Certainly, the most famous cities in Peru are Cusco and Lima, one is the capital of the Inca Empire and is close do Machu Picchu, and the other is the peruvian capital and offers several different attractions. But we can´t forget the second largest city in Peru, Arequipa, also known as the white city, a Unesco World Heritage, located in the south of the country and ready to be explored for you. Now you´ll see why this city deserves to be on your travel itinerary.
Arequipa has a lot to offer, is one of the most beautiful cities in Peru, surrounded by three volcanoes, El Misti, Chachani and Picchu Picchu, with several museums, historical monuments, restaurants, incredible natural landscapes and a really impressive architecture.
It´s known as the White City because of colonial architecture and its buildings, that are all made of “sillar” (ashlar), a withe volcanic rock, very common in this region, wich gives to the place an unique and distinctive appearance.
How to get to Arequipa
The city is located 1,000 kilometers south of Lima in the southern Andes, there are plenty of options to get there by plane, bus, car. The city has an airport, but to get to Arequipa, dependind on the country, you´ll need to make connections in Lima. In addition, it is possible to reach the city bus terminal from all other cities in Peru.
To travel in peace and comfort, we recommend that all tours in Peru are booked in advance. If you want to visit several cities in the country, assistance from a travel agency is even more important, to organize logistics and transfers, optimizing your time during the trip. Our agency has the perfect packages to take you to Arequipa and many other destinations in Peru.
What to do in Arequipa
Santa Catalina Monastery
One of the main and biggest attractions of Arequipa, this monastery was used for nuns in the past centuries, is a large complex that occupies an entire block. It’s located close to the city center and actually it hosts a small religious community. To be inside is to feel like you are in a small town, basically a city within a city, with streets, squares, incredible red houses, is a little travel to the past. If you are interested in architecture, religious temples, history, art, paintings, this is the perfect spot, be prepared to enjoy this huge and interesting place for hours.
El Misti Volcano
El Misti is a symbol of Arequipa, it is not considered a volcano of intense activity, even so, sometimes the smoke expelled by him can be seen from the city. For those who like adventure and beautiful landscapes, one great option is to climb the Misti Volcano, that is 5.825 meters above sea level. An exciting and long hike, that takes 2 days, but it is not possible to go do on your own, so you need to either reserve your hike in advance.
San Camilo Market
Just a few blocks from Plaza de Armas you´ll find one of the best markets in Peru, a real part of the Peruvian culture and local customs. There is a little bit of everything: amazing fruits, different vegetables, meats, grains, juices, snacks, lots of typical corns and potatoes, and much more. The variety of colors, aromas and flavors are unique here, you won’t find it anywhere else in the world.
Plaza de Armas
The historic center of Arequipa is an attraction in itself, mainly for its architecture. The square is the main point, and is considered one of the most beautiful in the whole country, with gardens and fountains and of course, the well-known Arequipa cathedral in the background, built with European influence and also made of ashlar, the volcanic stone. There are also three portals around the square, indicating east, south and West, an unmissable attraction.
There are several other attractions in Arequipa and around the city, if you want to explore this awesome place, you can visit our site for more information or get in touch with our team to hire the best tours to Peru.