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Altitude: 3,287 m / 10,781 ft, Population: 3,296, Phone Code: 054

A popular alternative to the tourist hangout of Chivay, Cabanaconde is the last of five villages stretching across Colca Canyon's southern edge rim. From this village, the road becomes rugged as it winds through the remote landscapes towards Huambo. Cabanaconde is a living culture, with traditional dress and farming of ancestral agricultural terraces.

Cabanaconde's church, Iglesia de San Pedro Alcántara, has an magnificent façade decorated with a sun, moon and stars. The interior is decorated with statues of Christ and the Virgin dating from the 18th century, as well as paintings from the Cusqueña School. The temple was originally built of wood in the 17th century and rebuilt after an earthquake in 1784.

Cabanaconde is the trekking capital of Cañón del Colca. The must-visit site Cruz del Cóndor is within walking distance (take a bus either there or back) (12 km / 7 mi, 3 hours). For a less touristy view of the birds, head to the hill just west of the village, a 15-minute walk from the plaza. Another path leads from town down into the canyon and up to the village of Tapay where here is another condor-sighting point. Other lookouts are Mirador de Achachiwa and Mirador del Cura.

Several multi-day treks begin at Cabanaconde. The most popular of these with tour groups is to Sangalle Oasis in the canyon’s depths, staying the night there (2 days). Other villages in the abyss are Tapay, Cosniwa and Malata. Long-distance hikes may also be done to Sangalle, by way of San Juan Chuccho, Coshñirwa and Malata (3 days) or San Juan Chuccho-Q’a Q’a Tapay-Tapay and Coshñirwa (4 days); to Bomboya, by way of San Juan Chuccho, Q’a Q’a Tapay and Tapay (2-3 days); and Llahuar, by way of Achachiwa (2-3 days). The most challenging hike is the Andagua Trek, a four to six-day excursion to the Valley of the Volcanoes.

Natural beauty isn’t the only aspect travelers may explore in Cabanaconde’s surroundings. The area also has archaeological sites. One of the canyon’s most important ones is Achachiwua, which was an administrative seat for the Wari Empire. Part of the three-meter (10-ft) thick walls, six meters (20 ft) high, still exists. Kallimarca, southeast of Cabanaconde, was the Cabana nation’s most important city when the Spanish arrived. It has two sectors: Uchic Kallimarca and Jatun Kallimarca, with plazas, buildings and a ceremonial pyramid. Near Kallimarca are the Cuevas de Lihuay, an ancient burial ground of the Cabana. Antizana is the oldest site in the area; these partially excavated ruins lie atop a cone-shaped hill.

Cabanaconde is 56 kilometers (34 mi) west of Chivay. Some buses originating in Arequipa come as far as this town. Almost a dozen hostels open their doors to visitors, and about half that number of restaurants (most run by the hotels). Electricity is scare in town, so be sure to bring your torch/flashlight. Cabanaconde does hav a municipal tourism office that dispenses information on lodging, qualified guides, transport and other tourist services (Cel: 959-740-556, E-mail:, URL: Another useful website is:

Cabanaconde observes several feast days: Virgen de la Candelaria (February 2-3), San Pedro (October 17-18) and the Virgen del Carmen (July 16). Bullfights are commonly held. August is corn planting time (Tinka del Maíz or Solay), with many rituals.

Other neighborhoods in Colca Canyon: Pinchollo, Huambo, Chivay, Coporaque, Yanque and Maca.

20 Jun 2012

Things to do in Cabanaconde

Cruz del Cóndor

La Cruz del Cóndor, or Chaglla, is a lofty lookout over the beautiful Colca Canyon, home to a relatively large population of Andean condors. Every morning, as the sun rises, it creates warm ...
Cabanaconde, Colca Canyon, Peru

Sangalle Oasis Trek

The popular Sangalle Oasis trek begins in Cabanaconde and plunges 1,200 meters (3,936 ft) to Sangalle (1,900 m / 6,232 ft altitude). In contrast to chilly Chivay, the climate here is subtropical and ...
Cabanaconde, Colca Canyon, Peru

Andagua Trek

The Cabanaconde-Andagua Trek through the northwestern sector of Colca Canyon and to the Valley of the Volcanoes is challenging but worth the effort. The route passes through unspoiled scenery with ...
Cabanaconde, Colca Canyon, Peru
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