We left Huacachina aboard a 12 hour bus heading to Arequipa, Peru's second biggest city. It was a beautiful and scenic ride but thats not to say that it didn't scare the hell out of us! We drove along the southern coastline of Peru curving around the tall headlands which had sheer drops into the rocks below and crazy ocean. Sitting atop the 2nd floor of a double decker bus we looked a lot closer to the edge than we possibly were but we were close to telling the driver to calm down and drive more carefully. Thankfully the sun soon set and we closed our curtain to forget about it, but still sat white-knuckled until we knew we had left the coast and headed inland. We arrived into Arequipa late and headed straight to bed.
The city is flanked by three perfect cone-shaped volcanoes. Sadly being wet season it was impossible to see these. We wandered around the main square the next morning and jumped aboard a tour bus to show us the sites as we were feeling a little lazy. The weather was terrible and we thought sitting on a bus the best way to make the most of our day. Little did we know that we were getting off every 10 minutes to walk around which was not fun in the pouring rain. We went up to a viewpoint where you normally see the volcanoes (we didn't) and other stops where the guide tried to guide us but all we wanted was to be out of the rain and to finish the tour. It was a bad idea.
We had heard the white water rafting is amazing here but found out on our arrival that the river was closed during the rainy season. Between this, not being able to see the volcanoes and the constant rainfall, we decided to cut our stay short and left the next day.
Thankfully the next morning as we were boarding our bus the weather cleared for a moment and we finally saw the volcanoes. They were beautiful but not enough to make us stay longer. We imagine that the dry season would be a great time to visit Arequipa. You could go rafting, hike the volcanoes, go canyoning and enjoy the city. Our timing here was just off so we hold no grudges to Arequipa but definately had to leave!