Arequipa celebrates founding anniversary this month

by Arequipa Travel on August 2, 2010

dances of Arequipa Peru

Dances of Arequipa Peru

The month-long celebrations marking the founding anniversary of Arequipa began Sunday, August 1, with a colorful and lively parade of more than 1000 costumed dancers and musicians.

On Sunday morning, hundreds of locals and tourists took to the southern city’s streets to watch the dancers and floats coming from the surrounding provinces of Castilla, Condesuyos, La Union, Caylloma, Caraveli, Camana, Islay and Arequipa.

Acting Governor Aaron Maldonado thanked everyone for their attendance and participation in the nearly four-hour long parade which also featured native animals such as llamas and alpacas.

Arequipa, one of Peru’s most beautiful cities and an increasingly popular tourist destination in the Andean country, this month is celebrating 470 years of its Spanish Foundation.

On August 15, 1540, the city was founded by Manuel Garci de Carbajal. The name Arequipa derives from a quechua phrase, “Arequipai” which means, “Yes, stay here”. A very proper name when you consider the charm of the city and the hospitality of its inhabitants.

Arequipa is located on Peru’s western Andes, at 2350 meters above sea level, at the foothills of the Misti Volcano. It is an outstandingly attractive colonial city, constructed to a good extent with a petrified lava material known as “sillar”.

The temples and convents as well as the beautiful homes and residences have a distinct architectonic seal which combines elements of the Italian baroque, the Spanish plateresque and the original Andean touches, as described in an article.

Arequipa is situated 1020 kilometers (some 650 miles) south of Lima and is easily accessible by air with daily flights from the capital city, which only take one hour and ten minutes. It can also be reached by road.

The surrounding countryside presents magnificently bucolic sights and the city is the natural gateway to the fantastic Colca Canyon.

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