Orientation

Coporaque, Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru

Photo by Amber Herber

Coporaque is a cute, chill town about an hour’s hike from Yanque (or 20 minute combi ride from Chivay). The people are relaxed and friendly and you are never more than a five minute walk from a great view of the valley. This is a good town to stay in if you want to experience the Colca Valley surrounded by locals, rather than tourists.

Activities

Horseback Riding

To arrange a ride, contact the Chocolate Family:

Cell: 9-5905-4513; 9-5868-9680

Email: familiachocolatecoporaque@hotmail.com

(If that doesn’t work, contact Josefina Bernan, listed at the bottom of the page, but note that the prices may vary a bit)

Coporaque – Mirador de Occolle

Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru

Occolle Amphitheater
Photo by Amber Herber

Ride down towards the valley until the Occolle lookout point, which offers spectacular views of the Occolle natural amphitheater, as well as the farms and majestic mountains of the Colca Valley.

Travel Time: 1.5 hours

Price: S/.50

Coporaque – Tumbas Yurac

Ride up to pre-Incan collective burial tombs (where some bodies are still encased in woven burial baskets) and ruins above Coporaque. The eerie experience is complemented by amazing views of the Colca Valley.

Travel Time: 1.5 hours

Price: S/.50

Pueblo de Coporaque – Yanque

Descend along the ridge into the beautiful Colca valley into the town of Yanque, passing local farms, the Occolle natural amphitheater and lookout, and crossing the Cervantes Bridge over the Colca river. Excellent views throughout the ride.

Travel time: 3.5 hours

Price: S/.90

Pueblo de Coporaque – Uyu-Uyu

Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru

Uyu-Uyu Ruins
Photo by Amber Herber

Legend has it that the Spanish burned every building in the Incan town of Uyu-Uyu, killing everyone except one man, who lived to tell of the atrocity (an atrocity that was unfortunately common back then). Despite the devastation, many buildings remain remarkably intact, with all four walls and even part of the roof. It also still feels like a town – you can almost picture kids running up the main walkway on an errand from their parents, or people gathered in the town center, talking about whatever it is that Incans talked about.

Travel time: 3.5 hours

Price: S/.90

Pueblo de Coporaque – Uyu-Uyu – Yanque – Coporaque

Do a circuit, descending into the valley to see the Uyu-Uyu ruins (described above) and the tranquil town of Yanque. Circle back up for more amazing views of the Colca Valley.

Travel Time: 5 hours

Price: S/.100

Coporaque – Chivay – Yanque – Coporaque

Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru

Photo by Amber Herber

The complete tour of the center of the Colca Valley. Ride first to the hub town of Chivay, which has the valley’s best shopping and dining options; then to the town of Yanque; and finally back up to cozy Coporaque, where you can enjoy the hot springs and a peaceful night.

 

Travel Time: 7 hours

Price: S/.130

(Note: for all rides, be sure to bring at least a liter of water, a hat, and sun block. The temperature is fairly cool, but there is little shade on the routes.)

Hot Springs

Open Air Hot Springs: About 20 minutes downhill from Coporaque, these open-air hot springs are unmonitored and free. No guarantee of their quality, but the price is tough to beat! Go to the arch at the bottom of the plaza and follow that road downhill. Ask for los aguas termales en el rio and you should be pointed down a path to the right.

Umaru Spa: Not the kind of place we typically feature, but if you are looking to relax in style, Umaru has more formal hot springs, as well as Jacuzzi tubs and massages. Walk 10-15 minutes downhill from the arch at the bottom center of the plaza in Coporaque and turn right at the Umaru Spa sign.

For much more information, visit their website:

http://colcaumaruspa.com/home.html

(Note: We had trouble finding other prices on their site, but our understanding is that using the hot springs costs S/.15.

