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Map of Arequipa- Peru

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Arequipa  is the capital and largest city of the Arequipa Region and the seat of the Constitutional Court of Peru. It is Peru’s second most populous city with 861,145 inhabitants, as well as its second most populous metropolitan area as of 2016, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI)

Arequipa is the second most industrialized and commercialized city in Peru. Its industrial activity includes manufactured goods and camelid wool products for export. The city has close trade ties with Chile, Bolivia and Brazil.

The city was founded on August 15, 1540, by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal as “Villa Hermosa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción”. During the Colonial period, Arequipa became highly important for its economic prosperity and for its loyalty to the Spanish Crown.

After Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Arequipa acquired greater political significance, and was declared the capital city of Peru from 1835 to 1883.

The historic center of Arequipa spans an area of 332 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its historic heritage, natural scenery and cultural sites make the city a major tourist destination. Its religious, colonial, and republican architectural styles blend European and native characteristics into a unique style called “Escuela Arequipeña”.

Population

The Arequipa Metropolitan Area is the name used to refer to the metropolitan area whose principal city isArequipa, according to Metropolitan Development Plan of Arequipa According to population statistics of INEI It is the third most populous metropolitan area of Peru in year 2015.

According to INEI the population of Arequipa metropolitan in the year 2007 was of 899.291 people and according to Metropolitan Development Plan of Arequipa for year 2007 this had 822.479 people distributed in its metropolitan districts.

Language: Spanish

Currency

The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (usually people just say ‘sol‘, plural soles ‘so-less’) but US dollar notes are also accepted as money in Peru, especially for higher-value transactions. So, for example, if you were just buying a cup of coca tea, then soles would be your first choice but if you were ordering a meal at Astrid y Gaston in Lima you’ll find the menu priced in dollars… In fact, recent dollar depreciation has seen the nuevo sol used more and more for even quite high-value transactions, and where a few years ago adverts for cars or computers were always in dollars, that is starting to change.

Image result for Sol (PEN) banknotes

Geography

Location

The city is located at 2,328 metres (7,638 ft) of elevation above sea level, with the lowest part of the city being at 2,041 metres (6,696 ft) above sea level in the area called Huayco Uchumayo while the highest is located at 2,810 metres (9,220 ft) above sea level.

The central part of the city is crossed by the Chili River from north to south; to the north and east of Arequipa are the Andes mountains, while to the south and west there are minor mountain ranges associated to the Andes. The valley of Arequipa, open toward the coast, plays a key role in allowing Arequipa to be a city that strategically links the coastal and highland regions of southern Peru.

A series of volcanic cones dominate the city skyline: Misti, and the extinct volcanic groups Pichu Pichu and Chachani. The western slopes of the Andes in the region feature thick layers of volcanic lava that cover large areas.

Climate

The climate of the city is predominantly dry in winter, autumn and spring due to the low atmospheric moisture and an effective precipitation corresponding to that of a cool desert climate (BWk, according to the Köppen climate classification). Arequipa has also 300 days of sunshine a year on average. Throughout the year, temperatures do not exceed 25 °C (77 °F) and rarely drop below 5 °C (41 °F). The wet season lasts from December to March and is marked by the presence of clouds in the afternoon and low rainfall. In winter (June, July), weather gets a little cooler and the low temperature drops to an average of 6 °C (43 °F).

The average relative humidity is 46%, with an average high of 70% in the summer season and a minimum average of 27% during autumn, winter and spring, according to data from the weather station at Goyeneche Hospital.

The winds are influenced by a system of local winds and the passage of frontal systems of low atmospheric pressure, which are conditioned by the topographical surrounding the valley where the city is. These winds occur mainly in the evening and early morning; mountain breezes flow in a north-east direction and in the course of the day valley breezes dominate with a South-West direction. The wind velocity along the day fluctuates between 1.5 m / s and 2.5 m / s.

