Chachani Volcano – Arequipa, Peru

The second largest city in Peru, Arequipa, may actually be the most photogenic.  Sure, Cusco is  full of images waiting to be had.  It is full of old building and colourfully dressed people willing to pose for a couple pictures in exchange for a couple dollars.  However, there is so much more in terms of variety in Arequipa.  The city houses one of the most beautiful plazas and cathedrals in all of South America (check out a photo of Arequipa’s plaza here).  It is also home to the Santa Catalina Monastery which just begs for photos to be taken.  Besides the beauty of the city itself Arequipa is guarded by a series of beautiful volcanoes including the one pictured below: Chachani Volcano.

Chachani Volcano

Chachani Volcano

 The Shot

This photo of Chachani Volcano exemplifies every single reason why we photograph during the golden hours of the day (around sunrise and sunset).  Of course it means getting up a little bit early, and sometimes being a little bit late for dinner, but this is the time of day that magic comes alive.  This is the time of day where clouds fill with colour, and mountains (and volcanoes) glow in deep oranges and reds.  This is when the sun’s harsh rays don’t beat out the colour out of landscapes.  And this is the time of day where motion can be easily captured.  If this exact same photo taken at noon there would have been hazy – basically colourless – mountains, dull landscape colours, and a bridge full of ugly frozen cars.  Pack your tripod and get out at the golden hours and I’m sure you’ll see a difference in your photos.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. What a beautiful photo! I love the flash of movement on the left side; it contrasts with the stillness of the mountain so well. I have a friend who stayed in Arequipa, and she loved it. I never saw pictures, but from this one, I can see why she loved it!

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  2. I unfortunately had to cut Arequipa from my scheduled itinerary and I highly regret it now. I like the tips you’ve offered below the photo. It’s getting up early and staying out late when others are eating dinner that allow you to get these kinds of shots. The motion blur in this photo adds a nice touch.

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    • @samuel – I lived in Arequipa, it was a great place and still very much feels like home away from home

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