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Best 5 Things to do in Arequipa

Arequipa is also known as the “white city”, in Spanish language “Ciudad Blanca”, due to its colonial elegant buildings made of white porous volcanic stone called “sillar. It is the second largest city in Peru after Lima. It’s a great stop while visiting Peru and you can consider to stay there for 2 or 3 days during your Peru trip.

Here a list of things you can consider doing and places to visit in Arequipa:

  • Plaza de Armas: the social heart of the city, where you can find the popular white cathedral, the beautiful fountains and the characteristic palm trees. Here you can relax and get in touch with local people that usually gather in the main square. The square is surrounded by arches where you can find bars and rooftop cafes to chill and enjoy the view of the square. After sunset the lighting is amazing and you can enjoy the square at its best.

  • St. Catalina Monastery: One of the most ancient spots in the city, the monastery is a large complex in the heart of the city center. It’s located only 5 to 10-minute walking distance from Plaza de Armas and it is easily recognizable due to the colors of the walls, which go from red to deep blue. You can choose to visit the area on your own or through a guided tour.  

  • Yanahuara: This is a middle-class residential district of Arequipa, famous for its Mirador and the Yanahuara’s Church. The area is not located in the city center, but it is worth visiting. El Mirador (lookout point) offers an amazing view of El Misti Volcano. The district is full of colonial buildings and churches.

  • El Misti Volcano: If you are into treks, you are an experience climber, you should pay a visit to the charming Misti volcan, located at more than 5,500 mt above sea level, which last erupted in 1985. Remember to bring with you coca leafs which will help you with the altitude if you want to do the 2-day trek to reach the top.

  • Sachaca District: This is another district of Arequipa famous for its mirador where you can enjoy a charming view of the city’s historic center and El Misti volcano. The plus of this district is definitely food, since there you can find several “picanterias”, traditional restaurants serving local dishes such as “rocoto relleno”. 

We did not include the Colca Canyon on purpose since we believe you need an additional 2 days to include it in your itinerary. 

For more information you can send us an email at or call us +1 7038225311. 



Arequipa Peru

Four Must-try Culinary Spots in Arequipa

When traveling to Arequipa make sure you will have some free time to enjoy its food, since the city is a paradise for foodie. There are many culinary spots that you should try: from the local market stall to fine dining restaurants, from traditional “Picanterias” to gourmet restaurants. “Picanterias” are all about traditions; they are very cozy places where you can eat traditional and genuine food, that they are usually open only for lunch. The dining room is always very rustic with simple details and table settings, but you will be amazed by the delicious food. So make sure you have enough time to try traditional dishes such as “Rocoto Relleno” and discover the genuineness of local ingredients.

Tradiciones Arequipeñas RestaurantIt is a “picantería” located a few kilometers from Arequipa city, Paucarpata. It has a beautiful view of the Misti Vulcan from the second floor. It is a tourist picantería nonetheless the welcoming simplicity keeps showing the typical places of the region.
Address: Av. Dolores, 111 Paucarpata – Arequipa

Chicha Restaurantowned by Peru most famous Chef, Gaston Acurio, this restaurant offers a unique culinary proposal in town and amazing and welcoming interiors. It serves traditional Peruvian food in a colonial atmosphere and the service is outstanding. The menu includes a wide range of traditional dishes and cocktail options. Address: Calle Santa Catalina 210 interior 105, Arequipa

Ocopa RestaurantThe Ocopa restaurant keeps his recipes from generation to generation; travelers and locals taste its exquisite dishes in a cozy atmosphere. This is a cozy place with a long tradition in its cuisine, excellent for family trip. Address: Plaza de Yanahuara, Arequipa

Picantería La Nueva Palomino: This restaurant is located in Yanahuara district and it is very popular among turists and locals, so it could often be crowded. Its chef and owner, Monica Huerta Alpaca, is an expert in local food, such as the potato cake, potato with ocopa sauce, fried local cheese, the “rocoto relleno” filled with minced meat and deliciously seasoned, and much more. The portions are usually huge, so I suggest you to share and try a bit of everything that’s on the menu. As all the “picanterías” in the city, it is only open during the day. Address: Leoncio Prado 122, Arequipa

So, here you have four great options to enjoy food in Arequipa and you are ready to embark in a journey of tastes and traditional scents. If you have other culinary suggestions, you are welcome to include it in the comments below!



Arequipa Peru Peru Destinations

What to do in Arequipa

Arequipa, also known as the “White City”, is located in the south of Peru, about 475 miles far away from Lima. You can easily reach the city by plane or by bus if you have more time available. The bus ride will last approximately 16 hours, so it is a long ride as you can see, especially due to the highway conditions. I can say that Arequipa is really worth a visit if you are in Peru for more than a week. Here a list of sights you must visit once there:

The Cathedral and the main square: The construction of this church began in 1544, predominantly in the neoclassic style, with three naves, enormous columns, a great Belgian organ and a French neo-gothic pulpit. It was gutted by fire in 1844, it was then rebuilt and damaged again by the 1868 earthquake.  Most of what you see today is what has been rebuilt. It has splendid treasures of gold and silverwork, such as two monstrances of gold and precious stones. The interior is simple and airy, with a luminous quality, and the high vaults are uncluttered. It also has an international flair since both the altar and the 12 columns (symbolizing the 12 Apostles) are made of Italian marble.


Santa Catalina’s Monastery: The Monastery of St. Catherine of Siena, or Convent of Santa Catalina, is a religious building located in the historical center of Arequipa. We believe it is the most fascinating religious complex in Peru. Its architectonic style is mainly colonial; visitors can enjoy walking through the colorful narrow streets and merged into the meditative atmosphere of the place.

Colca Canyon: The fabulous Colca Canyon is reached via three packed dirt roads. All leave from the city of Arequipa and lead to the town of Chivay, crossing the Salinas and Aguada Blanca national reserves. The shortest road (148 km or 4 hours) is the recommended one since it is in good condition. Perhaps one of the major attractions of the area is its spectacular terracing, considered among the most extensive in southern Peru. The possibility of observing the flight of the condor in its native habitat, and the impressive scenery of one of the most beautiful spots on Earth make the Colca Canyon one of the most important travel destinations in the southern Andes. Usually it is better to spend the night in the area, since the daily hike could be tiring.

Tristan del Pozo Old House: a large mansion, finished in 1738 and located in the historic center of the city. The house, built for the General Don Domingo Carlos Tristan del Pozo, is one of the best example of “Arequipeña” architecture. In the house there is an art gallery divided in three areas with more than 40 art pieces from the BBVA Continental collection.

Carmen Alto viewpoint: if you love amazing landscapes you should not miss the Carmen Alto viewpoint. Here you will enjoy the view of Arequipa’s 3 volcanoes: the Chachani, the Misti and the Pichu Pichu. The Viewpoint (Mirador in Spanish language) is located about 6 Kilometers from Arequipa and I suggest you to visit it early in the morning to enjoy a stunning view of the city.

Yanahuara Viewpoint: This scenic viewpoint is located in the picturesque Yanahuara district, perched on a hill overlooking the city, 2 Kilometers far away from the city. Here you can enjoy a stunning view of the traditional neighborhoods of Arequipa.

The last tip that I can give you on Arequipa is that you should not miss a visit to the local market, where you can find local products and traditional handicrafts from the region. The fabric produced in Arequipa is extremely colorful with beautiful floral patterns. So, I am sure you will enjoy a visit to this city and you will be trapped by its colonial and baroque charm.