Climbing Chachani Volcano!
As it said to be the easiest over 6000 meters to climb - This mountain is very close to Arequipa! You can take trip to climb up this peak for only 100$ - included transportation from your hotel in Arequipa to the elevation of 5000m. Then, you have to trek up to Base camp for 2 hours at 5300m. And in the middle of the night on the next day, you will be woken up for preparing to the summit. It takes 5 hours from basecamp to the summit. You have to use crampon to walk on the snow field - some route is quite steep some it's not! And when you are on the top! You will be very proud of yourself and the view will take your breathe away!
There is a double decker tourist bus that leaves the main plaza twice a day (9am & 2pm) for sigthseeing tours of Arequipa. You will drive past the main buildings in the city and venture out to the more rural areas to visit view points of the volcanos, historic houses and an old mill. If you have a spare 1/2 day in Arequipa I would recommend this as a good way to have a look around. You but tickets from the guide on the bus.
COLCA CANYON HIKE III
After lunch, it is a straight path through the 2 rather sad and deserted villages you saw from opposite just now - Coshiñihua and Malata. Then, another major hike down. Yes, you can see the gleaming swimming pool at the oasis!! From here, it is another 30 to 45 minutes.
Finally finally finally, after crossing another bridge at the foot of the canyon, welcome to the green grassy patch of the oasis!! Get into the damn pool. You deserve it!!!
As for me, I did not care if I froze to death later, I changed and plunged right in. The water stung my blisters badly though. But gosh, it was really refreshing and indeed, a paradise here as I looked up at the breathtaking canyon all around me.
At night, it will get very cold, so pile on everything. You will be sleeping in wooden and straw shacks called 'bungalows' in their tourist brochures.
The next morning, at 2+am, you will have to wake up and get ready for the, what I call, blind hike. At 3am, in the absolute darkness, we started climbing up a path. As you can't see what's down below, you can't fear. As you can't see what's up ahead, you can't feel discouraged.
But I was knackered after 15 minutes! How could I complete this upward hike in 3 hours?? Well, I give up wondering, I just concentrated on surviving to the next half hour each time. Some other groups go by 'taxis' - horses, that is.
Slowly, the canyon started to wake up as well. Gosh, it was surreal and incredibly beautiful to see the colours change. I mean, this was the other 'face' of the canyon… first, a skyful of stars in pitch black darkness and then, some grey shades discerning the distant layers of mountains and finally… we got orange. Yep, we got orange!
You should finally reach the top by around 6am. What an amazing sense of satisfaction you will have! But no, this is not the end… there is still another 30 minutes' walk through the terraced farmlands to the village of Cabanaconde for a hurried breakfast before dashing to take the 7am bus to Arequipa.
Arequipa- The White City
Arequipa is based at the foot of El Misti, a snow-clad volcanic mountain at a height of 5822 meters. Nearby is also the deepest canyon in the world (Canyon del Colca) - we didn´t have the time to go to this canyon unfortunately. Arequipa has been known as the white city as most of its colonial buildings are made from sillar, a whitish-colored volcanic rock. Getting around Arequipa was pretty easy--we did a lot of walking and grabbed a few taxies- pretty cheaply, but of coures we did the requisite haggling.