According to projections of the National Institute of Statistics and Computerized Information (INEI), with its population of around one million inhabitants, Arequipa is the country´s second most populated city, after Lima; Peru´s capital city.
Since it shelters the Constitutional Court, this makes it Peru´s Judicial Capital City, better known as the “White City”, given that white volcanic stone, called “Sillar”, was traditionally used to build its churches, palaces, mansions and houses, as its sparky white color gives these colonial buildings an extraordinary shine, in the sun.
Thus, Arequipa keeps its old colonial architecture, with some Baroque style constructions, and also displays modern buildings, such as luxury hotels, banks, shopping centers, etc., giving visitors the opportunity of a pleasant stay, as much in the city´s Historical Center, declared as a “World Cultural Heritage Site”, by the UNESCO, in the year 2000, as in its surrounding districts and lovely countryside.
Its name comes from the Quechua words “Ari quepay” which means: “Yes, stay”, as an invitation to stroll around the city´s streets, with their white “sillar” stone walls, and to enjoy the locals´ friendly attitude that make you feel a peculiar energy and strange impulse that make you want to stay there.
Arequipa is situated at 2,325 meters (7,628 feet) above sea level, and is surrounded by three volcanoes: The Misti flanked by the Chachani and Picchu Picchu that are smaller.
In 2017, the BBC World TV Channel highlighted that Arequipa had been designated, by Forbes Magazine, as the world´s “Collest” city to visit.
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