a few more hours to a little oasis in the driest part of the canyon where we had a dip in a nice pool and ate Luis' spaghetti. We then endured one of the hardest walks I've ever done - 1,200 metres up and out of the canyon. It only took two and a half hours or so but it very nearly killed me. It was so...so steep! And it started raining at three o'clock, as it does every day in the canyon in the wet season. It was an arduous challenge, and I can't say I particularly enjoyed that bit. My legs at times felt like they just wouldn't go anymore! But I did it. I made it. We all made it. The Scotch girl a little behind everyone else. The next morning we went to see some condors, which are famous for their role in Inca mythology. They are massive creatures and one of only three species of bird that can fly without flapping their wings, avian fans. However, they are also vultures, too slow to catch any prey or anything, so most of the time they sit around waiting for animals/tourists to die so they can eat them. In fact to keep the birds in the canyon, the villagers, still to this day, sacrifice a donkey every month for the condors. Poor donkey, but it's tradition so what can you do?
The rest of the trip passed without incident. Luis told us about a quasi-religious novel/spiritual history book he was going to write and we went for a swim in some local hot springs.

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