Juanita and the Nuns at Arequipa
Arequipa Travel Blog› entry 32 of 107 › view all entries
KERRY - We left Puerta Inca around 8.30am to drive to Arequipa. It was a pretty long drive of about 8-9 hours so we arrived in Arequipa at about 5pm. We set our tents up again, in the grounds of a hotel and then had a lovely curry for dinner cooked by Andrei´s team. We went out for a few drinks that evening to a local bar.
The next day was a free day for us to explore the city. Arequipa is a lovely place, with a nice plaza surrounded by shops and cafes and lots of colonial architecture. The 2 main attractions of the city are the Santa Catalina convent where you can see how the nuns used to live, and the Museo Santuario Andinos, which houses the frozen mummy of Juanita.
We spent an hour or so wandering the cobbled streets of the convent, it was a really relaxing and peaceful place. We even saw some of the nuns who still live there now, working in the chapel. The musuem of Juanita was really interesting though and we had a really informative guide which makes all the difference. Juanita was discovered on Mount Ampato about 10 years ago and her body had been preserved by the ice. She was sacrificed by the incas at the age of 12. The musuem housed lots of other artifacts that were discovered on the mountain as well as surrounding mountains and some were in mint condition.
The rest of the afternoon was spend drinking coffee in cafes and mooching around the shops before having another group dinner of stir fry at the campsite.