Welcome to ArequipaArequipa is a city of immaculate whiteness to sunlight, standing under bright and cheerful and clear skies of the southern Andes of Peru. It is the second largest city in our country and sits at 2,350 meters above sea level at the foot of the Misti Volcano. During his visit to the region will witness the history, beauty and excitement that surround the "White City", named for the color white ashlar (petrified volcanic ash) used in most of the buildings of yesteryear.
Arequipa's story begins thousands of years ago. From that time still remain important reminders that can be visited, as the petroglyphs of Toro Muerto (159 Km. West of Arequipa), representing figures of plants, animals, anthropomorphic and geometric shapes. In the caves of Sumbay enter an ancient cave art gallery (about 500 figures) that approach the vision of these men first began to see the world around us.
In the fifteenth century, the cultures of Collaguas and Cabanas, the major cultures of the region, were conquered by the Inca empire growing, who would leave some important examples of architecture as those found in Puerto Inca, a archeological site from where as archaeologists and historians, took fresh fish for the Inca through the Inca Trail that left from this port and arrived at Cusco.
From the Spanish founding, the city takes the look that today presents. In the historic center of Arequipa can appreciate the architectural style Arequipa, which was consolidated in the late seventeenth century, from the superposition of the Italian Baroque, Plateresque Andean Spanish and originality.
That merger we find buildings like the Convent of Santa Catalina, which was founded in 1580 and has an area of 20,000 square meters. The convent, where nuns still live, is a miniature walled city was closed to the public until 1970. It is divided into neighborhoods distributed similarly to the first neighborhoods of Arequipa. It also has streets, walkways, stairways and a plaza. One of the rooms has been refurbished as a gallery to display some paintings of schools Arequipa, Cusco and Quito.
Other good examples of colonial architecture is composed of the Cathedral, the first seventeenth century religious monument in Arequipa, located in the Plaza de Armas, the Convent of La Merced, which opened in the early days of the colony, and the Recoleta, founded in 1648 , which houses the Faculty of Missions a museum with objects alluding to the Franciscan missions in the jungle during the colonial period. The Santo Domingo Church dates from 1647 and still retains its original construction parts. The Church of San Francisco has a library of over 20,000 volumes and a full gallery.
This tour through the colonial Arequipa must include a visit to the traditional neighborhood of San Lazaro, located just five blocks from the Plaza de Armas. This old neighborhood of narrow streets, narrow passageways, small spaces and large homes, is the most representative of old Arequipa. Traditionally this would have been the site of the founding of the city.
In the Andean Sanctuaries Museum of the Catholic University of Santa Maria are the rest of the Lady of Ampato, an Inca mummy about 500 years old. These remains belong to a 12 or 14 years, according to experts who have been offered the Ampato Apu (Apu = mountain spirit), on top of which found their remains frozen. Ampato Volcano is also a great challenge, has a height of 6.288 and is temporarily inactive. From the summit, where we found the "Lady of Ampato", for a magnificent view of the Colca Canyon.
The Colca Canyon (3,400 feet deep) will get a good dose of excitement as the waters of the mighty Colca River are ideal for kayaking and canoeing. Following the route northwest find Cotahuasi Canyon, the deepest in the world, a place that dazzles with its scenic beauty and where it is also possible to practice various adventure sports like canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding and trekking.