27 October 2017:
Matarani, Peru:
The Deep South of Peru and La Ciudad Blanca of Arequipa

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Matarani is the deep south of Peru, a thin strip of desert with the Pacific Ocean to the west and the spine of the Andes to the east.

Peru’s second largest city (after Lima) is Arequipa, about 75 miles or 121 kilometers from Matarani, about two hours up in the foothills of the Andes,  at altitude 2,350 meters or 7,710 feet.

It’s a dramatic setting, and also about as close as many cruise passengers are likely to get to landlocked Bolivia.

And it’s not Mount Fuji in Japan, either, but it probably could pass for it in a movie background. Looming over the city is the El Misti Volcano, rising to 19,098 feet or 5,821 meters above sea level.

It is a stratovolcano, the type that is somewhat like a pressure cooker. It lets off a bit of steam every once in a while but mostly sits around in seeming quietude until it explodes violently.

And yes, it is still active, it last major eruption in 1985.

I traveled today with guests up to the base of the Andes to Arequipa, on a two-lane highway thick with trucks and buses and thin with asphalt and guardrails.

Here’s what we saw along the road:

ON THE ROAD

AREQUIPA: LA CIUDAD BLANCA

All photos and text Copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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