For your vacation in Peru, consider Arequipa. You will certainly not regret it! This beautiful city is located in the desert mountains of the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of 2335 meters above sea level. Its location extends into an area of valleys where majestic volcanic cones stand out, such as Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu. Arequipa is also known as the “White City”. This is due to the use of white volcanic stone (a representative technique of ashlar). This is predominant in the constructions of its wonderful historical center and that dates from the viceregal and republican times. In 2000 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. For Arequipa, this award is their greatest fame and pride. Therefore, together with Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared a list of some of the best tourist attractions in Arequipa.
ABOUT THE WEATHER
A key point, before touching the subject of the tourist attractions in Arequipa, is the weather. And this is because it has a very nice one throughout the year. The city has approximately 300 days of sunshine along with temperatures that do not rise above 25 ° C / 77 ° F. Not to mention that its temperatures rarely drop below 10 ° C / 50 ° F. According to rainfall and humidity in the area, it has two seasons: wet and dry. Its wonderful climate makes it one of the best destinations to vacation.
- Summer, between December and March, corresponds to the wet season. This is the cloudiest season. You can see some rainfall, higher humidity and average minimum temperatures of 10 ° C / 50 ° F and maximum averages of 20 ° C / 68 ° F.
- Winter, which runs between April and November, corresponds to the dry season. It has very little humidity, no rain, and summer temperatures that will seem colder, due to the dryness of the air.
However, the tourist consensus has favored the dry season thanks to its clear days. Without rain and with maximum temperatures ranging between 18 ° C / 64.4 ° F and 25 ° C / 77 ° F. Come and feel invited to enjoy the best tourist attractions in Arequipa within the dry season. With its privileged participation, it intervenes in its cultural heritage, ancestral customs, and traditions, heritage, and nature reserves. As well as in its great gastronomy.
Some of the best tourist attractions in Arequipa
- Main square
- The Catedral
- Iglesia de la Compañia
- San Lázaro neighborhood
- Santa Catalina Monastery
- Yanahuara viewpoint
- Cayma Valley
- National Reserve Salinas and Aguada Blanca
- Colca Canyon
Considered one of the most beautiful main squares on the continent. The beautiful central square of the city is guaranteed to impress. The Plaza de Armas is surrounded by imposing granite colonnades and three old colonial-era churches. These are La Catedral, La Compañía de Jesús and Nuestra Señora de la Merced. Arequipa’s Plaza de Armas captivates both during the day, with its hectic activity and numerous restaurants full of people under its portals. Even at night when its majestic monuments are illuminated in shades of orange.
This is one of the best places to get to know the city. Many of the walking tours in Arequipa start in the area. Where you can learn a little about the history of the city and its iconic buildings. Even its majestic buildings are dwarfed by the towering snow-capped mountains looming from behind. Without a doubt, one of the best tourist attractions in Arequipa.
One of the most charming tourist attractions in Arequipa. The Cathedral of Arequipa is an imposing building that stands out for its construction in white ashlar and its magnificent size. It is the only Cathedral in Peru that unfolds along the central plaza. This historic building has a long history of renovations. Its construction began in 1540, the year of the foundation of Arequipa. The original structure dates back to 1656 and was destroyed by fire in 1868. It was then rebuilt to be crushed again by an earthquake in 1868. Much of what you see now belongs to the reconstruction since then.
Inside the Cathedral, tourists will appreciate the Museum of the Cathedral of Arequipa. One of the best museums in Arequipa. Inside you will find the history of more than 400 years of the cathedral represented. You will be able to appreciate valuable objects such as jewels, paintings, and traditional clothing.
IGLESIA DE LA COMPAÑIA
One of the jewels of religious architecture in Peru. The Church of the Company is located next to the Plaza de Armas. A building built in 1590 that stands out for its white stone walls and superimposed reliefs that decorate its Baroque façade. Although less magnificent, it is also recommended to appreciate the side façade for its richness in reliefs and details. Even though its facade is one of its most striking features, make sure you know its interior. Inside you’ll find an equally detailed altar, covered entirely in gold. Inside, just to the left of the altar, the Chapel of San Ignacio stands out. This is a beautiful example of Arequipa’s decorative art, which has colorful ornamentation. Other attractions of the complex are the two cloisters at the rear. Without a doubt, one of the many tourist attractions in Arequipa that you cannot miss.
