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Arequipa

Altitude: 2,350 meters / 10,595 feet, Population: 864,250, Phone Code: 054

When he arrived at the site of present-day Arequipa with his army, Inca Mayta Cápac declared, “ari quipay” – yes, stay here. (Another theory says it comes from Aymara: “ari,” meaning “peak,” and “quipa,” meaning “lying behind,” referring to the volcanoes edging the valley.) Nearly six centuries later, this oasis of pearly white buildings rising at the base of Misti volcano retains its captivating beauty. Arequipa is a stunning town regarded for both its colonial charm and rich cultural heritage. It has, in fact, been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Exquisite churches, convents and colonial mansions, perfectly framed by majestic snow-capped mountains distinguish Arequipa from its neighbor, Puno. The town and mountains draw culture buffs and adventure junkies from around the world.

Nicknamed La Ciudad Blanca (The White City) for its unique buildings made entirely of sillar, a white volcanic stone, Arequipa offers a relaxed, romantic atmosphere that makes it a popular rendezvous for lovers. The striking Plaza de Armas, lined with palm trees and dominated by the Catedral, is one of the most beautiful main squares in all of Peru. From here you can take a stroll to the city-within-the-city, Monasterio de Santa Catalina, and a half-dozen other churches, colonial mansions and museums full of mummies and art. Famed French architect Gustave Eiffel also left his mark here: he is credited with designing the Puente de Fierro, Mercado San Camilo and several other structures. Wherever you go in the Arequipa, you have views of the three volcanoes that overshadow it: Misti, with Chachani to its left and Pichu-Pichu to the right.

Arequipa is a base from which to launch climbing expeditions of those mountains and a score more, or for visiting the rugged beauty and indigenous villages of the Colca and Cotahuasi canyons. Other small towns nearer the city also offer native culture and hikes, as well as colonial architecture.

The Centro Histórico, also called El Cercado, is where most of the attractions are. It has a low profile, due to the city’s propensity to suffer earthquakes. It is also worth strolling through some of the other neighborhoods. San Lázaro, just north of the city center, is where the Inca lived when the Spaniards arrived. To the west of downtown, on the other side of the Río Chili, are Yanahuara, which was an indigenous barrio during colonial times and now modernizing with high-rise buildings, Cayma, and Cerro Colorado, where the airport is. To the south of the Centro Histórico is the residential area Vallecito, also with beautiful architecture.

Neighborhoods in Arequipa: Around Arequipa,

Other places nearby Arequipa: Valle De Majes, Colca Canyon and Cotahuasi Canyon.







02 Jul 2012

Cusco + Machu Picchu Tours
Andean Discovery Peru tours Personalized tours, local experts + American management.
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Historic Arequipa

Monasterio de Santa Catalina

103477Like a city within a city, the astounding Monasterio de Santa Catalina is probably one of Arequipa\'s best architectural sites. With architecture reminiscent of Andalusian Spain, the convent contains ...
Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

La Compañia

103479Founded by Jesuits in 1573, La Compañía is a large church composed of three naves and a cupola. This Arequipa attraction is best known for its elaborately carved stone entrance and the Chapel of ...
Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

Museo Santuarios Andinos

103480This museum, dedicated to high-altitude archaeology and its pioneer Johan Reinhard, is most famous for housing the mummified remains of 13-year-old Juanita. Shortly after arriving in the area, the ...
Museum, Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

Catedral

103476Framed by the majestic snow-capped peaks of El Misti and Chachani, La Catedral is truly one of the most spectacular sites in Arequipa. While construction of the church began in 1544, much of its ...
Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

Colonial Mansions

103484Arequipa boasts some of Peru\'s best preserved and finest colonial architecture. Because most casonas were built as single story structures, they have withstood earthquakes that leveled other ...
Historical Building
Arequipa, Peru

