Deep Canyon in Arequipa

19 Jan 2013

Arequipa might be the "White City" (it's built with Limestone), but it's also the home of the deepest Canyon.

When I first picked up the Lonely Planet guide on Peru I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of superlatives my homeland had. Highest navigable lake in the world? Check. Highest city in the world? Check. Deepest canyon in the world? Check.

Why hadn’t I done travelling in my own country before? Never mind. It was 2010, I was here now and we had three most amazing cities to visit during this trip. I’ll leave the best for last and start with a story of calm and meditation in the picturesque city called Arequipa, or The White City.

The White City is the second largest city in Peru, rich in history and heritage sites, and a fascinatingly scenic place. Picture this: a town where the houses are all white and shiny, having been built with rocks from the very three volcanoes that dominate its skyline. Risky much? And a few hours' drive away, the deepest Canyon in the world from where you can see huge Andean Condors (species of mythical vulture).

Peru is a fantasyland for epicures, its food so varied, vibrant and creative. Arequipa's food is a fine example of this, with even the simplest dishes carrying a full flavour of herbs and spices.

In the city there's an old Monastery called Santa Catalina. It is a must to visit this place as it carries so much interesting history of the young women who were sent here by their rich families to live in the cloisters as sign of status deep religiousness.

The markets are also a sight to behold, with busy people selling, buying, haggling, gossiping...

We didn't spend all our time in the city, favouring the countryside for a change.

The landscapes surrounding Arequipa are a breathtaking force of serenity. There is plenty to see around with small guided groups pointing out interesting stories of survival and shrewdness of the civilisations that lived here long ago.

Finally the Canyon itself so deep your eyes cannot begin to comprehend if what you're seeing is only a couple of meters away or kilometers. You feel like you could just jump into it.

People often hear of Machu Picchu in Peru and take a week off to head there and explore the ancient city, but to really see and experience Peru you need at least three weeks. There is so much to discover, every place completely different to the one before. We only had two weeks travelling around but everyone we met from abroad had been travelling in Peru for weeks and weeks and they still had exciting things to see. I truly recommend a trip to Peru, make it your yearly long-haul holiday and visit Arequipa and the Colca Canyon whilst you're there. If you haven't seen the pictures of the Amazon Jungle from July 2012, check them out here. They're fantastic, if I may say so ;)


  1. wow! Weirdly, I've never thought of travelling to Peru, looks really beautiful though! love the picture of that dog! so cute! x

  2. It's a great place to start a South American adventure. I'm a sucker for doggies too x

  3. Peru is beautiful! These photos are amazing!


Powered by Blogger.