2,380 m. /7,808 ft above sea level.
Located in Peru’s southwest, Arequipa borders to the north with Ica, Ayacucho and Apurimac, to the south with Moquegua, to the east with Cusco and Puno, and to the west with the Pacific Ocean.
Arequipa’s location partly on the coastal seaboard and part in the Mountains gives rise to a varied weather that ranges from very hot summers to extremely cold winters.
Arequipa spreads over an area of 63,528 km² and has a population of almost one million people. The capital is the city of Arequipa, located at 2,335 m.a.s.l., with beautiful architecture of lava stone, an extraordinary landscape and countryside, and a dry, mild climate.
A Brief History
Arequipa’s first settlements date back to six to eight thousand years BC, in the Paleolithic Period. Evidence is found in the cave paintings at Yarabamba, in the Pampa Colorada and Sumbay sites behind the Misti Volcano.
Arequipa is also known as the White City, for the white lava stone from the Chachani Volcano used in its buildings.
Main Attractions in Arequipa
Santa Catalina Convent
Peru’s most important and spectacular religious monument, was founded in September 1579 to honor Saint Catherine of Sienna and remained closed to to the outside world until 1970.
Main Square, the Cathedral and Town Hall
Beautiful buildings in a square surrounded by ashlars arcades.
Church of the Company
Founded by the Jesuits in the 17th century.
San Francisco Church
A Colonial architectural complex dating back to the XVI century.
The most important are Casa del Moral, Casa Tristan del Pozo, Casa de Irriberry, Casa del Pastor, and Casa Goyeneche.
Located 2 km from the city, this quarter is famous for its Andalucian style churches.
Yura Hot Springs
Located at 30 km from the city. Its waters come from inside the Chachani Volcano. Near the city of Arequipa are also found the healing water springs of Jesus and Socosani.
Located in a valley through which run the most crystalline natural waters in the area, Sabandia boasts a 17th century mill that still works.
Located in the province of Cailloma, at 3,400 m. deep, Colca is one of the deepest canyons in the world. The canyon is reached after surrounding the Misti and Chachani volcanoes and crossing the Pampa Cañahuas vicuña reserve.
Majes Valley and Toro Muerto
Toro Muerto is located in the warm valley of the Majes River, very close to the village of Corire. This is an area of volcanic desert in the midst of green countryside, where at least 2,000 rock carvings or petroglyphs representing hunting and scenes from daily life have been recorded. It offers exciting river rafting excursions.
The Cotahuasi River is born on the western side of the Andes in the Department of Arequipa. The Cotahuasi is one of the most spectacular canyons in Peru and in the world (3,354 m. deep) yet it is virtually unknown to modern man until 1994 when an expedition did the first descent.The lower canyon is an ideal place for commercial rafting, with rapids difficult enough to challenge the adventurous, yet with an abundance of unexplored archaeological sites.