Arequipa is a very prominent city in Peru and is right after the capital city Lima in terms of size and importance. The city has a very long history as it was established back in the 16th century by Garci Manuel de Carbajal, a man sent to the region by the conquistador Francisco Pizzaro.
The city is impressive through due to its looks and its location. Erected on volcanic grounds in the heart of the Andes Mountains, Arequipa is also referred to as Ciudad Blanca, or White City. The rock on which the city stands has a white shimmering glow in the morning light, which inspired the inhabitants and people moving to the location to give it this alternate name. One of the first things you will notice when you travel to Arequipa is the fresh air of the mountains which is not something you can usually enjoy in large metropolitan areas.
Because of its location, the most important attraction in Arequipa is the nearby volcanoes. They are called El Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu, and their heights are stunning if you want to trek across them. Part of the city of Arequipa is a tributary to the colonial architecture that can be explored and admired in the Yanahuara district. Do not forget to visit the Jesuit church called La Compania, as well as Andino Museum where Juanita, a well known mummy dating from Inca times, is exhibited. Not far away, you will also find monastery complex of Santa Catalina .
The views outside the city are quite amazing, especially given Arequipa is in close proximity to Colca Canyon. Here you can travel to watch the Andean Condors or you can simply visit the canyon for a little bit of hiking and sightseeing.
The Valley of Majes is another place where you can venture to from Arequipa. Rafting trips are quite popular in the valley and the tours are organized between Quiscay and Aplao. From the raft you will also be able to see the Jurassic site of Querulpa, where footprints of dinosaurs can still be seen. Do not forget to visit Toro Muerto which is covered in thousands of petroglyphes from the different cultures that once flourished in the area.
Another canyon, Cotahuasi, can also be explored. This is the deepest canyon in the entire world, followed by Colca. Here, hiking and bird watching are the most popular activities and you can also try exploring the natives' way of living, which is very well preserved.
In addition, there are many outdoor activities for tourists to get involved in while in Arequipa. River rafting, hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, paragliding, trekking, and many other sports are very widespread in and around Arequipa.
Arequipa has many strong points. You can take in the views, climb the mountains, engage in a river rafting adventure, or just observe the rich wildlife; regardless of what kind of activity you choose you will have a great time in Arequipa, Peru.