Tomepampa is a small village located about 10 hours by bus from Arequipa. Nestled in the depths of the Cotahuasi Canyon, it is rarely visited by Peruvians or tourists, but is surrounded by incredible natural beauty. While there is cellular service, wifi is sparse, and the town is quiet and peaceful after sundown.
From January to early March, Tomepampa is relatively quiet, as many families leave during the rainy season. The rest of the year, however, the village is vibrant and buzzing. It is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally in Tomepampa, and there are thousands of hiking, biking, rafting, and outdoor adventure options.
Housing in Tomepampa
Volunteers at Colegio Honofre Benavides will live at Casa Primavera, a hostel in Tomepampa. Casa Primavera is has cozy rooms and a rose garden in the central patio with a beautiful view of the canyon.
At Casa Primavera volunteers will have access to private rooms and bathrooms and a shared kitchen. The school is right down the road from the hostel, as well, only a three minute walk away.
Tomepampa is an adventurer's dreamland: take an afternoon hike up the canyon for a view of the town, or take a weekend excursion to hike or check out the nearby waterfalls.
One of Cotahuasi Canyon's most famous attractions, the Sepia waterfall measures an impressive 150 meters. Located only 10 km outside of the town of Cotahuasi, yet rarely frequented by tourists, this waterfall makes for an awesome day trip.
Reserve an afternoon to explore Luicho, the thermal baths right outside of Tomepampa. About a forty minute walk from the hostel, the baths are naturally heated and perfectly refreshing.
Cotahuasi Canyon is filled with remote hiking paths, waterfall excursions, and amazing views. While staying at Casa Primavera, you can call Percy, our resident tour guide and taxi driver, and he will give you a personalized tour of the canyon's best cracks and crevices.
Right down the road from Casa Primavera there is a small apiary owned by Marita's--Volunteers Peru founder--brother. During your stay in Tomepampa, take an afternoon to learn about bees, and maybe even try some fresh-off-the-comb honey.