Matarani is located on the south-western coast of Peru and gives access to the colonial city of Arequipa, 75 miles (121 km) inland. From here it is a 200 mile (322 km) drive to Lake Titicaca and 400 miles (644 km) to Cuzco and Machu Picchu.
This major port is an important element in the current plan between the governments of Peru and Brazil to afford easy commercial movement between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans by both countries.
Matarani is the gateway to Arequipa, where you discover its very interesting prehistory that spanned over 10,000 years, ending with the arrival of the Spanish in the 1530s. Arequipa is rich with not only Inca archaeology, but also various pre-Inca cultures, and even earlier nomadic hunter-gatherers.
Arequipa is also known as the 'Ciudad Blanca' (White City) for the numerous and magnificent constructions of temples, convents, big houses and palaces sculpted in white ashlar. It also possesses an excellent climate with almost 300 days of sun a year, with transparent blue sky.
The area has been inhabited since 7600 BC by primitive men, and in the nearest ancient times, by the pre-Inca tribe of the Collaguas, and then conquered by the Inca Mayta Capac who ordered to found the first city, giving it its name in the year 1300 BC. Francisco de Carvajal, the Spanish conqueror, was the founder of the Spanish city of Arequipa in August 15th, 1540 and named it 'Villa Hermosa de Arequipa'. During colonial times it was an intermediate point for the caravans that transported the immense shipments of silver from the rich mines of Potosi (Bolivia) towards Quilca, port from which it was sent to Callao and Spain.
Arequipa also offers an exquisite cuisine, beautiful landscapes of countryside, majestic volcanoes, challenges and adventures in Colca Canyon, natural reserves, and the warmth of friendly people willing to make you enjoy your visit in Arequipa.
The ship is scheduled to dock at the port of Matarani, a distance of 75 miles (about 121 kilometres) from Arequipa. Taxis are not available at the port gate. There are no passenger facilities at the pier.
Arequipa is perhaps the number one spot in Peru to shop for top-quality baby alpaca, vicuña, and woolen goods. Many of the finest pure alpaca woven items in Peru come from Arequipa. Vicuña wool is even softer and rarer. The city also produces very nice leather goods, and several excellent antiques shops feature colonial pieces and older items; there are shops that sell handicrafts and art books.
The rocoto relleno (stuffed pepper), a dish emblematic of the White City's cuisine; the amazing variety of chupes (a type of chowder which varies according to the day of the week) or the Sunday adobo (marinated pork, very spicy); a combination of flavours of mestizo origin, blending perfectly with the spirit of the city.
Arequipa's picanterías (name owed to their food based on hot pepper), most of which are in the districts of Sachaca, Tiabaya, Yanahuara and Cerro Colorado, are veritable temples of flavour which preserve the age-old cuisine traditions of the White City.
Silver Shore Privato is unavailable in Matarani, due to the very limited number of qualified guides and suitable vehicles. Guests wishing to consider any private arrangements should enquire at Shoreconcierge@silversea.com for availability and price.