Category Peru

Colca Excursion: Colca Valley

From Patapampa Pass we dropped down into the Colca Valley, to the town of Chivay.  We didn’t drop very far, though.  Chivay is still at 12,894 ft above sea level.  The Colca Valley has been inhabited for centuries, first by pre-Inca groups and then by the Incas themselves.  The pre-Incans had terraced an enormous percentage of […]

Colca Excursion: Patapampa Pass (16,109 ft)

After about another hour or so of driving from the point where we saw the vicunas and alpacas, we reached the Patapampa Pass, which is the highest point between Arequipa and Chivay (the town where we would stay in the Colca valley).  It was surreally high:  4,910 meters translates into 16,109 feet above sea level.  […]

Colca Excursion: Peruvian Camelids

Peru boasts two of the world’s deepest canyons, both of which are within a day’s drive from Arequipa. Of the two, Colca Canyon is the deepest (it measures 4,160 meters in depth; the third deepest in the world after canyons in China and Nepal, and more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon). It […]

Arequipa: Sunday Night

On Sunday, after church and visiting the monastery, Amanda and I wandered around the old downtown area of Arequipa.  Although not quite as charming as Cusco, Arequipa is still a lovely city, with many fine examples of Spanish colonial architecture.  Almost all of the buildings (old as well as new) are constructed from the white “sillar” […]

Arequipa: Santa Catalina Monastery

Nestled in the colonial heart of Arequipa is the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a still-working convent that was founded in 1580 by a rich old widow.  It was a super-selective, prestigious convent where the upper crust sent their second daughters (or other daughters not destined for marriage) to become nuns.  Once inside, the women never left […]

Mormons in Arequipa

On Sunday, Amanda and I mended our heathen ways and went to church — and we had such a great time that we’re seriously tempted to go to church more often when we travel! The day started off on a somber note. As we walked to the chapel (which we found after abandoning the church’s […]

Puno to Arequipa

Another 6-hour bus ride today.  This time from Puno to Arequipa, the second-largest city in Peru.  No good stories emerged from this trip.  The bus wasn’t great — it smelled bad and had cracked windows — but it didn’t break down and had sufficiently good air circulation that the windows remained unfogged the entire time […]