Arequipa—the white city of Peru—makes an excellent base from which to explore the great outdoors. With easy access to volcanoes and the Andes Mountains, the region affords travelers numerous possibilities for adventure. Here are some of the best outdoor activities to enjoy during your stay in Arequipa.
Trekking possibilities are plentiful in the Arequipa region, the most popular being Colca Canyon. At 13,650 feet (4,160 meters) deep, it’s one of the deepest canyons in the world and the third most popular attraction in Peru. Choose between a day hike or a multi-day trek through the majestic scenery of the canyon.
A fun and traditional way to experience the countryside surrounding the city of Arequipa is on horseback. From the village of Yanque, saddle up and head out to see the Colca Valley, Uyo Uyo Ruins, and a local hot springs.
Peru enjoys some of the greatest biodiversity in the planet, and the Arequipa region provides some rather unique wildlife viewing opportunities. The famous Colca Canyon is home to the giant Andean condor, and the Cruz del Condor overlook is one of the best places in South America to see these enormous birds in flight. The National Reserve of Pampa Cañahu provides a habitat for wild alpacas, llamas, vicunas, and a host of birds, while a visit to Salinas Lake might reveal even more native wildlife.
Arequipa is surrounded by three volcanoes, the most impressive of which is El Misti. While the climb to the top is not technically difficult, the high altitude makes it challenging. But if you make the trek, you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the city of Arequipa and the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve. On a clear day, it’s possible to see the Pacific Ocean in the distance.