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.