Peru’s Southern Volcanoes – Cordillera Volcanica

PER-15 / 12-day trip / Grade: PD

PEAKS: Chachani Volcano (6075 m) – Coropuna Volcano (6425 m)

Peru's Southern Volcanoes

The “Cordillera Volcanica” is within the five major mountain range is Peru and the Southern most of them all, located close to the city of Arequipa. This range has the third highest summit in the country: Coropuna volcano (6425 m), as well as a wide repertoire of high volcanoes, many of them with very good access to mountaineers. Due to the volcanic nature of these mountain, most of them have a conic shape and, therefore, offer high altitude ascents but not technically difficult; making them a perfect place for those who want to try high peaks for the first time or trekkers eager to get higher. Anyway, for those looking for more challenging climbs, there are also good summits to try luck on. On top of this spectrum of mountains, the famous Colca Canyon is located right at the foot of these giants, making it one of the deepest canyons in the world and, as part of the acclimatization, there is a visit to this amazing place and also to the base of Nevado Miami, one of the main sources of the Amazon River is.

Day 1 Arrival in Lima, Peru
Day 2 Arequipa Full day City tour (2335 m)
Day 3 Colca Canyon (3635 m)
Day 4 Acclimatisation tour: Nevado Mismi (5672 m)
Day 5 Cruz del Condor & Chachani base camp (5175 m)
Day 6 Climb: Chachani volcano (6075 m)
Day 7 Arequipa (2335 m) – rest day
Day 8 Coropuna’s base camp (5150 m)
Day 9 Coropuna’s high camp (5554 m)
Day 10 Climb: Coropuna Volcano (6425 m)
Day 11 Back to Arequipa (2335 m)
Day 12 Departure
Day 1

Arrival in Lima, Peru
Reception at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Night in hotel.

Day 2

Arequipa Full day City tour (2335 m)
Arequipa the second most important city in Peru, known as the white city for the light colors of its colonial facades, due to the material extracted from “El Sillar” quarry. Also with a reputation as a cultural hot spot, having many of the countries best Universities and cultural movements. In the morning the group will be picked up for a guided city tour in the well preserved colonial downtown. During the tour there will be a stop at the lovely “Plaza de Armas” (main square) to see some of the best examples of the beautiful architecture of its glorious colonial time. The Cathedral is also worth a visit, being a great example of the Church’s wealth and power. The Jesuit “Compañia de Jesus” church’s quarters is a great colonial building in very good conditions. There will be a visit to one of the most interesting religious places: The Santa Catalina de Siena convent, built in 1579 and considered the most important colonial construction in the city. Here women from different social backgrounds enter to follow a live of devotions and isolation, never to leave again. The convent is a city within a city and a good example of how social difference where present even in such a place, reflected in the private cells where the nuns lived. It is also a great religious art museum.
The tour will visit, maybe the most interesting museum: “Museo de Santuarios Andinos”, which houses the mummy known as “Juanita”, the body of a sacrificed Inca young girl found in the summit of the Ampato volcano. The incredibly well-preserved state in which she was found, has been a great source of information for the scientist, plus all the archeological artifact that surrounded her and the other mummies.
There will be free time in the afternoon to enjoy the city by own hand, a good opportunity to walk around the streets and plazas in the historical district. The “Mirador de Yanahuara” is a perfect spot to end the day, watching the sun set from this vintage point overlooking the city and the Misti and Chachani volcanoes.
Night in hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 3

Colca Canyon (3635 m)
Morning departure from Arequipa, driving (3 h) towards the Colca canyon. The road trip goes over the highlands passing by the Chachani volcano and heading Northeast into the Aguada Blanca y Salinas National Reserve, where it is possible to see Vicuñas, Llamas and Alpacas grazing in the arid highland. Continue to the “Mirador de los Volcanes” (4866 m), highest spot along the road, where there will be a stop to appreciate some of the high volcanoes of Cordillera Volcánica as: Hualca Hualca (6030 m), Sabancaya (5950m), Mismi (5672 m), Ampato (6288 m), Chachani (6075 m) and Misti (5825 m). The Mismi is worth a special mentioned, as it is this mountain that has the honor to be appointed as one of the sources of the Amazon river. Then continue descending to the town of Chivay, the most important town in the Colca canyon and where lunch will be held. There will be time to walk around the place, before driving down to the opposite side of the canyon to visit the archeological ruins of Uyo Uyo. After this activity, few minute down to the lodge.
Night in hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 4

Acclimatisation tour: Nevado Mismi (5672 m)
Today’s aim is to reinforce the acclimatisation before starting the climbs. Therefore, the day’s program will be to visit the Nevado Misti (snow cover), located on the northern side of the Colca Canyon, above Chivay. The Misti has been confirmed as one of the main sources of the Amazon River and it is possible to visit the spring. For this porpoise, departure will be around 8:00 AM diving back to Chivay and from there take the road eastwards and after 1,5 h, there will be a secondary dirt road that ends at the Mismi’s parking place (4800 m). A 20 min easy walk up to the source of the one of the many rivers that will eventually give birth to the greatest river on earth. If the weather is good, it is a perfect spot for a picnic. After lunch, there will be a short acclimatisation walk, to improve the process. Once back at the car, return (3 h) to the lodge in the Colca canyon.
Night in hotel.
Ascent: 200 m & Descent: 200 m / Highest altitude: 5000 m / Activity duration: 3 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 5

Cruz del Condor & Chachani base camp (5175 m)
Departure around 7 AM making a brief stop at the town of Yanque, where there is the option to see the traditional local dance called: Wititi (the love dance). Then continue on a road that runs parallel to the Colca river, down to the famous “Cruz del Condor” view point. This place is where the wide canyon turns into a narrow gorge of almost 1000 meter deep and the best spot to see the condors flying. In the morning is the best time, due to the ascendant thermal currents, which create the perfect scenery for these amazing bird to fly. It is a unique experience!
After this stop, drive back to the high plateau by the same road to Chivay and then up to the “Mirador de los Volcanes”. At an intersection, about 2 thirds of the way back to Arequipa, there is a dirt road (1 h) that goes to the head of trail at 5060 meters. Then a easy 2 hours hike to base camp, located on the Northern flank of the mountain at an altitude of 5175 meters. The rest of the afternoon will be to rest and get ready for the next morning climb. The guide will help with all the preparations and will provided all the needed information for the ascent.
Night in tents.
Ascent: 115 m / Highest altitude: 5175 m / Activity duration: 2-3 h / Distance: 2.7 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Climb: Chachani volcano (6075 m)
The wake up call will be around 1:00 AM aiming to leave the camp around 2:00 AM. Chachani’s ascent is 907 meters in an average 6-7 hours climb. The ascent begins crossing an almost flat area to reach a well marked trail over a sandy section which gains altitude quickly. Most of the climb goes over rocky and sandy areas with different inclinations. The switchback on the trail help to gain altitude in a relative short time. About the time when reaching the upper ridge, the dawn will begin and the view over to the Ampato, Coropuna, Urbina, Misti and Sabancaya volcanoes is outstanding. After the ridge and just before the summit, there is one of the craters, a place with something of a moon like landscape. Few meters above, the crosses that indicate the highest point of the mountain. From the top, there is a great 360 degrees panoramic view to all the major summits and down to The Valley; the city of Arequipa is visible in all its extension with the “puna” (semi desert highland) in the background.
The descent follows the same trail until a point, where a more direct route losses altitude fast until base camp. In average, it takes around 2 hours to complete the descent. Once in base camp, a short brake to recover energy, while the staff pack the camp down. Then another 1-1,5 hours, on the same trail as the day, before to the parking place. A 3 hours drive back to Arequipa to the comfort of a hotel and lower altitude.
Night in hotel.
Ascent: 900 m / Descent: 1015 m / Highest altitude: 6075 m / Activity duration: 10-12 h / Distance one-way: 2.7 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 7

Arequipa (2335 m) – rest day
Rest day in Arequipa, to enjoy the city and a great offer of restaurants, handicrafts shops, bars and coffee places.
Night in hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 8

Coropuna’s base camp (5150 m)
Departure will be around 9:00 AM, driving Northwards to the next goal: Coropuna volcano, the third highest mountain in Peru and the highest volcano in the country with 6425 m. The volcano is located on the North most end of the Volcanic Range and to get there the trip is about 280 km. first on a good road that crosses a flat desert area, descending into an oasis like farmland, by the margins of Maja River, which is the same Colca River with another name. The river crossing is at the town of Punta Colorada, which is the lowest altitude in the entire program with 664 meters. From this point, the road begins to ascent to the town of Chuquibamba (2945 m), the last big town in the area, and the start of the dirt road. After 30 minutes drive, on the highland, the first close sight of Coropuna and its long and extensive glacier. It takes about 1,5 h to reach base camp (5150 m), located at the foot of the volcano. The vehicle drive all the way up. There will be no physical activity on this day.
Sunsets from base camp are very impressive and a great view to the neighboring Solimana volcano (6065 m), the most technical climb on the Cordillera.
The day’ trip takes between 6-7 hours.
Night in tents.
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

