Misti Volcano, Arequipa, Peru (with Map & Photos)

Misti Volcano
Misti Volcano

A mountain peak of amazing beauty, sometimes snowy, can be seen near the city of Arequipa, Peru. This is the Misti Volcano (5822 m), also known as Putin. There are two concentric craters on the upper level of the symmetrical conical volcano. The maximum outer diameter of the crater is 930 meters, the maximum diameter of the inner crater is 550 m.

Misti Volcano 2
Misti Volcano

The winds blowing between the Misti Volcano and the mountain peak of Cerro Takune (4,715 m) have contributed to the formation of impressive parabolic dunes, up to 20 km long on the leeward side.

Misti Volcano 3
Misti Volcano

The Misti Volcano has been showing periodic activity since the beginning of historical records of the arrival of Europeans in Latin America. The first record of a violent eruption of El Misti dates back to 1438. Other eruptions have also been recorded since the mid-15th century.

The most recent activity reportedly took place from May to October 1948. In 1959, an increase in groundwater temperature was observed. The last activity was in 1985 - in the form of a powerful ejection of steam from six holes of the inner crater. Periodic fumarole activity is also often observed at the highest level of the volcano's craters.

Misti Volcano 4
Misti Volcano

The second largest city in Peru, Arequipa is located just 18 km (horizontal) and 2.5 km (vertical) from the summit of the volcano. In addition, the city is located along the El Guarangal gorge on the western slopes of the volcano. A factor such as the absence of eternal ice on the Misti Volcano reduces the risk of mudflows, but a significant danger to the city of Arequipa still remains, since it is built on ash and mudflows from the eruptions of the El Misti Volcano more than 2000 years ago.

Misti Volcano 5
Misti Volcano

The history of the eruptions of the Misti Volcano, as well as its close proximity to the second largest city in Peru, make it one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

Misti Volcano 6
Misti Volcano

Curious facts

  • The word "volcano" comes from Ancient Rome: Volcano (Latin Vulcanus) in ancient Roman mythology is the god of Fire, purifying and destroying.

  • More than 80% of the Earth's surface ABOVE and UNDER sea level is of volcanic origin.

  • The culture of Aymara, also known as Putina (Aym. Putina - "Volcano"), was the most significant pre-Columbian culture in the region, which flourished in the XI-XV centuries.

  • There are about 1.5 thousand volcanoes on Earth, not counting the extended volcanic belt on the ocean floor.

  • In the XV century. the violent eruption of El Misti volcano forced the inhabitants of Arequipa to flee.

  • The close proximity of El Misti Volcano to the largest city in Peru (2nd largest, with a population of about 1 million people) makes the volcano one of the most dangerous in the world.

  • One of the old Peruvian stamps depicts El Misti Volcano completely covered in snow. Due to global warming, now in winter, a snow cap is crowned only on the top of a picturesque volcano.

  • The "White City" has such delightful sunsets that the ban on parking on the bridge, which is in force in most cities in the world, is not relevant in Arequipa. The recently built bridge across the gorge has still acquired an official name (the townspeople simply call it "New Bridge"), but has already become a real place of pilgrimage for local residents and guests of the city. After 17:00, it is not easy to find a site on the bridge to park your car: every day crowds of people come here to enjoy the incredibly beautiful sunsets. The sun, sinking behind the mountain range, paints the monumental cone, surrounded by clouds and smoky streams, in magical colors, constantly iridescent and changing, like in a giant kaleidoscope.

Misti Volcano Map