Colca Lodge: Disconnect, relax, and enjoy
Travelers in search of family time or a romantic Peruvian getaway need look no further than Colca Lodge. Snuggled in the Colca Canyon about a 4-hour drive from Arequipa, this rustic, eco-friendly lodge features a series of natural hot springs and a luxurious spa. The opportunity to spot Andean condors in flight lure many travelers to this region of Peru, but the serenity of the Colca Lodge experience makes a prolonged stay worthwhile.
The Colca Lodge experience
The drive through Aguada Blanca National Reserve from Arequipa to Colca Lodge builds in elevation. Covering an area of some 370,000 hectares, parts of the reserve reach a dizzying 6,000 meters above sea level. Distant volcano peaks and populations of vicunas, alpacas, and llamas add to the dramatic scenery along the way.
Arriving to Colca Canyon is your first opportunity to see the iconic agricultural terraces that color the surrounding landscapes shades of green, yellow and brown. From the small town of Chivay, it’s about a 20-minute ride to the picturesque property of Colca Lodge.
A friendly Colca Lodge staff member ushers guests to the principal lounge and bar area for a complimentary welcome beverage before taking a guided tour. I opted for coca tea, a natural remedy that has been used for centuries in the Andean region to aid with altitude acclimatization. (Read Travel sense: How to avoid altitude sickness for more helpful tips.)
Colca Lodge is located far from noisy city traffic and guests have true “peace and quiet”. The surrounding beauty, unlimited access to natural hot springs, and its location along the Colca River are unique elements that create the perfect environment to disconnect during your stay.
The 45 spacious rooms at Colca Lodge are rustic in style and have unique views of the nearby river. In addition to 27 standard rooms, families can stay in a larger suite or couples can stay in the bridal suite that has its own Jacuzzi filled by water from the natural hot springs.
A room at one of the family suites…
A look at the matrimonial suite…
Its natural hot springs and Eco-spa are two key elements of the Colca Lodge experience that make a guest’s stay extra special. These features not only maximize tranquility, but set the lodge apart from other hotels in Peru.
Natural hot springs
Guests of Colca Lodge have access to a series of riverside pools filled with heated thermal water. A short walk to the riverbed from your room delivers you to these privately owned hot springs (not open to the general public). Each of the pools vary in temperature, ranging between 97 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit (36 and 39 degrees Celsius), and the river provides the perfect soundtrack for your moment of zen.
Insider tip: Each guest will find a white, plush bathrobe in their room. This bathrobe will be your best friend when you exit the steaming pools after the sun goes down and the outside temperature drops significantly. In addition to the bathrobe, I also suggest bringing a pair of sandals.
Treat yourself to a heavenly experience at Colca Lodge’s Eco-spa. The professional staff specializes in a variety of 1-hour massages and facials. After your treatment of choice, enjoy the spa’s gorgeous outside hot-tub whose lithium-rich thermal water promote relaxation.
Insider tip: I suggest scheduling your spa treatment in the evening so that you can enjoy the hot-tub at night. On a clear night you can look up and admire the star-filled sky. In one word: spectacular!