Things to Do in Arequipa, Peru

Published: 14th June 2011
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There are many things to do in Arequipa, Peru. Arequipa is Peru's second largest city. It was occupied by the Incas in the 15th century and was founded in 1540 by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, a Spanish emissary of Francisco Pizarro.

Arequipa is located in a volcanic area of the Andes and is also known as the "Ciudad Blanca" (White City), because a great part of the city is built with a volcanic pearly rock and has a shimmering white glow to it when looking at it in the early morning. Arequipa is surrounded by magical countryside giving it a refreshing, bucolic air.

The Top 5 Things to Do In Arequipa, Peru Are:

1) City Tour

Observe the volcanoes El Misti (5822m), Chachani (6075m) and Pichu Pichu (5571m). You'll visit the Yanahuara district that is home to excellent colonial architecture, the Jesuit church "La Compañía," and the Andino Museum with its famous Incan mummy "Juanita." You'll also take a trip back in time through the small streets of the fascinating Santa Catalina Monastery complex. UNESCO named the historic center of Arequipa a World Heritage Site in 2000.

2) Colca Canyon

This canyon is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. At the "Cruz del Cóndor" viewpoint you might be able to spot Andean Condors. The area offers great hiking and mountainous scenery. The two-day tour to Colca Canyon is very popular with tourists as they are able to see the principle attractions and hike through various parts of the area to enjoy spectacular scenery.

3) Valley of Majes Tour

The tour offers a rafting adventure from Quiscay to Aplao (1.40 minutes approx.) The Querulpa Jurassic sanctuary showcases dozens of dinosaurs footprints. Toro Muerto has about 5,000 petroglyphs from several cultures, and is the largest of its kind in the world.

4) Cotahuasi

Cotahuasi Canyon, who's maximum depth is 3,535 meters, is considered to be the deepest canyon in the world, with Colca Canyon being the second deepest. Hiking and wildlife watching are popular activities. Its isolated nature has ensured that its peoples' traditional customs have not been lost.

5) Outdoor Sports

Arequipa is a great area for outdoor enthusiasts. Locals and travelers alike engage in water rafting, canoeing, hiking, paragliding, horseback riding, mountain climbing, wildlife watching, swimming and bicycling.

One of the best places in Peru to enjoy the outdoors, Arequipa's breathtaking scenery, unique mountainous ranges, volcanoes and outdoor sports, make for an adventurous vacation.


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