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Arequipa & Canyon Country

Arequipa province is Peru’s big combo ticket, with authentic historical immersion and white-knuckle Andean adventure inhabiting the same breathing space. Imagine the cultural riches of one of South America’s finest historic cities just a few hours’ drive from the world’s two deepest canyons and you’ll get a hint of the dramatic contrasts here. Ample urban distractions can be found in Arequipa, the arty, audacious, unflappably resilient metropolis that lies in the shadow of El Misti volcano. Beckoning to the northwest are the Colca and Cotahuasi canyons, whose impressive depth is a mere statistic compared to the Andean condors, epic treks and long-standing Spanish, Inca and pre-Inca traditions that lurk in their midst. Other unusual apparitions include the lava-encrusted Valle de los Volcanes, the haunting Toro Muerto petroglyphs, and the barren Paso de Patopampa where a main road ascends to 16,109ft (4910m), higher than any point in Western Europe or North America.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Arequipa & Canyon Country.