If you like to get some adventure when staying in Arequipa, Peru, than this travel tip is for you.
There are many travel agencies, but only few tour operators without commissions.
- Chachani 6057 meters above sea level. Arrange transport with one of the adventure tour guides in town and be prepared for a 2-hour bumpy, swerving, scary drive around sharp curves up steep mountain roads. The base camp is over 5000 meters and the views are spectacular. If you are well-acclimated and have gear (ice axes and crampons) you should be able to summit from high camp in just over 8 hours. Otherwise just hike up the switchbacks to high camp (don´t stay there, you can´t sleep well at that altitude. Heed the mountaineer´s motto: "Hike high, Lie low") and then on to the col, from which you can see the beautiful view of Arequipa and surrounding mountains. The trek beyond can be dangerous if you´re not an experienced mountaineer. If you are, be prepared for a tough slog up dangerous scree and a trecherous traverse, and make sure you feel up to the return trip.
- El Misti 5822 meters above sea level. Is a 2 day climb there are a lot of agencies in Arequipa offering the climb for around $50 US. First night camps at approx 4600m so it gets very cold. You wake up at 1AM to make the summit for sunrise. Not at all a technical climb, you can pretty much walk to the top. It helps to be acclimatised as you can get pretty breathless up there.
- The Colca Canyon: Theoretically possible as a daytrip, but most people choose the option to stay for a night in Chivay, at the least. It's about condors and landscapes.
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