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Chivay (Peru)

Practical information on Chivay

  • Encounters with locals
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Handicraft
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
3 hours from Arequipa by minibus
When to go
From April to November
Minimum stay
Half a day

Reviews of Chivay

Emilie Couillard Seasoned Traveller
117 written opinions

As you pass through the Colca Canyon area don't miss out on Chivay. A town located in the highest part of the canyon, a very pleasant area. 

My suggestion:
As I travelled through this little corner of Peru, I went swimming in natural pools right at the bottom of the canyon, where the locals go. A little further on there are also the man-made thermal baths, LasTermasLa Calera.  
My review

Chivay is the first tourist town that you come to on the road between Arequipa and the Colca Canyon. There is a splendid view as you arrive. There are terraces cut into the valley as far as the eye can see.

Chivay is a little town where it's good to stop for a day or two. It's a modest-sized town with a population of about 4500. It's not overflowing with things to do but I have very good memories of it.

The market in the main square is full of culinary delights typical of the region. The caldo de cabeza, is a local speciality that I don't necessarily recommend. Beware the faint-hearted, it's a broth made from head, and sometimes the head is easily recognisable on the plate! On the other hand, the alpaca kebabs are excellent.  

David Debrincat Seasoned Traveller
459 written opinions

150km from Arequipa, Chivay is a little village situated at the entrance to the Canyon de Colca.

My suggestion:
Have a walk around the market to admire the beautifully coloured Indian garments of the region.
My review

Perched at an altitude of 3,650m and completely hidden by the surrounding mountains, the small village of Chivay is nevertheless a classic part of Peru's tourism.

Its geographical position on the Canyon de Colca route attracts a large number of tourists. As a consequence, Chivay has lost its authenticity. It is not unusual to be offered a photo with an eagle or an owl in the market.

Despite everything, if you move away from the crowd a bit, it is possible to find the true soul of Chivay. I advise you to have a look round Martín Muñoz church in the little square. It is very typical of the area, decorated according to the Indian beliefs of the region. Once you have had the tour of here, you should take the road to the canyon or Arequipa.

Tours and travel ideas Chivay

  • Highlights
Solo female travel adventure
Length 21 days Approx. $2,770
  • Adventure
Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and the Sacred Valley
Length 14 days Approx. $1,620
  • Highlights
Andean culture and heritage
Length 15 days Approx. $2,300
  • Adventure
Southern Peru for hikers
Length 19 days Approx. $2,350
  • Highlights
White cities, ancient ruins and Lake Titicaca
Length 14 days Approx. $2,980
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