Chivay is the capital of Caylloma Province which is one of the eight provinces of Arequipa.
It is located at an altitude of 3,651 meters above sea level. Chivay is called “little arequipa” by people of other villages. The main activity in Colca Valley is the agriculture so the people of other places come to Chivay to buy the things needed,to do businesses,etc and afterwars they go back home or by the contrary they take the local bus and they continue travelling to Arequipa.
The original name of this town was CHIWAY .The old farmers and peasants still pronounce the name that way.
According to Dr. Cesar Mayorga´s quechua dictionary the word CHIWAY means “place where love is made, place where the birds mate”.
But this name can also come from the quechua word CHIMPA which is an adverb of place that means “On the other side of the river”.
In those times Coporaque was the most important town so when they refer to the other town they call it CHIMPA (on the other side of the river) and with the pass of the time this word degenerated and turn into the verb CHIMPAY that means to cross the river with the the feet naked,to cross the river walking.But if we analize the geography of the place there is a gorge between Chivay and Coporaque which is deep and it would be impossible to cross it that way.
The mountain protector of Chivay is a volcano which is called QOTALLAULLI ,name that translated means PURPLE LAKE. Don´t forget my friends that the ancient inhabitants of these places before the arrival of the Incas were the Collaguas whose mother language was aymara.
As we said before there is sane rivalty between the locals and they make fun of other people who come from other towns.
Chivayenians are called for example:
CHIVAYEÑO CH´AFRA PHUKU that means “Chivayenian barley thrower”
CH´ULLA SEBADAQ QHEPANTA PUENTE INCA YAYQUQ that means that chivayenians are so stingy that because of a lost barley grain they go to the inca bridge located in Chivay and the commit suicide there.
TORRE PATAMANTA SEBADA WAYRACHI means that chivayenians clean the barley on the tower of their town.
If you are staying in Chivay you can have a walk and visit the inca bridge which is located in the area and then you cross to the other side and you can visit Sol de Sacsaywaman area. On the top of the hill you will see clearly a tower made of stone. Over there there are some paths that take you to a kind of amphitheather recently done by the authgorities where festivals and other kind of demonstrations are performed.
After the walk which is about 40 minutes you can drive directly to the hot springs where you can relaxing bath there. Good luck!