Located in the heart of a land punctuated by volcanoes and canyons, Arequipa is a great place to scout around for climbing and trekking tours. Most tour companies located on JerusalÃ©n, Santa Catalina and along the Plaza de Armas offer tours of Colca, Cotahuasi, Toro Muerto and of the city itself. You may also buy air, train and bus tickets.
Some 300 travel agencies and tour operators exist in Arequipa. Most are brokers for actual tour operators. Prices differ significantly, so shop around. In general, you get what you pay for. By law, tour operators must detail what is included in the package. See Tours under Colca Canyon for more tips on finding a tour for that destination.
Beware of agencies that display more than one name above their doorways, as this may be a sign of a fly-by-night company and that you may get ripped off. Always make sure your company and guides are official. The following organizations receive a seal of approval for meeting quality standards; check with them about the tour operator you are thinking of using: AsociaciÃ³n de Agencias de Viajes y Turismo (Calle Palacio Viejo 216, of 602, Edificio Sud AmÃ©rica. Tel: 211-072, Cel: 958-616-661) and AsociaciÃ³n de Operadores y Promotores de Turismo de Aventura y Ecoturismo (email@example.com), for which sets a standard for quality of service and environmental impact that Arequipa tour operators are responsible. You may also check with iPeru (See Services: Tourist Information).