Competing with its famous neighbor Cusco, Arequipa is the second largest tourist hub in Peru. And while there are no Inca artefacts to be discovered in Peru’s second largest city, a trip to Arequipa is not lacking in charm or character. In a majestic setting that includes three protective volcanoes of Peru, Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu (though they also do have a tendency to wreak havoc), Arequipa is a stunning city of white stone and Spanish architecture. Check out our guide on the top 10 mountains in Peru that are great for climbing!
- La Catedral is hard to miss even if you want to, spanning the length of Plaza de Armas and built from the typically dazzling white sillar stone, this landmark is literally unmissable.
- The Monasterio de la Recoleta is more known for its vast library, which holds as many as 20,000 books.
- You won’t find anything Inca inspired in Arequipa, but the Museo Arqueológico Chiribaya details the pre-Incan Chiribaya civilization.
- The Fundador mansion once belonged to Arequipa’s founder and is a perfectly restored example a colonial mansion.
- The Plaza de Armas has remained virtually unchanged in hundreds of years.
- Take a visit to Arequipa’s Mercado San Camillo which sells just about anything you might need from a quick snack to novelty clothing.
- Explore the neighbourhood of Yanahuara and look down over Arequipa while enjoying a light lunch.
- The wet season lasts from January to March though Arequipa enjoys a temperate climate year-around.
- Combis are the cheapest way to get around the city, though taxis are also available.
- Arequipa is part of the Southern Peru Tourist Corridor and it’s very easy to combine a trip to Arequipa with a trip to Cusco. A flight between the two is only one hour.
- It’s necessary to take a taxi from the airport to the center but a flat, affordable rate is charged.
Peru has seasonal weather, please sure to read up on the best time to visit Peru to plan a perfect holiday. If you are looking for more then do read our guide on the best things to do in Peru and if trekking is your thing then we have curated 10 best treks in Peru aside from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.