Travel Guide to Arequipa Peru

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Discover this travel guide to Arequipa, known as “The White City,” famous for its sillar architecture, vibrant culture, and exquisite cuisine. Visit the historic center, the majestic Colca Canyon, and the Misti Volcano. Enjoy its rich cultural heritage, including the Juanita mummy and the Santa Catalina Monastery. An unforgettable experience awaits you!

Why Visit Arequipa?

Arequipa is a gem in southern Peru. Its architectural beauty, vibrant culture, and stunning natural surroundings make it a destination you cannot miss. Additionally, it is surrounded by three majestic volcanoes: Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu, offering spectacular landscapes and outdoor adventures.

Location of Arequipa, Peru

Arequipa is located in southern Peru, at an altitude of 2,335 meters (7,660 feet).

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Arequipa

Arequipa, “The White City,” offers five unmissable reasons to visit:

World Heritage Site

The historic center of Arequipa was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 due to its colonial architecture and sillar (white volcanic stone) buildings.

The Majestic Cathedral of Arequipa

Located in the Plaza de Armas, it is an impressive example of neoclassical architecture and one of the main symbols of the city.

The Incredible Colca Canyon

One of the deepest canyons in the world, where you can observe condors in their natural habitat and enjoy spectacular landscapes, which can only be seen early in the morning.

Conquer a Volcano

With its 5,822 meters (19,101 feet) height, Misti Volcano offers a challenging yet rewarding trekking experience, and you can even camp if you wish.

Local Cuisine

Arequipa’s cuisine is one of the most diverse and delicious in Peru, with unique dishes you won’t find anywhere else.

Tourism in Arequipa

In Arequipa, you have several destinations to visit, such as the Plaza de Armas, the Santa Catalina Monastery, explore the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries with the Juanita mummy, and enjoy views from the Yanahuara Viewpoint. Also, take an excursion to the Colca Canyon to see condors and savor the local cuisine, such as rocoto relleno and chupe de camarones.

What to Do in Arequipa?

You can explore the historic center and the Plaza de Armas, visit the Juanita mummy at the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries. Also, enjoy the panoramic views from the Yanahuara Viewpoint and savor the local cuisine at traditional markets and restaurants.

Tour the Heart of Arequipa

Touring the Plaza de Armas is the perfect place to start your exploration, surrounded by the cathedral and colonial buildings, it is the vibrant heart of the city.

Meet the Juanita Mummy

The Museum of Andean Sanctuaries houses Juanita, a perfectly preserved Inca mummy sacrificed on Mount Ampato over 500 years ago, also known as the “Lady of Ampato.” Her discovery offers a unique insight into Inca rituals and sacrifices, providing an intimate connection with Andean history and culture.

Enjoy Contemporary Art

Enjoying contemporary art in Arequipa is a vibrant experience. Numerous galleries and cultural centers exhibit works by contemporary Peruvian artists. You can also visit the Cultural Center of the National University of San Agustin and the Alliance Française, which are prominent venues for temporary exhibitions, art installations, and cultural events, reflecting the creativity and diversity of modern art in the region.

Where to Stay in Arequipa?

In Arequipa, you will find various accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. The Historic Center offers boutique hotels and colonial-style hostels near the Plaza de Armas.

If you want a quieter experience, Yanahuara offers hotels with panoramic views of the city and the volcanoes. There are also budget-friendly and comfortable options in other central neighborhoods like San Lazaro and Vallecito.

Interesting Neighborhoods in Arequipa

Interesting Neighborhoods in Arequipa

  • Historic Center: The heart of the city, full of colonial architecture, the Plaza de Armas, and the majestic cathedral, perfect for those who want to be close to the main tourist attractions.
  • Yanahuara: With its picturesque cobblestone streets and the famous sillar arch viewpoint, it offers spectacular views of the Misti Volcano and the city.
  • San Lazaro: One of the oldest neighborhoods, with narrow alleys and traditional sillar houses, perfect for those seeking an authentic and tranquil experience.
  • Vallecito: A quiet residential area with green spaces and more modern accommodation options, ideal for a relaxing stay.
  • Cayma: A traditional neighborhood that combines modernity with history, offering impressive views and a variety of restaurants and cafes.

How to Get to Arequipa?

To reach Arequipa, you can opt for direct flights to Rodríguez Ballón International Airport from Lima and other major cities. There are also high-quality bus services connecting Arequipa with Lima, Cusco, and Puno, offering scenic routes along the coast and the Andes.

By Air

Rodríguez Ballón International Airport connects Arequipa with major cities in Peru and some international destinations. There are frequent flights from Lima, Cusco, and other important cities.

By Bus

Arequipa is well connected by road with the rest of the country. High-quality bus services operate routes from Lima, Cusco, Puno, and other destinations.

Arequipeña Cuisine

Arequipa’s cuisine is known for its rich and diverse flavors, offering a variety of unique dishes that reflect the region’s history and cultural fusion. The city’s gastronomic tradition is deeply rooted in the use of local ingredients and traditional cooking methods, resulting in an unforgettable culinary experience.

Traditional Dishes

Some of Arequipa’s traditional dishes include:

  • Rocoto Relleno: A spicy stuffed pepper dish filled with a mixture of meat, vegetables, and spices.
  • Chupe de Camarones: A rich shrimp chowder with potatoes, milk, eggs, and spices.
  • Adobo: A pork stew marinated in chicha de jora (fermented corn drink) and spices, traditionally served on Sundays.
  • Solterito: A fresh salad with corn, beans, rocoto, and cheese.
  • Ocopa: Boiled potatoes served with a rich peanut and chili sauce.


Visiting a picantería is a must when in Arequipa. These traditional eateries offer a homely atmosphere and authentic dishes cooked with recipes passed down through generations. Here, you can enjoy the true flavors of Arequipa’s cuisine, accompanied by chicha de jora.

Exploring Arequipa’s Natural Beauty

Arequipa is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, from majestic volcanoes to deep canyons. Nature lovers and adventure seekers will find plenty of activities to enjoy.

Trekking and Hiking

The region offers numerous trekking and hiking opportunities, including the challenging ascent of the Misti Volcano and scenic hikes in the Colca Canyon.

Wildlife Watching

In the Colca Canyon, you can observe the majestic condors soaring in their natural habitat. The region is also home to diverse wildlife, including vicuñas, llamas, and alpacas.

Travel Tips for Arequipa

To make the most of your visit to Arequipa, consider the following tips:

Weather and Clothing

Arequipa enjoys a mild climate year-round, but it can get chilly at night, especially during the dry season (May to October). Bring layers of clothing to adjust to the changing temperatures.


Arequipa is situated at 2,335 meters (7,660 feet) above sea level. Take it easy for the first couple of days to acclimate, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.


Arequipa is generally a safe city for tourists. However, as with any travel destination, stay alert to your surroundings, avoid displaying valuable items, and keep an eye on your belongings.

Book Your Trip to Arequipa Now!

Arequipa awaits you with its stunning architecture, rich culture, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this unique destination in southern Peru. Book your trip today and embark on an unforgettable adventure!