Recoleta Convent (Monasterio de la Recoleta)
For bibliophiles, the library at Recoleta Convent (Monasterio de la Recoleta) is a top draw, with the oldest volume dating back to 1494. The library is open for supervised visits; visitors simply need to ask at the entrance on arrival. Inside the grand wood-paneled library, you’re likely to encounter brown-robed monks browsing the collection. Other points of interest in the convent include Porter Cloister, which features a brick vault, 17th-century furniture, and a spacious courtyard.
Things to Know Before You Go
The convent museum’s three collections make it a must-visit for history and culture buffs.
Local guides offer tours of the library and convent throughout the day. Although tours are technically free, a tip is expected.
There is a small admission fee to enter to convent.
Most travelers find that one hour gives ample time to explore the convent and its cultural artifacts.
How to Get There
From the Plaza de Armas, it's an easy 10-minute walk across the river over pleasant Puente Bolognesi on the way to Yanahuara. Guided tours tend to offer air-conditioned transport between the convent and other Arequipa attractions, allowing you to beat the daytime heat.
When to Get There
Recoleta Convent is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 12pm and 3pm to 5pm.
Highlights of the Recoleta Convent Museum
The museum at the convent hosts a wealth of wonders that date as far back as pre-Inca civilizations. Highlights of the collection include ancient mummies, items collected by missionaries in the Amazon basin, and funereal masks and totems from pre-Inca civilizations.
- Santa Catalina Monastery (Monasterio de Santa Catalina)
- Moral House (Casa de Moral)
- Plaza de Armas
- Historic Centre of Arequipa
- Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa
- La Compañía Church (Iglesia de la Compañía)
- Museum of Andean Sanctuaries (Museo Santuarios Andinos)
- Sachaca District
- Cayma District
- Founder's Mansion (La Mansión del Fundador)
- Sabandía Mill (Molino de Sabandía)
- Sabandía District
- Chachani Volcano