5 March, 2014

Adventure in the Sabancaya

The sun arises in Arequipa as we get ready to head toward the Sabancaya (5976 sea level), a volcano located in the high area of the Colca Valley. Its name – Sabancaya –  means “tongue of fire” in quechua , and it is considered among the most active volcanoes in Peru, having had it last activity in July 2013. Approaching its domain is an exciting experience and an adventure we highly recommend as a different way of sightseeing Arequipa.


This trek is done at +5000 MASL, and even though is not required any special technique to make it to Sabancaya’s summit, it is essential to be in a good physical condition, get previously acclimated to the altitude, and have the right equipment for the outdoor conditions of that area.

That is why we would like to suggest a two-day itinerary -minimum time- to embark on this tour to the Sabancaya. Later on we will also explain how to get to the city and what things you’ll need to bring to enjoy this experience.

Day 1

After breakfast, we leave the White City of Arequipa -known for its buildings of ashlar- in direction to the Colca Canyon, to the place known as “Patapampa ” or Mirador Volcano , from where you can appreciate the Cordillera de Chila and the peaks of the stunning volcanoes Ampato, Sabancaya, Hualca Hualca, Misti, Chachani and Mismi. After a 5-6 hours ride by car , we arrived at the main camp, located at 5200 meters above sea level, the starting point of our adventure and where we will spend the night. It is recommended to bring warm clothes and a sleeping bag because the temperature drops at night.

Day 2

Early in the morning we get ready to get to the top of Sabancaya, 5976 MASL, a journey that will take us about 5 hours of an arduous trek, but with beautiful panoramic landscapes and clear skies. After reaching the summit, it is time to take a breath and relax; we can slowly integrate and wonder at the breathtaking view of the snow around, especially Ampato – where it was found the Mummy Juanita – . We can eat a small snack of nuts or an energy bar and drink water to recover. Then we begin our descent.

 This is what you need to get to Sabancaya:

  • Sleeping bag -10 º C (it can be rented for $ 5 a day)
  • Backpacks (70 lt . Minimum)
  • 4 Lt of water per person (minimum)
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • Walking sticks (optional).
  • Raincoat (it is rainy season from December to April)
  • Comfortable mountain shoes and water resistant
  • A complete change of clothes
  • Thermal jacket and pants
  • Lantern
  • Hat or cap
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks: chocolate, dried fruit, power bars, biscuits, etc.
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra money (Soles)

To contact a tour operator to take you to Sabancaya, please request information on our front desk at Tierra Viva Arequipa Plaza.

To get to Arequipa:

Arequipa is one of the most important cities of Peru, with intense tourist and commercial activity. To get from Lima we recommend taking flights that depart early in the morning, like LAN, Taca and Star Peru – flights depart every other hour and the journey takes around 1 hour – . The price range is approximately $160 per person. You can also travel by bus (14 hours) paying an approximate rate of $80. We recommend Southern Cross, that leaves in the afternoon and arrives in the morning to Arequipa.