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March 20, 2023
Mar. 18, 2023
Moquegua, Peru: population: about 90,000. When the Spanish founded the city they gave it the name "Villa de Santa Catalina de Guadalcázar del Valle de Moquegua." The date of its founding is questionable. First, though, the pronunciation of its name is 'moh - kay - wah'.
Moquegua and the valley it sits in has been inhabited for a very long time. There were several successive cultures over thousands of years before the Incas conquered the Wari people. Archeologists have found a site they date back to 3500BC that includes habitations and workshops. Over the centuries various groups have inhabited the valley and the nearby mountains and hills. The Wari developed terraced farms along the hillsides. Then along came the Incas in the 15th century. They conquered the Wari and the other groups of indigenous peoples. Then a century later the Spanish arrived and conquered the Incas. As for the founding date of Moquegua, that is uncertain. According to traditions passed down it was in November 1541. The city name was changed to Moquegua in 1821.
Mar. 16, 2023
Arequipa, Peru: population: about 1,200,000. "The White City." Arequipa sits in a high mountain valley, the Chili Vally, with Andes on two sides and high coastal hills on the other two sides. In the Andes Mtns are three volcanos - The Misti (an active volcano), and Pikchu Pikchu and Chachani which are extinct volcanos. The Chili River runs through the center of the city. The Pacific Ocean is 129 kilometers (80 miles) to the west. The city was founded in August 1540, with the name "Villa Hermosa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunta." But, in 1541 the Spanish monarch Carlos V decreed that it should be renamed, the "City of Arequipa." Arequipa is also called "the White City" because of the construction material used for most of the historical and some newer buildings - sillar. Sillar is a white volcanic stone that is mined outside of the city. Arequipa is also a pedestrian-friendly city and has very good bus and taxi services.
Mar. 14, 2023
Camaná, Peru: population: about 13,000. "La Villa Hermosa" or "The beautiful town," also "El valle más fértil de América" or "The most fertile valley in America".
The history of Camaná, well, there's very little online. The Spanish founded the town in November 1539 with the name Villa Hermosa. Then in 1540, they moved on to the area of Arequipa, about 180 kilometers southeast. In September, Camaná was founded a second time, this time with the name "Villa de San Miguel de Ribera." Camaná has a series of more than 10 beaches to its claim.
Atico/La Florida, Peru
Mar. 11, 2023
Atico & La Florida, Peru: population: about 6,000. There are two parts to Atico—the village of Atico sits about 4 kilometers inland in a valley (supposedly has a population of less than 300) and the tiny town of La Florida (the official name, though it is commonly called Atico) sits beach-side. The population number is probably for both combined, but I haven't been able to confirm that. The name 'Atico' is pronounced with the emphasis on the 'i' in the second syllable - Atico.
Mar. 9, 2023
Nazca, Peru: population: about 30,000, but if you include its immediate neighboring town of Vista Alegre the population is around 50,000.
The history of Nazca is complicated by the fact that there are two - one starts with the founding in October 1548 and the other in the year 1591. The first was ordered by Pedro de la Gasca and carried out by Don Alonso de Mendoza. The second history says Viceroy García Hurtado de Mendoza founded the town, then the Marquis of Cañete. Nazca (also spelled with the more recently added s - Nasca) was famous for cultivating the grapes used in grape brandy and consumed by the slaves. The pisco whiskey was for the higher class, those who owned the slaves. The valley was originally called Caxamarca, and the original documents of the town refer to Nazca as the town of Caxamarca de la Nazca.