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Peru Arequipa, The White City

Peru Arequipa
Nocturnal Plaza De Armas and Cathedral in Arequipa, Peru

Archaeologists have discovered that people have inhabited the fertile valleys of Peru Arequipa since 5000-6000 BCE. In the fifteenth century, the area was occupied by the Aymara Indians. It was conquered by the Inca, and then it supplied agrarian products to the Empire of the Inca. The city itself was founded in 1540, by an emissary of Francisco Pizarro, a now-famous Spanish conquistador.

A year later, the King of Spain gave Arequipa the title of "city", and presented it with the coat of arms that is still used today. You can see the Spanish influence when you look at the architecture and the relics in the area.

Peru Arequipa
El Misti: the volcano above the city of Arequipa, Perù

These things serve to remind the visitors of the colonial past of the city. As the demographics changed, Peru Arequipa developed a larger mestizo population. But, since the 1940's, immigration from the Peruvian sierra has changed the cultural and demographic character of the city.

Arequipa stayed mainly isolated during the early republican and colonial times, but all that was changed in 1870, when the railroad from Mollendo opened trade to the Pacific Ocean. More roads were built, more structures designed, and they developed a link to the Pan-American Highway. This linked Arequipa more effectively with other areas of the Americas. And now, it's a center of commerce between southern Peru and Lima.

Peru Arequipa
Details of an antic inca palace in Arequipa, Peru

When Peru struggled to break away from Spain early in the nineteenth century, Arequipa was seen as a bastion of nationalism. It was a rallying place during the War with Chile, also known as the War of the Pacific. Arequipa has a long history of earthquakes. In 1868, an earthquake killed more than 10,000 people and nearly destroyed the town. In June of 2001, 24 people in the city died and the city was badly damaged by a quake that measured 7.9 on the Richter scale.

Arequipa also has known internal strife. The town was paralyzed for seven days during riots and strikes after the government privatized two of the regional electricity generating plants. Peru Arequipa is the center of economic forward movement in southern Peru, and is one of the most important producers of milk in the country. It is valuable for its commerce of today, and its stories of yesterday.

Peru Arequipa Video

Related Information

Arequipa Peru Travel Tours
Surrounded by peaks over 5,000 meters high and guarded by Misti, a 5,874 meters high volcano, it's geography starts with the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world and the best place to spot condors in their natural environment.

Peru Colca Canyon
Reportedly, Peru Colca Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world. It's so deep, in fact, that it is believed to be twice as deep as the United States' Grand Canyon. You can access Peru Colca Canyon from Arequipa.

Visiting Arequipa
The Historic Centre in Arequipa, the Santa Catalina monastery and the Jesuits Architectural Complex are some of the more interesting spots you might want to visit as you travel in the Arequipa area.

Peru Arequipa
Archaeologists have discovered that people have inhabited the fertile valleys of Peru Arequipa since 5000-6000 BCE. In the fifteenth century, the area was occupied by the Aymara Indians.

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