The Cotahuasi Sub-basin Landscape Reserve is a protected natural area (ANP) located in the province of La Unión, located at 9 hours and 30 minutes by car from Arequipa. It has one of the deepest canyons in the world, the Cotahuasi Canyon, also called «The Wonder Canyon», with a depth of 3,562 meters.
The landscape reserve is a representative sample of the Tropical Andes of southern Peru, which, due to its location in the Southern Andes and in the upper parts of the Ocoña River, has unique geographic conditions that give rise to biological diversity of global importance in each one. of its twelve life zones, which are distributed in a space that goes from 950 meters above sea level and rises through the canyon to snow-covered mountains above 6,100 meters above sea level
In the surroundings of the canyon, temples and archaeological zones have been identified with extensive and ancient platforms that reflect the ingenuity of the native peoples in adapting to their environment while conserving the ecosystem in a harmonic way.
It has impressive landscapes surrounded by the Coropuna and Solimana mountains and the Sipia Waterfall, which has a free fall of 150 meters and forms a permanent rainbow to the delight of tourists who love nature tourism. It is a perfect setting for adventure sports such as trekking, canoeing, paragliding, hang gliding, mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, and horseback riding.
Among the important tourist attractions that the area offers is the Luicho Hot Springs Tourist Complex, which consists of three pools with waters that flow from the hill of the same name, which vary between 33 and 38 °C. They are known for their medicinal and relaxing properties, ideal for people suffering from stress and muscle pain.
There is also the stone forest of Santo Santo, whose extension is 5 square kilometers, at 4,200 meters above sea level, the Puyas Raimondi forest in the town of Lauripampa and the Giant Cactus forest of Judío Pampa in the town of Quechualla, a town that It is also famous for the vineyards and variety of fruits that it owns. The peculiarity of these giant cacti is that they measure approximately between 12 and 13 meters.
On the other hand, you can see several typical towns of the Peruvian highlands, with narrow streets, whitewashed houses and rustic balconies. It is important to note that the best season to visit the Cotahuasi Canyon is between the months of May and November, months in which the days are sunny, the nights are cool and there is little rain.