With a depth of 4,160 meters (13,648 ft), Colca Canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru is one of the deepest in the world, more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon. There are many routes into the canyon available to backpackers, and trekking the route is possible in two or three days. Three days is recommended for those who do not have hiking experience. If needed, hikers have the option of taking a horse in and out of the canyon.
Food is very basic but good. Most family houses and bungalows in Sangalle (Oasis) have set menus and vegetarian options. Their prices vary between 10 to 15 soles (USD $2.99 to $4.48). Every family house or bungalow has a little shop where hikers can buy water, beer, and snacks. It's easy to find good water resources in Colca Canyon, but water from any source must be purified; bring tablets or buy them in Arequipa. Most of the family houses have a source of fresh water, but even these require purification. Also, there are little shops to buy mineral water, though it is expensive. For hikers willing to pay the price, carry less water and refuel in villages along the way. Also, it's recommended to bring all your plastic bottles back to Cabanaconde. Locals burn the plastic, and it is not good for the environment.
Colca Canyon is remote and rustic. Many items are unavailable once on the trail. The most important of these must be carried in:
It is easy to find a place to sleep while trekking in Colca Canyon, but during high season (May through September), book in advance. It is not necessary to bring a tent. The family homestays in Colca Canyon offer basic accommodations, share toilets, and showers for a cheap price. Amenities here are basic. Modern accommodations are not found in Colca Canyon, so do not expect it.The Colca Canyon area is drier and hotter than other parts of Peru. The rainy season, such as it is, lasts approximately from December to March, with February being the wettest. During the rainy season, there is a possibility of flash floods and landslides. The rest of the year, the canyon is dry and hot, though temperatures drop dramatically at night. The best period to visit Colca Canyon is April through June.