Top things to do in requipa

Arequipa is known as “The White City” and is the second-largest city in Peru, located in the southern region of the country. Founded in 1540, the city has played a crucial role in Peruvian history and culture.

Arequipa has a rich history dating back to the pre-Inca era. During the Spanish colonization, the city was a significant administrative and commercial center. Its architecture reflects the colonial era, characterized by churches and mansions.

Below, we mention the most important activities you can participate in.

1.Free tour of Arequipa – Free!

The free tour in Arequipa, like in many other cities, is a popular option for you to explore the city with the assistance of a local guide without having to pay a fixed fee for the tour.

  • Guided by Locals: The tours are typically led by local guides who are well-acquainted with the city and can provide you with interesting information about the history, culture, and historical landmarks.
  • Price: At the end of the tour, it is recommended to leave a donation according to the quality of the tour, ranging from 25 to 35 Peruvian soles per person.
  • Reservations: Sign up for the free tour of Arequipa.

2. Monastery of Saint Catherine

The Monastery of Santa Catalina is located at 401 Santa Catalina Angosta Street in the historic center of Arequipa. This place offers you a unique experience. Below, we detail some attractions within the monastery:

  • Calle de las Monjas: This is one of the most famous streets in the monastery, walking along it allows you to explore nuns’ cells, courtyards, and buildings with vibrant colors.
  • Santa Catalina Museum: Inside the monastery, you will find a museum that houses a collection of religious art and historical objects dating back to the colonial period.
  • Santa Catalina Church: The monastery includes a church with impressive architecture that houses various works of religious art.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 16:00.
  • Price: S/40.00 for adults and S/12.00 for students.

3. Main Square

The Plaza de Armas of Arequipa is the historical and cultural heart of the city, also known as the Main Square, and is an iconic place that attracts tourists and locals alike. In the surroundings, you will see:

  • The cathedral of Arequipa: The Plaza de Armas is dominated by the majestic Cathedral Basilica of Arequipa. This cathedral was built with sillar (white volcanic stone) and is an impressive example of colonial religious architecture.
  • The municipal palace of Arequipa: On one side of the square, you will find the Municipal Palace, which houses the local government headquarters. It is a historical building with interesting Spanish colonial architecture.

4. Yanahuara city sigth

The Yanahuara Viewpoint is located 20 minutes from the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa on La Recoleta Street, s/n, Yanahuara. It is a panoramic point situated in the district of Yanahuara, in the city of Arequipa. This viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the city and its iconic Misti volcano.

  • Panoramic View: From the viewpoint, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Arequipa and its surroundings. The city is surrounded by imposing mountains and volcanoes.
  • Yanahuara Arches: These arches are made of sillar and provide a unique frame for photographs of the city and the Misti volcano.
  • San Juan Bautista Church: In this viewpoint, you will also find the San Juan Bautista Church, which is part of the architectural ensemble of Yanahuara. The church dates back to the 19th century and adds a historical touch to the place.
  • Crafts and Souvenirs: It is possible to find craft and souvenir stalls around the viewpoint where you can purchase mementos.

5. Church of San Francisco

The San Francisco Church is located at 103 Zela Street – Cercado, a 7-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas at a moderate pace. The construction of the church dates back to the 16th century and has undergone various modifications over the years.

  • Architecture: The church features architectural characteristics typical of the Spanish colonial period in Peru; it is constructed with Sillar stone (white volcanic stone).
  • Cloister and Convent: Next to the church, you will find the San Francisco convent, which includes a colonial-era cloister.
  • Religious Art Museum: This museum is located within the San Francisco Church and exhibits a collection of religious art, including paintings, sculptures, and liturgical objects from the colonial period.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00.
  • Price: S/ 20.00 per person.

6. Canoeing on the Chili River

Boating in Arequipa is an exciting and popular activity, especially on the Chili River that flows through the city.

  • Difficulty Levels: The Chili River has sections with varying difficulty levels, making it suitable for both beginners and more experienced individuals. During the rainy season (December to March), the rapids are more intense (Class III and IV), while the rest of the year, they range from Class II to III.
  • Rafting Season: The rafting season on the Chili River is usually better during the dry season, especially between the months of May to October. During this period, the river flow is more conducive to rafting.
  • Local Operators: We offer rafting excursions on the Chili River, providing you with the necessary equipment, including inflatable rafts, paddles, life jackets, and expert guides.

7. Andean Sanctuaries Museum

This attraction is located at 110 La Merced Street and is known for hosting a collection of artifacts and archaeological findings related to the sacrificial rituals performed by the Inca culture.

