I along with a couple of Brits hired a guide to do a three day trek of Colca Canyon. The trek started out at six in the morning with a six hour bus ride down the bumpiest road I have ever been on to a small village called Cabanaconde.
The first day we hiked from the village down 3,000ft. into the bottom of the canyon. There are a few very small primative villages in the bottom of the canyon. The first night we stayed at a "hostal" in one of the villages. Basically, it was a mud hut with very saggy beds. The food was good and after the hike down, saggy beds didn´t matter.
The next day we hiked along the bottom of the canyon in the baking sun for a few hours through a couple of villages and stopped at the village of Sangalle. The hostal here had a very welcoming swimming pool that was fed by water coming down the canyon. We stayed the night here and woke up at 3AM to start the 3,000ft. climb (about two Empire State Buildings stacked on top of one another) out of the canyon. We started at 3AM to avoid the sun. It took about three hours to climb out of the canyon. The local villagers can do it in about an hour and a half. They basically run up and down the side of the canyon with their donkeys carrying heavy loads. Everything in the villages has to be either made on the spot or carried in by donkeys.
On the bus ride back to Arequipa, we stopped at a little town called Chivay for a couple of hours to soothe our aching muscles in the natural hot springs.
The views of the canyon were amazing and pictures just don´t do them justice, but I am posting them for you to look at anyway.