AREQUIPA, PERU — We begin this journey in Arequipa city, also known as the ‘White City’ named after most of the city being build with white ashlar –a volcanic white stone. Our City Tour will take us around places like Santa Catalina convent, San Francisco church and square, and Fundo del Fierro. Then on to the Cathedral and the beautiful Plaza de Armas. We finish with a visit to one of the oldest markets in Arequipa, San Camilo Market.
An interesting tip: Arequipa’s Puente de Fierro (Iron Bridge) and the roof at San Camilo market where designed by Gustav Eiffle, the very same genius behind the Eiffel Tower.
We overnight in the city in our comfortable hotel, preparing for our 2-day excursion the next day.
Our adventure starts early in the morning, heading to Chivay village. On the way we will spot some Vicuñas and a wide variety of birds, making a brief stop to observe the volcanoes surrounding the city of Arequipa. Once in Chivay we will have some time to enjoy a delicious lunch, later on we will visit ‘La Calera’ spring waters.
Travelers recommend: La Casa de Mamayachi hotel offers an excellent experience from the moment you step into the reception for checking in. Staff is always warm and professional. Rooms are provided with heating and comfortable furniture, with one of the best views of the Colca Valley. The hotel has been built with cane, wood, bamboo and Ichu -a very popular material used in the Andes to protect houses from the rain- matching perfectly with the escenary. A typical breakfast consist on fresh milk, yogurt, coffee and cheese prepared by locals.
In Chivay, you can visit UyoUyo pre-Inca ruins by crossing Sifonbridge which overpasses the Colca Canyon. Another interesting place to visit is Sibayo, a village build entirely out of stone.
The next day we continue our excursion to the Colca Canyon, going to Mirador del Condor (Condor gazer) which holds an impressive view of the Canyon. From here we are able to see the majestic flight of Condors and our guide gives more detailed information about the surrounding areas.
Time to return to Arequipa city, passing through the villages of Pinchollo, Maca and Yanque, and the Antahilque and Choquetico gazers. We continue our journey on Pampa de Toccra where we will sight a great variety of Andean birds. After arriving in our hotel for dinner, we still have some extra time to take a night walk around the main square and see its beautiful colonial architecture made of ashlar.
Finally, for the most adventurous travelers, you can have the chance to practice Rafting in the Chili River. Don’t miss out the chance to try some delicious local food during this amazing trip!! (www.perubesttours.com)