  • Juanita – The Lady of Ampato: The main attraction of the museum is “La momia Juanita” discovered in 1995 on the Ampato volcano. Juanita was a young girl ceremonially sacrificed during the Inca period and has been exceptionally well-preserved due to the climatic conditions of the discovery site.
  • Religious and Ceremonial Objects: The museum displays a variety of objects related to the religious and ceremonial practices of the Inca culture. These include offerings, textiles, ceramics, and other artifacts used in rituals.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00.
  • Price: S/ 20.00 for adults and S/ 10.00 for students.

8. Local gastronomy

Arequipa’s gastronomy is known for its diversity and the incorporation of local ingredients.

  • Stuffed Rocoto: Rocoto is a type of Peruvian chili; however, Stuffed Rocoto is a typical dish from Arequipa that consists of rocotos filled with meat, potatoes, and other ingredients, baked, and topped with cheese.
  • Shrimp Chowder: It is a stew made with shrimp, potatoes, eggs, and cheese. It is a thick and flavorful soup that is part of the rich culinary tradition of Arequipa.
  • Arequipean Ocopa: This dish consists of boiled potatoes covered with a sauce made of chili, cheese, peanuts, biscuits, and herbs. It is often served as an appetizer.
  • Flattened Guinea Pig (Cuy Chactado): Guinea pig is a meat consumed in various regions of Peru. In Arequipa, the Cuy Chactado is a typical fried dish served with potatoes and salad.
  • More typical dishes from Arequipa

9. House of Moral

This attraction is a colonial mansion located at 318 Moral Street Cercado, in the historic center of the city of Arequipa. It is a historic and cultural site that attracts tourists for its Spanish colonial-era architecture.

  • Arquitectura: It is a representative example of Arequipa’s colonial architecture, built in the 18th century with the city’s most characteristic stone — Sillar stone.
  • Spanish Colonial Furniture and Decor: Inside the house, you will find furniture and decorations that reflect the life of Arequipa’s high society during the 18th and 19th centuries. This includes antique objects, paintings, and architectural details.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00.
  • Price: S/ 5.00 per person.

10. Bolognesi Bridge

The Bolognesi Bridge is a historic site located 3 blocks from the main square, approximately a 7-minute walk at a moderate pace. This bridge crosses the Chili River and is known for its architectural significance.

  • Architecture: The bridge is of arch style, constructed with Sillar stone. Its design and construction are representative of the colonial era.
  • Panoramic views: From the Bolognesi Bridge, you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the city and some of the volcanoes surrounding Arequipa, such as Misti and Chachani.

11. Recoleta Museum

The Monastery and Museum of La Recoleta are located at 117 La Recoleta Street. You can reach it on foot in 15 minutes from the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa. This place will offer you the opportunity to explore a variety of attractions, and we recommend this visit if you wish to explore collections with historical significance.

  • Library: The monastery houses a large library with over 20,000 books and ancient maps dating back to the year 1494.
  • Museum of Amazonian Artifacts: The museum displays an extensive collection of artifacts from the Amazon, as well as a vast collection of religious art and pre-Columbian artifacts from the Cuzco School.
  • Architecture: In addition to the internal attractions, the monastery offers visual beauty with its bell tower made of red and white brick.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00.
  • Price: S/ 20.00 per person.

12. San Lázaro neighborhood

The San Lázaro neighborhood is known for being a historic and picturesque sector of the city. It is located about 15 minutes from the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa.

  • San Lázaro Church: The neighborhood takes its name from the San Lázaro Church, one of the oldest temples in this city. The church dates back to the 16th century and features colonial architecture.
  • San Lázaro Festival: During the San Lázaro festivities celebrated on June 29th, the neighborhood comes to life with processions, religious activities, and cultural events. Residents and visitors alike participate in this celebration honoring the saint.
  • Panoramic Views: Due to the elevated location of the neighborhood, you can enjoy panoramic views of Arequipa and its surroundings.

13. Excursion to the Colca Canyon

The Colca Canyon is one of the most impressive tourist destinations in Peru. It is located in the province of Caylloma in the northeastern part of the Arequipa region and is known for being one of the deepest canyons in the world. Below, we provide you with more information about the tour to the Colca Canyon.

  • Cruz del Condor: This is one of the most famous spots in the canyon, offering the opportunity to observe Andean condors in flight.
  • Viewpoints: There are several viewpoints along the canyon, such as Mirador de la Patapampa and Antahuilque, both providing spectacular panoramic views.
  • Hot Springs: Some tours include a visit to the relaxing La Calera hot springs, where you can immerse yourself and enjoy natural thermal waters.
  • Trekking: If you love trekking, there are routes that allow you to explore the canyon on foot and experience its natural beauty up close.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday.
  • Price: S/ 70.00 for foreigners, S/ 40.00 for South Americans, and S/ 20.00 for Peruvians.

