The second stop on our gringo trail tour was Arequipa! The city sits in the shadow of the conical, snow-capped Misti volcano and is called the White City because many of the buildings are constructed from a white volcanic stone called sillar. We visited during the rainy season, so unfortunately we were not able to see Misti because it was covered by clouds. Bummer. Yet we did manage to see some of the lovely sillar buildings, including those surrounding the main plaza.
Another prominent sillar building in Arequipa is the Monastery Santa Catalina. The monastery is one of the best examples of colonial construction in the city, protected from newer architectural influences by its high walls and its closure to the public from its opening in 1579 until 1970. The sillar walls are painted with a range of natural paints from deep ochre to cobalt blue. I just couldn’t get enough of the beauty of the space, with the bright colors and potted geraniums everywhere. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves on this one.
I wish I could be surrounded by those colors every day. The peaceful stillness of the monastery was just breathtaking. If you ever find yourself in Arequpia, the Monastery Santa Catalina is a must-see.
Next stop on the gringo trail… Cusco!