I'm settling in Arequipa, Perú

May 5, 2024

I am now settled into a 2-bedroom apartment in Arequipa, Perú. From both of the bedrooms is a view of Volcán Misti, or Misti Mountain, a dormant volcano. Very close by is the dormant volcano group called Volcán Chachani. Arequipa sits in a valley at an average of 2328 meters (7638 feet) above sea level. The lowest part of the city is 2,041 meters (6,696 ft) above sea level at the western side of the valley in the area called Huayco Uchumayo while the highest is located at 2,810 meters (9,220 ft) above sea level where the urban sprawl extends up the side of Misti. The Chili River splits the city center in half. The Chili River is fed from the nearby volcanos.

Misti Mountain has its crater at 5,822 meters (19,101 feet) and inside the two nested craters there is a lava dome and active fumaroles, or vents. The volcano is dormant but not extinct. The last major eruption was 2,060–1,920 ago. Misti sits just 17 kilometers (11 miles) from the city center making it one of the most dangerous volcanos in the world because of the city's population of around 1.3 million. Over the last few years the city's urban sprawl has crept within 12 kilometers (7 1/2 miles) of the volcano.

Chachani is a volcanic group that sits about 22 kilometers (14 miles) northwest of Arequipa. The summit is 6,057 meters (19,872 ft) above sea level, and contains several lava domes. There has been no eruptions in recent history but it is still considered highly dangerous to Arequipa. The Chachani group encompasses both the main Chachani volcano and the 5,784 meters (18,976 ft) high Nocarane peak to the north of Chachani. It also includes the 5,484 meters (17,992 ft) high La Horqueta, the El Rodado to the west. Other peaks in the group are the 5,852 meters (19,199 ft) high Los Ángeles and the southeasterly 5,820 meters (19,090 ft) high Trigo. In total, Chachani is made up of more than 12 peaks.

The Misti and Chachani mountains are clearly visible from just about everywhere in the city and make for quite a sight, they dominate the skyline. The photo above on the homepage is from one of the two bedrooms.

I wrote much more about the history of Arequipa in an earlier blog, simply search for Arequipa in my search box.