Discover the white city, Arequipa
Arequipa, the "White City", is a magnificent city with white sillar stone buildings backed by the impressive El Misti volcano. In fact, UNESCO has declared the heart of Arequipa a World Heritage Site. Arequipa's fascinating buildings built out of white volcanic rock will leave you breathless.
During the 15th century the region in which modern Arequipa is found was inhabited by Aymara Indians who were later ousted by the Inca. Arequipa was established by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal on 15 August 1540. Evidence of Spanish rule is seen in the cities noteworthy architecture. Arequipa was somewhat isolated until 1870 when a railroad leading to Tacna was laid. This opened up trade routes for Arequipa. Later on the city was linked to the Pan-American Highway and has since flourished into a commercial hub.
Begin your exploration of Arequipa at Plaza de Armas. Gardens situated between the sillar buildings and a central fountain provide a relaxing setting. Arequipa Cathedral will catch your eye. The Cathedral was built in 1656 however it was severely damaged by fire in 1844. After being rebuilt it once again fell, this time to an earthquake in 1868. Once again the Cathedral was rebuilt. Following an earthquake in 2001 repairs were made to Arequipa Cathedral. Within the cathedral you can view an organ dating back to 1870. La compañía is a Jesuit church built in 1698. Beside the church are Jesuit cloisters with fascinating carvings and gargoyles.
Monasterio de la Recoleta was established by Franciscans in 1684. The monastery houses a grand library with more than 20 000 books and other documents. There is also a museum in the monastery exhibiting mummies, artifacts and religious art. Monasterio de Santa Catalina is constructed purely of sillar stone. The monastery was built much like a small town with a plaza, church, cemetery and houses. Museo Santuarios Andinos is a museum centered upon the Inca Empire. Among its displays you will discover artifacts and mummies found high up on the surrounding volcanoes.
Arequipa's most awe-inspiring sight is the Coca Canyon they second deepest in the world. At some 3400m deep, the canyon has formed due top a seismic fault. Colca Canyon has been populated for thousands of years by groups such as the Inca, Collagua and Cabana. It is advisable to make a two-day trip to the canyon so as to take in all there is to see. You are very likely to the amazing Andean Condor during your visit to the canyon.
Arequipa caters well for tourists with a number of high-quality facilities. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of Arequipa's restaurants. Arequipa's restaurants offer a great selection from traditional dishes to Chinese and steak houses. From basic lodging to 5-star hotels, Arequipa has numerous types of accommodation to choose from. Arequipa's hotels are known for their excellent service, fantastic facilities and welcoming atmosphere.
Arequipa is truly a unique holiday destination filled with beauty and life.