Arequipa

After traveling along the coast of Peru for a few days we began to make our way into the mountains. This would be our first taste of the Andes – where we would end up spending the next couple weeks in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.

Arequipa is a place that probably deserved much more of our time than we gave it. The city is a perfect mix of Colonial and Modern that Peru has mastered. Arequipa is Peru’s second city – around 900,000 people live here – and as a result is much less hectic than Lima. We essentially had one day to wander around the city and take pictures, and most of it was spent in the historic old town.

Arequipa sits at 2300-meters above sea level. We needed to begin our acclimatization to the altitude and prepare for our upcoming 5-day trek to Machu Picchu. Our main purpose for our short stop-over in Arequipa was as a base for doing the Colca Canyon Trek, 160-km away.

We did enjoy our short stay here. The city is easy to explore, the views were spectacular and the weather was great. Most importantly, the food was amazing. Our first meal was at a small local place that was packed full of locals on the Saturday afternoon that we walked by. We chose to eat here because it was busy, but once we got inside realized we must have been the only tourists there. It was probably one of the top 3 meals we had in Peru.

The day after our trek, we rewarded ourselves at a trendy craft beer and pizza joint nearby the Plaza de Armas. We earned it after a grueling 2-days spent Hiking in the Colca Canyon.

One of the most interesting things for us – especially based on the pictures we took – was Volcan Misti and its perfect cone that dominates the skyline of the city. It last erupted in 1985. This 5822-meter stratovolcano can be seen from pretty much everywhere. Next time we go back to Arequipa, we plan to climb it!

Our time in Arequipa was short and sweet. We spent a night here on either end of our Colca Canyon Trek, and most of the time was spent just relaxing and enjoying our surroundings. We had a tight timeline to stay on in order to get to Cusco in time for our 5-day trek to Salkantay.

Arequipa:

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Posing for a picture in front of Misti. 2017.

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Doorway. 2017.

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Arches. 2017.

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Locks. 2017.

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Volcan Misti looms over the city of Arequipa. 2017.

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Arequipa Central Plaza. 2017.

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Central Arequipa. 2017.

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Misti in the background. 2017.

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Central Arequipa. 2017.

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