(This road trip took place on August 16th 2015)
Remember when I grumbled about the hop-on hop-off bus on my way from Puno to Chivay? There were wonderful landscape spread along the journey that we only had a chance to enjoy in just minutes. Well guess what? On our way from Chivay to Arequipa, we passed some part of the road we passed from Puno to Chivay, and even better, those are the road with most picturesque views ever. And we were still part of the private tour where we can hop-on and hop-off as we like !!! I was sooo excited knowing about this. When I thought the trip started winding down, I got so pumped up and happy all over again. Nothing excites me like beautiful landscape and spending hours soaking all of it while taking pictures.
We started the road trip at 7 am in the morning, and then headed south to Arequipa. Our first stop was in Patapampa. This was the place where piles of rocks were placed in both sides of the road. So many of them. It’s a symbol of prayer of the passerby that wish a safe journey they will embark, a permission to enter a place, and many other wishes. This time, we spent a bit long for 15-20 minutes.
Next, we stopped again at Pampa Canahuas, where vikunyas were let go in their natural home ground. We also made stop on the small lagoon that the water was so clear it reflects the mountain and the clouds. And the best part, we stopped by the road where we can see both Volcan Misti and Volcan Chachani before finally arriving at Arequipa around 12 am. I felt so satisfied and happy I could spend more time grasping the spectacular and epic view of Peruvian landscape and andes mountain range.
Our stop in Arequipa was quite short. The following day we had to fly to Lima before our final departure in Indonesia (we made a short two-days transit in Rio de Janeiro). If I knew Arequipa was THAT vibrant, I would’ve spent more days to explore it. But anyway, we made the best out of it knowing we only had so little time.
We stayed at Mercaderes Backpacker which has 10 out of 5 score for location. No kidding, it takes only 5 minutes walk from the Plaza de Armas if you 5,3 feet tall or 2 minutes if you 6 feet tall. But it’s a little bit “hidden”, as the main entrance door was literally placed in between 2 big store, so you need to be really meticulous when finding it. As a side effect of this strategically-placed location is a bit noisy. The facilities were great, fast internet, clean room and bathroom.
Having said that, of course plaza de armas became our first stop, we spent around 5 hours for lunch and casual walk around plaza de armas, just embraced the atmosphere and took some good pictures out of it.