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|Peru Travel: Arequipa and the Grand Colca Canyon of South America
Author: Jonathan Hudson
Arequipa is a colonial gem located in the south of Peru. Being
Peru's second city, it was initially an isolated town until the
construction of a railway connecting it with the world and fueling
industrial development. In close proximity to the town are the great
sights of Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world.
located relatively close to the equator and so is less variable
to climatic change throughout the year and Arequipa, being located
7,808 feet (2380 meters) above the ground, gives the city all year
round spring like weather. Arequipa itself sits in a fertile
green valley and is graced by an overarching volcano, El Misti, that
has provided many of the materials used to build the city. The city is
known as the ‘white city' due to the fact that many of the buildings
were constructed using the light colored stone called sillar from the
Arequipa's Colonial Sights
city's colonial heart is around Plaza de Armas, a beautiful green
filled square with flower beds, palm trees and benches for people
watching. All of the city's famous colonial buildings are in walking
distance from here. You can take guided open top bus tours from here.
From the plaza you can see the great natural wonders that surround the
city. Other sites include the Santuarios Andinos Museum, which holds
the remains of mummies including the well-preserved "Juanita", and the
wondrous Santa Catalina Monastery, which once catered to the daughters
of the wealthy, who were permitted to live lavish lifestyles after they
entered this nunnery. The convent was closed to visitors until 1970's.
Santuarios Andinos Museum
Santa Catalina 210
Santa Catalina Monastery
Santa Catalina 301
(54) 229 798
Inca and Pre-Inca Attractions
region is home to a number of pre-Inca and Incas sites and attractions.
Many first time visitors to Peru have heard of the Incas, but the whole
Andean region was home to a number of similarly spectacular cultures
and societies such as the Huari, Tiahuanuco, Chancay from before the
reign of the Inca Empire. Arequipa's Catholic University Archaeology
Museum is home to a number of artifacts, textiles and ceramics that
have been recovered from the region.
far from Arequipa one can take a tour of the Colca Canyon, which is
considered by scientists to be 10,470 feet (3,191 meters) making it
twice the depth of the grand canyon in the USA. It is a truly majestic
sight. The fact that it is off the beaten path and the area's
remoteness, has kept many of the traditional Andean villages intact
with local women still wearing traditional dress. Tours are available
for a day, but increasingly adventure travelers tour the area for
longer and sometimes camp out in the canyon to make the most of the
exploring the Colca Canyon you may be graced by the opportunity to see
the majestic Andean Condor- whose wingspan measures up to 18 feet. A
good tour would pass by the Crus del Condor on the Canyons south west
rim. The best time to see the condors is early morning – about 9am in
the dry months of the regions (from May to December).
About the Author
This guide to Arequipa and Peru vacations was written by a Peru travel expert at Peru For Less, specialists in high value, fully customizable tours and packages.