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.
As it isn’t part of the Historic Center of Arequipa, travelers can visit Yanahuara as part of a wider Arequipa tour. Some tours combine a walking tour of Yanahuara colonial treasures with a stop at the Monastery of St. Catherine (Monasterio de Santa Catalina), while others cover Yanahuara in conjunction with the districts of Carmen and Sachaca. Private tours provide a personalized experience of Arequipa that can include Yanahuara.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Yanahuara provides a less-crowded alternative to the Historic Center of Arequipa.
- Wear comfortable shoes and take plenty of water if you’re walking.
- Yanahuara has uneven, cobbled streets that make exploring in a wheelchair difficult.
How to Get There
Yanahuara is within walking distance of the Historic Center of Arequipa or just a 10-minute taxi ride, making it a popular addition to the itineraries of travelers on a time budget. From Plaza de Armas, it takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the Yanahuara lookout point on foot. Along the way, you’ll pass a plethora of colonial treasures mades from sillar (white volcanic rock).
When to Get There
The most atmospheric time to visit the El Mirador e Iglesia de Yanahuara in undoubtedly sunset, when the evening light bathes the white buildings of Arequipa in a golden light. Sunset times differ depending on the season.
Live Like a Local
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the crowds of Arequipa Old Town, Yanahuara is a good place to escape. Perfect for people watching, the residential district provides insight into the daily lives of locals and offers intrepid visitors a range of cheap and delicious Peruvian restaurants.