Southern Peru

27th August 2010

Arequipa, dubbed the white city for its many colonial buildings made from light coloured silla volcanic stone, is Peru´s second largest city.  It lies in the shadow of 3 volcanos.  Santa Catalina de Siena Convent, a city within the city of Arequipa remained closed to the public for 391 years until it was opened in 1970.  30 nuns from 18 to 90 years old remain.  We tried Rocotto Relleno, a Peruvian dish of red peppers stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, raisins and nuts (riquísimo). 


Nearby Colca Canyon at 3191 metres is twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.  A patchwork of terraced fields dating from 400 AD lines both sides and condors soar high on the thermals.  There are many hiking opportunities between traditional villages.  The women wear bright, intricately embroidered clothing and hats.


Only appreciated from above, the gigantic Nazca Lines are truly awesome.  They consist of some 800 lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 plant and animal drawings made by the Nazca people between 900BC and 600AD in the desert sands.  The lines were made by removing the sunburnt brown stones leaving the lighter desert sand exposed.  Wind keeps the channels clean.  Their purpose remains a mystery today.  1600 years ago the Nazcas constructed several kilometres of underground aqueducts to bring water to their fields.  Every 6 meters, wells allow access.  The aqueducts and wells have survived time and earthquakes to still function perfectly today.


We have celebrated 1 year of travelling.


Cathedral of Arequipa

Jesuit Church (1648) - Arequipa

Santiago Matamoros on the Jesuit church

Santa Teresa, another Convent

San Francisco church

Teledo Street inside the Santa Catalina Convent

The dome of the church in Santa Catalina

One of the nun´s cells

A courtyard inside

Volcano (6000 meters) outside Arequipa

Colca Canyon

Terraced fields in the canyon

Condor soaring

16 th century church at Cabanaconde

Women wear this style of embroidery around the Colca Canyon

Nazca - the spacemen did it

Hands - frog?






Spirals leading down into the aqueduct