Each year between April 29 and May 2 - with May 1 being the central day - Arequipa celebrates its patron saint, the Virgin of Chapi with the largest religious festivity in the area. About 250,000 worshippers from across the country and abroad make a pilgrimage to her sanctuary either walking for 15 hours or more through the night, joining later or arriving by car or bus.
The Sanctuary of the Virgin de Chapi, which houses one of the most important images of the Virgin Mary in Peru, is located about 60 km (37 miles) south of Arequipa in the desert on a hill 2,420 m (nearly 8,000 feet) above sea level.
Find more information about Arequipa's patron saint and the celebrations in her honor in our article "Virgen de Chapi in Arequipa"
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