Welcome to Arequipa


Guarded by not one but three dramatic volcanoes, the city enjoys a resplendent, if seismically precarious setting – earthquakes regularly wrack this region, the last big one causing significant damage in 2001. Fortunately, the city’s architecture, a formidable ensemble of baroque buildings grafted out of the local white volcanic sillar rock, has so far withstood most of what mother earth has thrown at it. In 2000 the city’s central core earned a well-deserved Unesco World Heritage listing and the sight of the gigantic cathedral, with the ethereal image of 5825m El Misti rising behind it, is worth a visit alone.

Pretty cityscapes aside, Arequipa has played a fundamental role in Peru’s gastronomic renaissance; classic spicy dishes such as rocoto relleno (stuffed spicy red peppers), chupe de camarones (prawn chowder) and ocopa (boiled potato in a creamy, spicy sauce) best enjoyed in the city’s communal picantería restaurants, all hail from here.

Arequipeños are a proud people fond of intellectual debate, especially about their fervent political beliefs, which historically found voice through regular demonstrations in the Plaza de Armas. Not surprisingly, the city has produced one of Latin America’s most influential novelists, Mario Vargas Llosa, the literary genius who ran unsuccessfully for the Peruvian presidency in 1990.


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Arequipa activities

$47 Cultural & Theme Tours

Arequipa City Tour Including St Catherine Monastery

Arequipa is known as the White City (Ciudad Blanca) due to its many colonial-era buildings made from sillar, a white volcanic rock; admire these buildings and more as you start your city tour with pickup at your hotel by air-conditioned coach. With your guide, head first to the St Lazarus quarter, where Arequipa was founded. Hop off the coach to walk along the picturesque streets lined with flowers and hear about the history of the city from your guide, and then make your way to the Carmen Alto viewpoint, where you’ll have a fabulous view of the outlying farmland and three volcanoes that surround the city: Misti, Cachani and Pichu Pichu. After snapping some photos, continue your city sightseeing tour to another colonial district – Yanahuara – famous for its Andalusia-style church and buildings made from sillar. The area is also known for El Mirador de Yanahuara, a popular viewpoint where you’ll catch more views!Next, visit the Monastery of St Catherine, a beautiful religious site home to the nuns of the Dominican Second Order that was closed to the public for nearly 400 years. Open today, it offers narrow alleyways and a peaceful plaza and gardens reminiscent of ancient Seville or Granada; enjoy the serene atmosphere as you stroll through them with your guide. Lastly, head to Arequipa’s main square – Plaza de Armas – to see the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, which has a history that dates back to the 1500s, although the physical structure has been rebuilt many times due to earthquakes and fires. You’ll then visit the Iglesia de los Jesuita (Church of the Society of Jesus), founded in the 17th century by Jesuits and known for its cloisters and St Ignacio Dome. After this perfect introduction to Arequipa, your tour ends when you are returned to your hotel.

$222.99 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Colca Valley, Colca Canyon, and Vicuna Reserve from Arequipa

Day 1: Arequipa – Colca Valley (L)After pickup from your hotel by minivan or coach, depending on group size, you’ll make your way north of Arequipa to the Colca Valley. The spectacular drive to Colca will have you glued to your window as you drive through two skirts of volcanoes - Chachani and Pichu Pichu.Pass through the Pampa Cañahuas Vicuna Reserve, where you’ll see vicunas (a relative of the llama) roaming freely in the highlands. Then drive past typical Peruvian villages on your way to the town of Chivay, where you’ll enjoy lunch and then have the rest of the day free to relax, get acquainted with the town and your accommodation, and have dinner on your own. If you wish, visit the nearby hot baths (own expense; your guide can provide information on this if you’re interested); if you have chosen to stay at the Colca Lodge Hotel, you can enjoy its private hot springs. Overnight: Your selected accommodation in Chivay or at the Colca Lodge Hotel (not included)Day 2: Colca Valley – Arequipa (L)Wake up early for the highlight of your day – a glorious view of Colca Canyon. Head with your guide to the Condor Cross viewpoint, which 3,960 feet (1,200 meters) high boasts fabulous views of the canyon, one of the deepest in the world. In addition to the canyon vistas, you’ll also hopefully catch sight of condors flying through the air. Symbols of the Andes, these enormous birds have wingspans of up to 10.5 feet (3.2 meters), and Condor Cross is one of the best places in the area to see them! Next, visit the villages of Maca (Achoma) and Yanque, where you can admire their well-preserved colonial churches before enjoying lunch and relaxing on the drive back to Arequipa, where your tour ends.

