Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Travel Photo of the Day: Morning Dancers, Arequipa, Peru

In September/October 2006, we traveled for five weeks across Peru from Lima to Cusco, stopping in various cities along the way, eventually arriving at the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. When we stopped in Arequipa one clear early morning, the main square was already filled with the sounds of church bells and music and colorfully dressed dancers. Many of the dancers were young, still in their teens and in high school, but belonged to dance groups that performed on the weekends.

Arequipa was founded in 1540 by the Spaniards, although it was home to the Incas and other indigenous populations for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. On the outskirts of the city sit three volcanoes: the still active El Misti, and the now extinct Chachani and Pichu Pichu. The city is also the jumping off point for the impressive Colca Canyon and Cotahuasi Canyon, two of the world's deepest canyons and the home to one of the largest birds in the world, the Andean Condor.

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