All about the town of Cabanaconde
The door to the Colca canyon
At first glance Cabanaconde is one of the many Andean towns scattered in the Andes Mountains. However, only 13 kilometers from there, the most famous viewpoint of the Colca canyon is located: the 'Cruz del Condor'.
If we take into account that the Colca Canyon is the second most visited tourist destination in Peru (the first is Machu Picchu, of course); We will realize that Cabanaconde is a point where many tourists gather. Aware of this, the inhabitants adapted and today they offer various tourist services such as lodgings, restaurants, cafes and more.
The population of Cabanaconde still preserves many of the traditions of its Collagua and Inca ancestors. Much of the people are dedicated to livestock and agriculture. At the top you can see the immense Mismi snow-capped mountain (5,597 meters above sea level). Some of its tourist attractions are the oasis of Sangalle as well as the archaeological complex of Ccallimarca, the tombs of Choquetito and the many viewpoints where the viewpoint 'Cruz del Condor' stands out.
Where is it?
The town of Cabanaconde is located in southern Peru, in the department of Arequipa and province of Caylloma. Its geography is characterized by the proximity of the Colca canyon and the snow-capped Hualca Hualca and Mismi. Cabanaconde is 3,287 meters above sea level.
How to get there?
The starting point to get to Cabanaconde is the city of Arequipa. From there you travel 215 kilometers by road (5 hours of travel, approximately).
If you choose to go with a tourism agency, you should only worry about boarding the tourist transport (usually at the door of your hotel), which will take you directly to Cabanaconde or Chivay, a nearby town.
If you decide to go on your own, you must take public transport at the land terminal of the city of Arequipa. The trip will take 6 hours for a cost of 6 dollars, approximately. In Cabanaconde you can find hotels, restaurants and other tourist services.
History of Cabanaconde
Cabanaconde and the other towns that make up the province of Caylloma were inhabited by the Cabana ethnic group(whose name comes from a Quechua word that means 'viewpoint'). The cabanas were annexed to the flourishing Inca empire under the Inca Mayta Cápac (1290 - 1320). After the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, the province of Caylloma enjoyed a great economic role due to the gold and silver deposits that were there. Already in the republican era Cabanaconde was founded as a district on January 2, 1857, under the government of President Ramón Castilla. Currently, thanks to tourism, this small town enjoys a leading role in the Arequipa region. According to the 2015 records, Cabanaconde has 1,420 inhabitants.
The Colca Canyon- The Colca is one of the deepest canyons on the planet. It has a depth of 4,160 meters. On its slopes there are different Andean towns of which Cabanaconde is perhaps the most famous. The reason? Well, this small town has several viewpoints such as: the Achachiwa viewpoint, the San Miguel viewpoint, the Umawasi viewpoint, the Anteana viewpoint, the Ichircate viewpoint and, the most famous, the Condor viewpoint. To appreciate any point and viewpoint of the Colca canyon, it is necessary to purchase the Colca Tourist Ticket whose cost is approximately 22 dollars (there are discounts for Latin Americans).
The oasis of Sangalle- Sangalle is a small oasis in the rugged geography of Colca. It is located just 4 kilometers from Cabanaconde. You get there through a small hiking trail full of beautiful landscapes. Once there you can enjoy a warm climate full of vegetation. In addition, you will be able to appreciate the Chuirca waterfalls, the Trojarumi rock and more.
The archaeological complex of Ccallimarca- This small enclosure shows finds belonging to the Cabana culture, which inhabited the town of Cabanaconde before the Incas. It is located in the hills adjacent to the town called: Cclalimarca grande and Ccallimarca chico. You can still see remains of terraces made by the cabins.
The viewpoint 'Cruz del condor'
The 'Cruz del Cóndor' viewpoint is the main tourist attraction in Cabanaconde. It is one of the many viewpoints arranged in Colca, with the uniqueness that it offers the show called 'the flight of the condor'. As its name suggests, several Andean condors crowd in the sky, a short distance from visitors. This viewpoint is the most visited of all. It is located just 4 kilometers from the town of Cabanaconde. To visit this and all the viewpoints and areas of the canyon, you must purchase the 'Colca Tourist Ticket'.
The town of Cabanaconde is a land of many traditions, which are reflected with more notoriety in its festivities.Of all of them, the most important is the religious festival in homage to the Virgen del Carmen. This takes place every July 16. The musical groups called 'caperos' stand out, who to the beat of drums, bass drums, cornets and cymbals make local residents and visitors dance. Also noteworthy are the traditional bullfights. The party lasts 3 days with various activities.
Cabanaconde has a cold temperate climate with temperatures that vary from a maximum of 19ºC. up to a minimum of 0ºC. The lowest temperatures and the few frequencies of rains are felt in the dry season (from May to October). On the other hand, in the rainy season (from November to April) the rains are more frequent.
The tours to the 'Cruz del Condor' viewpoint in Colca already include a visit to the town of Cabanaconde. The other option is to go on your own. To do this, you must take public transport from the city of Arequipa. You must also buy the 'Colca Tourist Ticket'.
Cabanaconde has a good hotel offer for travelers from all over the world. Some of the most famous are the 'Kuntur Wasi' hotel and the 'La Granja del Colca' ecolodge. Both have a structure in relation to the nature of the place. What's more, they have spectacular views of the Colca canyon and the surrounding mountains.
Tips for your trip
Cabanaconde is 3,287 meters above sea level. At that altitude it is common to suffer from the so-called 'soroche', also called altitude sickness. The usual symptoms are fatigue, nausea, and headache. How to reduce symptoms? Easy. It is necessary to acclimatize progressively to the high altitude. Drinking plenty of water, such as coca tea, also helps.
Cabanaconde is not the only tourist town in the so-called 'Colca valley'. Chivay, capital of the province of Caylloma, also has several viewpoints of the canyon as well as tourist attractions such as La Calera thermal baths, the Chivay planetarium, its colonial church and more. Chivay is located just 55 kilometers by road from Cabanaconde.