Rio Cotahuasi Extended Trip Options


Situated in the Andes at an altitude of 7740 feet, Arequipa was founded in 1540 by Spanish explorer Manuel Garci de Carbajal, and remains one of the most charming cities in South America. Derived from a Quechua phrase translated as “come and stay” Arequipa beckons visitors with its stunning architecture, being constructed almost entirely of sillar, a dazzling white volcanic stone. The districts of “La Ciudad Blanca (The White City,)” as the city is commonly known, contrast between native influence and colonial heritage. Three snow-capped volcanoes, El Misti, Chachani, and Picchu Picchu encompass the metropolis. The convent of Santa Catalina, constructed as a city within the city in 1580, housed 450 nuns for more than four centuries. Stories and legends circulated throughout the city about the mysterious convent until it opened its doors to the public in 1970; today it stands as a curious attraction. UNESCO named the historic city center of Arequipa a World Heritage Site in 2000.



The ancient town of Cusco was the political capital of the Incan Empire. Positioned at 11,500 feet high in the Peruvian Andes, the picturesque town offers a combination of enchanting old-world character and simple modernity. The town remains the starting point for Machu-Pichu/Incan tours, and hosts a variety of sites within the city, including the palace of the Incas, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. The impressive Spanish Cathedral of Santo Domingo serves as a reminder of the area’s post-Columbian heritage. Visitors interested in Incan history must pay a visit to the Incan center town of Cusco!


Machu Picchu

Machu Pichu, built between 1460 and 1470 AD by Incan ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, was most likely a royal estate and religious retreat. Tucked away at 7000 ft.elevation between two towering Andean peaks, these pristine ruins are nothing short of magical. Our trip takes us up to Machu Pichu by train with a night at the base of the ruins at the famous Aguas Calientes. Contact the Global Descents travel office for more details on this fun addition to your expedition through Colca Canyon.