Also known as Guagua-Putina, this stratovolcano is located in southern Peru, 11 miles from Arequipa, and stands at 19,101 feet above sea level. The volcano features a symmetric conical shape, characteristic of rotating layers of lava and debris from eruptions. El Misti’s last eruption was in 1985, and is now a popular climbing attraction.
There are two main routes, including the Pastores route and the Aguada Blanca route. Pastores is the more popular choice, as it’s closer to Arequipa. It starts at 10,800 feet, with an overnight stop usually being made at Nido de Aguilas around 14,800 feet. The Aguada Blanca route begins at Monte Blanco camp at 15,700 feet. At the top, you’ll find a large iron cross standing 33 feet tall, which was erected in 1901. While neither climb is particularly technical, both require peak fitness due to the steep sand slopes. These excursions are best done between July and November when the climate is most favorable for climbing.