Coropuna’s high camp (5554 m)
A relaxing morning at base camp and after a good breakfast, the team will get ready for a 2-3 h trek to Coropuna’s high camp. The hike follows a trail through the moraine by a series of ridges until the high camp, located on a great sandy little valley well protected from the wind. After lunch, there will be a briefing on next day’s climb and a practice with the technical gear. All with the aim to have the best options on the ascent to the highest volcano in Peru.
Night in tents.
Ascent: 404 m / Highest altitude: 5554 m / Activity duration: 2-3 h / Distance: 2.2 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 10

Climb: Coropuna Volcano (6425 m)
Coropuna’s Climb is not technically difficult, but it is physically demanding and the altitude plays a key roll during the ascent. The acclimatization archived in the previous days, will be determining for a good attempt.
Start time is around 2:00 AM, but it can be modified according to the team physical capacities and level of acclimatization. Once on the march, the ascent begins almost right away heading up to a the rocky ridge. Reaching the ridge is one of the three steep sections of the climb, having to find the way through a maze of big rocks. Once on the top of the ridge, it get notably easier, ascending up to about 5850 m, where the team will gear up for the glacier crossing. From this point, the guides will find the best way avoiding an icy area by traversing right and then back left to the upper end of the rocky ridge, being this the second steep section. After a good rest, will retake the ascent by a steep slope, the third and last steep section, doing some short switchback until reaching the plateau from where the summit will be visible and it will take about 1 h to cover an almost flat terrain, stand on top of the third highest mountain in the country.
This climb takes around 7 hours, there are few crevasses, but in general terms it is a very safe summit day for such a high mountain.
Descend back to base camp will take about 3-4 hours, taking a short break at the high camp to regain strength, continuing down to base camp for a last night in the mountains.
Night in tents.
Ascent: 871 m / Descent: 1275 m / Highest altitude: 6425 m / Activity duration: 12-14 h / Distance one-way: 3.7 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 11

Back to Arequipa (2335 m)
Easy going morning at base camp. After breakfast, the staff will pack down the campsite and prepare the vehicle for the trip back to Arequipa (6-7 h), making a lunch stop at the town of Corire in the Majes River valley. Arrival in Arequipa in the late afternoon, for a last evening in the second most important city in Peru.
Night in hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 12

Pick up at hotel and transfer out to Arequipa’s Airport (1 h), domestic flight to Lima for an international connection or domestic flight to any other destination in the country.
End of services.
Included meals: Breakfast


PER-15 – Price per person on SHARED INTERNATIONAL GROUP with fix departure dates. Dates will be 100% confirmed once the minimum number of people is reached (3 pax) – Prices valid until 31.12. 2018.

Price per persons traveling in a shared international groupComing soon
Private porter during the trek – Carries up to max. 20 kg.Coming soon
NOTE: The price per person is based on sharing Twin room and tent. For single room and/or tent, please request the prices.

PER-15 – Prices for PRIVATE GROUP / To request prices, please click on the BOOK TRIP bottom on the right sidebar and fill the information.


  • Local English speaking UIAGM certified mountain guide from day 3 to 11
  • Private transportation throughout the entire program
  • City tour in Arequipa with English speaking guide and entry fees
  • 1 night in shared double room hotel in the city of Lima
  • 3 nights in shared double room hotel in the city of Arequipa
  • 2 nights in shared double room hotel in the city of Chivay
  • High quality mountain tents in campsites
  • Campsite equipment with dinning tent and chair
  • Cook for the campsite
  • Porters for common campsite/climbing equipment (Not for personal equipment)
  • Complete first aid kit and communications
  • Entry fee to the national parks and natural reserves
  • Meals as specified in the day to day itinerary


  • Domestic and international flights
  • Porters for personal equipment
  • Personal climbing and camping equipment
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list

LIMA: Costal del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport or similar

AREQUIPA: Hotel La Casa de mi Abuela or similar

COLCA CANYON: Hotel Colca Canyon Lodge or similar



Colca Canyon, Misti & Chachani Volcanoes:

Coropuna Volcano:

Tags: Climbing, Peru, Arequipa, Lima, Colca, PD, PD grade, Coropuna, Chachani, Cordillera Volcanica, 9, Chivay, Condor, Cruz del Condor, Mirador de los Volcanes, Mismi