Arequipa located 475 miles south of Lima, Peru is the second largest city in Peru after Lima. Founded on August 15 of 1540 after the colonization known as the most important city of South America by the viceroyalty. Its location is framed by 3 volcanoes with baroque buildings filling the city made from sillar, the white volcanic stone which gives the city its nickname of “The White City”. Arequipa, Peru sits at an elevation of 7,600ft among the desert mountains of the Andes. What is it so important to mention Arequipa in the Inca times? There have been multiple interesting archaeological finds that have given us a look at what the city was like back in the Inca times.
Because of the volcanic land’s mixture with snow the volcanic mountain of Ampata was a mountain for the gods where the community at the time would perform human offerings on the very top of the Ampata mountain. Known to be the most important finding was the mummified body of a girl at the top of the volcanic mountain. Found in 1995 by Dr.Johan Reinhard the mummified body now called Juanita can be seen at the national museum of Santuarios Andinos located in the main square of Arequipa.
Discovering Juanita gave archeologists a better understanding of why humans may have been offered to the gods due to Juanita being found with various goods and trinkets to be offered along with her. They believed that these offerings may have made the people of the time feel closer to the gods and seek resources and good fortune in return. Across South America the Great Inca Trail which stretches for more than 25,000 miles was designed to connect people, help develop their economy, and make communication more accessible, but most importantly was to worship their gods by rituals after they pilgrim from their hometowns.
Another attraction in the Arequipa region is the Colca Canyon. Located 4 hours northwest of Arequipa over the pass is the town of Chivay, the hub for Colca Canyon. Chivay’s main attractions are the hot springs as well as the colorful community which offers an authentic experience to discover the traditions and gastronomy to visitors. Colca Canyon is the second deepest Canyon in the world and offers outstanding views of the amazing mountains and valleys of the canyon. This unique experience is highly recommended if you have the opportunity when you come to Peru.
From Lima, Peru there are multiple transportation options to get to Arequipa, conveniently there are some flight options with different schedules and budgets depending on your preferences. Flights depart from Lima every hour depending on your arrival time to Lima it may be a convenient option for your group.
How do I get from Lima to Arequipa other than flights? Another option for transportation is by bus. Bus departures are every 3 hours from the bus terminal in Lima. More information about location of bus terminals in Lima can be obtained at the Lima airport information Center.