When travelers think of trekking in the Arequipa region, most only think of the trails winding through Colca and Cotahuasi canyons and the Valle de Volcanes. There are other opportunities, though, closer to the city where hikers can stretch their legsâ€”and that donâ€™t charge entry fees, like Colca.
Two miradores just west of downtown give splendid views of the volcanoes: one in Yanahuara and another called Carmen Alto (6.7 km / 4 mi north of Ca Puente Grau and Av Bolognesi; follow the signs).
In the Cayma district west of Arequipa, a 15-kilometer (9.2-mile) Inca trail runs through the Valle de Chilina, along west bank of the RÃo Chili to the Santuario La Virgen de Chapi de Charcani (General Varela 1070, Acequia, Alta Cayma). Along the way are waterfalls, and places to rock climb and fish. There is one campsite.
The Valle de Chilina may also be hiked along the eastern bank of the river. From downtown Arequipa, walk north to Parque Selva Alegre, turn left to the end of that road, then right at the end of that one. Continue straight and take the third path down. This road also leads hikers through a landscape of ancient terraced farm fields, forests and scrub-brush lands overshadowed by Chachani and Misti volcanoes.
Just to the southeast of Arequipa is the Ruta del Loncco, places where you may hike through the bucolic countryside, to waterfalls, petroglyphs (petroglifos) and traditional villages. Yarabamba (15 km / 9 mi from Arequipa) are the Petroglifos Gayalopo y Guanaqueros. A few kilometers to the south is QuequeÃ±a, where you may hike to the Petroglifos Cerro Boracho, TrompÃn Chico and Quebrada de la Zorra creek. Further south is Sogay, with waterfalls. In these towns, there are campsites.
The iPeru office in Arequipa can give more information on these hikes and suggest others you can do around Arequipa.
Hike, Day trip, Historical site, Camping, adventure, Lookout point, Nature trail
Minibuses for Yarabamba and QuequeÃ±a pass by Venezuela and Avenida Mariscal Castilla ($0.60). No public transportation arrives at Santuario de Chapi; youâ€™ll have to go in private vehicle or a taxi ($11-15 one way, up to 4 passengers).
With the hikes within the city (to the miradores and in Cayma), care must be taken. Assaults have occurred even against ArequipeÃ±os. Go with others and keep valuables back at the hostel. The hikes in the three villages south of the city are much more tranquil.
Caymaâ€™s Oficina de Desarrollo TurÃstico publishes a rough map of the route (Plaza de Cayma 408, Cayma. Tel: 054-254-648, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, URL: www.municayma.gob.pe). The other villagesâ€™ websites have more information about their attractions: Yarabamba (URL: www.peru.gob.pe/Nuevo_Portal_Municipal/portales/municipalidades/358/entidad/pm_municipalidad_tematicos.asp), QuequeÃ±a (URL: www.muniquequena.gob.pe) and Sogay (URL: www.sogayarequipa.com).
Relative price: Free
Travel Skills: None
You Need to Bring:
Bring along food (a picnic would be perfect) and water, sun protection (hat, sun screen) and good walking shoes. Leave valuables at your hotel.
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