Arequipa, the White City


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South America » Peru » Arequipa
January 3rd 2011
Published: January 23rd 2011
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Many of the colonial buildings in Arequipa are built out of sillar, a pearly white volcanic rock, and the city is often referred to as La Ciudad Blanca or The White City. The pace of Arequipa is a lot slower than that of Lima, but it is still a bustling city. We spent a few days exploring the cathedrals and museums of Arequipa, including the Juanita Mummy. Juanita was a 14 year old girl found in the mountains above Arequipa. She was sacrificed to the Inka gods around 1450 and due to the freezing high altitude remains perfectly preserved.

We celebrated New Years while in Arequipa. Apparently yellow is a auspicious color, and there was everything yellow for sale. The local market or mercado is an outdoor area crammed with vendors selling everything from yellow underwear to beef heart on a skewer. New Years noisemakers, incense, firecrackers (that were hidden every time the police strolled by), and all types of "lucky" items made in China. New Years itself was marked by the thunderous noise of revelers mixed with firecrackers that were closer to military ordinance is size, and tons of yellow confetti.

Peruvian cuisine has been quite good thus
The Long Bus Ride to ArequipaThe Long Bus Ride to ArequipaThe Long Bus Ride to Arequipa

Killing time on the 15 hour ride to Arequipa.
far. The Peruvian culinary scene benefits from a rich diversity of raw products ranging from the Andean highlands to the lush rain forest. Many of today's Peruvian dishes are a fusion of Asia, Chinese, African, and South American. Ceviche is one of the more celebrated dishes. While it is not exclusive to Peru, it is one of Peru's most famous creations. Ceviche is raw fish that is marinated in citrus, chili, onion, and often cilantro. The citrus actually cooks the fish so the finished product tastes and looks fully cooked. The flavor is strong but delicious! For snacking fresh empanadas, pastries, and meat skewers are available at every street corner.

The next item, well usually the first, on most tourist gastronomic tour of Peru is the Pisco Sour. Actually invented by an American living in Lima this strong drink combines Pisco (Peruvian Brandy), simple syrup, limon juice (sweet lime), egg white, and bitters. The whole thing is either blended or well shaken and the severed drink has a margarita flavor with a foamy top.

Canyon de Colca


The biggest draw of the Arequipa Region for us was to finally head out of the city and see the rural
Along the wayAlong the wayAlong the way

Sand dunes on the side of the Pan American Highway.
side of Peruvian life. We boarded a bus headed for the town of Cabanaconde, perched on the edge of Canyon de Colca.




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Along the wayAlong the way
Along the way

Peru's Pacific Coast.
Around Arequipa Around Arequipa
Around Arequipa

Spanish influence remains strong even today in Arequipa.
Peruvian FoodPeruvian Food
Peruvian Food

Ceviche, a Peru classic. Raw fish is marinated in lime, cilantro, onion, and chili.
New Years Santa New Years Santa
New Years Santa

Yes, it is yellow Peruvian Santa with a flashing yellow hat...on new years.


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