Laguna de Salinas

Arequipa & Canyon Country

This salt lake 4300m above sea level becomes a white salt flat during the dry months of May to December. Its size and the amount of water in it vary each year depending on the weather. During the rainy season (January to May), it's a good place to see all three flamingo species found in Peru, as well as myriad other Andean waterbirds. It's located east of Arequipa below Pichu Pichu and El Misti.

Buses to Ubinas (S15, 3½ hours) pass by the lake and can be caught on Av Sepulveda in Arequipa, or from the corner of Jesús and Industrial Cayro in Arequipa at 4am from the Ana Express office. A small ticket booth on Av Sepulveda sells tickets, and schedules vary so it is a good idea to inquire a day before you wish to go. You can hike around the lake, which can take about two days, then return on the packed daily afternoon buses at around 3pm (expect to stand) or try to catch a lift with workers from the nearby mine. One-day minibus tours from Arequipa cost about S150 per person; mountain-biking tours are also available.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arequipa & Canyon Country attractions

2. El Molino de Sabandía

22.37 MILES

This historic mill was built in 1785, fell into disrepair and was restored two centuries later; it now grinds once again for visitors. The neat grounds,…

4. Iglesia de San Francisco

23.84 MILES

Originally built in the 16th century, this church has been badly damaged by several earthquakes. It still stands in its sillar (white volcanic rock)-brick…

5. Iglesia de Santo Domingo

23.85 MILES

A colonial sillar (white volcanic rock) church and convento (monastery) complex that, despite extensive destruction from earthquakes, still retains…

6. Museo Histórico Municipal

23.88 MILES

The historical trajectory of both Arequipa and Peru is showcased in this educational, if unexciting, museum, split into different rooms dedicated to…

7. Casa Ricketts

23.92 MILES

The ornate Casa Ricketts has served as a seminary, archbishop’s palace, school and home to well-to-do families since it was built in 1738. Today it is the…

8. Monasterio de Santa Catalina

23.96 MILES

This convent shouldn’t be missed, even if you’ve overdosed on colonial edifices. Occupying a whole block and guarded by imposing high walls, it is one of…