SAN LAZARO NEIGHBORHOOD
Arequipa’s oldest neighborhood is located just 500 meters from the Plaza de Armas. The Plazuelas area is simply magical. As you walk, you will find narrow streets with black cobblestones, surrounded by white ashlar architecture, and whose walls hang pots of geraniums and public lighting. Within its narrow streets, you will find places like the Callejón Violin with its characteristic entrance arch. You will also find the Callejón Cristales and its characteristic absence of sidewalks. You will walk through the Callejón Bayoneta with its particular narrowness. And finally, you will pass through Callejón Combate Naval. This is where the Plazoleta de Camporredondo with its simple Church of the Three Bells is located. This neighborhood is one of which you cannot miss out on tour.
SANTA CATALINA MONASTERY
A true citadel, magnificent among the tourist attractions in Arequipa. This Monastery founded in 1579, was the convent of the nuns of the Order of Santa Catalina de Siena. Its architectural beauty appeal is considered the best reflection of the splendor of viceregal Peru. The monastery occupies an entire block while guarded by huge high walls. It is without a doubt one of the most fascinating religious complexes in Peru. The 20,000-square-meter complex is considered a citadel in itself. Constructed entirely with white and pink ashlar. Inside you will be able to appreciate a set of narrow alleys surrounded by arcades, which open their way between radiant patios, cloisters, gardens, squares, and old facilities. If you have the time, be sure to add this place to the different tours in Peru. The best way to get to know the Monastery is through a guided tour.
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Arequipa. This quiet neighborhood is home to the beautiful Mirador de Yanahuara. The viewpoint is the real attraction of the neighborhood. The viewpoint is a terrace surrounded by stone arches. The platform offers some spectacular landscape views of the White City. You will be able to appreciate its three snow-capped volcanoes in the distance: Misti, Chachani, and Picchu Picchu. To visit it you must travel 2 km from the historic center of Arequipa. An ideal sunset stroll that can be complemented with a visit to the quaint neighborhood. Characteristic for its religious buildings, narrow Andalusian-style cobbled streets, and old mansions built with the ashlar technique. If you plan to explore Peru, make sure you visit this wonderful place.
Nicknamed the Balcony of Arequipa, for the beautiful views of the White City that it offers. It is a town in height, located just 3 km from the historic center of the city. Recognized for the particular beauty of its colonial architecture. Inside, the old Church of San Miguel Arcángel stands out. This was the religious temple that hides some jewels of the painting of the Cusco School. You will be able to appreciate a series of works of art with motifs related to the miracles of the Virgin. Another of the tourist attractions of Villa de Cayma refers to the possibility of practicing adventure sports. Such as rafting, kayaking, climbing, and paragliding, among its natural landscapes of slopes, streams, and rivers.
Known as the South Eastern Gate of Arequipa. Sabandía corresponds to a town located 8 km from the historic center of the city. You can find countryside landscapes and slopes of crystalline waters that emanate from nearby volcanoes. Its main tourist attraction is the Sabandía Mill, a colonial monument that was the city’s flour supplier for centuries. It is a currently restored heritage work, which maintains white ashlar walls, vaults, gargoyles, and balconies.
NATIONAL RESERVE SALINAS AND AGUADA BLANCA
A gem of natural heritage located in the vicinity of Arequipa. It is located at an average altitude of 4300 meters above sea level. Identified by its landscapes that mix snow-capped volcanoes, and lagoons. All while you are surrounded by wetlands, Andean forests, and meadows. Its most famous site corresponds to Laguna Salinas. It is a scenario of particular beauty configured from shallow water salt and extensive wetlands that surround it. It is a true birdlife sanctuary that welcomes around 20,000 aquatic birds at certain times of the year. Its famous flamingos stand out, coloring the waters of the lagoon. One of the many tourist attractions in Arequipa that you have to visit and explore.
The Colca Canyon is one of the deepest natural canyons in the world. The formidable excursion allows us to appreciate the landscapes of the highlands where small colonial towns abound. In the surroundings of the Valley, you will find archaeological remains and, most importantly, the spectacle of the flight of the condors. Andean condors are usually most visible during the early morning.
You can take advantage and experience a Colca Canyon tour. This offers you the possibility of knowing the wonders of the Valley in a single day. Or you can also experience the extensive hike. To appreciate this natural wonder, you must first travel to the Colca Valley. This is located 165 km from Arequipa. It is recommended to spend the night before in the town of Chivay. This is where the hotel offer in the area is concentrated; In this way, you can enjoy the formidable flight of the condors the next day. Since you must be in the canyon during the early hours of the day.
“ONE’S DESTINATION IS NEVER A PLACE, BUT A NEW WAY OF SEEING THINGS.”
As you will see, there are many tourist attractions in Arequipa to tour and explore. These just show a small glimpse of everything you can experience. We hope together with the experts from Machu Travel Peru to have been helpful. If you want to know more about our tours around the White City, you can consult with our team of qualified advisers. They will be happy to help you fulfill your long-awaited trip to the Andean country.