Arequipa is Peru's second largest city and was founded in 1540. The buildings in the center have been built almost exclusively of the volcanic material called 'sillar,' a white, porous rock, giving Arequipa its nickname of 'The White City'. The place is tranquil yet delightful, all set in a rich green valley at the foot of the mighty El Misti Volcano.
Located in the southern region of Arequipa in Peru, Colca Canyon is known as one of the world’s deepest canyons and measures 4,160 meters in depth. The valley also offers a wide range of ecological zones that are home to numerous exotic animal species including vicuñas (a wild relative of the llama), giant hummingbirds, and flamingos. Human inhabitation dates back to about 6,000 years ago, during which time vast systems of agricultural terraces were formed. In the late 14th century, the Inca incorporated the valley into their empire. The population was concentrated into towns during the 16th century per request of the Spanish conquest. Most of the churches were built between 16th and 19th centuries.