Land of volcanoes: Did you know that Peru is home to 16 active volcanoes?
What makes a country call itself a land of volcanoes? Ultimately it is the number of active volcanoes contained in its territory. Peru can therefore boast of being that, and its 400 craters attest to this. Most of the active volcanoes in this significant amount are in the Volcanic Zone of the Andes, in the south of the country, where three cities compete for the challenging title of Volcanic Cities: Moquegua, Arequipa and Tacna. The inhabitants of these places are proud of this distinction. However, the Arequipa people go further and proudly quote a famous saying that explains their plucky character: "not for nothing is one born at the foot of a volcano”. To prove it, they built their city with the stone extracted from the ashes of these giants.
To learn more about these impressive geological structures, we invite you to read this brief review of some of the most famous active volcanoes in Peru.
This giant is located 43 miles northwest of Arequipa and boasts the strange nickname of "the spitting volcano". It is the most active volcano in Peru and it returned to activity in 1986, remaining in that state until 1997. Although it has cooled down in recent years, it is silently recharging and it is not known how long it will take before it explodes again as it did in 1990, when 4 mile high columns announced that the Sabancaya was more alive than ever.
Sabancaya volcano, Arequipa.
Like Sabancaya, Ubinas was also considered one of the most active volcanoes in Peru. 24 episodes of important fumarolic activity were recorded between 1550 and 2000, the effects impacting agricultural activity in the Valley of Ubinas. It last erupted in 2006 and it remained active for three years; 4 mile columns being seen sprouting from its crater in this period.
This volcano is the main symbol of Arequipa and part of the beautiful landscape of the White City. Every day, fumaroles of varying sizes recall the power of a colossus that generates 20 microearthquakes a day. During the reign of the Inca Pachacutec, Misti is said to have awoken and caused the attempted escape of thousands of inhabitants. It is estimated to erupt every 2,000 years.
Misti volcano, Arequipa.
Like Arequipa, Moquegua is also a land of volcanoes and one of its most emblematic giants is Ticsani, which last erupted 400 years ago. The volcano is only 37 miles from the city of Moquegua and is currently in a state of "uneasiness," which means it could return to activity in the coming years, according to a technical report from the Peruvian Geophysical Institute's National Volcano Service. Faced with a possible return to activity, particles from the eruption could cover Moquegua, Desaguadero and Juliaca.
Arequipa is also home to the Coropuna volcano, which is 12 miles long and 7 miles wide. It is located some 93 miles from the city of Arequipa, between the provinces of Castilla and Condesuyos. Its snowy peak makes it beautiful to the eye, but inside, its heart of lava beats threateningly, having never recorded eruption activity, despite its size and potential danger.
Coropuna volcano, Arequipa.