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Things to do in Arequipa

Things to do in  Arequipa

Welcome to Arequipa

Lima may get all the attention, but Peru’s second largest city is often considered the most culturally and historically significant spot in the country. Not to mention it’s considered one of the most architecturally beautiful cities in the world. Yep, you read that right.

Top 10 attractions in Arequipa

#1
Colca Canyon (Canon del Colca)

Colca Canyon (Canon del Colca)

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Plunging 13,650 feet (4,160 meters) down, Peru’s Colca Canyon is officially one of the world’s deepest canyons—with a breadth of activities to match. Visitors opt to visit this off-the-beaten-track attraction for its opportunities for adventure in a stunning natural environment, its large population of Andean condors, and its pre-Inca historical sites.More
#2
Historic Centre of Arequipa

Historic Centre of Arequipa

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Arequipa is known as La Ciudad Blanca (The White City) for the white buildings in its historic center made from a porous, volcanic stone known as sillar. Easily explored on foot, must-see landmarks include the neoclassical Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa and Monastery of St. Catherine (Monasterio de Santa Catalina).More
#3
Santa Catalina Monastery (Monasterio de Santa Catalina)

Santa Catalina Monastery (Monasterio de Santa Catalina)

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Among the oldest structures in Arequipa, the historically significant Monastery of St. Catherine (Monasterio de Santa Catalina) covers an area of 15,615 square feet (20,000 square meters). The convent harbors a complete city with parks, houses, plazas, chapels, and a cemetery, offering visitors a meditative break from the busy historic center of Arequipa.More
#4
Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

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Plaza de Armas—with its palm trees, fountains, and symmetrical landscaped gardens—forms the cultural and social heart of the historic center of Arequipa. On the edge of the square is the twin-towered Basilica Catedral de Arequipa, one of the volcanic-stone structures that give Arequipa its nickname: La Ciudad Blanca (The White City).More
#5
Yanahuara

Yanahuara

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Yanahuara is a middle-class residential neighborhood known for El Mirador e Iglesia de Yanahuara, a lookout point that offers panoramic views of Arequipa and El Misti volcano. As in the Historic Center of Arequipa, Yanahuara’s architecture is dominated by white volcanic rock, and the streets are dotted with pretty Spanish colonial churches.More
#6
Sabandía Mill (Molino de Sabandía)

Sabandía Mill (Molino de Sabandía)

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A fine example of Arequipa’s sillar stone architecture, Sabandía Mill (Molino de Sabandía) was built in 1785 as the first mill of its kind. The mill still operates today, attracting visitors with its historic status. Peppered with weeping willows and cacti, the tranquil grounds surrounding the mill are a favorite among picnickers.More
#7
Museum of Andean Sanctuaries (Museo Santuarios Andinos)

Museum of Andean Sanctuaries (Museo Santuarios Andinos)

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The Museum of Andean Sanctuaries offers an intimate glimpse into the ancient history of the Andes Mountains. After watching a short video that puts the museum’s cultural relics into context, visitors can wander the atmospheric rooms, which are filled with artifacts discovered during a significant Andean excavation.More
#8
La Compañía Church (Iglesia de la Compañía)

La Compañía Church (Iglesia de la Compañía)

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Due to its position near the imposing Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, it’s easy to overlook the small yet perfectly formed Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús). The church’s facade pays homage to the churrigueresque style typical of 16th-century Spanish churches, while its interior is dominated by an intricate altar smothered in gold leaf.More
#9
Sachaca District

Sachaca District

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The Sachaca District is most famous for the Mirador de Sachaca, a 5-story tower that offers panoramic views of the city and the snow-capped El Misti volcano. The neighborhood’s food is another highlight: Sachaca has earned a reputation for its picanterías, traditional restaurants serving local dishes to the strains of live Creole music.More
#10
Founder's Mansion (La Mansión del Fundador)

Founder's Mansion (La Mansión del Fundador)

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Founder's Mansion (La Mansión del Fundador) dates back to the 17th century, when the Spanish first colonized Peru. Characterized by white volcanic rock painted warm pastel colors, the grand building once belonged to the founder of Arequipa and now attracts visitors with its antique furniture, colonial-style decor, and artwork imbued with Inca symbolism.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Arequipa

How to Spend 1 Day in Arequipa

How to Spend 2 Days in Arequipa

How to Spend 2 Days in Arequipa

How to Spend 3 Days in Arequipa

How to Spend 3 Days in Arequipa

Recent reviews from experiences in Arequipa

star-5
Comprehensive city tour of the main...
Bandit, Jun 2014
Arequipa, Historic and Colonial City and Santa Catalina Monastery
Comprehensive city tour of the main attractions of Arequipa.
star-5
Excellent overnight tour, all around
, Aug 2018
Overnight Tour: Colca Canyon Including Horse Riding from Arequipa
Our guide, Juan Carlos, was great, especially since we were the only English speakers in the group.
star-4
For those who have never been to...
Linda S, Jan 2017
Small-Group Arequipa Countryside Tour Including La Mansion del Fundador -Mirabus
They also drop you off at the main plaza, a good location for further activities or a meal.
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