A hulking, picturesque mass northeast of the Arequipa skyline, the Misti Volcano is perhaps the easiest climb to 19,101 ft (5,822 m) available in South America; which isn't to say it is to be taken lightly. Well conditioned hikers and climbers who want to reach the top have their choice of three routes (Aguada Blanca, Delantera and Grau), varying in difficulty but usually all completed within 2 days. Along the way, you'll be treated to an amazing view of southern Peru, as well as a chance to snap a picture with the 33 ft (10 m) cross standing sentinel at its peak.
Should the thought of scrambling up scree, rock and (occasionally) snow not seem enticing enough, mountain biking down the volcano is another thrill seeking option that is quickly gaining popularity among Arequipa's adventurous residents/visitors. Check with guide companies, as this activity is available but somewhat harder to find.
Location:Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reservation, 22 km (14 miles) northeast of Arequipa, Peru
Note:The best months to hike El Misti are between July and November due to their favorable weather conditions. Because towns at the volcano's base are very poor, robbery should be a serious concern for independent hikers. It is highly recommended to hire a guide or accompany a guided trek.