14. Yura Thermal Baths

The Yura thermal baths are known to be a popular choice for those seeking relaxation in natural hot springs in Arequipa. They are located in the district of Yura, Pozo Zamacola, and the travel duration is approximately 1 hour by car.

  • Medicinal Properties: These thermal baths are known for their relaxing effects on muscles and are also beneficial for the skin.
  • Natural Setting: The thermal baths are surrounded by mountains, valleys, and rivers of the Andes.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 7:00 to 15:00.
  • Price: S/ 5.00 per person.

15. Sachaca Viewpoint

The Sachaca Viewpoint is located 15 minutes away from the main square of Arequipa. It is situated in the district of the same name and is a place that offers stunning panoramic views of the city of Arequipa and its surroundings.

  • Panoramic Views: From the Sachaca Viewpoint, you can enjoy views of the cathedral, as well as the Misti and Chachani volcanoes.
  • Accessibility: You can reach this location by private vehicle, taxi, or through local tourist tours. It is also possible to go on walks if you are in the area.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00.
  • Price: S/ 2.00 per person.

16. Church of the Company of Jesus

The Church of the Society of Jesus is a prominent example of colonial architecture and is located in the historic center of Arequipa, near the Plaza de Armas. Its exact address is 110 La Merced Street, Arequipa. The construction of this church began in the early 17th century and was completed in 1698.

  • Architecture: The facade of the church is impressive and features intricately carved details in Sillar stone.
  • Cloister: Adjacent to the church, there is usually a cloister that belonged to the Jesuit order. These cloisters typically had inner courtyards and resting areas.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 11:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00.
  • Price: S/ 20.00 per person.

17. Frozen cheese

This delicious dessert does not contain actual cheese, but is named so because of its appearance and texture, which resemble that of cheese.

  • Ingredients: The recipe for “queso helado” (cheese ice cream) varies, but it generally includes milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and sometimes grated coconut. Despite its name, it doesn’t actually contain cheese; however, the combination of ingredients gives it a creamy texture and a unique flavor.
  • Street Vendor Sales: It’s common to come across street vendors offering “Queso Helado” from a barrel-shaped cart.

18. San Camilo Market

It is located in the historic center of Arequipa at 407 Piérola Street and is known for being one of the oldest and most representative markets in the city. It is an 8-minute walk from Plaza de Armas.

  • Food Section: In these sections, you can find traditional dishes at affordable prices.
  • Crafts: In addition to fresh food, the market also hosts stalls selling handmade products, textiles, and souvenirs.
  • Architecture: The market’s structure features neorenaissance architecture designed by Alexander Gustave Eiffel in the early 20th century.
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 6:00 to 17:00.
  • Price: Free.

19. Misti Volcano Excursion

Misti is an iconic volcano located 17 km from the historic center of Arequipa. Embarking on an excursion to the volcano offers a challenging and exciting adventure for those seeking a mountaineering experience. If you travel by car, you can reach Misti in approximately 2 hours.

  • Characteristics:
    • Altitude: 5,825 m.a.s.l.
    • Difficulty: Moderate to high.
  • Acclimatization: Before attempting to ascend Misti, it is advisable to spend time at lower altitudes to acclimate gradually. Arequipa, situated at an altitude of 2,335 meters above sea level, is a suitable location for acclimatization.
  • Tips for the excursion:
    • Experienced Guide: It is highly recommended to undertake the excursion with an experienced guide who has good knowledge of the area.
    • Equipment: Make sure to bring the appropriate gear, including warm clothing, mountain boots, a helmet, and other essential mountaineering items.
    • Weather Conditions: Mountain weather can change rapidly. Check the weather forecast and follow the guide’s recommendations.
    • Litter: Practice sustainable tourism and respect the natural environment by not leaving any litter behind.

20. The Sillar Route

The Silllar route is a tourist experience that will take you through the Sillar quarries, it is located in the Cerro Colorado district 16 km from the main square of Arequipa.

  • Quarry Tour: During the tour, you will visit the Sillar quarries to learn about the extraction process of this volcanic stone. You will also gain insights into the significance of sillar in Arequipa’s architecture.
  • Sillar Art: Some tours may include visits to workshops or spaces where local artists create sculptures and other works of art using sillar.
  • Practical tips:
  • Price:
    • Añashuayco quarry: S/5.00 per person.
    • Culebrillas Quarry: S/5.00 per person.

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