Arequipa’s anniversary celebration

arequipa celebration

Surrounded by active volcanoes, high-altitude deserts and some of the deepest canyons in the world, Peru’s second largest city of Arequipa, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is  a popular stop en route to Cusco.  Nicknamed the white city for its distinctive light-colored volcanic stonework called sillar which glistens against the backdrop of three snow-capped volcanoes, Arequipa is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in all of Peru.  Adding to the city’s appeal is its climate.  Arequipeños enjoy more than 300 days of sun and clear skies each year.

We were fortunate enough to be in town on August 15th, the day the city celebrates the anniversary of its founding.  Beginning in the days and weeks leading up to the holiday are a series of parades, festivals and fireworks.  The main event is a giant parade through the center of the city that lasts for nearly 10 hours complete with marching bands, floats and lots of traditional costumes, music and dancing.  After which, the city continues to celebrate in various ways throughout the remainder of the month. 

Here are a few photos of my favorite performances from the parade:

parade 1

parade 2






parade 3parade 4






Be sure to check out the rest of my photos on flickr!


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