AREQUIPA’s historical centre is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Arequipa is the world’s largest colonial city built on volcanic sillar rocks.
It is Peru’s second largest city, situated in the Andes at 2,380 m, overlooked by volcanic peaks rising as high as 6,096 m. The Chachani glacier mountains rise behind the old cathedral in the centre of the town, guarded on the right by the El Misti volcano.
Constructions of volcanic white sillar confer the city a certain radiance, which is why locals call it La Ciudad Blanca (the White City). The colonial city was founded in 1540 by Garci Manuel de Carbajal, an envoy of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Its first mayor was Juan de la Torre y Diaz Chacon, one of the most notable conquistadores and founders of the country. Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area was under the Inca, who had chased away the Aymara tribe in the 15th century.
Arequipa’s Museo Santuarios Andinos displays the famous frozen mummy Juanita, discovered along with other Inca children’s mummies on the Ampato frozen peak, at 6,310 m.