Hiking and Climbing around Arequipa

Mountain Climbing

Almost two dozen volcanoes in the Arequipa-Colca Canyon region await climbers wanting to get a bit of sky-high action. Dominating Arequipa’s skyline are Misti (5,828 m / 19,000 ft), Chachani (6,080 ...
Climbing
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Coropuna and Ampato

Those with experience and equipment who are interested in independent climbs should look to Coropuna (6,425 m / 20,946 ft) and Ampato (6,280 m / 20,473 ft). Both of these peaks have large glaciers on ...
Climbing
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Hiking Near Arequipa

When travelers think of trekking in the Arequipa region, most only think of the trails winding through Colca and Cotahuasi canyons and the Valle de Volcanes. There are other opportunities, though, ...
Hiking
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Hiking Near Arequipa

When travelers think of trekking in the Arequipa region, most only think of the trails winding through Colca and Cotahuasi canyons and the Valle de Volcanes. There are other opportunities, though, ...
Hiking
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Hiking Near Arequipa

When travelers think of trekking in the Arequipa region, most only think of the trails winding through Colca and Cotahuasi canyons and the Valle de Volcanes. There are other opportunities, though, ...
Hiking
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Hiking Near Arequipa

When travelers think of trekking in the Arequipa region, most only think of the trails winding through Colca and Cotahuasi canyons and the Valle de Volcanes. There are other opportunities, though, ...
Hiking
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Mountain Climbing

Almost two dozen volcanoes in the Arequipa-Colca Canyon region await climbers wanting to get a bit of sky-high action. Dominating Arequipa’s skyline are Misti (5,828 m / 19,000 ft), Chachani (6,080 ...
Climbing
Around Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru

Hotels in Arequipa

Casablanca Hostal

Casablanca is a little more expensive than other hostels in the area, but you are more than compensated by the superb use of an authentic, exciting colonial facility made of lava pumice that evokes ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

Helena de Santa Maria

Helena de Santa María is at a bit removed from the center of Arequipa, rather being situated in a quiet residential (and very middle-class) neighborhood, a short distance from the Parque Libertad de ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

La Casona de Jerusalén Hospedaje

109363Hostal La Casona de Jerusalén offers the best of both worlds: the beauty of Arequipa’s white-stone, colonial architecture and modern bathrooms. Constructed in 1702, the building has high-arched ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

Hostal Maison Plaza

The three-star Hostal Maison Plaza is right on the Plaza de Armas and its terrace offers a great view of such. The rooms themselves are a combination of neo-classical and modern design, and are ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

Hostel Casona Solar

104995Hostal Casona Solar offers the best of both worlds: the beauty of Arequipa’s white-stone, colonial architecture and modern bathrooms. Constructed in 1702, the building has high-arched roofs and ...
Hotel, Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

Buena Vista Hostal

You will get one of the best panoramic views of the volcanoes and the city, plus a relaxed, comfortable stay at this hotel. It is in a quiet, safe area close to downtown (just five minutes by taxi or ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

Casa Linda

Casa Linda is a cozy and warm hostel located in Vallecito, a residential zone of Arequipa that is within walking distance of the Plaza de Armas. Each room has private bath with 24-hour hot water, ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

Hotel Libertador Arequipa

The Hotel Libertador chain is one of Peru\'s most luxurious, and its Arequipa hotel is no exception. Built in the 1940s, the hotel has the privilege of being on the peaceful Parque Selva Alegre, ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

Home Sweet Home

This friendly hostel, run by the Montesinos family, is loved by backpackers and known for its big breakfasts, family atmosphere and cute rooms. The hostel offers dormitories and private rooms ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

El Caminante Class

Caminante Class is one of the oldest and the best backpackers hotels in Arequipa. Rooms are comfortable and clean, if a little cramped, and many lead en-suite style into communal bathrooms (make sure ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru

Hostal del Parque

Just 3 blocks from the Plaza de Armas, Hostal del Parque is a gem for backpackers that have a bit more money to spend. This hostel has lots of great perks, such as internet access for guests, a TV ...
Hotel
Arequipa, Peru
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