Pichu Pichu

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Pichu Pichu
Highest point
Elevation 5,664 m (18,583 ft)
Listing List of mountains in the Andes
Coordinates 16°26′28″S71°14′25″W / 16.4411388889°S 71.2403888889°W / -16.4411388889; -71.2403888889 Coordinates: 16°26′28″S71°14′25″W / 16.4411388889°S 71.2403888889°W / -16.4411388889; -71.2403888889
Peru physical map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Pichu Pichu
Location of Pichu Pichu within Peru
Location Arequipa, Peru
Parent range Andes

Pichu Pichu [1] [2] [3] or Picchu Picchu [4] is an inactive [3] eroded volcano [2] in the Andes of Peru. [5] It is located in the Arequipa Region, Arequipa Province, on the border of Pocsi and Tarucani districts. [5] Pichu Pichu reaches a height of 5,664 metres (18,583 ft) [1] and is part of Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve. [3]



The name possibly stems from Quechua pikchu pyramid; mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks. [6]


Pichu Pichu, together with Nevado Chachani and El Misti, border the city of Arequipa towards the northeast. These volcanoes are found southwest of the principal Cordillera Occidental in the region. [7] :896


Pichu Pichu is a 10-kilometre-long (6 mi) ridge which drops off steeply on its western side. The volcano features four different heavily eroded craters. [8]

Pichu Pichu is an extinct volcano. [9] It was active 6.7 million years ago, given the results of potassium-argon dating. Its arcuate shape is the result of a large sector collapse one million years ago, which formed the "Arequipa volcanic landslide". [10] Pichu Pichu was glaciated in the past, and this glaciation has left recognizable traces on the mountains including cirques, glacial troughs, hanging valleys and moraines. [7] :914 These moraines occur at elevations of 4,500 metres (14,800 ft) and outwash plains are located beneath them. [11] The removal of the western flank of the volcano was also originally considered to be the result of glacial erosion. [8] A series of hills at the base of Pichu Pichu may be erosion products of moraines or moraines proper associated with the volcano. [7] :910

The climate of the region is relatively dry, with most precipitation falling during the summer months. [7] :896 The Poroto and Polobaya rivers originate at the foot of Pichu Pichu and are tributaries of the Rio Chili. The proposed Yanaorco–Paltaorco reservoir would also draw water from the mountain. [12]

Between 3,000–3,700 metres (10,000–12,000 ft) elevation, shrub vegetation occurs on Pichu Pichu and the neighbouring volcanoes, whereas above the grassline a Nototriches species is found. [13]

The mountain was considered to be sacred by the ancient inhabitants of the region. Pichu Pichu is visible from the Wari site at Cerro Baúl and some buildings at that site are constructed in such a way as to point to Pichu Pichu. Processions along the hillside staircase of Cerro Baúl would have the mountain in view. [14] Stone structures are also found on Pichu Pichu itself, including a high altitude staircase that overcomes a steep pitch. [15] Human sacrifices, so-called capacochas, were performed on Pichu Pichu. [16] Mummies were found on the mountain in 1964 along with various archeological findings, but the findings were not published out of fear to avoid attracting graverobbers. An additional body was found in 1996. [17] Overall, three mummies were found on Pichu Pichu. [18] They were probably two females and one male, all 15 years old. [18]

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