Culture

Arequipa, unlike other big Peruvian cities with mestizo and indigenous features, has been labeled as a “Spanish island in an indigenous sea”, because of its regional cultural features more clearly defined than in the rest of Peru, described as a cultural and natural oasis. Culture in Arequipa is marked by the regionalism of its inhabitants; in fact, unlike other regional sentiments within Peru, Arequipa’s regionalism was connected to the fight against centralism. This proud regionalism, expressed in numerous insurrections or revolutions have earned the city the nickname “Ciudad Caudillo” (Warlord City) or better explained by Peruvian historian Jorge Basadre: “Arequipa is a gun pointed at the heart of Lima”, when making a reference to the antagonism between both cities.

An element of culture in Arequipa City is its Spanish dialect which incorporates a distinctive rhythmic way of speaking, which usually elongates the last vowel of the final word in each sentence. A distinctive feature of this dialect is the “voseo”, that is, the use in Spanish language of the pronoun ‘vos’ to replace the use of ‘tú’ or ‘usted’ (all meaning the pronoun ‘you’). In Peru, the voseo is sometimes heard only in rural areas except in Arequipa, where that way of speaking is heard in both rural and urban areas. Another dialect from the city surroundings, called loncco,has been largely lost due to migration from other provinces and the standardization of Spanish language by the media. However, there are contests in schools which promote the writing of poems in the loncco dialect.

Literature in Arequipa has a long tradition and many of the city’s writers have gained recognition in Peru and internationally. During the Spanish colonial period only the works of Lorenzo de Llamosas have survived to these days. In the nineteenth century, the poetry and fables of Mariano Melgar are a good reference of the regional literature at the time, with both patriotic and romantic themes. Other notable writers of Arequipa in that century are: Benito Bonifaz, Jorge Polar and Maria Nieves y Bustamante, among others. In the twentieth century, Mario Vargas Llosa is the most recognized of the Arequipan writers in Peru and abroad, winner of Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010; author of novels like The Green House (1966), Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977), among others. Other writers of the past century who took part of the cultural life of the city were the poets Percy Gibson, Cesar Rodriguez Atahualpa and Oswaldo Reynoso.

Among the scientists who were born and/or developed their research in Arequipa are: Pedro Paulet (a pioneer scientist on rocket propulsion) and Mariano de Rivero (geologist and politician). One of the most important research facilities in the city was the Astronomical Observatory of Carmen Alto, which was operated by Harvard University between 1891 and 1927, when the university moved its astronomical operations to South Africa.

Transport

Arequipa’s urban road network has a radiocentric structure with four main avenues: Avenida Ejército, Avenida Jesus, Avenida Alcides Carrion and Avenida Parra; which allow the movement of the population between the intermediate and peripheral areas and the downtown. These avenues are connected, in turn, by other avenues such as Avenida Venezuela, Avenida La Marina, Avenida Salaverry, Avenida Cáceres, among others, which almost form a ring around the downtown. Other avenues such as: Avenida Cayma, Avenida Goyeneche, and Avenida Dolores link the suburbs and nearby districts with downtown Arequipa. Interchanges such as the one at Avenida La Marina and another one at Avenida Caceres help to relieve urban traffic. A road of 40 km approximately, which goes through the district of Uchumayo, connects Arequipa to the Pan-American Highway and coastal cities; another road goes through the district of Yura, connecting Arequipa to other cities in the southern highlands like Puno and Cuzco.

Public transit in Arequipa is currently operated by small private companies.

Arequipa’s only airport is Rodríguez Ballón International Airport, which is operated by a private consortium through a concession granted by the government since 2011. It is located in the district of Cerro Colorado, about 12 miles (19 kilometres) northwest of the downtown, and because of its features and facilities is considered one of the best in the country There are regular flights to Peruvian destinations such as Lima, Cuzco, Tacna and Juliaca and to international destinations such as Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires.

The railway network system has been operating in Arequipa since 1871, and enables communication between the coast and the mountains and different levels of progress and expansion of population centers located in its path. The system consists of the lines Cusco-Puno-Arequipa and Arequipa-Mollendo. It is of great strategic importance in the multimodal communication system in the southern macro region, since it is the most effective and economical way to transport heavy loads over long distances.

Terrapuerto Internacional Arequipa is a bus terminal located in the district of Jacobo Hunter. There, several bus companies offer land travel routes to regional and national destinations within Peru and to international destinations such as La Paz, Santiago de Chile, Mendoza and Buenos Aires.