Arequipa is an old place that holds close to its Spanish roots. It’s a city in a valley with three massive volcanoes (Misti, Chachani & Picchu Picchu) that have been the focus of folklore and tribal wanderings across cultures past and present.
The air is clean, with a fresh breeze and unfiltered sunshine to remind you that you’re at elevation. And with Peruvian independence day (July 28th) fast approaching, plans were in the works to make up for a July 4th missed amidst Latin travels that have lead me from the bawdy and humid palm-lined beaches of Central America to the cold and scraggly peaks of southern Peru.
The city sets itself apart from Lima to celebrate Arequipa’s founding on August 15th in 1538. I didn’t have time to wait around for the 15th, so I partied like it was my very own personal independence day. Within easy walking distance of the main square, Plaza de Armas, lay long promenades and side streets of bars and cafes and clubs. All things considered, a great place to spend Feliz Patrias in Peru.
As quickly as they began, my Arequipa adventures were coming to an end- it was time to return to Pariwana Lima. My only regret was that I didn’t get a chance to see a bull fight Arequipeño style, which consists to two bulls pitted against each other, as opposed to one bull and a matador. If you’re in town during the late summer months, ask working-class locals where to find the fight. Read more at Ay Papi Travel.