Chivay or Cabanaconde, or even another small village? Colca Canyon has many accommodation options. If you want to go hiking or trekking, Cabanaconde will be the best choice in my point of view. There are many accommodations in the village, though. So, which one should you pick? I show you my personal highlight, where you should stay at Colca Canyon.
Why staying in Cabanaconde?
This is a simple answer: Plenty of trails start in Cabanaconde. In addition, viewpoints such as San Miguel, Tapay, and Cruz del Condor are accessible within an hour (by foot or by bus).
We went to Colca Canyon to go hiking and to see the Andean condors. When it came to the decision where to stay at Colca Canyon, the accessible trails were most important to us. Therefore, we picked this cute, little village. Cabanaconde is also the last stop with the local buses (Reyna, Milagros, Andalucia)
Note: You can also stay in Chivay, but it is approx. 2 hours away from the trails into Colca Valley and viewpoints.
Where to stay in Cabanaconde?
We picked the Casa de Santiago for two nights. It offers great views of the mountains and is located at the trailhead to Sangalle (The Oasis).
The rooms are great, clean and comfortable. We had a private bathroom with 24hr hot shower. You will need a hot shower after hiking or during the rainy season – believe me!
Like almost every place, they offer breakfast and dinner. The breakfast is a good buffet with bread, meat, cheese, jam, coffee, tea and fresh smoothie-like juice (really yummy!). They will prepare eggs for you fresh once you sit down at the table. If you book the room on Booking.com, the breakfast is usually included in the room rate.
The owner of the place only speaks Spanish (often a little too fast). So, be prepared to show off your Spanish vocabulary and listening skills (if you need to refresh or learn it, try Duolingo). He was really helpful with planning the day. They start serving breakfast at 6:30 so that you can catch the first local bus to Cruz del Condor at 7 am, or that you can start hiking early.
The WiFi was fast once it was working. I wouldn’t count on it though. It can happen that there is a reception problem. However, Casa de Santiago has WiFi in general. Maybe we just picked the wrong day. If you are using Claro on your phone, don’t think you’ll get internet. I had GPRS, not even an E…
Depending on the season, you may book your room in advance. However, they had a lot of free rooms in mid-February because it is the rainy season. It might be different in high season. Get more information about the best time to visit here. I always like to book the first room in advance so that we don’t have to walk around. This way we can just arrive properly and settle down.
Pachamama: Another great place to stay at Colca Canyon
This hostel is a great place to stay if you want to get the hostel feeling. The Pachamama has plenty rooms (private, double, dorms) and a little bar/restaurant that opens at night. We enjoyed some Pisco Sours and dinner there. The food was pure deliciousness! They offer a variety of dishes from pizza & pasta to alpaca. The atmosphere is cozy enough so that you will get in touch with other travelers. You might end up finding a hiking buddy there.
We also got to know the owner – awesome guy! That’s why I had to mention the Pachamama although we didn’t stay there.
They offer trail maps to their guests (or for 10 Soles for other people).
Pachamama also offers some activities such as biking or climbing and day trips to the Laguna Mucurca and more. So, it’s definitely worth to stay there or give it a visit while in Cabanaconde.
All in all, you cannot go wrong with staying in Cabanaconde. I would highly recommend staying the first night in the village, especially if you arrive around noon or later. Don’t start hiking into the Colca Valley too late. This can be dangerous!