Places in Arequipa you must visit

Arequipa was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the 5 most beautiful cities in the world. There is no doubt that Arequipa is beautiful and I have verified it myself during the year that I was living there. I love that Arequipa is a very clean, quiet city that has many places to enjoy nature.

It is incredible to be able to see the volcanoes from almost anywhere. My favorite place to see them is the terrace of a restaurant that is located next to the Plaza de Armas. The food of Arequipa is something spectacular and as a Peruvian I can say that the food of this city is delicious and unique.

Where to stay in Arequipa?

The best place to stay in Arequipa is the city center and Yanahuara district (they are next to each other). Life there is very quiet and there are even many streets where cars are prohibited from going. If you want to buy food, there are a couple of supermarkets nearby, however, I recommend you visit the “Mercado San Camilo”, which is open every day and where you will find absolutely everything, of good quality and at a good price. This is the place where the locals go.

My recommendation on where to stay and why:

Arequipa downtown

Stay there if you are looking for a place with many other travelers, shopping and party.

Yanahuara district

Stay there if you are looking for a calm nice place with a great view to the volcanoes.

How to move around Arequipa?

If you are going to move within the city center, most of the time you will not need any type of transport since everything is quite close. However, the most used public transport in this city is the taxi. You can hail a taxi on the street or book it through apps like Uber. I don’t recommend renting a bike because the tracks are made of stone, which can be quite annoying.

Places you must visit

City center and Santa Catalina Monastery

Most of the houses and buildings in the center of Arequipa are built with white volcanic rock bricks called sillar. This gives the city a beautiful touch and is one of the reasons why Arequipa is known as the white city. The main square is surrounded by buildings in the form of cloisters and in one side the beautiful cathedral is located. On the other hand, the Santa Catalina monastery is the oldest monastery in South America. This monastery is painted with very bright colors and has streets named after cities in Spain.

Walking Tour in Arequipa

Mundo Alpaca

Mundo Alpaca is one of the largest alpaca and vicuña clothing manufacturing companies in Peru and the world. The products they offer are of the best quality you can find on the market. In addition to clothing they also sell alpaca yarns, rugs and wall decorations. As part of the store, there is a small museum with free admission, where you can learn the process of combing and coloring alpaca wool. In another space of the store they have llamas and alpacas as pets that visitors can touch and feed.

Mundo Alpaca Arequipa

Sillar quarries

Sillar is a brick widely used for the construction of houses and buildings in Arequipa, even the cathedral of Arequipa is entirely built with this material. The ashlar is extracted from different quarries and its color will depend on this. One of the largest quarries in Arequipa is “the Añashuayco ashlar quarry”. Tons of ashlar are extracted from this quarry every day, but in addition, this place has become a tourist attraction due to the construction of beautiful sculptures and carved walls.

Salinas and Aguada Blanca Reserve

This National Reserve is a vast territory that includes desert, mountains, volcanoes, lagoons, canyons and hundreds of wonderful animal species. The landscapes that this reserve has are magnificent and it is possible to visit it throughout the year, however, to avoid the rainy season, it is recommended to go between April and November. In this place you can do activities such as sandboarding, climbing and even bathing in the hot springs that are heat by a volcano.

Colca canyon

The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world, four times deeper than the Grand Canyon in Colorado. Species such as vicuñas abound in this place, these are small camelids like alpacas, but unlike these, their wool is the most expensive in the world, costing 6,000 dollars for a scarf. The main attraction of the Colca Canyon is the condor, which is the second largest flying bird in the world and lives mainly in the Andes. It is recommended to visit this canyon with an expert guide to avoid getting lost.

Misti volcano

The misti volcano has this conical shape with which all people imagine a volcano. The peak of the volcano is 5,822 meters above sea level and its prominence is almost 2,000 meters. This volcano is considered a dormant volcano, its last eruption was in the fifteenth century, before the arrival of the Spanish. It is possible to climb to the crater of this volcano and it can be done in one or two days. In the crater of this volcano, Inca burials have been found. They were basically young ladies sacrificed, wrapped in blankets.

Climbing the Misti Volcano