Peru Adventures – Arequipa

Let’s revisit some places we (Sarah and I) visited during those Peru Adventures I keep talking about.

Let’s head back to the end of December back in 2013…

Arequipa is 2380m above sea level. Coming from Wellington, where almost the whole city is sea level, this was a big difference. It’s also surrounded by three volcanoes, which were easy to spot from the roof of the hostel. I really liked the style of the buildings in this city. In this city, we visited the Monastery of Saint Catherine and Colca Canyon. Prepare for a lot of pictures.

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We stayed at El Albergue Espanol, a hostel very close to the centre of town. The owners were very lovely, we were able to communicate through our limited Spanish, and their limited English, together we figured out that we wanted a local map. The hostel was very cute, and also has a roof that you can go up to and hang out.

The Plaza de Armas (Town Square) was beautiful, it’s like a park, surrounded by local shops and a beautiful Cathedral. Since our hostel was centrally located, we were able to walk a few minutes to get to it.

After exploring the shops (and me buying a stuffed alpaca who is name Pedro), we decided to check out the Monastery. Also, our high school was named after Saint Catherine funnily enough.

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Meet Pedro

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Entry to the Monastery was 35 soles ($15 NZD). I loved the colours in the Monastery. It was beautiful and huge.

We also had a little fun at the fact that Sarah had to keep ducking to get through the doorways, and I just kept on walking. In fact, with my short stature and skin colour, people kept thinking I was a local and speaking rapid Spanish to me, then backing away at my look of confusion and panic. Sarah, with her blue eyes, and very tall build got lots of stares. We also got accosted a lot by vendors everywhere we go. We knew this would happen, and were pretty good with avoiding them and shaking them off. We did stop by two ladies who were dressed up in traditional attire to pet the baby alpacas they had.

We booked with a local tour agency to go see Colca Canyon the next morning. I don’t remember how much it was, but it wasn’t too bad. We had to get picked up at 3am though, so we had little sleep. I also felt very sick, nauseous and realized I had barely eaten the past two days because I didn’t feel hungry. Turns out, I should be taking my altitude sickness pills. Once those kicked in, I felt good again. I did feel tingles in my arms and legs, but apparently that’s a normal side effect.

Colca Canyon is beautiful. The trip to get there was fun,  our guide was fluent in both Spanish and English and was a wealth of information. It was a long van ride, but worth it. The Canyon is one of the deepest in the world. It looked like it never ended. I couldn’t stop looking around, and trying to squint and see everything. We saw a few condors, but I wasn’t quick enough to take a decent photo of one.

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Feeling on top of the world

It was nice to get back and crash at our hostel that night considering the early wake up call. Then we had to get up at 5 to catch our next flight out to Cusco at 7. Booking earlier flights is cheaper, but man does it wear on you after a while. Jet lag is reeeal.

Arequipa was such a diverse city. It was also very high up. Remember your altitude sickness pills guys, cause it sucks if you don’t.

Angela.

 

Hello internet! My name is Angela. I write daily about my travels, life, thoughts, and ramblings. I live down in New Zealand with my lovely husband, Rory. Thanks for stopping by!
15 comments
  1. Hello Angela, thank you for the follow. Looking forward to browse your posts 🙂 P.S.: I am eyeing your llama.

  2. Hi 😀
    Thanks for the follow right back, I’ve been enjoying reading your blog.
    Haha, Pedro still lives with me today, he hangs out next to my laptop 🙂

  3. […] The cities had elaborately decorated town squares, and colourful markets with homemade goods to sell. Arequipa […]

  4. […] Lima, Arequipa, Cusco, Puno, Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu, Ica (and Huacachina), Paracas, Amazon Rainforest, and Iquitos. […]

  5. The only Spanish country I been was Costa Rica. I studied abroad three summers ago when I was still at community college. It was a cultural immersion experience. Boy, Costa Rica is a beautiful country and we ended up staying up in Atenas and we got to visit Monteverde for three days and we got to spend a day in San Jose.

    1. It is indeed a beautiful country, sounds like it was a fun experience 🙂

      1. I am always curious when I will visit another country again. Costa Rica wasn’t the last country visit since that was 2014. England being 2015 was my last visit to another country. I just am always curious about my visit to another country like when will I see another country

  6. This looks SO incredible! And oh my gosh PEDRO THE ALPACA?! I love Pedro!! <3 😉 x

    1. Haha, thanks Tabi!! Pedro is amazing! It was love at first sight 😀 <3

  7. I’ve never been to any place in South or Central America and it’s right in my backyard. You got there before me from halfway across the world. The colors of the monastery are really beautiful vivid blocks of color.

    1. ? Maybe it can be a future trip? It took me over a day to get to Peru, but it was so worth it! The colours of the monastery were super bright, especially since it was hot and sunny that day, they really come at you, it was stunning! 😀

  8. I love your photos!!! Pedro is the one that falls over, right?

    1. Yes he is. He used to have much stronger legs. Over the past year though he always seems to be falling over and unable to stand. Poor Pedro, he’s getting older.

  9. The Monastery looks like such a cool place, it kind of from the photos resembles a very colorful maze! I’m a sucker for bright pretty colorful back drops! I think its so funny that people would just come up to you and instantly speak spanish haha Its kind of like me at a nail salon; all the Asian nail people will speak to me in their language and I’d be like ummmm what?!?! hahah

    xo, JJ

    1. A bright colourful maze is actually the perfect way to describe the monastery! We did get lost a few times, but they give you a map at the front 😀
      Haha, it’s funny how that happens. They just look at your face and think “She must speak our language”. I’m sure our confused looks would make them realize we have no idea though ?

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