Hiking in Cotahuasi Canyon

Cotahausi Canyon

From Arequipa Guillaume and I headed out to hike in both Cotahausi and Colca Canyons. We started by going to Cotahausi Canyon which is one of the deepest canyons in the world.
We left Arequipa around 9pm and arrived in the town of Cotahausi at 3am. We weren’t able to sleep on the bus so we decided to get a hotel in town for a couple of hours before starting our hike. We woke up around 8am, grabbed some food from the local market for lunch, and set off towards the Catarata (waterfall) de Sipia. The hike to the falls was beautiful. It started be descending into the valley which was green and lush, a surprising contrast to the desert surrounding the canyon.
Oasis before heading into Cotahausi Canyon
There were tons of livestock as well as avocado and fruit trees. From this oasis we continued into the canyon for 4ish hours until we reached the waterfall. While we didn’t see any other tourist on the way to the falls or in the town of Cotahausi which was pretty amazing. Once we arrived to the falls, there was a wonderful shaded rest spot as well as a maintained path and several viewpoints.
Catarata de Sipia
The Catarata de Sipia was enormous and very beautiful. It was amazing to see the altitude of the river before and after the falls because the difference was several hundred feet. While I would have loved to see more of the canyon, Guillaume and I didn’t have the time because we also planned to visit Colca Canyon the next day. The hike back to Cotahausi was definitely more challenging since it was all uphill but it only took 4-5 hours.
Cotahausi Canyon was wonderful because Guillaume and I were the only tourist around and we had the hike all to ourself. The falls were also really amazing and I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to get off the beaten path and do some hiking near Arequipa.

Author: jordansjourneys92

Hi! My name is Jordan Gurkin and I am currently traveling around the U.S. and working for a non-profit called Compassion International. I just finished spending a year backpacking and teaching English in South America. I'm a travel blogger focused on bringing you budget travel advice, travel tips, and some of my recommendations on places to visit!

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