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

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