The department of Arequipa has a varied relief. It begins in the
coastal desert and then climbs the Andes, reaching high into the tops
of its mountains and volcanoes.
Known as the White City for its beautiful white walls of ashlar stone, a
volcanic stone, Arequipa lies at the feet of the volcanoes Misti and
Chachani and Pichu Pichu snow mountain. In the center of the city,
declared Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO in 2000, temples
and colonial baroque style old houses can be seen, just like the
Monastery of Santa Catalina, a Spanish city in miniature stone streets,
beautiful courtyards and plazas. Sabandía Tiabaya and Tingo, in the
countryside are must- see places, and the irresistible Arequipa cuisine
is the perfect complement to the visit.
Located just 3 hours and 45 minutes from the city, the Valley and
Colca Canyon are one of the most extraordinary destinations of the
country. Throughout the area you can see colorful pre-Inca terraces
cultivated to date with quinoa, corn, barley and wheat. During the
pre-Hispanic era, the department was inhabited by Collaguas and
Cabanas, today, people have learned to conserve their Colonial
churches in Yanque, Lari, and Madrigal, and they still wear traditional
clothing. In the valley you can also do adventure sports like mountain
biking, trekking and canoeing, and, condors can be seen in the Cruz
del Condor ( The Cross of the Condor) .
Other attractions in the department are the Toro Muerto Petroglyphs,
the Valley of the Volcanoes of Andagua and Cotahuasi Canyon.