Arequipa - White City

Trip Start May 12, 2013
Trip End Jul 30, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Nasca,
Saturday, June 22, 2013

Our bus reached Arequipa at around 8am. We took a cab straight for our hostel located near the centre of the city. Originally planned 3 nights here, but now we decided to just stay for a night and do a 3d2n tour of Colca canyon.

We deposited our bags and headed out for the city sights. The architecture here is arguably the best we've seen in South America so far. Old colonial buildings and important landmarks made with white stones of a local quarry.

Our first stop was the Santa Catalina Monastery, which carried an hefty 35soles (us$15) entrance fee. The entire complex was a home for nuns in the past. There were pretty painted buildings and nice walkways. But as we were without a guide, we just strolled along the complex ourselves. In my opinion, the entrance fee doesn't justify itself and there really isn't much other than the painted houses and cloisters. Not that it had much historical significance as well.

We headed to Plaza de Armas next. It was a Saturday and the plaza was lively as ever. Like other plazas, there was a nice fountain in the middle of the square, a magnificent cathedral facing the square, and nice colonial styled buildings flanking the other sides. A group of local girls rushed to take photos with us and asked for autographs. That was quite a funny sight.

We proceeded to find lunch after that, and walked into a nice restaurant with a 11soles menu of the day. Simply awesome. The entree was potato salad on avocados, and the main was panfried fish with rice.

There was a nice church made of white stones with intricate carvings on its walls, with a wedding going on in there. Next to the church was its cloister, where we had nice cinnamon tasting icecream for only 2 soles per cup.

Went back to the hostel for a nap, and took a cab to the other side of town at late afternoon. There was an interesting bridge like structure at the viewpoint, and one could see the many snow capped volcanos surrounding the city from there. There was a nice church but was closed.

The sun was setting soon and we took a cab back to Plaza de Armas to get more shots (there was backlight before). We really liked the place. The church lights lit up and brought the night scene to life. Had a simple 6soles menu for dinner. Grabbed bottled water for our hike and headed back to rest.

Gotta get up at 2.30am tml.

Arequipa, Peru
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