The valley of volcanoes in the Arequipa region is within easy reach of Andagua and is an incomparable nature reserve. Here stand the witnesses of the volcanic activities that have exercised their forces of nature in this Angen region of Perú since time immemorial. Here you can enjoy extensive walks through the valley and across the volcanoes, experiencing a wide variety of flora and fauna with their various interesting animal species, as well as the opportunity to experience a region not yet explored by tourism. It should be noted that you do not expect luxurious accommodation here, but the hotels of the usual Peruvian category, which we in Europe rather regard as Hostal (Herrberge), but which have their special charm due to their rather familiar contact with the visitors.
How to get to Andagua
With an SUV or off-road 4×4 vehicle
In our opinion, this is an attraction for all travelers who are particularly interested in the environment and nature. Why is that? There’s a simple reason for this. The journey to this place takes many hours, and if you don’t use a four-wheel drive vehicle, the journey will be rather painful. The route to Andagua leads along the not completely developed roads. Depending on the season, snow and ice can form on the roads and paths, which means that there are a lot of roads and paths in Perú that have not yet been built and are therefore very uneven. There’s one pothole chasing the other in some areas. They’ll have a hard time skipping some, or finding another way around it.
There is a local bus to Andagua that runs once or twice a day on this route. The farmer will also certainly try to avoid at least the deepest potholes for his travelers, so that you don’t have to lift too high from the seat. But certainly a city bus tour in a big city of Perú is a better massage for certain parts of the body. However, here we are certainly talking more about a very strong massage, in which the masseur does not understand you and continues to work on you very powerfully. Forget that you can sleep on this ten-hour bus ride. It’s just not macharic. But in the end it is only one of two ways to get to Andagua. We advise against it for the known reasons rather.
You will surely want to ask us whether it is worthwhile to take such torture on yourself for the arrival and departure if you do not have your own vehicle. As far as we’re concerned – definitely yes!
However, we definitely point out that this will certainly be a part of the journey, which she will remember with a special smile on her face in later stories about the journey. We therefore recommend that travellers with higher comfort requirements do not visit the Andagua Valley.
Is trekking in the volcanoes (in Andagua) suitable for all people?
Certainly not! This place is ideal for lovers of landscapes that want to explore Perú without mass tourism and for those who appreciate the local way of life of the locals.
What you can do
In the valley of the volcanoes there are many different hiking trails. It is therefore an ideal place for everyone who loves mountain hiking. Although the trails are usually unmarked (except for the viewpoints), you can easily get to amazing places with the help of a local guide. Ask your accommodation for more information. Outside the city you can visit the Hermitage and the "Plaza de toros”;. We personally appreciate the special features of the twin volcanoes Huanacaure and the views during the hikes.
Andagua is also known in the region for its horse breeding. If you like riding, we can also recommend you to ride a few days on the paths around and on the volcanic landscapes. For this you can inquire locally directly.
In the place Andagua: In this city is around the main square with its particularly nicely cut cypresses, which are cut with different animal and object forms not very many offers available. The baroque Mestizenkirche, a few small shops of the locals, a few small restaurants that offer rural food and that was it. The place is very quiet and for the recreation-needy traveler interested in migrations a good alternation to the touritischen strongholds, like Cusco or Arequipa, with which you can go the tourists at no place out of the way.
Peruvian local cuisine
If you would like to get a taste experience of a special kind, you are also in good hands here, because the small restaurant kitchens have something special to offer, which you can certainly not get in this form in a 5-star hotel. Pure taste experiences and after the extensive hikes here, you will also receive portions that you are unlikely to manage.
Something about the geology of this area
The volcanic area lies in the western cordilleras, on a 60-80 kilometre thick earth crust. Volcanic activity leading to the formation of Miocene calderas and hydrothermal ores. The volcanoes are built on Jurassic Yura Group sandstones and Pleistocene floodplains.
The number of observed single centers varies, about 121 lava domes and 46 cones formed from the ejecta material of the volcanoes. Many of them date from before the last glaciation. The youngest of them are in the Andagua Valley.
It is reported of an outbreak on 6 March 1913 and activities during the Incan period. The volcanoes have shown no further activity since then.