Climbing Volcanoes in Arequipa is a great way to explore the region in Southwest Peru, home to an arid volcanic range, the Cordillera Occidental.
Arequipa (2,800m) is the second largest city in Peru and the capitol of an area that mainly dedicates to mining but has a rich cultural history. The city itself has a beautiful center area with most of the buildings being made out of a local white volcanic stone called "sillar". There are good restaurants and museums to see while in town and the weather is pretty sunny and warm all year around.
For some of the peaks, the town of Chivay (3,600m) at the head of the Colca Canyon offers the perfect base to explore the area. Being closer and higher to some peaks. There are also good thermal baths to relax in the evening after climbing all day!
Climbing volcanoes in Arequipa is technically easy and just requires good physical fitness to climb. There are plenty of good options that range from one to three days like: Coropuna (6,420m), Ampato (6,288m), Hualca Hualca (6,070m), Chachani (6,070m), Misti (5,820m), Mismi (5,820m) and Huarancante (5,417m).
All of these mountains are quite remote and require a 4x4 truck to get to the base camps on rough roads. Many of these peaks are very dry and dusty, like the surface of the moon. My favorite is Hualca Hualca because it has more vegetation and there is a geyser at the base camp!
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