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. The Basics
Due to the mansion’s location around 6 miles (10 kilometers) outside the Historic Center of Arequipa, Founder's Mansion attracts fewer crowds than some of the buildings in the Old Town. The mansion is a popular stop on Arequipa countryside tours, which nearly always include stops at the 18th-century Sabandia Mill (Molino de Sabandía) and the traditional agricultural district of Paucarpata. Opting for a guided tour means that you’ll be able to sit back and soak up the scenery of El Misti volcano rather than worrying about reading maps. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Founder's Mansion plays an important role in Arequipa’s colonial history, making it a must-visit for history buffs.
- Visitors must purchase an admission ticket to enter the mansion.
- Founder's Mansion is accessible on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, which allows you to create your own itinerary and spend as much time as you like at each stop.
Founder's Mansion is a 20-minute drive from the Historic Center of Arequipa, depending on traffic. Visitors can travel to the building in a private taxi or, for maximum convenience, as part of a countryside tour. When to Get There
Founder’s Mansion is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Like most of Arequipa’s buildings, the mansion is made of sillar rock, which makes for a cool haven from the daytime heat; consider a midday visit. The Mighty El Misti
As you explore the countryside of Arequipa, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of El Misti, the snow-capped volcano that’s responsible for the city’s sillar (white-rock) architecture. El Misti, however, isn’t just for admiring from afar: Hiking enthusiasts can summit the mountain on a 2-day hiking tour, which allows you to climb to 19,000 feet (5,800 meters).