Colourful Peru

29 January, 2024

Nestled in the foothills of the Andes, Arequipa stands as a testament to Peru’s rich cultural tapestry and historical significance. Known as “The White City” due to the extensive use of volcanic sillar stone in its architecture, Arequipa captivates travelers with its colonial charm and awe-inspiring landscapes. In this article, we will delve into the heart of Arequipa, exploring its colonial architecture, top attractions, and the unique experiences it offers to those embarking on a memorable Peru trip.

Unveiling the White Elegance: Arequipa’s Colonial Architecture

  1. Sillar Stone Marvels

Arequipa’s unique identity is deeply rooted in the use of sillar stone, a volcanic rock that gives the city its distinctive white appearance. Strolling through the historic center, visitors are greeted by a panorama of ornate colonial structures, adorned with intricate carvings and majestic archways. The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa and the Santa Catalina Monastery stand as prime examples of this architectural prowess, offering a glimpse into the city’s colonial past.

You can also read: Traditions and folklore in Puno

  1. Plaza de Armas: A Colonial Gem

At the heart of Arequipa lies the Plaza de Armas, surrounded by colonial-era buildings that showcase the city’s architectural grandeur. The Cathedral Basilica of Arequipa, overlooking the square, is a masterpiece that seamlessly blends Spanish and indigenous influences. Take a leisurely stroll, soak in the atmosphere, and marvel at the timeless beauty that surrounds this historic square.

  1. Santa Catalina Monastery: A City Within a City

The white city of Arequipa

Step back in time as you explore the Santa Catalina Monastery, a sprawling complex that resembles a miniature city within Arequipa. With its vibrant blue and orange hues contrasting against the white facades, this monastery is a visual feast. Discover the secluded courtyards, winding streets, and the vividly painted walls that narrate the stories of the nuns who once called this place home.

Top Attractions in Arequipa

  1. Misti Volcano: A Majestic Backdrop

Arequipa is graced by the presence of the towering Misti Volcano, an iconic symbol that dominates the city’s skyline. Adventurous souls can embark on a trek to its summit for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. For those seeking a less strenuous experience, there are guided tours that provide a closer look at this awe-inspiring natural wonder.

  1. Yanahuara and its Mirador

Escape the bustle of the city and head to the quaint district of Yanahuara. Here, a colonial-era church and a charming plaza await, offering a serene escape. The Yanahuara Mirador provides an unparalleled vantage point to admire the city, with the Misti Volcano providing a dramatic backdrop. It’s a perfect spot to capture the essence of Arequipa through your lens.

Tours in Arequipa: Crafting Unforgettable Memories

  1. Culinary Delights: A Gastronomic Journey

Photo: La Tratoría del Monasterio

No visit to Arequipa is complete without indulging in its culinary offerings. Explore the local markets, such as San Camilo Market, where vibrant stalls showcase the region’s diverse produce. Engage in a culinary tour to savor authentic Peruvian dishes, with Arequipa’s gastronomic scene leaving an indelible mark on your taste buds.

  1. Colca Canyon Adventure

For the adventure seekers, embark on a tour to the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons. Witness the flight of the Andean condors, marvel at pre-Inca terraced fields, and soak in the natural beauty that surrounds this breathtaking canyon. Tours from Arequipa to Colca Canyon provide an immersive experience into Peru’s diverse landscapes.

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What to Visit in Arequipa: Beyond the Colonial Facades

  1. Juanita Mummy: An Archaeological Marvel

Delve into the mysteries of the past at the Juanita Mummy Museum, where the remarkably well-preserved Inca mummy “Juanita” is on display. Uncover the secrets of ancient Inca rituals and gain insight into the fascinating world of Andean archaeology.

  1. Arequipa’s Historical Districts

Beyond the tourist hotspots, Arequipa boasts several lesser-known historical districts. Explore Cayma and its colonial church, wander through the narrow streets of San Lazaro, and discover the hidden gems that showcase the city’s rich heritage.

Best Restaurants in Arequipa: A Culinary Expedition

  1. Zig Zag Restaurant

Indulge in a culinary journey at Zig Zag Restaurant, renowned for its fusion of traditional Peruvian flavors with international influences. The elegant setting, coupled with a diverse menu, makes it a top choice for those seeking a gastronomic adventure.

  1. La Nueva Palomino

For an authentic taste of Arequipa’s culinary heritage, visit La Nueva Palomino. This rustic eatery serves up traditional dishes, including the famed “rocoto relleno” and “chupe de camarones,” providing a true taste of Arequipa’s gastronomic delights.

Crafting Everlasting Memories in Arequipa

Arequipa, with its captivating colonial architecture, awe-inspiring landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, beckons travelers to embark on a journey of discovery. Whether wandering through the historic Plaza de Armas, trekking the Misti Volcano, or savoring the culinary delights, Arequipa offers a diverse range of experiences that leave an indelible mark on every visitor. As you plan your Peru trip, make sure to include Arequipa in your itinerary for an unforgettable adventure in the White City.

Colourful Peru invites you to experience our country. We are committed to offer you the best options so you can live a Colourful journey. If you want to know more about our suggested journeys, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.



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