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Arequipa and the Colca Canyon

Southern Peru’s Arequipa and two canyons, Colca and Cotahuasi, offer plenty to keep travelers occupied for several days, with spectacular scenery, fascinating history and a large number of outdoor activities.

 

Arequipa is held in high regard for its colonial charm and rich cultural heritage, and is a designated UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Beautiful colonial churches, convents and mansions, perfectly framed by majestic snow-capped mountains, set Arequipa aside from its neighbors. Arequipa is also a gastronome’s paradise, with unique regional dishes and fine wineries.

 

The countryside around Arequipa provides plenty of activities for adventure junkies, including climbing snowy volcanoes, rafting in the Valle de Majes, and plenty of day hikes in the countryside and the Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca.

 

Colca Canyon is famous for its natural beauty, cultural history and adventure trekking. The canyon was largely forgotten until the late 1970s when the area’s first road was built. Due to their relative isolation from the modern world, the people in this region have maintained their ancestral traditions and ways of life. A great way to explore the region is on foot, via the numerous trails that wind their way between villages and to ancient ruins. The most popular point to view the canyon and its famous feathered residents is Cruz del Cóndor.

 

Cotahuasi Canyon’s raw beauty and isolation attracts off-the-beaten-track travelers. The landscape is strewn with wildlife, waterfalls and pre-Columbian ruins. The canyon’s river has Class V rapids awaiting rafting enthusiasts.









02 Jun 2012

Check out the best of Arequipa's Historic Sites

Monasterio de Santa Catalina

103477Like a city within a city, the astounding Monasterio de Santa Catalina is probably one of Arequipa\'s best architectural sites. With architecture reminiscent of Andalusian Spain, the convent contains ...
Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

La Compañia

103479Founded by Jesuits in 1573, La Compañía is a large church composed of three naves and a cupola. This Arequipa attraction is best known for its elaborately carved stone entrance and the Chapel of ...
Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

Museo Santuarios Andinos

103480This museum, dedicated to high-altitude archaeology and its pioneer Johan Reinhard, is most famous for housing the mummified remains of 13-year-old Juanita. Shortly after arriving in the area, the ...
Museum, Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

Catedral

103476Framed by the majestic snow-capped peaks of El Misti and Chachani, La Catedral is truly one of the most spectacular sites in Arequipa. While construction of the church began in 1544, much of its ...
Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

Colonial Mansions

103484Arequipa boasts some of Peru\'s best preserved and finest colonial architecture. Because most casonas were built as single story structures, they have withstood earthquakes that leveled other ...
Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

Hiking around Arequipa and the Colca Canyon

Valley of the Volcanoes

Characterized by an unearthly, ostensibly endless lava field dominated by the majestic snow-capped peaks of Coropuna and EscrĂ­bano, the Valley of the Volcanoes (Santuario Nacional Valle de los ...
Hiking, Trekking, Climbing
Colca Canyon, Peru

Colca Canyon Trekking

Colca Canyon has a good range of trekking opportunities, from easy day hikes to longer, more intense treks in and around the canyon.One of the most popular treks—and one done on most ...
Hiking, Trekking, Climbing
Colca Canyon, Peru

Misti

103488Misti (5,828 m/19,000 ft) is the closest volcano to Arequipa, only 17 kilometers (10.5 mi) away. Its nearly perfect cone offers a fairly straightforward opportunity to summit a high peak, but its ...
Hiking, Trekking, Climbing
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Chachani

103489Less experienced trekkers and climbers seeking to summit a high-altitude peak should head to Chachani (6,080 m / 19,821 ft). Chachani’s rocky surface makes for more stable summit than Misti. ...
Hiking, Trekking, Climbing
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Sangalle Oasis Trek

The popular Sangalle Oasis trek begins in Cabanaconde and plunges 1,200 meters (3,936 ft) to Sangalle (1,900 m / 6,232 ft altitude). In contrast to chilly Chivay, the climate here is subtropical and ...
Trekking
Cabanaconde, Colca Canyon, Peru

Andagua Trek

The Cabanaconde-Andagua Trek through the northwestern sector of Colca Canyon and to the Valley of the Volcanoes is challenging but worth the effort. The route passes through unspoiled scenery with ...
Trekking
Cabanaconde, Colca Canyon, Peru

Volunteering and more...

Mirador de los Andes

Mirador de Los Andes, also known as the Patapampa Pass, is a breathtaking lookout point between Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca and Chivay. Most tours will stop here for a little while to ...
Other Activity
Colca Canyon, Peru

Cultural Centers In Arequipa

144458 Being a university town and cultural mecca, Arequipa has many home-grown cultural centers: Biblioteca Regional Mario Vargas Llosa — Calle San Francisco 308. Complejo Cultural Chávez de la ...
Other Activity
Arequipa, Peru

Aguas Termales De Yura

After trekking through the canyons or climbing Misti, your muscles just might need some pure relaxation. The hot springs (aguas termales) at Yura could be just the remedy you need. A handful of ...
Other Activity
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Campiña Tour

The Campiña Tour takes tourists out of the White City and out into the countryside to see various attractions there. Stops include to three miradores (lookout points) around the city, to take in the ...
Other Activity
Arequipa, Peru
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