Arequipa and Colca Canyon

Arequipa is an elegant colonial city. The Plaza de Las Armas was one of the most beautiful plazas I have seen in my travels.  The city is surrounded by volcanoes, some with snowcapped peaks.  The white buildings shine so bright under the sun.  I visited the Saint Catalina Monastery: a very interesting glimpse to the lives of privileged nuns from the 17th century.

Plaza de Las Armas, Arequipa

Plaza de Las Armas, Arequipa

Chachami, Pichu Pichu and El Misti volcanoes of Arequipa

Chachami, Pichu Pichu and El Misti volcanoes of Arequipa

Santa Catalina Convent

Santa Catalina Convent

jars

tree

window

From here I visited the nearby Colca Canyon.  Located at more than 3000 meters above sea level  (at one point I was at more than 4500 meters above sea level) altitude sickness is something to watch out for. On the way the bus stopped at a local restaurant so we can get some coca tea (helps in coping with the altitude.) Not a big fan of it, so I’ve been sucking on coca candies instead.  The landscape here was breathtaking. The Colca Valley reminded me of the rice terraces in the Philippines. I saw lots of condors, vicuñas, llamas, alpacas…. Also been eating alpaca meat with every meal, it’s everywhere and quite cheap.

me and rocks

kids and llama

Colca Valley

Colca Valley

Colca River

Colca River

Condors at the Colca Canyon

Condors at the Colca Canyon

condor

hummingbird

hummingbird

vicuñas

vicuñas

llamas and alpacas

llamas and alpacas

vendors

typical hat worn by women in Chivay

typical hat worn by women in Chivay

women in Chivay

women in Chivay