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Tucked away against the slopes of volcano Misti, you find Arequipa - the white city - all the way in the south dessert of Peru. The area is especially known for its mountainous adventures and retained culture, as many of the surrounding volcanoes have been used for ancient Inca rituals with many possible gems still to uncover.
Along the same highway that brings you from Lima to Cusco lays a high plateau that dazzles the imagination. Backpackers traveling through will probably make their way to the far end of the plateau, where the small city of Nazca is located. The city itself has plenty of hostels and hotels, but there are also a number of camping options if you have the appropriate gear.
The Lonely Planet describes Tarapoto as “a sweltering jungle metropolis”. While it is a bit far from being a metropolis, this is definitely a hot vestige of the vast Peruvian jungle. Whether you have been traveling in the cool Northern highlands, or along the coast which is cold during our summer months, or perhaps just finished trekking in Huaraz, Tarapoto is a welcome change in climate where you can finally put on some shorts and get an ice-cream of an exotic flavour (granadilla? guanávana? chirimoya? -- it's your pick!).