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Arequipa

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Arequipa Arequipa  Peru
that's not laundry on the laundry-line Arequipa  Peru
llama-mower and volcano Arequipa  Peru
Arequipan city sprawl guarded by "El Misti" Arequipa  Peru
Arequipa Arequipa  Peru
that's not laundry on the laundry-line Arequipa  Peru
llama-mower and volcano Arequipa  Peru
Arequipan city sprawl guarded by "El Misti" Arequipa  Peru
Arequipa
Located in southern Peru, Arequipa is the country’s most European-like city. You can pay a visit to the beautiful and historic Santa Catalina Monastery, tour the Misti Volcano, or indulge in some of the best restaurants anywhere. Colca, one of the deepest canyons in the world, can be visited on a two day/one night tour that starts and ends in Arequipa. The canyon’s also one of the best places to see the Andean condor in flight. This impressive bird has a wingspan of around ten feet and is considered one of the largest flying birds on earth. Colca is home to a great many hot springs, as well, so you may decide to spend more than just one night here—there are places to stay to fit all tastes, from five-star luxury properties to simple lodges. Trekking enthusiasts take great advantage of soaking in the thermal pools as a just reward after a day of hard work.

llama-mower and volcano
When we first arrived in Arequipa, it was unusually cloudy. After a couple of days, the skies cleared, and the friends with whom we were staying wanted to drive us around so we could get a better view of the city and its surroundings.

They took us to a soccer field to see, unencumbered, the El Misti volcano, (5822 m/19101 ft), newly cloaked with its 'poncho' of snow. And here my wife and I saw our first llama in Peru--we hadn't expected to see any that day, since we were in the middle of Peru's second biggest city. Our friends explained to us that the soccer field keeps a few llamas--cheaper and greener than using lawn-mowers! Viva Andean landscaping!

that's not laundry on the laundry-line
On the rooftop of a restaurant in the high countryside outside of Arequipa--that's not laundry drying in the Andean sun...It's "cuy"--guinea-pig.

Originally domesticated in the Andes as a food-source, guinea-pig tastes like...you guessed it: chicken. Well, maybe more like rabbit...which tastes like the dark-meat of poultry...

When in southern Peru, look for (or avoid) "cuy chactado," an unforgettable delicacy.

Arequipan city sprawl guarded by "El Misti"
The warm, colorful, colonial city of Arequipa is a welcome respite for a traveler from the chilly Andean region and brings to mind southern cities in Europe and the US.

The city's downtown reflects its Spanish colonizers and is highly reminiscent of cities in southern Spain with its Moorish architecture, open plazas, and towering cathedral. The colors emanating from the homes, however, reminded me of Charleston, SC with their Pantone palate, vibrancy and charm. Looming above the city, visible from nearly everywhere, are mountains and volcanoes. This volcano, "El Misti" is the most famous. Intrepid climbers return to hostels and hotels regaling the difficulty of reaching is summit, with pride. Other travelers, such as myself, choose to admire it from afar at the city's highest vantage point.

Arequipa, Peru