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Visit Colca Canyon, Arequipa - My Peru Guide
Arequipa Weather The Region of Arequipa goes from 0 to 6,305 meters above sea level (Coropuna Volcano). This altitude range provides several ecological steps as well as climates. The coastal provinces such as Camana, Caraveli, and Islay are mostly cloudy, humid, and semi-warm throughout the year with little precipitation. The months of January, February, and March are usually sunny with warm temperatures. From June to September temperatures range between 12ºC and 18ºC, and from October to May they range between 22ºC and 28ºC. In the desert pampas between 500 and 1000 meters above sea level, the solar radiation is high without clouds, and temperatures range from 22ºC to 27ºC during the day and from 8ºC to 14ºC during the night all year long. This is a dry area with a lack of rain all year long. This weather can be observed in most of the provinces included in this altitude range with the exception of La Union. In the valleys located between 1000 and 2500 meters above sea level (in the Provinces of Arequipa, Caravelí, Castilla, Caylloma, and Condesuyos), the climate is usually dry from April to December with temperatures between 3ºC and 25ºC and semi-dry to humid between January and March with heavy rain and temperatures between 8ºC and 23ºC. In this area the temperature decreases as altitude is gained. In the Andean Mountains between 2500 and 3500 meters above sea level, the climate varies based on the season of the year. During the winter months of June, July, and August, it is hot during the day, reaching 25ºC, and very cold during the night, averaging 3ºC to 0ºC. The summer brings heavy rain with warmer nights by 2 to 5 degrees per night. In this altitude range, the temperature decreases every 100 meters that are gained. This climate is observed in some of the districts near Chivay District in the Province of Caylloma and in similar altitude towns. In the Andean Mountains above 3500 meters above sea level, the climate is frigid all year long with nights always below or at 0ºC. The days can be warm, rising above 20ºC with an intense sun due to the high radiation and lack of clouds. Rain is common throughout the year and can come with electrical storms and sometimes with snow and/or hail. Daily heavy rain is usual from January to March. This climate is typical in the high areas of the Provinces of Castilla, Caylloma, Condesuyos, and La Union. A weather forecast for Arequipa can be viewed at the . Arequipa Healthcare When traveling to a foreign country for the first time, it is important to know that an illness can ruin a vacation if precautions are not taken. In Peru, the main health issues for travelers are related to stomach infections due to the ingestion of contaminated food or liquids and altitude sickness in high altitude cities such as Arequipa and Chivay in the Colca Canyon. In the first case, the bodies of foreign travelers are not familiar with the bacteria in food and water, making it easy to get an infection if precautions are not taken. In the second case, it is hard to know how a body is going to react in high altitude with less oxygen to breathe than usual, but the ill effects can be prevented from happening or at least minimized. Below are some suggestions to reduce the risk of getting a stomach infection: Eat in a clean restaurant and recommended place. (Read reviews from fellow travelers about the restaurant in trustworthy sites.) Don't eat in street food kiosks (unless the place is highly recommended by many fellow travelers). When drinking a fruit juice, ask if water used is from a bottle or purified. (¿Agua en botella en el jugo? or ¿Agua purificada en el jugo?) Wash fruit and utensils to peel your fruit with water from a bottle (no faucet unless it has a reliable filter) and then peel it. Vegetables should always be cooked before eaten. Avoid raw vegetables. (If you must eat vegetables, purchase a pre-washed bag of veggies and then wash them yourself with 1 liter of water from a bottle and a big glass of vinegar as a disinfectant.) Use water from a bottle to brush your teeth at all times. Don't drink water from a faucet unless it has a reliable filter. If symptoms of an infection are noted (constant diarrhea and even vomiting), it is better to see a doctor immediately to get an antibiotic to kill the bacteria (bacteria should be confirmed through proper analysis) and make sure the body recovers as soon as possible to continue with the journey. Plenty of liquids should be drunk to keep the body hydrated. In two or three days after the ingestion of the first pill, the body will be recovered but the stomach will still be sensitive. In the case of altitude sickness, the Region of Arequipa can be used to mitigate the symptoms of the illness before heading to a higher-elevation city such as Chivay in the Colca Valley, Cusco, or Puno. The City of Arequipa is located at 7,666 feet above sea level (2,337 m.a.s.l.) and it is a great place to let