The peaceful neighborhood of Yanahuara makes a diverting excursion from the Arequipa city center, and it’s within walking distance. Head to Plaza Yanahuara and its Iglesia San Juan Bautista, which dates from 1750 and has housed the highly venerated Virgen de Chapi since 2001, when an earthquake brought her original church tumbling down about her ears. The popular Fiesta de la Virgen de Chapi is held here on May 1. At the side of the plaza there’s a mirador (lookout) with stone archways inscribed with poetry and excellent views of Arequipa and El Misti.
From the opposite side of the plaza from the lookout, follow Av Jerusalén, and just before reaching busy Av Ejército you’ll see the well-known restaurant Sol de Mayo, where you can stop for a tasty lunch of typical arequipeño food.
To head back to central Arequipa, turn left on Av Ejército, which becomes Puente Grau. The round-trip walk from the city center should take around two hours. There are also combis (minibuses) to Yanahuara from along Puente Grau (and returning to the city from Yanahuara’s plaza) every few minutes (S1, 10 minutes) to speed you along.