According to internetsailors.com, Arequipa is the second largest city, the capital of the province of the same name. The city is located in the southern part of the country, in a fertile valley at the foot of the dormant volcano El Misti at an altitude of 2,335m between the Atacama coastal desert and the eastern Andes mountain range. There are three volcanoes around Arequipa – Misti (5825 m), Chachani (6075 m) and Pichu Pichu (5664 m). In the Aymara language, “arequipa” means “a place behind a peaked mountain.” The majestic Misty Volcano can be seen from anywhere in the city. According to one version, Arequipa got its second name – “White City” for the beautiful houses made of white volcanic stone. According to another, there were so many Europeans in the settlement founded by the Spaniards that Arequipa was called the “white city” because of this.
The province of Arequipa has an ancient history. Proof of this are the mysterious rock paintings. The first Catholic settlers in the province appeared in the 16th century. In 1540, Francisco da Carvajal founded the city of Arequipa here, which was originally called “Villa Hermosa de Nuestra Señora de Asunta” or “Asunción” and served as a transit point for caravans that brought silver from the mines of Bolivia to Spain.
Arequipa can be called one of the most striking examples of Spanish colonial architecture in all of South America. The historic center of the city, which contains numerous colonial buildings built of white, volcanic stone in the Spanish or Andalusian style, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. In 1868, the city was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake and subsequently reconstructed in its original form.
Currently, Arequipa is an important commercial axis of the southern part of the country and is famous for its textile products from the wool of the southern camel breed (llamas, vicuñas), which are exported to many countries of the world. In addition, the city is proud of its cuisine and has very good hotels.
A few kilometers from Arequipa there are underground thermal springs recommended for the treatment of kidney, liver and skin diseases.
Arequipa serves as the starting point for sightseeing tours to the Colca Canyon – the second deepest canyon in the world after Cotahuasi, also located in Peru. In some depressions, the canyon reaches a depth of 3400 m. From the observation deck Cruz del Condor (Condor Cross, the depth of the canyon in this place is 1500 m) you can watch the majestic condors hovering over the canyon.
Arequipa is located 1020 km from Lima – the flight takes 1 hour, or by bus / car – about 14 hours, the flight from Cusco takes 30 minutes.
Arequipa has a sunny and dry climate. In the evening and at night it is fresh and slightly cool. Average temperature: during the day – +24°C, at night – +10°C. The rainy season is from January to March.
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