 

Hike to the Yurac Tombs and Ruins

Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru

Yurac Tombs
Photo by Amber Herber

About 30 minutes uphill from Coporaque are the pre-Incan remains of households and collective tombs, as well as the ruins of the San Antonio church. In the tombs, you can see the bones and the woven baskets in which they were buried. It is creepy, but fascinating, and your elevated positions affords you an amazing view of Coporaque, the Occolle amphitheater, and the town of Yanque in the distance. If you want to pay your respects, you can bring an offering of coca leaves (which you can purchase in town).

To get there: Once you are on track, there are signs and the ruins are fairly easy to find. We recommend starting in the plaza and asking someone to point you in the right direction. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, this shouldn’t be a problem, just ask for las ruinas de San Antonio (San Antonio is the church at the ruins). If you can’t find anyone, the path up is basically behind the church in the plaza, and you can probably find it with a little searching.

Voluntourism

The Chocolate family can arrange volunteer opportunities with local kids; they prefer and appreciate those willing to teach basic computer skills and English classes on the weekend. Their contact info is listed at the bottom of the page.

Lodging

Wasy Huerta

Simple accommodations in a small house overlooking the valley. The house is in Josefina Bernan’s backyard and she can help you arrange horseback rides and cook meals as well. A good option if you want the host family experience, except with more privacy.

Prices: Single Bed: S/. 25; Queen Bed: S/.45; Two Single Beds: S/.45

Casa Vivencial: Las Flores

Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru

A room in Las Flores

This is a cute sort-of-host family, sort-of-hostel lodging option. The Chocolate family has a few clean, colorful rooms between a tidy, ornate garden, and a modest kitchen and dining room. To get there, go to the bottom left corner of the Plaza (if you’re facing the church) and walk left on Calle Arequipa. Take your first left, then your first right and Las Flores should be on your right.

Price: S/. 30 per person

Dining

Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru

La Coporaqueña

La Coporaqueña: Menu (soup and an entree) for S/.6. Located on the left side of the plaza if you’re facing the church.

Bernan and Chocolate Families: These families can also cook for you, but they will do it up, so it’s a bad option on a budget, but a good option if you want a large, comprehensive, local meal. Expect a soup, an appetizer, an entree, bread, and a drink. Josefina can also cook vegetarian on request.

Bernan Family:

Lunch or Dinner: S/.18

Food to Go: Josefina also offers a box lunch, consisting of a sandwich, chicken, cooked bread, fruit, and juice. Price: S/.15 

Chocolate Family:

Breakfast: S/.12

Lunch or Dinner: S/.20

(Chocolate also wanted us to mention that the food is “95% natural and local” – we’re not entirely sure what that means but there ya go.)

How to Get There

Combi from Chivay:

If you’re in the plaza, put the church on your right and walk one block down the street going out of the middle of the plaza. There is no schedule, but it’s best to go earlier in the morning and on Mondays or Thursdays. Be prepared to wait for a while, but don’t leave the corner, because once the van arrives, it fills up quickly.

Hike from Yanque: If you’re in the plaza in Yanque, facing the church, Coporaque is uphill behind you. Head that way and you should cross the Cervantes Bridge (suspended bridge over a deep part of the canyon). From there, head up and to the right and just follow the road. The ridge should be on your right. You can also always ask people for ‘Coporaque.’

Community Contacts

The Chocolate Family

Horses, Lodging, Volunteering

(His name is technically Dionicio Mamani Cutipa, but he prefers to go simply by “Chocolate”)

Cell: 9-5905-4513; 9-5868-9680

Email: familiachocolatecoporaque@hotmail.com

Josefina Bernan

Lodging, Horses

Cell: 9-5964-5849; 9-5893-4688

Email: wasihuerta_cabalgatas@hotmail.com

Map

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Coporaque

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Coporaque -15.628590, -71.645828 Coporaque is a cute, chill town about an hour’s hike from Yanque (or 20 minute combi ride from Chivay). The people are relaxed and friendly and you are never more than a five minute walk from a great view of the valley. This is a good town to stay in if you want to experience the Colca Valley surrounded by locals, rather than tourists.