¿What is the population of Arequipa, and what is the city like?
Arequipa is located in the southwestern part of the country and is the second biggest city of Peru, with a population of almost one million. It is also the capital of the department of Arequipa, 663.8 miles (1,068km) from Lima. The city sits at an altitude of 2,325 metres above sea level in a mountainous desert in the western Andes, at the foot of el Misti volcano.
The modern city of Arequipa was founded on August 15, 1540, by Agric Manuel de Carvajal, an emissary of the conqueror Francisco Pizarro. A year later Carlos V, the then King of Spain, gave it the rank of city and the coat of arms that still exists.
Its colonial buildings were constructed from ashlar (pearl coloured volcanic rock), and its abundant use won it the nickname of “The White City”. The historic centre was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in December 2000 due to its architecture and historical integrity.
¿Is it safe to walk in the streets of Arequipa?
Arequipa isn’t a dangerous city if you don’t take any unneccesary risks. There are pickpockets abundant around the calle San Juan de Dios. It is also a good idea to be careful and cautious in market areas and stations, especially at night and there have been reports of robberies in restaurants. Some robbers work in groups, distracting you while another grabs your bag.
Avoid walking alone at night and try to stay in a group especially if you are a woman. Don’t carry large amounts of money with you and don’t show off expensive jewellery or items of high value, like a camera around your neck.