Traveling the world is one of life’s great pleasures, seeing the history of different cultures, experiencing the feel and atmosphere of a famous city can be the best feeling you may ever feel and traveling through South America is no exception. The hard part of any Peruvian tour is deciding where to go. The district of Arequipa is something you must put on you must-see-in-Peru list, to visit Arequipa Peru is something you will never forget.
Arequipa is one of the most pleasant cities in Peru, the perfect place to spend a few days of your trip, with a great climate all year rain and near to no rainfall. The city has a different feel to most other cities, it is modern and the people are also a little different. Arequipa has a vibe of today where some other places in Peru live a little in the past. Having said that, the city has its colonial past where you can visit attractions like the Santa Catalina Monastery and take a tour with the Nuns that still live and work at the convent today. The convent is a labyrinth of laneways with an interesting history.
Spend some time in the main plaza, very well taken care of by the local government it is generally full of flowers and the local people love spending time there.
On any visit to Arequipa, you should travel to the Colca Canyon, situated around a six-hour drive from Arequipa, the canyon is considered one of the deepest in the world. This amazing feat of Mother Nature was created by the Colca River over thousands of years; you will see the river below when you visit one of the many viewing points at the top of the canyon. One of the most spectacular sights to see at the Colca Canyon is the majestic if not ugly Condor. The birds love to fly around the canyon and if you are lucky, you may see one up close. The canyon is worth a visit so be sure to book a tour in advance.
In February, every year the local people in Arequipa celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. The story behind the saint is as follows; on the 11th of February 1858, a girl named Bernardita went into the woods with two of her friends to look for firewood and came across a river. As Bernardita suffered badly from asthma, she decided to stay by the river while her friends went to look for wood. While she was resting the Virgin Mary appeared, she is also known as the Lady of Lourdes, the girl and the Virgin prayed together, over the next eight months the Virgin appeared to Bernardita more than 18 times and she claims the Virgin cured her asthma.
The girl was treated very badly from the local authorities for her claims, however the people gathered around her waiting for the Virgin to appear, which she never did, Bernardita stayed strong in her faith until she died.
Today, the day is celebrated not only in Arequipa but in many parts of the world as the day of the sick. Many gather to pray to the virgin to cure their ailments. The place where the Virgin appeared today has a monument and is the most visited religious monument in Europe and the second in the world behind the Virgin Guadalupe in Mexico.
The people in Arequipa celebrate with family and there are processions in the street where her statue is carried. Taken from the church by local men, the statue is seen by thousands of people who throw flower petals and later in the day, a feast is celebrated in most homes in Arequipa to celebrate the goodness of the saint.
Visit Arequipa, Peru, the city if full of culture and beauty. For a different side of Peru, Arequipa is well worth your time.
Arequipa Feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the many religious festivals that Peru has to offer all year round. The color and celebrations that surround these days are worth seeing, so book your tour to Arequipa today!