Yanque, 10 kilometers west of Chivay , is a simple town with dirt streets and a baroque church, Inmaculada Concepción, which was rebuilt in 1702 and has a mestizo facade carved with various saints, including Santa Rosa de Lima.
The main in-town attraction is the Museo de Yanque (Plaza de Armas, 9 a.m.–6:30 p.m. daily, US$4), which illustrates the area’s history through displays and videos.
From the east side of the Plaza de Armas, a one-kilometer path leads to an ancient stone bridge over the Río Colca. From the bridge, the adobe walls of Inca hanging tombs are perched on the cliff face.
Those with energy and two free hours can cross the Colca and climb up to the ruins at Uyu Uyu, where the Collagua lived before the Spanish forced them to settle in present-day Coporaque .
Return by walking over the car bridge just downstream of Yanque, where there are public hot springs (4 a.m.–7 p.m. daily, US$0.50). Or, if you can swing it, stop at the tubs of Colca Lodge near Coporaque  (free access with lunch or dinner, or US$10–15.)
The best backpacker hostel is the simple and clean El Tambo (San Antonio 602, Arequipa tel. 054/968-8125 or Yanque tel. 054/83-2174, hhostaltambo [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$5 s, US$10 d), whose rooms face a grassy garden.
Though a bit isolated on the road at the outskirts of town, Tradicion Colca (Colca s/n, tel. 054/42-4926, www.tradicioncolca.com , US$30 s, US$40 d with breakfast) has a charming feel, with comfortable rooms with large beds. The central stone building has a thatched roof, a fireplace, and a nice sitting area with games.
Eco Inn (Lima 513, Puno tel. 051/36-5525, www.hotelecoinn.com , US$55 s, US$65 d with breakfast) is four blocks from Yanque’s square and has views over the canyon. As of now, this choice is perfect for families, because the first floor has a king or queen bed, and the upstairs loft has twins, but there are plans to remodel and make all the rooms doubles.
Las Casitas del Colca (formerly El Parador del Colca) (Curiña s/n, tel. 084/24-1777, www.lascasitasdelcolca.com.pe , US$320 pp with full pension) is Colca ’s most elegant lodge. This Orient-Express hotel is a series of luxurious bungalows perched on a secluded bench above the Río Colca. Push open the door to your bungalow, and you will be welcomed to a sitting area with a fireplace and a plush, poster bed. This room, in turn, opens up on one side to a patio, complete with whirlpool tub, and on the other side winds into a designer bathroom.
The four-station Wellness Center offers a range of massages and therapeutic treatments, making this the perfect place for travelers in need of a little pampering and relaxation. You could easily spend a few days here, walking through the gardens, sipping Colca sours (made from the fruit of the Sancayo cactus), or gazing at the nighttime sky from your personal hot tub. César Torres, surely one of the friendliest and most professional hotel managers in Peru, can help arrange transport and other travel logistics.