Top 5 Things to Do in Arequipa, Peru

Things _to_Do_in_Arequipa_Peru

For many, Arequipa is simply a transitional city between Chile, Bolivia, Machu Picchu, and Lima. However, tourism in Arequipa has grown exponentially in recent years. This is primarily due its proximity to Colca Canyon, but as more and more travelers flock to the majestic white city they can’t help but notice that it is so much more than its awe-inspiring geography.

La Plaza de Armas

Things _to_Do_in_Arequipa_Peru

Arequipa’s central plaza, or plaza de armas, has been argued to be the most beautiful in all of South America. Oriented around one stunning fountain and framed by flawlessly conserved colonial buildings, it is easy to see why. All of downtown is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the plaza is the heart and soul of the city.

Santa Catalina Monastery

Things _to_Do_in_Arequipa_Peru

This labyrinth of a monastery will take you the majority of the day to explore. Santa Catalina Monastery has been nicknamed “the city within a city.” This is due to its expansive size, and the fact that between its opening in 1579 and 1970 the convent remained completely shut off from the outside world. Highlights include traditional kitchens and living quarters, the central cloister, the picturesque silence yard, and an impressive art gallery boasting roughly 400 restored works of religious art.

The City Bus Tour

Things _to_Do_in_Arequipa_Peru

If you are crunched for time, Arequipa’s City Bus Tour is the perfect way to see a number of sites in a short period of time. Highlights include the Founder’s Mansion, Mundo Alpaca, and two miradors, or outlooks. Tours are economical and easily booked in the Plaza de Armas.

San Camilo Market

Things _to_Do_in_Arequipa_Peru

San Camilo market is doubtlessly my favorite market in Latin America to date. It is here that you can try exotic fruits, get much-needed repairs made to your clothing, and sample olives and local cheeses. Don’t miss the chance to check out holistic remedies, and the jarring dried alpaca fetuses which are used in a number of indigenous customs.

Juanita

Things _to_Do_in_Arequipa_Peru

Juanita is a mummified girl who was ritually buried after being sacrificed to the Gods. Her body was discovered in 1995. She is on display in Catholic University’s Museum of Andean Sanctuaries for most of the year, though she does take a break during off season for preservation purposes. Visitors can view Juanita as part of an educational tour.

President and Founder of Full of Wanderlust, you can read more about Tina Stelling’s wanderings, accounts of her travels, and advice for nomadism on a budget. Tina is a newly published author. 

9 thoughts on “Top 5 Things to Do in Arequipa, Peru”

  1. Michael says:

    Those are some beautiful mountains in the first image!

    1. davidsbeenhere says:

      Thanks for the comment Michael!

    1. davidsbeenhere says:

      thanks Jempi & Nina. Tina is the best!

    1. David says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jackie says:

    Hi David,
    How many days would you recommend to spend in Arequipa? and, Is there any hotel you would recommend?
    Thank you!

    1. Matt H says:

      Stay in Casa Consuelo. I’m writing this from the hotel now, it’s amazing! Great accommodations for a very reasonable price.

  3. If you like to enjoy a Free City Tour with an Oficial Tour Guide just write to: juanjoresiseleiter@gmail.com
    whatsApp 051 974200265

    Juan Espinoza
    Oficial Tour Leader

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