We spent 3 days in Lunahuaná and still can’t believe how beautiful it is. The fertile green valley is surrounded by dusty desolate mountains and the contrast between the two does not seem real. There are plenty of tours offered from an insane amount of agencies squeezed into the small town of Lunahuaná. The rafting and canopy tours are the most popular but agencies also offer a “city tour” for around 25 Soles. This is the cheapest thing they have to offer and is pretty much for people who come here, don’t want to spend a ton of money but still want to say they did something. Well we did the city tour ourselves and it cost 1 Sole each (a completely optional cost). We believe this is the best way to see and really appreciate all of the unbelievable scenery around the region.
The “city tour” typically includes: La Casa Encantada (enchanted/haunted house), a picturesque suspension bridge, the very old Lunahuaná church, and a bodega (winery/distillery) tour.
Iglesia Matriz de Lunahuaná: This church – originally built in the 1600’s – is right on the main plaza of Lunahuaná. It’s impossible to miss if you’re staying in town so feel free to make this part of your tour or check it out another time.
Puente Calgante Catapalla: The bridge is the furthest “attraction” from Lunahuaná. It’s about 10km away near the village of Catapalla. We started off on foot after breakfast (with some sandwiches in our pack). It took us about 2 hours to find the village and at first we crossed the vehicle bridge as we were following the “Ruta del Pisco” map which is a little deceiving. If you cross this bridge take the gravel road right into the small plaza of Catapalla then turn right again to pass the church and continue along this road. You don’t have to take a detour through Catapalla though; you can continue on the highway until you find the foot bridge. We enjoyed the pretty little loop that only takes about 20 more minutes. While the bridge is sold as the main attraction to the “city tour” it’s sadly unimpressive. There is a restaurant and a few shops surrounding it though.
La Casa Encantada: About half way between Lunahuaná and Catapalla is the enchanted house. It looked a little dicey and we weren’t really interested in it so we opted to skip this (plus Rebecca is kind of a wuss and didn’t want to miss a few nights sleep due to amateur scare tactics). If you go, it will cost a few Soles, though we’re not sure how much exactly.
Bodega Tour: This region is full of pisco distilleries and wineries to tour. We took advantage of their free samples by creating our own tour and found each was run a little differently. The best was Bodega Los Reyes which is conveniently located between Lunahuaná and Catapalla. We recommend this bodega if you’re only visiting one. They will let you try all the piscos and wines for free. You can also wander around their property a bit to take a look at how it’s all made.
As you’ve realized by now, the “city tour” offered by the tour agencies is a complete rip off and no one should ever pay 25 Soles for it. However, we thoroughly enjoyed our day walking to Catapalla. The scenery was the main attraction and we feel like this mini adventure allowed us to enjoy it that much more.
Everything that we did was free. The reason our cost was 1 Sole each is because we took a collectivo taxi back from the bridge to Bodega Los Reyes where we started our pisco tour. If you set out early enough in the day to avoid the mid-day heat, walking back to Lunahuaná would be just as beautiful. Alternatively, you can pay a bit more to take a taxi both ways… create your own adventure!
Detour Tips: DON’T sign up for the city tour; DO wander through this stunning region and take in all of it’s natural beauty (and free pisco samples).