Arequipa to Chivay

Arequipa is the colonial-era capital of Peru’s Arequipa Region. Framed by 3 volcanoes, it's filled with baroque buildings constructed from sillar, a white volcanic stone. Its historic center is anchored by the Plaza de Armas, a stately main square flanked on its north by the 17th-century neoclassical Basilica Cathedral, which houses a museum displaying religious objects and artwork.

🙂 Spectacular scenery including smoking volcanoes!

🙁 Altitude – flying in from sea level not a great idea!

Departed hotel at 6.30. for airport – even traffic at that time of the morning! We were charged $60 for excess luggage grrrrr… Easy flight and met by Yvette – a lovely little lady tour guide whose only command of the English language appeared to be ‘Colca Canyon – two ‘ours’!!! Driver had more English and was called Lucio. When I tried to find the link to the little local company who arranged this trip and the transfer to Puno for us, it no longer worked so I assume that they are now out of business. The scenery is simply spectacular with huge volcanoes towering in all directions.

The historical centre of Arequipa is an outstanding example of a colonial settlement, challenged by the natural conditions, the indigenous influences, the process of conquest and evangelisation, as well as the spectacular nature of its setting. A great place to just wander in wonder…

We visited the Monastery of Santa Catalina. The Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena was built in 1579 and is located in the historical centre of Arequipa, Peru. It served as a cloister for Dominican nuns from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, and still houses a small religious community today. The complex, which stretches over 20,000 square meters, is built from volcanic sillar stone and is organised into cloisters, living quarters, a plaza, a gallery, and a chapel.  So picturesque – we really enjoyed our guided tour here.

We had some obligatory tourist photos with ‘locals’!

We enjoyed a big lunch.

We then headed on one of the most scenic roads one can travel on to Chivay which has awe inspiring views of volcanoes spewing ash! Many Vicunas on the way as well as a fox and a rabbit! The vicuña or vicuna is one of the two wild South American camelids, which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes, the other being the guanaco, which lives at lower elevations.

Suffering from a headache and nausea on arrival at Casa Andina Classic Colca. This is a delightful rustic hotel but unfortunately we all felt rather unwell and went to have a nap. We then enjoyed a walk around Chivay before heading back to the Casa in excitement for our trip to the Planetarium – we were so excited to go star gazing! Unfortunately after a 30min wait we were told that the man had not turned up – quite disappointed. But watched a lady sewing an intricate garment in poor light on her sewing machine. We headed to bed for a much needed early night…

Go Back to: Lima

Go to: Ballestas Islands

Go to: Colca Canyon

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