Arequipa, also known as “La Ciudad Blanca” (The White City) for its unique stonework carved from white volcanic stone, is the second biggest city of Peru. Arequipa sightseeing includes high-altitude deserts, amazing active volcanoes, tasty local cuisine and thrilling outdoor adventures.
Stepping into the city
The charming White City has a vast list of things to do in Arequipa which you must not miss on your Peruvian trip.
Take a free walking tour
One of the best ways to know a new place is on foot. During this Arequipa sightseeing tour, you will see all the city’s highlights and learn about its history. The tour starts at Plaza de Armas and ends at a rooftop bar where a Pisco tasting is organized.
Quick Facts: cost: free, pay for via tip | Time needed: 2-3 hours | When: 10 am and 3 pm. The afternoon tour ends at sunset, doesn’t it sound terrific?
Marvel at Plaza de Armas
The Plaza de Armas is considered the true heart of Arequipa sightseeing and one of the most beautiful plazas of South America. Set among palm trees, vibrant and colorful flower beds, stunning balconies and beautiful colonial-era churches and buildings, the Plaza de Armas is guaranteed to impress. Arequipa counts with several charming plazas around the city. So, whether you are at the Plaza de Armas, the Plaza San Francisco or the Plaza de Cayma, all of them are worth a visit!
Quick Facts: Cost: free | Time needed: as long as you want
Instagram-worthy Santa Catalina Monastery
Another truly stunning bucket list item. Santa Catalina Monastery is one of the most important and fascinating buildings in Arequipa, or maybe in Peru. Visiting this 16th-century building will make your Arequipa sightseeing remarkable. Thus, it should be on the top of your list.
Quick Facts: Cost: $12. You can also pay another $6 for an hour guided tour | Time needed: 2-3 hours | On Tuesday and Wednesday’s, the Santa Catalina Monastery is open until 8 pm.
Alpaca World “Mundo Alpaca”
Peruvian fauna is very wide but Peru’s emblematic animals are the llamas and alpacas. These fluffy animals are beautiful and lovable. A lot of people really love them, I mean, how could you not love them?!… At Mundo Alpaca, you will see a lot of llamas and alpacas. So, bring your camera!
In addition, there are also local weavers showcasing their skills threading colorful Andean textiles.
Quick Facts: Cost: free of charge, tip for weavers | Time needed: around 30 minutes
The tourist attractions in Arequipa are varied. At the city’s premier museum, Museo Santuarios Andinos, you will see an Inca ice mummy named Juanita which is a local celebrity. Juanita was a 12-year-old Inca girl who was sacrificed to the gods back in the 1450s, her body was found at the top of the Ampato volcano.
Quick Facts: Guided tours in Spanish, English and French
The view at Yanahuara
A 30-minute walk from the center of Arequipa, there is the tranquil neighborhood of Yanahuara which houses brilliant white buildings, green plazas and colonial-era churches.
Yanahuara has a unique aesthetic and its viewpoint provides you with dazzling views of the city and the majestic volcano, El Misti, which encircle the city; definitely, the perfect place to get lost during your tours in Arequipa. Try being there before the sunset, you can get some social media-worthy pics!
Quick Facts: cost: free | Time needed: about 2 hours
Try the local cuisine
An Arequipa sightseeing tour would not be complete without a local-food experience. The Arequipa local cuisine is varied and particularly delicious. It includes dishes such as Rocoto Relleno, spicy meat stuffed red pepper; Ocopa, potatoes smothered in a creamy herb-based sauce; Chupe de Camarones, a seafood soup of shrimp, potatoes, tomato, eggs and milk. Also, try the famous dessert called Queso Helado, it is a creamy local “ice cream” made from coconut, egg and condensed milk.
A Picantería is a place where you can try all of Arequipa’s local dishes. Also, you must order a glass of Chicha de Jora to accompany your meal. It’s the famous corn-fermented beer of Arequipa. Tasty!
Hike the Colca Canyon
Arequipa is the gateway to trekking. So, if you are planning to stay for several days and do interesting Arequipa sightseeing, we highly recommend taking a Colca Canyon tour. The Colca Canyon is one of the world’s deepest canyons which stands at 3.270 meters. Absolutely a must-visit!
Here, you will witness stunning sceneries where grandiose and majestic condors fly overhead.
If you are an adventure lover, Arequipa is definitely the place to visit! Outdoor activities include mountaineering, river running (white-water rafting), mountain biking, just to mention a few.
Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here in Cusco Peru Travel, our speciality is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your tailor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.