Arequipa is a town in Peru that is south of Cusco. The town is one of my favourite Peruvian towns, it is so picturesque and full of white buildings built by volcanic stone. It is surrounded by 3 volcanoes and makes for a great base for visiting the Colca Canyon.

Top things to do in Arequipa

  1. Santa Catalina Monastery – a large monastery that is almost like a city within a city. In the past it was where all the elite sent their daughters, and it became more a place of debauchery instead of a nunnery.
  2. Monasterio y Museo de la Recoleta – another monastery in town that is cheaper to visit, and offers a lot more bang for your buck. You are almost completely alone visiting, there are rooms full of artefacts, a library and bell tower to climb with panoramic views.
  3. Museo Santuarios Andinos – a museum about the Andes tradition, and there is a mummy on display called the “maiden of the Andes”. It is pricey & no photos allowed.
  4. Plaza de Armas – a picturesque leafy plaza
  5. Strolling the beautiful historic town – enjoy the Baroque buildings, streets, view of the volcanos and the river that runs through town
  6. Shop & enjoy the cuisine
  7. Purchase a tour to the Colca Canyon (4 hours outside Arequipa)

Why Arequipa?

It is a surprise of a town. It is also a wind down town, stay here 2-3 days and relax. If you want more fast-paced adventure, do a tour to the Colca Canyon from here, one of the deepest canyons in the world.

How to get there & away

There is an airport, and main bus terminal. I arrived by bus from Chile & flew out by plane. You can often find cheap air fares that will save you long, windy bus trips through the Andes. However, if you miss out on good prices and want to save, a bus trip is for you. Settle in, and pay a bit extra to get a reliable & comfortable service (trust me, it is worth it).