Arequipa (Spanish pronunciation: [aɾeˈkipa]; Aymara & Quechua: Ariqipa) is a city located in the province and the eponymous department of Peru. It is the seat of the Constitutional Court of Peru and often dubbed the “legal capital of Peru.” It is the second most populated city in Peru, after Lima, with an urban population of 1,008,290 inhabitants according to the 2017 national census.
Its metropolitan area integrates twenty-one districts, including the foundational central area, which it is the seat of the city government. The city has a Nominal GDP of 9,445 million (USD) and a nominal GDP per capita of US$10,277, which represents a GDP per capita PPP of US$18,610 in the period 2015, being the second city with the highest economic activity in Peru.
Arequipa is also an important industrial and commercial center of Peru, and is considered as the second industrial city of the country. Within its industrial activity the manufactured products and the textile production of wool of camelids. The town maintains close commercial links with Chile, Bolivia, and Brazil and with the cities connected by the South trainway, as well as with the port of Matarani.
The city was founded on August 15, 1540, under the name of “Beautiful Villa of Our Lady of the Assumption” in the name of Marquis Francisco Pizarro. On September 22, 1541, the monarch Carlos V ordered that it should be called the “City of Arequipa”. During the viceregal period, it acquired importance for its outstanding economic role, and is characterized by the fidelismo towards the Spanish Crown, which honored Arequipa with titles such as “Very Noble and Very Loyal.” In the Republican history of Peru, the city has been the focus of popular, civic and democratic rebellions. It has also been the cradle of notable intellectual, political and religious figures. In the Republican era, it was awarded the title of “Heroic city of the freedom people of Arequipa”.
Its historical center extends over an area of 332 hectares and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historical heritage and monumental that it houses and its diverse scenic and cultural spaces turn it into a host city of national and international tourism, in its historical center it highlights the religious architecture viceregal and republican product of mixture of Spanish and autochthonous characteristics, that constituted an own stylistic school called «Arequipeña School» whose influence arrived in Potosí (Bolivia).
In the morning, we´ll journey through the foothills of the Chachani volcano, passing the village of Yura and the far-stretching landscapes of Pampa de Arrieros, Pampa Cañahuas, Tocra Pampa and Patapampa. We will reach the highest point at 4,910 meters, then descend into the desert town of Chivay (3651 m).
After enjoying breakfast in town, we’ll set out towards the highest spots in the canyon offering spectacular panoramic views. At the Cruz del Condor lookout point, we’ll marvel at the massive Andean condors flying overhead before we head back down to Chivay for lunch, making our way back to Arequipa by the evening.
We recommend bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen for protection from the sun, a jacket for the cooler temperatures in the evening and comfortable walking shoes. Bring some local currency for any last-minute items you might need. Of course, don’t forget your camera!