The best things to do in Arequipa

Arequipa is a city located in southern Peru and is known for its beautiful colonial architecture, stunning natural scenery, and rich cultural heritage. This city is often referred to as the “White City” due to the use of white volcanic rock in many of its buildings. Arequipa is also a great starting point for exploring the surrounding Andean region. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply soaking up the local culture, there is something for everyone in Arequipa. Here are some of the best things to do in this beautiful city.

Explore the Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas is the main square in Arequipa and is surrounded by some of the city’s most important buildings. The square is a great place to relax and people-watch, and it’s also the perfect starting point for a walking tour of the city. Here you will find the Cathedral of Arequipa, which is considered one of the most beautiful examples of colonial architecture in South America. The square is also home to the City Hall, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Museum of the Cathedral.

Visit the Monasterio de Santa Catalina

The Monasterio de Santa Catalina is a must-see attraction in Arequipa. This beautiful complex was built in the 16th century and served as a nunnery for over four centuries. The monastery is now open to the public and visitors can explore the intricate maze of streets, plazas, and courtyards that make up this unique site. The monastery is also home to a beautiful collection of colonial art and artifacts.

Take a tour of the Colca Canyon

The Colca Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural sites in Peru and is located just a short drive from Arequipa. The canyon is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including the Andean condor, which is often seen soaring above the canyon’s cliffs. Visitors can take a tour of the canyon and enjoy hiking, swimming, or simply taking in the stunning views.

Visit the Yanahuara neighborhood

The Yanahuara neighborhood is located on a hill overlooking Arequipa and offers great views of the city and the surrounding Andean landscape. The neighborhood is also home to a number of beautiful colonial-era homes, many of which have been converted into charming inns and hotels. Visitors can also enjoy traditional Peruvian food in the Yanahuara’s many restaurants.

See the Misti volcano

The Misti volcano is one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the region. This volcano is located just outside of Arequipa and can be seen from many parts of the city. Visitors can take a tour to the base of the volcano and hike to the summit for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos

The Museo Santuarios Andinos is a fascinating museum located in Arequipa that tells the story of the Inca civilization and the discovery of the mummy known as Juanita, or the “Ice Maiden”, who was sacrificed to the Inca gods in the 15th century. The museum features a variety of exhibits, including artifacts from the Inca period, and visitors can also watch a short film about the discovery of Juanita.

Shop in the San Camilo market

The San Camilo market is one of the most popularmarkets in Arequipa and is a great place to buy traditional Peruvian crafts and souvenirs. Here, visitors can find a wide variety of items, including textiles, ceramics, and jewelry, all made by local artisans. The market is also a great place to buy food and ingredients, with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices on offer. The market is also a great place to sample local street food, including traditional dishes like ceviche and lomo saltado.

Take a cooking class

Arequipa is known for its delicious and diverse cuisine, and a great way to experience it is to take a cooking class. Visitors can learn to cook traditional Peruvian dishes like pachamanca and rocoto relleno, and learn about the local ingredients and cooking techniques used. These classes often take place in a traditional Peruvian home, and you will learn how to cook and eat like a local.

Visit the Feria de Alpaca

The Feria de Alpaca is a weekly market that takes place in Arequipa, where visitors can find a wide variety of alpaca wool products, from clothing to home decor. The market is a great place to find unique and high-quality alpaca products at a reasonable price, and it’s also a great place to learn about the traditional Andean textile industry.

In conclusion, Arequipa offers a wide variety of activities for visitors to experience, from exploring the city’s rich history and culture, to enjoying its natural beauty and delicious food. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply soaking up the local culture, there is something for everyone in Arequipa. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Arequipa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru.