Arequipa



 

 

           Do you know what you would like most in Arequipa? The color of the building! All the buildings are made of white rocks; in Arequipa. Theses stones are from the volcano El Misti. (Don't worry this volcano is currently inactive.) So this city gets a nick name. It is called - "White City". I am sure you will like this city from the moment you get in. Plaza de Armas of this city is best in Peru. Also you can visit the Catholic colonial-era Convento de Santa Catalina. It is around the Plaza de Armas, so you can visit this place easily. But you come to Arequipa not to visit Plaza de Armas or Santa Catalina convent. You are here actually to visit Colca Canyon, or El Misti or Chachani. Colca Canyon is deeper than grand canyon. So certainly you will like to visit it. Chachani is; a high mountain, it is 6000 meter high. If you like to climb mountain, you may go for this one. And the third interesting item is El Misti. It is a volcano. You may not get chances to climb volcanoes all the time.
 

How to reach Arequipa

By plane
It may be expensive, but much better to reach Arequipa by plane. Bus or train is not comfortable, if you compare with plane, especially in this route. LAN Peru, Aero Condor fly from Lima, Juliaca and Cuzco. Flight Duration from other cities :
 

 LIMA- AREQUIPA 55 Minutes
CUSCO-AREQUIPA  30 Minutes
JULIACA-AREQUIPA  20 Minutes


By bus
You can reach Arequipa by bus, but it may take long time. From Lima you need around 15 hours to reach Arequipa. If you plan to visit from Cusco, still it will be 10 hours, and from Nazca, it is almost a15 hours journey . Ormeno and Cruz del Sur provide better services in these routes.

LIMA - AREQUIPA 1,020 km
CUSCO -AREQUIPA   623 km
 PUNO- AREQUIPA   296 km
 ICA- AREQUIPA   711 km
 NAZCA-AREQUIPA   567 km


By train
You can reach Arequipa from Juliaca, Puno or Cusco

CUSCO- AREQUIPA 642 km 17 HOUR
JULIACA- AREQUIPA 304 km 9 HOUR
PUNO- AREQUIPA 351 km 10 HOUR


Where to visit

The Colca Canyon:

The Colca Valley is an area of astounding scenic beauty, with giant Andean terraces and a deep canyon that reach a depth of 3140 meters. Once thought to be the deepest canyon in the world and twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, but nearby Cotohuasi Canyon is actually deeper at 11,488 ft (3501m). Along the way visitors can enjoy unique natural sceneries, as well as animal life; such as herds of Vicunas (a wild relative of Llamas and Alpacas) and various types of birds, of which stand out the giant hummingbird, eagles, gooses and the mighty Andean Condor, which can usually be spotted at the "Cruz del Condor". There are many adventure tours organized in the area.
A journey to the Colca Valley takes at least 4 hours throughout high Andean plateau, reaching at one point a high pass of 4800 meters (so take care with altitude and cold), which offers fine views of the volcanoes. You'll have to pay an entrance fee when arriving to
Chivay, a nice and very friendly town at the beginning of the canyon, with good hotels and hostals. Look around for the towns with a lot of local color, and very cheap handicrafts and garments. If traveling during the southern summer, the views are stunning thanks to the abundance of greenery; there is a significant risk of rain though.

Chachani:

Chachani  is 6057 meters above sea level. Arrange transport with one of the adventure tour guides in town and be prepared for a 2-hour bumpy, swerving, scary drive around sharp curves up steep mountain roads. The base camp is over 5000 meters and the views are spectacular. If you are well-acclimated and have gear (ice axes and crampons) you should be able to summit from high camp in just over 8 hours. Otherwise just hike up the switchbacks to high camp (don't stay there, you can't sleep well at that altitude. Heed the mountaineer's motto: "Hike high, Lie low") and then on to the col, from which you can see the beautiful view of Arequipa and surrounding mountains. The trek beyond can be dangerous if you're not an experienced mountaineer.

El Misti:

El Misti is 5822 meters above sea level. It is a 2 days climb. There are a lot of agencies in Arequipa offering the climb for around $50 US. First night camps at approx 4600m so it gets very cold. You wake up at 1am to make the summit for sunrise. Not at all a technical climb, you can pretty much walk to the top. It helps to be acclimatized as you can get pretty breathless up there.