Hidden treasures

Trip Start Jan 23, 2008
Trip End May 23, 2008

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Flag of Peru  , Arequipa,
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We spent our last full day in Peru in the city Arequipa. Arequipa itself is a sort of hidden treasure becuase, despite being the second largest city in Peru, it is not as well known. The outskirts are a little chaotic (as they are in any city), but the Plaza is one of the most beautiful in Peru.

We visited two amazing museums here. First, we visited the Convent of Santa Catalina, which was closed to the outside world for nearly 400 years. Talk about a hidden treasure! The architecture was stunning, the insight into convent life fascinating, and the restoration/presentation VERY well done.

Next, we visited the Museo Santuarios Andinos, which is largley devoted to the discovery of a mummified Incan girl, commonly called Juanita. She was sacrificed to the gods on the top of a 21,000 foot mountain nearly 500 years ago. Amazingly, the eruption of a nearby volcano unearthed her perfectly mummified body, and even more amazingly, an explorer and archeologist found her only 2 weeks later. The museum has wonderful displays of pottery, gold ornaments, textiles, and even Juanita herself. Another hidden treasure and the perfect way to wrap up our visit to this gem of a country.
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