The small town of Chivay is most people’s entry point into the Colca Canyon. It sits near the Colca Valley’s wider end, the mouth of the valley, and from here a small road travels a slow couple of kilometres to Cabanaconde via several other small villages.
Chivay is a quiet place when groups of tourists aren’t visiting. A very simple town, it has only been in recent decades that electricity has reached these parts. Living here are the Collagua people, one of the pre-Inca ethnic groups that inhabited Arequipa. More and more people are making their living through tourism, opening tourist shops, hostals and restaurants.
Nearby are the Calera hot springs, very clean and in very good condition to target foreign tourists. For those hiking in the area, it is a necessary stop.