Blogs from Arequipa, Peru, South America - page 9

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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa May 26th 2012

At 2,380 meters above sea level and surrounded by three impressive volcanoes, Arequipa is Peru's second most popular city among visitors (after Cusco). The Plaza de Armas is not only one of the liveliest but also one of the grandest and most beautiful of Peru. The cathedral dominates one side of the plaza whilst elegant colonial arcades complete the square. Look up and you see the ice-covered cone of El Misti, an ice-capped, dormant volcano towering over the city. Little remains of the original Inca city, but it is still gorgeous. The colonial architecture is a heady blend of Spanish, Moorish and mestizo influences. Francisco Pizarro, leader of the conquistadors, called Arequipa Villa Hermosa (Beautiful City). With its ornate buildings and perfect climate – 360 days of sunshine per year – it is not h... read more
Piranha, Arequipa
Hospital nurses
Historic library, Monasteria de la Recoleta

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon May 25th 2012

So 27 hours after we set off from Huaraz we arrived an hour ahead of schedule into Arequipa... These Cruz del Sur buses rock!!!! A short taxi ride later and we were being shown around our new home for the evening Arequipa Backpackers..... After seeing the upstairs roof terrace, downstairs garden complete with hammocks and gas heater for keeping the chill off in the evenings, huge kitchen, 2 DVD Rooms, Pool Room, Play Station Room, 3 PCs...... All for the bargain price of £5.50 per night.... Oh and to quote... 'we're sorry we don't provide breakfast but we do offer fresh bread daily, which is complimentary'.....it didn't take much thinking about.... We booked for another night! By 1pm we were heading out to explore.... Arequipa's a really pretty place, surrounded by volcanos and snow topped mountains, ... read more
Volcano Misty
Peruvian Flag
Main Square

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon May 7th 2012

I am writing this entry sat almost alone in the worlds deepest canyon, the Colca. Valley, high in the Andres at 3500 meters. Snow capped mountains and volcanos in the distance. lush green valley wall and far below me a river of which I can just here its sound. Above me two Condors are circling, catching the thermals created by the sun and the valley. Thirty minutes ago there were over 200 tourists here.but they have now left and it's just me and the magnificent, butt ugly Condors. Oh and Peruvian women selling their wares, and they don't count.So what made me get out of my pit at the unholy hour of 2.45am following a great barbecue the night before? Condors and apparently ... read more
condor time 2
Condor with canyon.
the crew

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa May 6th 2012

We arrived at the cemetery bus station in La Paz finally after a puncture en route in the taxi and the bus was just about to leave. This meant the only remaining space was in the front with the driver, George basically sitting on the engine. It was a fairly hair-raising journey, as all of them have been, but this was slightly more scary because we could see everything we were about to crash into. We checked into a hostal in Copacabana, had supper and nodded off. In the morning we decided to go down to the lakeside and do something vaguely aquatic. In the end we chose fishing and were promptly rented a rowing boat and two rods and pointed in the direction of where there might be some 'truchas' (trout). George rowed out there ... read more

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa May 4th 2012

Some things you may not know about Peru. The Incas were originally Japonese monks. The Inca civilisation invented ink. Peru means share the love. Peru is home to only 3 people. I find it har... read more
Guinea pig
Peru food
with Walter the host

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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon May 2nd 2012

We've had some early starts on this trip, but this one really takes the biscuit. 2.30am, the alarm goes off and it feels like we've barely had time to fall asleep. Which might be because we barely have had time to fall asleep. Lying awake in the dark, I wonder why do we do this to ourselves. Wanting to make the most of our few days in Peru before we continue north to Colombia, we've arranged to go on a three day trip to Arequipa province's famous canyon country. I certainly hope it's worth it - I don't get out of bed at 2.30 in the morning for just anyone. Three in the morning and the streets of Arequipa are dark and deserted. Out of absolutely nowhere a minibus appears. We get on and sit down ... read more
Nothing but greens...
Aptly named Cruz del Condor
Canyon del Colca

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa April 25th 2012

Alright folks I went to Machu Picchu. AH-MA-ZING!!! I now understand what the big deal was all about. Seriously, incredible, I mean words don't even describe it... the history, the views, it's just-- majestic. I would say it definitely counts as something you should do before you die (not to be morbid haha). I went with little Julia, the younger Julia (not my roommate) that was actually living in the Home. I'll be sure to post pictures. On the way to Machu Picchu, you pass through the city of Cusco, it's like included in any tour you purchase. Super cute city. It's very different from Arequipa; it's colder, and wetter but also greener. It was awesome, it was really touristy, but it was still fun to explore somewhere new. Did some serious shopping... get excited ;) ... read more
Cusco City
Traditional Dress
Big rocks

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa April 21st 2012

The road from Punta Arenas to Arica has taken us the entire length of Chile, and now it really is time to leave. A scant few miles to the north of Arica lies the Peruvian border, and beyond that a vast new country to explore. However, we're only going to be spending a few days in Peru - this time around, at least. While in San Pedro de Atacama, we booked flights to Colombia, at the very top of the continent. We then plan to swing southwards in a rough "C" shape, passing through Ecuador, and to visit Peru properly from around July. The reasons behind the rather odd itinerary are purely climatic - July and August will be a better time to do some hiking in the Peruvian Andes, which after the wonders of Patagonia ... read more
Plaza de Armas, Tacna
Do not adjust your sets!
El Misti looming over Arequipa

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa April 11th 2012

We arrived at Hostel Santa Catalina at about 7:30 in the morning. And this is something we have not really talked about, but is worth mentioning here. The check-in/check-out process/times for hostels is remarkable. You could never check in to a hotel in the US at 7:30 in the morning. It just is not an option. Santa Catalina, however, had a room pretty much ready to go for us. I am assuming the room had been occupied by people who went out on one of the early morning tours (read as early as 2:00 AM). The hostel setup was really nice with great views from the rooftop deck. We soaked those in before setting off on a self tour of the city. One of our Peru books had a short walking tour that highlighted the 18th ... read more
Volcano view from hostal roof deck
Flooding
Main cathedral

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Chivay April 6th 2012

Well, we finally got beaten by big rocks and water as we tried to negotiate the Colca Canyon loop. We could have built a bridge, as we did in a previous Rocky Road Adventure, but it would have taken all day !! The fact that there has been so much rain and snow over the past few weeks, we were lucky to have got as far as we did. We headed off to Arequipa with our sun roofs wide open, enjoying the sunshine, as we climbed the mountain we could see big dark threatning clouds building in front of us, we stopped and secured that, lucky we did as within twenty minutes and as we got to the top of the mountain at 4840 meters we were driving through a snow storm. As we descended we ... read more
Up the Road of Death
Liz and Juan Carlos
Checking out the rocks




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