Arequipa & Beyond
Arequipa is the third destination on the LBW Wonders of Peru tour. The city is second in population to Lima and is elevated approximately 2380 metres above sea level. Many of the buildings in The White City are built from white volcanic sillar stone, and three volcanoes tower over the city; Chachani, Pichu Pichu and El Misti.
After two nights in Huacachina our LBW family boarded a double decker bus headed for Arequipa!
El Catador Winery & Pisco Distillery
We stopped along the way for a small tour and wine/pisco tasting at the El Catador Vineyard. Our guide shared a little bit about the pisco fermentation & distillation process before leading us to the tasting room.
Fun Fact: In Chile pisco is stored in wooden casks which turns it brown. Peruvian pisco retains it's clear color because it’s fermented in clay pots instead.
Most Peruvian wines are sweet. Back home in Canada I'm not much of a wine drinker because it's often too dry for me, but Peruvian wine so sweet that I don't mind it. The Rosé and Borgoña were my favourites! We also were taught the Peruvian way to drink pisco and sampled two cream liqueurs.
Nazca Lines Viewing Tower
After the wine tasting our next stop was a Nazca lines viewing tower. The Nazca lines are large ancient carvings in the Nazca desert which are best viewed from above by plane or tower. The purpose of the lines is unknown, but theories speculate from aliens to religion to calendar markings. We may not know why they were created but the lines were cool to look at!
From the tower we could see the Tree (pictured above), the Hands and part of the Lizard.
After a bit of a rough night sleeping in the overnight bus we arrived at the Los Andes hostel in Arequipa. The hostel was located just off the main square downtown near the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa. We explored the city and had some breakfast before our guide took us to feed some alpacas!
Mundo Alpaca is a combined alpaca petting zoo and museum. It’s purpose is to allow interaction with the alpacas while simultaneously educating about the shearing, sorting, dying and weaving processes. Mundo alpaca can be visited free of charge.
Here had our first alpaca encounter. We were each given a handful of a grassy type plant and the alpacas trotted right over to the fence to eat!
After feeding the alpacas we were free to explore the museum. We learned how the wool is sorted by colour and type and learned about the wool dying process. Alpaca wool is dyed using natural plant dyes as opposed to chemical dyes. There was also a machine room where we could see the different machines used for spinning, cleaning and weaving the wool.
Stay tuned for my next blog post - next week we do the Colca Canyon!
See something you liked? Let us hear of your adventures in the comments below!