The Santuario de la Virgen de Chapi (Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary of Chapi) is located 40 kilometers from Arequipa. It is a center of pilgrimage for many Catholics who come here from all over Peru, Chile and even Argentina. Every year, thousands of pilgrims cross the desert to venerate the image of the Virgin Mary, today known as the Virgen de Chapi.
In 1790, the priest Juan de Dios José Tamayo tried to replace the statue with small images of the Virgin Mary, but failed because the statue suddenly became too heavy to move.
News of this miracle spread like wildfire, and today the faithful walk about 45 kilometers to reach the abandoned site at 2,420 meters above sea level.
Before the first stop, the pilgrims collect stones of various sizes, which they will leave on Tres Cruces by the road, as a symbol of weariness and sins. It is believed that by leaving stones, a person leaves his sins. The same thing happens on Alto de Horniglia and then on Sieta Toldot, 15 kilometers from the place where countless candles flicker in the night.