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Monasterio de Santa Catalina

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The colonial city of Arequipa was our final destination in our month-long Peruvian journey. We arrived in Arequipa in the mid-afternoon after taking a 6 a.m. first-class bus from Puno. (Here’s our post about Puno and Lake Titicaca.) The bus ride itself was spectacular and scenic, taking us across the austere high country of southern Peru. And  when we say high, we mean it: one of our stops on the journey topped our entire Peru experience, at 4,560 meters (close to 15,000 feet). We passed through a few small towns, each bustling with activity from the region’s mining industry. Since the bus was going on to Chivay, the gateway to Colca Canyon, we switched to a private taxi arranged by the bus company for the final 2-hour descent into Arequipa.   A White City Founded in 1540, Arequipa has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage city for its historic center, which features…

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