Arequipa, the 'white city', is a peaceful colonial city, situated at 2.325 m. altitude and surrounded by volcanoes of which the most famous and highest is 'El Misti (5.822 meters). Interesting to visit is the beautiful monastery of Santa Catalina. For 400 years, nuns have lived here in total isolation. It was not until 1970 that the monastery was opened to the public. In the 'La Católica' University, you can visit 'Juanita', an extremely well kept Inca mummy. The Incas sacrificed this little Inca girl to a volcano in order to please the gods.
- The Santa Catalina Monastery: This monastery is Peru's most impressive religious construction. Founded in September 1579 under the patronage of Saint Catherine of Sienna, its doors remained closed to the world until 1970. Spreading over 20,426 square meters, its 16th and 17th century design has remained intact.
- Church of the Company: A 17th century Jesuit church with a remarkable sculpted facade and carved wood pulpit
- Colca Canyon: Traveling north from Arequipa, there are many picturesque landscapes, snow-capped mountains and small villages. Founded in the 16th century by Viceroy Toledo, the villages have remained as if suspended in time, preserving their original characteristic features such as the layout of their streets, richly decorated churches and traditional festivities. The canyon itself is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and contains many pre-Inca terracing sites. El Mirador (the Lookout) or Cruz del Cóndor is located on the high cliff at the deepest point of the canyon. The view here is fantastic but most people come to see the immense Andean condor, which is usually spotted in the morning hours.
Arequipa is accessible by plane (from Lima, Juliaca and Cuzco) and by bus from Puno and Nazca.
There is no 5-satr hotel in Arequipa. There are two 4-star hotels: Libertador Hotel and Hotel Cabildo. Good Tourist class hotels and hostels are abundant.
When to go
The best time to visit Arequipa is during the dry season, from April to November. However, Arequipa can be visited all year round, as it does not rain a lot.
The number of days we would suggest to spend here is a min of 2 days, in case your client does not visit the Colca Canyon and a min
In case of a private Colca Canyon Tour, you could opt for a private transfer to Puno, which is only 5 hours away from the Colca.