Its name is derived from the Queshwa word “ari-que pay”, meaning, “Yes, stay here” Arequipa is located at the division point between the central Andy region and the central-south Andy region, incorporating the valleys, which are located south of the Sihuas River. The division was more pronounced during the reign of the Wari Empire, which occupied the northern valleys up to the Sihuas River.

The cultural height coincides with the reign of the Churajon , which extensively occupied the Arequipa valleys, with densely inhabited villages and big agricultural projects that comprised irrigation projects, terraces and completely dominated valleys. In Arequipa there are important areas like Casapatac, Sabandia or Churajon, which are densely populated. En los valles del norte se desarrolló,en la misma época que Churajón, la Cultura Chuquibamba, con extensiones en las provincias sureñas de Ayacucho y con contactos con el Cusco.

The settlements of this culture, generally identified with the Collaguas, are especially notable in the Colca Valley. . Through Arequipa, the Incas descended to the Yunga region in search of new conquests. On the slopes of the Misti Volcano, the Spanish conquistadors led by Manuel de Carbajal founded the city of Arequipa.

In the Republican era, memorable revolutions took place here, such as those of Ramón Castilla, Mariano Prado, Nicolás de Piérola, Sánchez Cerro and others by those who have been called “caudillos colectivos” (collective leaders). Arequipa has become the center of the economic complex of southern Peru and is one of the most important milk producing departments of the country.


A thick layer of volcanic lava covering large areas of its interandean sector characterizes its territory, which comprises an area of 63,345 square km. It is marked by extremely deep canyons like the ones formed by the rivers Ocona and Majes, which antagonize plateaus of medium altitude like La Joya and others of great altitude like for example la Pampa de Arrieros and the ones that exist in the regions of Chivay, Huambo and Pichucolla. The spectator can also observe volcanic cones that emerge above the plateaus forming summits like the Misti, Chachani, Ampato, Mismi, Solimana and Coropuna. In contrast to those high summits, there are deep and impressive canyons like the Majes, the Colca, the Sihuas and the Ocona, where important aspects of the geological evolution of its territory can be observed. In the costal area, low altitude plateaus and dunes constitute the characteristic traces of the desert of Arequipa. Particularly beautiful and developed are the ones observed in the prairies (“pampas”) of Majes, Sihuas and La Joya. From a hydrographic point of view, the rivers that feed its territory, belong mostly to the Pacific basin, but there are also some that belong to the hydrographic system of the Amazon river Among its main rivers are the Ocona, the Yauca, the Camana and the Quilca. The origins of the Amazon river, the largest river on our planet. Politically, Arequipa is divided into 8 provinces and 107 districts. Its main resources are wheat, cotton, rice, onion, garlic, quinoa, fruits and milk. According to the National Institute of Informatics and Statistics, in June 2002 the estimated population for the Department of Arequipa consisted of 1,101,005 inhabitants and the city of Arequipa counted 830,034 inhabitants.


Arequipa, also called “the White City”, because of its predominant use of sillar stone structures, is the capital of the Department. It offers the tourist great examples of different architectural styles, as seen in temples, convents, monasteries and its most famous Convent of Santa Catalina which dates back to the year 1580, as well as a great number of impressive mansions. Its countryside is of great beauty, as are the adjacent villages of Cayma, Carmen Alto, Yanahuara and Characato, where an observatory is located.
Its contrasting background is the beautiful and imposing Misti Volcano. Besides, we can find beautiful beaches like Mejia, Mollendo and Camana, and thermo-medicinal baths like Yura, Socosani and Jesus.
The Colca Canyon, which is located in the Province of Caylloma, is more than 100 km long and its deepest end starts a few kilometers after Chivay, its deepest point being 3,400mts. It is considered the deepest in the world. The area surrounding the Colca is considered to be very appropriate for practicing adventure tourism.(canoeing, rowing and hiking)
. The Aguada Blanca Reserve is one of the most important reserves for the reproduction of vicuña, a type of small llama-like animal that produces the finest wool for materials of the highest quality.