The problem with coming back to the same place again and again is that eventually you run out of things to do. Or at least you run out of things that as a tourist you’re supposed to do.
This was the little problem I ran into recently on my third visit to Arequipa, my absolute favourite city in the whole world.
The first time around I did all the cultural things. I went to the Monastery and the Cathedral, visited all of the museums that appealed to me (namely Museo Santuarios Andinos to see Juanita the Ice Maiden) and accidentally joined an organised tour around the city.
The second time around I did some of the above again, ate at more restaurants and made an unsuccessful attempt at climbing Mt Misti.
Explanation: it was hard. I struggled a lot. Then my travel companion and then-boyfriend contracted a suspected chest infection half way up at base camp, so to keep him alive we stayed there while the guide continued on with the others, and came back for us on their way down.
Now I’ve hit number 3 I’ve realised there’s only so many times you can look at a mummy in a dark room, so actively went out looking for other things to occupy my time (my time being 7 days, which is quite a long time to stay put in one city!). Obviously first on my list was a visit to Colca Canyon, which I will eventually get around to sharing.
But one of the surprise activities which I quite obtusely didn’t even think was available in Peru, least of all Arequipa, but ended up thoroughly enjoying and would recommend to anyone is rafting down the chilli river.
At only 70 Soles (approx. £15/$21) it was an absolute steal. The company we went with (Cusipata, pretty sure it’s one of the only agencies that do rafting tours) were so professional throughout. Wetsuit, weird rubber shoes, the raft itself and the oars are all provided, as well as a professional guide on each boat. You can optionally pay 10 extra soles for professional photos (one of the company’s employees runs alongside the rafts the whole way down the river just to get the shots) or just go with the professional video they send to everybody for free.
It was honestly one of the most enjoyable activities I’ve ever taken part in; so much so that I’m already planning my next rafting adventure in Costa Rica! I would highly recommend the experience and the company to absolutely anybody!