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Arequipa information

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Home >> Peru Cities >> Arequipa Travel Information



Travel in Arequipa


Travel Arequipa: Sparkling in the sun, Arequipa is called the 'White City' because of the sillar, the white volcanic stone which renders the style of a building both modern as well as Spanish colonial. Peru’s second largest city (pop. 635 000) is surrounded by towering mountains including the 19 089-ft/5820-m volcano El Misti. The city itself is the home of the monastery of La Recoleta (museum and library) and several interesting churches, but its highlight is the Santa Catalina Convent.

It's nicknamed the 'white city', because many of the buildings in the area are built using sillar, a rock coming from some of the many volcanoes that surround the city including the towering El Misti. Ask for local help to identify the three volcanoes surrounding the city.

The city was founded by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal In the "Act of Foundation" of Arequipa, it can be read: " the name of its majesty Governor Francisco Pizarro, founded the beautiful village in the valley of Arequipa, in the Collasuyo section, above the river edge, in his name he put the cross, in the location signaled for the Church; He put the pike in the Plaza of the village, which he stated would do in the name of its majesty.
Is a large city in southern Peru and the nation's second most important city. It is also the capital of the Arequipa Province, and is 633.8 miles from Lima.
is located in the point where the central Andean area and the Andean south center are divided, The city lies in the highlands at the foot of the snow-capped volcano El Misti that is currently inactive, but erupted strongly between 1438 and 1471. and several smaller eruptions have occurred since then, recently in 1870. Arequipa has over 80 volcanoes.
Arequipa has many fine colonial-era Spanish buildings built of sillar, a pearly white volcanic rock used extensively in the city, and from which it gets its nickname La Ciudad Blanca ("the white city").
The historic center of the city was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2000, in recognition of its architecture and historic integrity.

Altitude: 2,380 meters (7740 feet) above sea level

Population: 972,000 inhabitants. The capital is Arequipa and has 750,000 inhabitants.

Weather: The average temperature is 20° C (68° F). The rainy season is from December to March


In the city:
The Main Square:
The Main Square, or Plaza de Armas in spanish is one of the most beautiful in Peru.

The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa ("Basílica Catedral",)
Located in the "Plaza de Armas" of the city of Arequipa, founded in 1612 and largely rebuilt in the 19th Century having been repeatedly damaged by earthquakes and fire. Inside is fine Belgian organ and elaborately-carved wooden pulpit, is the most important church of the city and Diocese of Arequipa since it is the base of the Archbishop and Metropolitan council. The cathedral is also considered one of Peru's most unusual and famous colonial cathedrals since the Spanish conquest

The Santa Catalina Monastery
Was founded in 1579 only 40 years after the Spanish arrived.
It was opened to the public in 1970 after 400 years as a cloister.
It is one of the most peaceful spaces. It's really more of a separate city within a city, created over time and reconstructed due to earthquakes and tremors over the years. The nuns who lived here (and continue to live here today - there are about 30 active nuns) were given isolated quarters that allowed them to pursue their lives of solitude and devotion to God. As you walk through the heavily walled 5 acre complex, you'll pass by these individual quarters, each with their own charm. There are separate courtyards (the Courtyard of Silence, the Courtyard of Oranges, etc) and there is even a cafeteria where you can sample the foods prepared here by the nuns.

San Francisco. A Colonial architectural complex from the sixteenth century.

Franciscan Monastery of La Recoleta. Founded in 1648.

Colonial mansions. The most important are Casa del Moral, Casa Tristán del Pozo, Casa de Irriberry, Casa del Pastor, and Casa Goyeneche.

The Ice Maiden better know as the Juanita Mommy:
is the first frozen female mummy to be found anywhere in the Andes. The amazing preservation of her garments will allow archaeologists to study the colorful, finely crafted, alpaca wool clothing of a high status female for the first time.
You can see it at the Museo Santuarios Andinos
Before the find, in the March 1992 issue of National Geographic. Reinhard had explained his interpretation of the Inca perception of the Andes To the people living near the Andes, the mountains' effect was immediate and direct. The mountains could kill with avalanche, rock fall, lightning, blizzard, or wind; or they could bless the people with rain-filled clouds. The Inca trekked 20,000 feet into the clouds, and gave a few of their precious children to the mountain because the mountain was god.

The Colca Canyon:
Is one of the worlds deepest canyons formed by an enormous seismic fault between the Coropuna (6425m) and Ampato (6325m) volcanoes. a tour can be fit into one day, it's best to go for at least 2 days, staying the night at the village of Chivay (3633m) the first village on the edge of the canyon. Remember to bring a swimming costume and towel for a visit to the thermal springs on the outskirts of Chivay. (Open 0600 - 1900.) In addition you'll have great views of the smoking Sabancaya volcano, one of the America's most active volcanoes, as well seeing the many traditional pre-Inca agricultural terraces which line the steep valley sides. The high point of the tour is an early morning visit to La Cruz del Cóndor (3320m), a 1½ hours drive from Chivay. From this natural observatory you can see into the deepest part of the canyon, and witness the majestic flight of the Andean Condor, rising on the morning thermals (at around 9am)

Yanahuara. At 2 km (1.2 ml) from the city, this quarter is famous for its churches built in Andalusian style.

Cayma. At 3 km (1.8 ml) from the capital, this district is very well-known for its picanterías (typical local hot food restaurants). There is also a beautiful seventeenth century church, and an extraordinary panoramic view of Arequipa.

Yura Thermal Baths. Located at 30 km (18.5 ml) from the city, the waters come from inside the Chachani volcano. Near the city of Arequipa the curative water springs of Jesús and Socosani are also found.

Sabandía, a valley with the most crystalline natural waters of the region. There is a seventeenth century mill still working.




arequipa city tour
 Arequipa City Tour

In the afternoon visit the White City, pick up from your Hotel, the tour starts around 3:00pm and include the visit to the Santa Catalina Convent, the Cathedral, and the Main Square


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colca canyon arequipa travel
 Arequipa Colca Cayon 2 days 1 night

Pick up from your Hotel to depart to the Colca Canyon, on the way you will appreciate the variety of native animals as the Vicuñas, vizcachas, Llamas and the most impressive Volcano viewpoint.


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