Misti Volcano Trek: An unforgettable experience
Looking for the most adventurous trip in Arequipa?. The Misti Volcano trek will be a great choice. This journey full of adrenaline and beautiful views of the Andes awaits you.
When we travel to Arequipa the first thing that captures our attention is definitely the Misti volcano. This huge volcano is one of the most famous throughout Peru, plus Its structure makes it perfect for trekking without much trouble. It is for this reason that many adventurous tourists come to this place to do one of the best treks in the country.
Even though is not an easy trek, the experience of reaching the top makes it one of the most rewarding without a doubt. if you love trekking in these kinds of environments, The Misti volcano will be one of a kind experience.
The Misti volcano and is one of the seven active volcanoes in southern Peru and is located in the city of Arequipa. The highest part of the volcano reaches a height of 5822 meters above sea level, and the floor of the crater is at 5550 meters above sea level.
Recent studies show that the Misti volcano is approximately 800 thousand years old and that it is located on a base made up of rock formations that are called “sillares”. In addition, this volcano is located in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, where you can also find lagoons and important samples of the flora and fauna of Arequipa.
Treks to Misti
There are many companies in the Arequipa city that offer tours to the Misti volcano. In order to get to the top, it is necessary to take an average of two or three days of travel, for this reason, it is very important to be fully acclimatized.
Even though the ascent to the Misti does not imply any major difficulties, it is necessary to have good physical condition and health since the route represents long walks up to 12 hours a day where you will have to rest in camps that are mounted above 4,600 meters above sea level.
The return from the top of the volcano includes a shorter time, between 4 to 5 hours. Reaching the top allows you to obtain a unique view and photographs of the surroundings. Now then, for making this possible you will have two routes:
Route 1: Start from Chiguata
From Arequipa city, go in direction to the town of Chiguata. This town is about 30 km from the city and is located at about 2,970 meters above sea level. From this point, you will stay in the base camp of Nido de Aguilas to start to ascend the following day.
In this small town, you will see spectacular landscapes made up of houses built with stone and mud. All the structures of the houses have a gabled roof so that the rain does not damage them. Here you can also visit the Espiritu Santo Church from the colonial era and from its dome you can see 24 carved figures of saints and cherubs.
Route 2: Start from Aguada Blanca
From the Arequipa city, you take the road Cabrerias to 4000 meters above sea level until reaching the foothills of the Misti (this journey takes approximately three hours). During your visit to the national reserve of Aguada Blanca and Salinas, you will be able to observe vicuñas, vizcachas, birds like the hawk and the eagle; Andean foxes, and even wild guanacos in their natural state. This tour is more focused on Andean nature tourism combined with the Misti trekking.
The ascent trekking starts from the base. The entire uphill journey takes an average of eight hours. The climb is not that difficult, although the sandy terrain, dry air, and altitude must be taken into account.
What to bring
- Flashlight with batteries
- Trekking pants
- At least 4 L of water
- Leather or synthetic boots with hard plants
- Thick socks
- First aid kit
- Sleeping bag
Note: These things might need to vary depending on the tour operator you choose.
- The rainy season in Arequipa is from January to March, so it’s recommended to do this trek from April to December.
- Stay a couple of days in Arequipa to fully acclimatize to the altitude.
- Always carry all the necessary equipment. Check with your operator what is included in the tour or what is not.
- Your guide must be an experienced professional so make sure to choose a reliable operator.
An extra tip: If you are seeking more trekking options, do not forget to go on a Colca Canyon tour. You will be able to enjoy outstanding landscapes in the second deepest canyon in the world. Undoubtedly a special journey you won’t like to miss.