Arequipa Travel Blog› entry 46 of 92 › view all entries
Arequipa is a lovely old colonial city which we used as a base for our trip to the Colca Canyon, spending a couple of nights here. It is known as the White City because of the stone used in many of the grand buildings which remain in the central areas. Many ornate buildings, especially churches, survive and confront you as you turn the corner.
One of the oddest buildings is the Santa Catalina Convent which covers acres and acres of land in the very centre, surrounded by walls which until recently had kept the nuns in and visitors (including their family) out, allowing them to live in total seclusion. Now most of the small cobbled streets and formed living quarters are open to the public, though a small number of nuns remain hidden away.
We also visited the museum in which Juanita is kept. She is a famous mummy of a 12 year old girl who was found about 10 years ago near the summit of the nearby volcano. It is thought that the Inca´s walked her up this tough climb, drugged her and left her to die as a sacrifice to the gods in order to ask for rain.
Arequipa also has a number of trendy bars which come alive at night, very much a small cafe culture, extremely chilled out. And when we ventured down to the main square on Friday night we encountered all manner of street theater, traditional dances and pavement painters. All in all a city well worth a visit!