Arequipa, known as «The White City», is a city with a vast history. It was founded on August 15, 1540 as the «Beautiful Village of Our Lady of the Assumption» on behalf of Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro. Later, on September 22, 1541 King Carlos V ordained by Royal Decree to name the city «City of Arequipa».
During the Viceroyalty, the Spanish Crown recognized Arequipa’s importance by granting the titles «Most Noble and Most Loyal» and «Most Faithful». During the Republic, the city became very influential, and was called the «Capital of the Republic» towards the end of the 19th century. In year 2000, the historic section of town was declared «Cultural Heritage of Humanity» by UNESCO.
Located on the banks of the Chili River at 2328 masl, Arequipa is home to more than 800,000 inhabitants, and is the nation’s second most populated city. The city has a view of a series of volcanic cones which form snowcapped mountains, such as the Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu. It features a rugged territory due to the presence of the Andes Mountain Range on the western side of the continent.
Arequipa is currently a major industrial and commercial hub in the south of Peru. It has two industrial parks and is the second most industrialized city behind Lima and Callao. It holds close business links with Bolivia and Brazil. The railway connects the city with the Matarani Port, the second largest commercial activity port in Peru. Arequipa also stands out for the production of camel fiber for export.
Regarding gastronomy, Arequipa’s food has become famous for its variety, thanks to the wide range of foodstuffs that are cultivated in its countryside and valleys, as well as in its broad coastal area. Arequipa’s gastronomy stands out for its tasteful food resulting from the use of spices and different cooking methods, from both the Andes and Europe. A characteristic of Arequipa’s cuisine is the spicy taste in a wide range of mixtures, which gives origin to the name of the restaurants where this kind of food is served: the «picanterías». The variety of this mixed cuisine is evidenced by the existence of broths or «chupes» (chowders) for every single day of the week, among other highly appreciated dishes.
The Misti Volcano is the representative icon of Arequipa’s landscape. It lies on a calm countryside with springs, old mills, thermal baths, small Andalusian-type blind alleys, and not far away, a small village settled on a stone mountain. The use of sillar stone for the construction of temples, convents and large houses gives the city a distinctive aspect. Other places that are not less popular are the Colca Valley and its canyon, the Toro Muerto Petroglyphs, and the Cotahuasi Valley and Canyon. Other places to visit include the historic Santa Catalina Monastery, founded in 1580.
The beautiful city of Arequipa is the ideal setting where PERUMIN - 31st Mining Convention will present a platform for dialogue which will enhance the importance of mining as an activity of national interest involving and benefiting all Peruvians.