Mancora to Lima to Arequipa Peru

Plaza de Armas de Arequipa

Tomorrow I shake the sand from between my toes leaving Mancora and heading to Arequipa. Spending more time here would turn me into a beach bum! It’s been a relaxing contemplative time by the sea – swimming, walking on the beach, and enjoying the people. Mancora is a special memory, but it’s time to move on and explore new places.

Santa Catalina Convent
Santa Catalina Convent Arequipa Peru

Totally new territory, Arequipa is far south in the Peruvian Andes near the Chilean and Bolivian borders. It’s a long 36-hour drive from Mancora. Peru has well-organized “luxury” buses with reclining seats and meals served on-board. Hoping it’s a better experience than Colombian and Ecuadorian buses where the rides took longer than expected, but certainly resulted in some interesting side adventures!

Cotahuasi Canyon Peru –

The first segment is Mancora to Lima – 19 hours – followed by Lima to Arequipa – 17 hours. The temperature change from Mancora’s high 80s to Arequipa’s 60s is significant, not to mention the increase in altitude.

Arequipa Panorama – Peru Travel

With a population of about a million, Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city. It’s nicknamed “La Ciudad Blanca” or “The White City” because its buildings are made from sillar, a white volcanic rock. Arequipa is surrounded by three volcanoes:

A volcano is considered “active” if it has erupted since the last ice age, i.e., in the past ~10,000 years. “Extinct” volcanoes aren’t expected to erupt again, but just the same, there have been a number of extinct volcano eruptions in the world.

Colca Canyon – Intrepid Travel

A strikingly beautiful colonial city, Arequipa attractions, include:

El Misti Volcano Arequipa – Flickr

Visitors to Arequipa often climb El Misti Volcano. The climb involves a two or three-day trek that’s supposedly one of the easiest ascents of any mountain of this size in the world. I love hiking but being prone to altitude sickness, am not much of a climber. After acclimatizing will review the options and consider whether an El Misti climb is for me. It definitely sounds like fun!


More later, as I experience Arequipa and its many treasures. The continuing itinerary will include Lake Titicaca and Uros Islands.

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