The department of Arequipa is located in the south of the country, with the following geographic coordinates: 70º48’15 “to 70º05’52” west latitude and 14º36’06 “at 17º17’54” south latitude; Limits with the departments of Ica, Ayacucho, Apurímac, Cusco, Puno and Moquegua, in a length of 1,071 km. By its north-east and south boundaries, by the west it presents an extensive coast to the Pacific Ocean of 528 km, representing 18.1 percent of the length of the Peruvian coast.Arequipa is conformed by 8 provinces: Arequipa, Camaná, Caravelí, Caylloma, Condesuyos, Islay and La Unión, which have 109 districts; Has an area of 63 345 km2, representing 4.9 percent of national territory, with a population density of 19.2 inhabitants per km2; his Geography is rugged, volcanic activity being an important factor in the configuration of its territory that is crossed from north to south by the derivations of the Western Cordillera of the Andes .
Around Arequipa : The spectacular countryside around Arequipa rewards a few days’ exploration, with some exciting and adventurous possibilities for trips from the city. Climbing El Misti is a demanding but rewarding trek, while the Inca ruins of Paucarpata at the foot of the volcano offer excellent scenery, great views and a fine place for a picnic. The attractive village of Chapi makes a good day-trip, while the Sumbay caves, just a few hours’ drive from Arequipa on the road towards Caylloma, contain hundreds of unique pre-historic cave paintings.
The Coica Canyon, some 200km to the north of Arequipa, is second only to Machu Picchu as a major attraction, and developing fast as a trekking and canoeing destination (best in the dry season, May—Sept). Called the “Valley of Marvels” by the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, it is nearly twice the size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon and one of the country’s most extraordinary natu- ral sights. Around 120km west of Arequipa, you can see the amazing petro-glyphs of Toro Muerto, and perhaps go on to hike amid the craters and cones of the Valley of the Voléanos. A little further nortl Canyon, which some people believe could usurp Coica deepest canyon in the world. Getting there Most people visit these sites on an organized trip with panies in Arequipa (see box on p.256). Ifyou are preparei extra hassle, you can visit many of the sites by much ch(port an buses from the Terminal Terrestre in Arequipa daily via C1trip and down along the Coica Canyon to Cabanacondi these return from Cabanaconde two or three times a day (check the times on or before arrival. Transportes Coica as do Turismo Milagros and Andalucia. Angelitos Negros Juan de Dios for Chapi at 6am and 7am Transp two or three buses a week to Toro Muerto, Valley of ti Cotahuasi Canyon from La Merced 301. The most popular trip is without doubt to Chivay and The road to Chivay and Coica is itself always a fascinan cially the first hour or so climbing high to the Reserva Blanca, where it’s usually possible to spot groups of wild pampa. The next landmark is the crossroads where the trs Chivay or Cusco routes and the oíd road to Juliaca and Pition it’s possible to make out the unusual volcanic ash sti the impressive cliffs on the northwestern horizon. The junction, bearing north and away from the more weste passing the access track down to the caves of Sumbay you’ll have to camp, but if you have a vehicle it’s easy ene en route, following the signpost (at Km 103 from Arequifto the village of Sumbay about 1.5km. At this find the guardián of the cave, frequently a young lad, for your car to continué another kilometre to a parking ten-minute walk to the caves, down into a small car bridge.The guardián will have to unlock another gate to site. Although small, the main Sumbay cave contains a ser rock paintings representing shamans, llamas, deer, pumas ; rounding countryside is amazing in itself; herds of alpt around the plain looking for ichu grass to munch, and vasi of varying colours mix smoothly together with crudely Back on the main road for Chivay, the route continué used as breeding stations for vicuñas and alpacas the region’s highest pass at 4800m. The occasional viscacha this point, darting between the many rocks and boulders Another rare species, the yapat plant, can also be spotted al semi-spherical and looking like a cross between a brain the yapat plant is traditionally used as a cooking fuel extinction and so only local peasants are allowed to utilize descends via a winding route towards the Coica Canyon. before arriving at the valley floor, the first of the area’s fai cultural terraces can be seen, with the town of Chivay ne