Arequipa, the white city with an eternal blue sky
Birthplace of Mario Vargas Llosa and other illustrious Peruvians, Arequipa is a garden of colonial architecture, surrounded by the desert and protected by volcanoes, where you can spend a romantic, luxurious and relaxing stay in a wonderful natural landscape.
Villa de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora del Valle Hermoso de Arequipa "- this is the full name of the city, for all Arequipa - stands in a fertile green valley at over 2000 meters high surrounded by three giant volcanoes that stand out behind every glimpse of the city, the majestic Misti, the Pichu Pichu and the Chachani.
Capital of the homonymous department, it has been known since colonial times as the "White City" for its countless temples and houses built in sillar, a material between white and pearl from the petrified volcanic lava which, illuminated by the sun, gives a magical aura to the city.
The beauty and importance of its historic center, declared in 2000 by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site, is enriched by the Neoclassical Cathedral and by the long arcades that delineate the perimeter of the Plaza de Armas and, not far from it, there is the wonderful Santa Catalina Monastery, one of the most interesting places in Arequipa, founded in 1580 to be used by the cloistered nuns and considered a small city in the city.
Another aspect, perhaps not less important, for which it is worth visiting the Ciudad Blanca is its excellent gastronomy, one of the most varied in Peru, which can be appreciated in the so-called picanterías, starting with the rocoto stuffing (type of spicy pepper cooked in oven, stuffed with minced meat, spices, cheese, eggs and milk), followed by chupe de camarones (shrimp soup with milk) and adobo arequipeño (stewed pork with spices) and conclude with the queso helado (ice cream based on milk, cinnamon, coconut and spices).
Before leaving, however, do not forget to buy handicrafts and valuable objects, such as traditional alpaca wool clothes, sillar stone sculptures and leather objects.
Due to its position, Arequipa is an ideal starting point towards the wonders of nature that surround it, starting from the spectacular Colca Valley, north of the cities, a picturesque Andean valley dotted with terraces and snow-capped peaks, colonial villages of intact beauty such as those of Lari, Yanque, Cabanoconde and Sibayo, lagoons, singular eroded stone formations and the Colca canyon, whose depth is 3,400 meters. It is here that the majestic Andean condor reigns supreme which, if you are lucky, you can admire it gliding from the Mirador de la Cruz del Condor, at 4,350 meters, while going downstream you reach the Colca river, which gives life to an incredible landscape of gorges and steep walls, where you can practice many adventure sports.
Another beautiful excursion leads to the Cotahuasi Valley, an area declared a Landscape Reserve and custodian of a rich biodiversity and a variety of scenarios ranging from the Coropuna and Solmana snowfields, to the complex of thermal waters (Baños de Luicho) that reach temperatures above 40 ° C, up to the canyon of Cotahuasi, considered one of the deepest in the world, together with that of Colca.
And to dispel tiredness, take advantage of the thermal waters of which the region is rich or of relaxing treatments offered by two luxurious structures that arise in the area, such as the Las Casitas del Colca hotel or the Colca Lodge.
If you are undecided on where to stay in Arequipa, this guide to the city's neighborhoods will help you choose the Arequipa hotel that's right for you.
If you want to eat local cuisine you can visit these restaurants & gt; & gt; & gt; PERUVIAN RESTAURANTS. If you miss Italian cuisine, you can visit these restaurants & gt; & gt; & gt; ITALIAN RESTAURANTS
Pilgrimage that crosses the Arequipa desert to venerate the Virgin of Purification or Virgin of Chapi. On May 1st, pilgrims bring stones of different sizes that they leave before Chapi, thus forming the so-called "apachetas", which symbolize the sins of the faithful. During the night the image of the miraculous virgin in procession is expected.
It is the most important festival in the province which, from 1 to 5 May, celebrates the anniversary of the political creation of the province, with wine tastings and popular festivals, in addition to the practice of numerous sports activities such as mountain biking, free flight, rowing ( rafting), climbing and trekking.