Backpacking in Arequipa
Stop number two was the city of Arequipa. If you are an adventurous person this is definitely the town for you!
Our first adventure was mountain biking down the volcano Chanchani. We all piled into a lifted SUV with the mountain bikes strapped to the top and up the volcano we went. The "road" if that's what you want to call it eventually ran out around 3800 m above sea level. Here we unloaded the bikes and prepared for our descent. The view of the surrounding area is absolutely amazing the whole ride. We took a couple of trails on the way down eventually finishing by zooming through the streets of Arequipa back to the adventure warehouse which is around 2300 m above sea level.
Mountain biking wasn't enough excitement for us, so the next day we went white water rafting; this was our first experience rafting and it was amazing! The view from the river was once again astounding. The river level was a little low so we occasionally got stuck on some rocks but we never had any problem getting ourselves unstuck and continuing on. Although the weather and sunshine were amazing the water was freezing! Therefore we did our best not to fall out of the boat.
Our last experience in Arequipa was Chocolate Making. We took a class where they took us step-by-step through the entire chocolate process from plant to finished product. This was a very interesting and tasty experience. We got to make a dozen different chocolates to take home and after learning to make the chocolate we were taught how to taste it. We tried many different kinds of chocolate and learned to pick out the subtle differences between the areas the chocolate came from as well as the percentage.
Arequipa is fairly high in the mountains which provides amazing views but can also lead to some shortness of breath when partaking in activities. The city is always dry and sunny which made the rooftop of the hostel a great place to hang out and catch a tan. Overall, a great city with lots of exciting things to do.
Until next time, Ciao Amigos!
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