$291.25 Multi-day & Extended Tours

2-Day Group Tour to Colca Canyon from Arequipa to Puno

DAY 1 : Arequipa to Yanque (Colca Canyon) - SharedIn the morning, we will meet you at your hotel and taken on a stunning four hour remarkable journey to Yanque. Make sure to have your camera ready as you will stop at some stunning viewpoints including the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve. The reserve is home to many exotic Andean animals including vicuñas, alpacas, llamas, flamingos, ibis and the Andean eagle. You will see astounding landscapes as you drive past lakes, glaciers and some magnificent volcanoes, such as Ampato, Sabancaya, Huallca and Misti. We will reach our journey’s highest point of 4800m (15,000ft), before heading down the canyon to Yanque where we will take you to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will have a number of options to spend time at leisure. Enjoy the hot thermal springs of Yanque, go on a short trek or relax in your hotel while taking in the incredible view of the beginning of the canyon and its terraces.DAY 2 : Colca Canyon Tour and Tourist Coach to Lake Titicaca - SharedYou will be picked up from your hotel very early in the morning and taken to the most spectacular places of the Colca Canyon. Our picturesque journey leads us to the Mirador Cruz del Condor, the most famous viewing point for looking into the depths of the Colca Canyon. Here, the canyon is around 1200m deep, and you will have good chance of luck to see a few condors flying, with the amazing canyon scenery in the background. You will then continue on to Chivay. From here you will take the comfortable tourist coach to Lake Titicaca, the birthplace of the first Inca, Manco Capac. Along the way, you will be able to appreciate the scenic beauty of the Andes as you pass by lakes, lagoons, trout farms and Andean flamingos. When we reach the altitude of 4850m (12,000ft), you will have an unbelievable view of the highlands. Upon arrival into Puno, a private driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

$26 Day Trips & Excursions

Lake Titicaca Day Tour

This tour begins between 6:00-7:00 am with a transfer from your Puno City Center hotel to the port. Then by motor boat (35 feet long with a covered section in case of rain or cold weather, 25 individual seats) we visit the Uros floating Islands. Stepping on them feels very much like a water bed (but it is quite safe). We see the houses, the islands and meet its friendly inhabitants. Uros people are descendants of one of the oldest South American groups. Rides on traditional reed boats can be arranged. In the mornings these islands can be crowded. We visit two of the 60 islands before continuing on to Taquile Island. After a relaxed navigation of an extra 2 1/2 hours, getting the chance to enjoy the spectacular views offered by Lake Titicaca, we get to Taquile island. There, lives a unique community. A long path gradually ascending (45 min. hike approx.) will take us to the village, the views are beautiful. Visit the communal cooperative where you will find handicraft textiles of high quality. The views are magnificent. Then we descend the 500 steps down to the main port of the island. At 2:30 pm approx. we will depart back to Puno City (3 hours return journey). At 5.30 pm we arrive to Puno. On arrival to Puno we will transfer you to your Puno hotel.

$35 Day Trips & Excursions

Arequipa to Colca Canyon Full-Day Trip with Maca and Yanque

At 3:00am we leave from Arequipa City driving for 3.5-hour towards Chivay; the capital of the Colca Canyon on North West direction behind snow-covered Chachani. In Chivay we stop for breakfast.Then we continue driving for 1.5-hour more towards the most visited point “ the Cross of the Condor” here we are able to see the depth of the canyon and the flight of the Condor for approximately 1.5-hour. Then we visit the area that presents beautiful typical towns, like Yanque & Maca, colonial churches, gently people with typical needlework dresses, hundreds of pre-inca terraces still in use with Andean growing like corn, quinua, kiwicha among others.After Lunch we come back to Arequipa. On the way we stop at the highest pass: the view point of the Volcanoes and snow covered mountains in Patapampa (4,800 m. - 15,000 ft.). Later we will see wild vicuñas, alpacas & llamas in Pampa Cañahuas national reserve, some birds like flamingoes, ibis, andean gooze, ducks, andean eagle "Kara Kara". We will be back in Arequipa at approximately 5:30pm.

$12.50 Transfers & Ground Transport

Shared Arrival Transfer: Arequipa Airport to Hotels

When you arrive at Arequipa’s Rodriguez Ballon International Airport, your friendly, professional driver will take you to your Arequipa hotel or other accommodation in air-conditioned comfort. When making a booking, please provide all flight arrival and departure details and full address of your accommodation. Your transfer will be confirmed instantly, and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.