Viajes y Turismo


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 Altitude: at 2.325m above sea level



The most common theory about the origin of the name Arequipa is that long ago the Aymara founded this place where they would build a settlement. In their language, Aymara, "ARI" means "summit" and "QUIPA" put back. In fact, the majestic volcano "El Misti" looks from Arequipa.

The Spanish reestablished the city on August 15, 1540. This date is still remembered by festivities in and around Arequipa with carnivals and fairs. The festivities take a week. The climax of the festival is Aug. 14 with a splendid firework on the Plaza de Armas.

Arequipa is located at an altitude of 2325 m in the desert mountains of the Andes. This beautiful city is built almost entirely of ashlar, a kind of white volcanic stone. This is why Arequipa is called the White City. With its one million inhabitants, Arequipa is the second largest city of Peru. The main location, the Plaza de Armas is the most beautiful country. The Cathedral is magnificent and shopping malls are in colonial style. It is the city of eternal spring.

Just south of the country, the department of Arequipa has a varied landscape ranging from snow-capped volcanoes and to the desert near the coast. The town of that name is surrounded by several volcanoes Misti, Pichu Pichu and Chachani. Has the peculiarity of having large white walls (due to the presence of a volcanic rock called Sillar) as is also called "the white city."


In Arequipa we see colonial style mansions and several baroque churches. Its cobblestone streets are lost monuments and buildings in Spanish style, as well as squares and beautiful courtyards. The Monastery of Santa Catalina deserves special mention and is a must for tourists.


Almost 4 hours of the city is the Valley and the Colca Canyon, where they can appreciate the typical corn, barley and wheat set as did the Incas to use the land.



Historic buildings in Arequipa


The Company

A church that offered enough resistance against earthquakes is "the Company". It is unknown when this building was established. At the entrance read 1698, but other parts of this Jesuit church was built from 1654. Because of its odd style for a visit to this church.


The Santa Catalina

By far the most interesting place to visit in Arequipa is the convent of Santa Catalina. Built as a town in a city in 1580 and expanded in the 17 century. This is probably the world's largest monastery. 450 nuns lived for more than 400 years, had no contact with the outside world. The inhabitants of Arequipa had no idea what happened between the high walls of the complex. There were many rumors and stories circulating about people. Santa Catalina is wrapped in mystery and silence until 1970 when a large part of the convent opened its doors to the public. Nuns still live in the northern area of the complex.

Residents and tourists can freely visit the rest of the complex, with or without a guide. Everything was beautifully renovated and the small streets and squares are full of colorful flowers and the walls are painted in fresh ink. The narrow streets brings you to the various parts of the convent passing picturesque square rooms with original furniture. You can still smell the atmosphere of the Middle Ages in many places, at the location where the nuns were washing their clothes and extensive library with an incredible collection of books. Unfortunately the library is always open to the public.


Visiting Times: The Convent of Santa Catalina is situated in the street with the same name and is near the main square.


La Recoleta

Chile River next to the Franciscan monastery is located Recoleta. The original part was built from 1648 and was completely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1687. Inside is a library with more than 20,000 books! The Franciscans were known for studying and teaching all his life. There are books of many centuries old. E oldest book dates from 1494. They are works of art of the period before and after the conquistadors and can be visited. The missionaries imported works of art and the Indians that were manufactured in the jungle.


Visiting Hours: The Recoleta, you can visit daily from 9 to 1 and from 3 to 5.




National Parks


Is eternal snow on the peaks of "El Misti", the "Chachani" and "Picchu Picchu". The coast is only two hours from the west and east is the surreal volcanic area of Arequipa is located. In the park national "Pampa de cañihua" paste lots of lamas and alpacas. The guanaco and vicuna are also part of the landscape.

This plateau is situated in unlimited 3.800m. The views are spectacular. Passing a small village Viscachani of the mountain, the road continues climbing to a plateau where little grows 4.800m. A very tough grass that grows 2 inches a year and a brown and moss reproduces the peripheral is the main vegetation. That few animals have adapted to these heights, the vicuna and llama, manage to eat.

Turning this plateau, brings in a valley where the road goes downhill spectacular Chivay village of the mountain. This place is the largest city in the Colca Valley. Hotels and restaurants offer beds and food. Next to Chivay hot springs are water natural volcanic heated water. About 600 years ago the Incas used this water to cure all kinds of skin diseases due to the green sulfur in the water. A simple but ingenious system of canals bringing water to 72 ° C large pools of 38 ° C. Swimming in this water is relaxing and a recommended experience while watching the huge mountains on the other side of the Colca River.



The Colca Canyon

Chivay is at 160 km east of Arequipa and is the darling of many tourists who go to the Colca Canyon. In the area people are proud to call this valley, the deepest in the world: a mountain ridge to the summit at 3,200 m of river. But this canyon is visited by many to see and photograph the world's largest bird, the condor.


In the deepest place in the canon, you will see the mysterious Toro Muerto. This cemetery of the Wari Indian face is built on a 90 ° steep cliff. It's hard to believe that these people brought their deaths here. It's even hard work to get there a professional climber. The dead were buried in a fetal position, like all over Peru in ancient times. "Men have to leave the world as he came," they said in the Bible not written.


Ten kilometer farther upstream the way you get to the "Cruz del Condor" where the Colca River is the 1,200 m below. On the other side of the valley is Mont Mismi with its summit located on the Colca 3.200m.