Why visit Arequipa
Arequipa is affectionately referred to as the ‘White City’ for its dazzling array of white sillar architecture. Perched spectacularly on the flanks of El Misti, Chachani and Pichu-Pichu Volcanos and beneath the predominantly blue skies of south western Peru, Arequipa commands a setting as engaging as the city itself.
This former settlement of Aymara and Inca Indians was officially founded as Arequipa by Spanish conquistadors in 1540 and offers some of finest examples of colonial architecture in the country. Most of the buildings here are low-rise due to earthquakes that regularly pound the city. From splendid baroque churches, including La Compania and the enormous cathedral on the Plaza de Armas, to stately mansions renovated to accommodate fine hotels and galleries, a walk along the palm lined avenues is comparable to a stroll around an open museum.
- Visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos, home to the sacrificial child-mummy 'Juanita'
- Step back in time during a visit to the Monasterio de Santa Catalina (Santa Catalina Convent)
- Enjoy a feast of outdoor activities that lie on Arequipa’s doorstep from trekking to horse riding
- Use as a handy gateway to the canyons of Colca and its lesser known neighbour Cotahuasi
- Marvel at a collection of petroglyphs at Toro Muerto