AREQUIPA, PERU, BECKONS SENIORS

Aug 24th, 2012 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Adventure to Exotic Places

I do love my Travel & Leisure Magazine… it is continually full of great ideas for senior adventures to exotic places. This one is no different. This city is the second largest city in Peru and of late is the gateway to some of the country’s most captivating culture and terrain.  You can “experience colonial grandeur, vivacious cuisine, condor-filled canyons, and more.”


This wealthy city with a population of almost 800,000, maintains a rather aloof attitude towards the rest of Peru. Surrounded by majestic volcanoes, Peru’s White City earned its nickname for the snow-white facades of volcanic sillar stone that line the streets. A fine example are the Arcs of the “Mirador of Yanahuara” (in Spanish) in Arequipa, from which the entire city can be appreciated.

Peru’s “White City”

Arequipa (Spanish pronunciation: [aɾeˈkipa]) is the capital city of the Arequipa Region in southern Peru. With a population of 836,859 it is the second most populous city of the country. Arequipa lies in the Andes mountains, at an altitude of 2,335 meters (7,661 ft) above sea level; the former snow-capped volcano El Misti overlooks the city.  The city has many colonial-era Spanish buildings built of sillar, a pearly white volcanic rock, from which it gets the nickname La Ciudad Blanca (“The White City”).

El Misti (dissipated fog)

TripAdvisor takes us to Arequipa and finds Top-Rated hotels, B&Bs and 37 things to see and do while you are in town.  For senior gourmets, a major reason to take in Arequipa is the fine Peruvian cuisine. So senior adventurers, come and share with the locals a Culinary experience in Arequipa, the cradle of Mestizo (Andean +Spanish) Peruvian Cuisine.

Wild Terrain

Arequipa is surrounded by some of the wildest terrain in Peru. This is a land of active, snowy volcanoes, high-altitude deserts, thermal hot springs, salt lakes and, last but not least, the world’s deepest canyons. Whether your heart desires trekking, mountain biking, river running (white-water rafting) or clambering up Andean peaks, Arequipa makes the perfect base camp.

No other place in southern Peru delivers the best of both urban and outdoor life – you can slalom down a sandy volcanic summit and still be back in your colonial mansion guesthouse in time for a dinner of spicy arequipeño food.

Wikitravel fills in the details

The city is part of the so called “Southern Peru Tourist Corridor“, together with Nazca, Puno and Cusco. In contrast to these other cities, Arequipa is an example of the Spanish and mestizo culture developed in Peru. Note that there are no Inca artifacts or ruins in the city. Recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the white stone architecture of Arequipa – particularly the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a complex enclosing a complete world within its thick walls – constitutes perhaps the city’s main appeal to senior citizen travelers. If you’re coming from the north, it’s one of the last places to really merit a stop before continuing on south to the Chilean border.

Colca Canyon in Southern Peru is one of the deepest canyons on earth, in fact at one time was considered the deepest, but a nearby, less accessible canyon now takes that honor. Look for condors, as they roost here and they are totally awesome. The canyon reaches a depth of 4160m (13,648.3′) in places which, get this, is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.

So where Is It and How Do Senior Travelers Get There

A branch the South Pan-American road leads up from the coast to Arequipa connecting it with Lima and Tacna. Tourist Information abounds and offers the best travel tours for seniors. Arequipa is Charlotte’s (NC) first sister city.  And what to focus on once you are there is outlined by IgoUgo.com. That’s a new resource for me.  Virtual Tourist fills out the rest of your itinerary with some nice photos as well.  Last bit of advice is to get to know some of the local customs such as Apus-Food & Drink but don’t over do it.

I’ll say Adios with one more link that provides seniors with ten things to see and do in town that  I feel you will find of interest and beauty. Maybe do a little sand boarding while you are there to tell your friends about back home. Enjoy Arequipa seniors.  jeb



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  1. [...] be South America’s best-kept secret, with a handful of Argentines, Brazilians, Chileans and non–South Americans in the know popping in to enjoy the pristine beaches, the atmospheric cities, the huge steaks and [...]

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