Arequipa Visitor Guide

 

An Introduction to Arequipa

Elevation: 2350m / Population: 1,000,000 / Telephone Code: 054

Arequipa is well known for its glistening white buildings made from sillar, a white volcanic rock, which gives the city its nickname 'La Ciudad Blanca' or 'The White City'. Arequipa is Peru's second largest city and was founded in 1540. The site was chosen for its proximity to the coast, enabling settlers to trade the products of Cusco and the mines of Potosi (Bolivia) with Lima. The local cultivation of wheat, corn and grapes all contributed to the regions economic growth. The city is surrounded by 3 volcanoes; El Misti, still active at 5822m, the higher and extinct Chachani 6075m and Pichu Pichu 5571m. The Incas highly respected these volcanoes since the melt water from their snow-capped peaks form the headwaters of the mighty Amazon River, thousands of kilometers away.

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