The Arequipa region sees one of the densest volcanic groups in the Andes and even in the world. Within this group, the Nevado Mismi (5,596m) claims its fame as the very origin of the mighty Amazon River. Crystal water trickles down alone this vertical cliff at the northern slope of the volcano, forming the headstream of Rio Apurimac, and starting its 6,387km journey toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Although it has long been speculated, such ultimate source of the river was not confirmed until 2001 by the National Geographic Expedition with global positioning equipment. The condition here is harsh all year round, with rain, snow and hailstorms. There is no trail leading to the site. Only a lonely wooden cross facing a wide opened valley testifies this birthplace of the world's longest river.