your body start adjusting to the effects of high altitude. In the City of Arequipa, there is a lower risk of getting altitude sickness although there is still a chance of getting sick, but it can be prevented from happening or the effects can be reduced by following the tips below: Ask a doctor for medicine to prevent altitude sickness from happening and take it as advised. If you forgot to ask a doctor, buy altitude sickness medicine in a pharmacy in Lima (prescription is not needed) and start taking it as suggested in the pharmacy at least 48 hours before going to a high-altitude city and continue for two or three days once there. Take it easy the first day; the first and second days avoid the ingestion of alcohol and heavy (fatty) meals, and drink plenty of liquids (water preferably). Hot Coca leaf tea should be drunk constantly. It helps to prevent altitude sickness and it helps with the symptoms. The leaf doesn't have the property of making people high and it is safe to drink the tea; however, if a drug test needs to be passed in four days, don't drink it. The locals drink Coca leaf tea to relieve stomachaches and altitude sickness. The ingestion of a lemon soda can help with the vomiting symptoms. If the symptoms of altitude sickness are felt (headache, nausea, stomachache, extreme tiredness, and shortness of breath), it is better to just rest, avoid food, and drink plenty of liquids (coca mate leaf tea). If food is needed, a light soup with vegetables and potatoes is recommended. Usually, the next day the symptoms are gone or almost gone. Another solution is to go to a lower elevation. Clinics in Peru are privately managed while hospitals are run by the Peruvian government. Prices in a clinic are considerably higher than in a hospital. Below is a list of hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in the Region of Arequipa: Arequipa Clinic, Phone +5154-599000, Ave. Corner of Puente Grau and Ave. Bolognesi s/n , Cercado District, Arequipa Province San Juan de Dios Clinic, Phone +5154-382400, Ave. Ejercito 1020, Cayma District, Arequipa Province Arcangel Pharmacy: Calle Puente Bolognesi 112, Cercado District, Arequipa Province. Ave. Lima 161, Camana District, Camana Province. Inkafarma Pharmacy: Portal San Agustin 131, Cercado District, Arequipa Province. Ave. Lima 266, Camana District, Camana Province. Calle Arequipa 389, Mollendo District, Islay Province Mifarma Pharmacy, Calle Moral 121, Cercado District, Arequipa District AREQUIPA SAFETY When in Arequipa, the traveler needs to take the same precautions taken when in a big and crowded city. Robbery is common in Arequipa, but if precautions are taken, travelers should have not to deal with this. Below are some recommendations to avoid being the victim of a robbery: When walking in the street, always hold your belongings and walk with a purpose, showing people you are not distracted. Never leave your belongings unattended. This applies to restaurants, clubs, buses, taxis, and any other public location. Never take a taxi from the streets (even if they look professional). Always call a taxi company and make arrangements by phone or have your hotel staff get a cab for you. In downtown Arequipa, you should not walk alone at night. During the day, downtown Arequipa is pretty safe and a walk around downtown can be done alone or with the guidance of a knowledgeable guide. Do not drink alcohol with strangers even if you are invited to have a few. Do not exchange foreign money in the streets. Exchange money in an establishment where you can count your money and look at the bills you are receiving. You can ask for a receipt in these places. Stolen credit cards or numbers is another issue for travelers. Below are some recommendations to ensure that your credit card or number doesn’t get stolen: Contact your credit card and let them know that a trip to Peru will be made and provide dates. Ask them to request a phone authorization for expenses over a specific amount. When paying a bill with your credit card, do not let the store clerk take the card away from you. (Remember that your bank will charge a foreign transaction fee - check with your bank about how much it will cost per transaction.) When getting money from an ATM (even if the ATM is part of the bank facing the street), always verify that the card holder doesn't have a device attached to retain your card. With your hand, try to pull the card holder of the ATM. Use ATMs inside of banks when possible. Never let a person approach you while at an ATM ("No se acerque"). When cards are taken by the ATM, some people approach the traveler to "help" and in a moment of distraction, cards can be stolen. If you have been robbed and you need to file a report, below is information related to local police stations: Santa Marta Police Station, Santa Marta 212, Arequipa District and Province. Phone +5154-206259 Chivay Police Station, Plaza de Armas, Chivay District, Caylloma Province. Phone +5154-531072
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