In this hot desert in the Majes valley, there are over 600 figures carved in stone, showing plants, animals (birds, mammals and reptiles) and geometric shapes. The images were carved in 1100 AD and are scattered throughout an area of 5,000 square metres.
Several techniques were used to create these petroglyphs, such as banging on the rock, scratches and percussion: various styles that, along with the changing themes of the figures, provide evidence that the petroglyphs were all made during different times.
They can be found 7 kilometres from Corire, a village in the Majes valley, 162 kilometres from Arequipa.
Valley of the Volcanoes
This marvel is located in Andagua, in the province of Castile, 10 hours from Arequipa. In 1941 the topographer Hoempler recorded 85 volcanic cones, many of which have petrified lava from the prehistoric period. It is thought that this fantastic geographic space at nearly 4000 metres above sea level was created more than two hundred thousand years ago when a volcanic ridge erupted violently, creating what look like small volcanoes, which are now extinct.
Some of the volcanoes of Andagua, like Chilcayoc Grande (3338 metres above sea level), emerged as a result of this tectonic movement, while others, like the Chilcayoc Chico (3345 metres) and Hechapita, were formed from tectonic gaps and lava.
The cones that surround the country village of Andagua (3587 metres) is a quiet community that boasts other attractions other attractions such as the waterfall of Sanquilay, the Pumajallo suspension bridge and Antaymarca hill.
The valley is located 323 kilometres from Arequipa.
With a depth of 3,535 metres, this is the world’s deepest canyon. It can be found in the province of La Unión, 12 hours away from the city of Arequipa. In Cotahuasi (Casa de la profundidad in Spanish, House of Depth in English) there are many great sights to behold such as the Sipia waterfall which has a drop of 150 metres, the terraces of Waynacotas and the flora of Ayahuasi and Cahuna, amongst others.
Declared a site of natural beauty in May 2005, Cotahuasi boasts beautiful scenery, with a rich biodiversity, terraces of Inca and Wari origin and its colonial villages whose roots lie in the administrative process of moving the people that lived in the highland areas to lower urban areas.
Through the canyon runs the torrentuous river Cotahuasi which comes from lake Huanzo (4,750 metres above sea level).
The reserve is located nearby the village of Cotahuasi, the provincial capital of La Unión, 375 kilometres northeast from the city of Arequipa.
This is a traditional district which can be found 30 kilometres from the centre of Arequipa. It is in a a small valley which is comprised of two areas: Yura Viejo (Old Yura), the old village where remains of a citadel and tombs can be found from the Wari period, as well as huge areas scattered with cacti.
The second is Yura Nuevo (New Yura) which has many hotels and also thermomedicinal baths that have healing properties. There are four thermal pools at the bottom of the Chachani volcano which were built in the early decades of the nineteenth century under the direction of José Nogal and Noguerol. The temperature of the medicinal water has been appreciated since the prehispanic times and ranges between 23 and 28 °C.
Near this town is Socosani where there are mineral water springs which supply water for the Socosani mineral water drink.
Yura is located 27 kilometres north of Arequipa.
The name of this district derives from two Quechua words: “yaro”, or “yara” which is a bush that can be found in the area, and “bamba” which means pampas – broad, flat grasslands. In the village one can visit the houses of Araoz and Pinto, and also the colonial houses of Rivera and Echevarria.
In this area the traditional village of Sogay can also be found. Here, time seems to stand still. In the midst of a rustic landscape stands a picturesque square surrounded by palm trees. The town is above it, with ashlar houses dating back to the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, arranged in terraces, lined along cobbled streets.
Opposite the village is a small valley through which the river passes. Here you can also see a pre-Columbian ampitheathre that has been skillfully maintained and preserved to this day, perfectly balancing the indigenous and the Spanish.
25 minutes away from the village is a small mill and the waterfalls of Sogay, which are located in Cambraca gorge, where petroglyphs can also be found.
In this district are the settlements of many diverse indigenous peoples, such as Lupacas, Aymara, Quechua, Puquina and Collaguas and during the mid-fifteenth century, the Incas. The name of the town, Quequeña, comes from the Puquina language and means “a rocky and solid place”. Here you can visit the Alameda de los Saucos, Alameda de los Muertos and Quebrada de Huanaqueros. This beautiful town is dedicated to promoting tourism, with major historical, cultural, archaeological and natural attractions.
These attractions include the petroglyphs of Cerro La Pampa San Ganito in Pajonal, Gayalopo and Curlaca; the Apu Soncamarca, terraces, natural springs from the River Quequeña, the church of San José, colonial and republican architecture, a touristic complex and a well known museum of local heroes and martyrs.
Quequeña can be found 25 kilometres southwest of the city of Arequipa (40 minutes by car).