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Altitude: 3,575 m / 11,726 ft, Population: 1,271, Phone Code: 054

Coporaque is located across the river from Chivay, about 8 kilometers (6 mi) to the west. It is the most-visited village on the north side of the Río Colca. Its name in Quechua means “where lots of corn is distributed” (“qhoto,” mound of corn + “rake,” place where corn is distributed).

The town's claim to fame is Iglesia Santiago Apóstol. Built in 1569, it is the oldest church in the Colca Canyon. The church’s white exterior is typical of the region. Its square campaniles contain the bells that were purportedly forged from the melted copper of Mama Yacchi’s house. Inside the church, 16th-century images adorn the altar. Around the corner is the Capilla de San Sebastián, which also has an interesting façade.

A number of day hikes may be done from Coporaque. In the mountains behind the village is the archaeological site Uyo Uyo, which was a pre-Inca village (4 km / 2.5 mi, 45 min). This is where the Collagua lived before the Spanish forced them to relocate to present day Coporaque. Other short treks are to the Sitio Arqueológico de San Antonio pre-Columbian burial tombs (45 min) and natural hot spring pools at Sallihuay. To hike to Yunque (2-3 hr one way), cross over the Puente Sifón pedestrian bridge.

In Coporaque is the hotel, La Casa Mamayacchi (Ca Arequipa s/n. Tel: 531-004 / 241-206, E-mail:, URL: Double $70, triple $92; includes breakfast). Another option is homestay (turismo vivencial) at Flores de Coporaque, where the Chocolate Rocío family provides full board and activities like hiking and horseback riding (Cel: 959-054-513 / 958-689-680, E-mail: Five kilometers (3 mi) west of the village is Colca Lodge, which has a hot springs spa. Coporaque has one restaurant. The only other service in town is a payphone in the plaza. The village is easily reached by public transport.

Coporaque’s patron saint is San Isidro, whose feast day is celebrated May 15. The village also fêtes Santiago Matamoros on July 25.

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

20 Jun 2012

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