Arequipa, also known as “The White City” because of the employed material on the constructions of the houses (Misti volcano white ashes) is a Peruvian city well known by its volcanoes: the breathtaking Misti, the beautiful Mount Chachani and the smallest one Pichu Pichu Peak.
Now, before starting to talk about one of the principal attractions of this magical city we must mention some of the most delicious dishes Arequipa has to offer to the world!
Let’s start with Rocoto relleno, which is a dich made with hot pepper that looks like a bell one, it is stuffed with ground beef, onions, garlic, and of course top with cheese; the nest one is Pastel de Papa which is commonly served with the Rocoto Relleno! It looks like a lasagna, but had nothing of tomatoes or beef on it, Pastel de Papa is made with eggs, milk, cheese and potatoes, a secret? They add anise for extra flavor!
Not too hungry? You can try Ocopa or Solterito. The first one is a sauce served with boiled potatoes, it can be hot or not depending of how much ají Amarillo (a hot yellow Peruvian pepper) you add but be careful if you suffer allergies because the sauce contains peanuts! Now we can continue with Solterito or Soltero de queso, which is a mixture of different vegetables diced with cheese and some olive oil.
At least but not least we must mention what you really need to try! Of course, the dessert Queso Helado (iced cheese), it is an ice cream made full of cheese, it is sold in every part of Arequipa, not expensive at all and delicious.
Now that we mention the must-try dishes of Arequipa and we are not hungry, we have good news, the volcanos: Misti, Chachani and the smallest one Pichu Pichu Peak. are usually visible throughout the entire year, so you don’t have to be worry about a period to visit Arequipa, every period is perfect!
Now, if we talk about the most popular Arequipa volcano, we are talking about Misti, which is a stratovolcano that sits at 5,825m above sea level, so it’s literally breathtaking, no joking, you can suffer altitude sickness, that’s why I made a list of advices to prevent (and treat) it.
What to Keep in Mind
As I mention, Misti sits more than 5,000 meters above sea level which literally means the air had less than half of the oxygen than it does at sea level. Being aware of these conditions help people to decide if they are able to do the trek through the volcano to admire its crater or not.
You must be acclimatized for the altitude of Arequipa for a night or two! it is not recommended at all to undertake the climb unless you previously made it.
Carrying with you some pills to prevent altitude sickness, so if you start feeling dizzy while trekking you can take them. Another good advice (but also a natural one) is buying some coca leaves, the taste is kind of bitter, but it makes it function, so you are going to feel much better after chew some.
Always carry water bottles and some snacks, you are going to spend many hours trekking, it’s better to have energy to do it than feel tired all the way through the volcano.
After admiring the views the peak of Misti volcano offered us, we must remember to buy something that always remember us the good time we had on our trip! We know that it can be exhausting to do it after waste all our energies, so an option we have is to buy souvenirs on internet! That way we can gain time to rest or to walk one more time through the White City before leaving. Tinkuy is an online store that offer different kind of Peruvian souvenirs, so you can buy clothes made of baby alpaca wool, handmade home décor and at the same time helping Peruvian artisans! What’s the best part? You can ask for personalized items, so feel free to ask for a price quote.