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A collage of Machu Picchu, a female backpacker and a photographer taking a photo.


Arequipa, the second-largest city in Peru (after Lima), holds an enchanting mix of colonial beauty and fierce regional loyalty of its residents renowned nationwide. Set out on a history-filled excursion with our guide around the main plaza and use the city as your base to embark on adventurous Arequipa tours to Colca Canyon.

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Let our team of expert travel advisors help build your dream trip to Peru. Our fully customizable South America vacation packages allow you to hand-pick the destinations you wish to see at the exact pace you wish to see them. All of our offerings are also vetted firsthand by our team to ensure top quality and comfort. Contact our knowledgeable Peru experts today to plan your trip, with excellent tours, hotels and transfers throughout.

What to see in Arequipa

Your stay in Arequipa will be filled with Peruvian cuisine, views of volcanoes and white stone colonial buildings, and an unending exploration of culture and history down its picturesque cobblestone streets.

Arequipa’s Historic City Center

The Historic City Center of Arequipa is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the Plaza de Armas you’ll see European architectural styles, like Baroque and neo-classical all with a touch of Andean symbology. Top-restaurants overlook the Basilica Cathedral where you’ll be likely to hear some live Peruvian music playing from the street.

El Misti Volcano

El Misti Volcano makes the Arequipan skyline something extra special. This perfectly cone-shaped volcano stands 19,098 feet (5,822 meters) above sea level, next to it are the Chachani and Pichu Pichu volcanoes.

Salinas Aguada Blanca National Reserve

The Salinas Aguada Blanca National Reserve is a protected park near Arequipa and Colca Canyon. Here you’ll find lagoons, wetlands, birds, wild vicunas, volcanos, and more along the scenic landscapes.

The Ice Maiden Juanita

Juanita is the name of one of the best-preserved mummies in the Andes. You can visit her remains at the Museo Santuarios Andinos in Arequipa and learn about her history, her death in the 1400’s, and her discovery in 1995.

Santa Catalina Monastery

The Santa Catalina Monastery in Arequipa spans over 20,000 square miles and is very much a city within a city. In 1579 when it was originally built, it was a monastery for Dominican nuns who built all they would need within its walls and never left the property.

Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon is near Arequipa city, and is the second-deepest canyon in the world. A visit here should be done over 2 days to take in the natural hot springs, gorgeous hotel properties, and soaring Andean condors.

Cruz del Condor

Cruz del Condor is a panoramic viewpoint over Colca Canyon where Andean condors are prone to soar. The multi-storied lookout point built on the cliffside allows for the 3-4 food condors to soar directly overhead.


Chivay is a small town within Colca Canyon and is the gateway to Colca Canyon tours. Chivay has an 8th century Church of Our Lady of the Assumption located on the main square where you might encounter traditional dances or places to purchase Peruvian souvenirs.


Arequipa is best known for its local cuisine and you’d be missing out if you didn’t try it. While all of Peru boasts delicious food, Arequipa’s secret ingredient is spice. Restaurants where you can try these spicy renditions of Peruvian foods are called “picanterias”.

Arequipa Hotels


Casa Andina Premium Arequipa

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Calle Ugarte 403, Arequipa


Casa Andina Select Arequipa

★ ★ ★ ★

Calle Portal de Flores 116 Plaza de Armas, Arequipa


Qasa by Nomad

★ ★ ★

Calle Álvarez Thomas 300a, Arequipa


Mirador del Monasterio

★ ★

Zela 301 Cercado, Arequipa

Peru Highlights

Peru is filled with archaeological ruins, scenic landscapes, and delicious flavors. Must-see places in Peru include:

Inca Trail

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in four or two days. The Inca Trail is a 500-year old pathway where the elite Incas once entered into the “Lost City of the Incas”. Plan with your Peru for Less travel advisor in advance, Inca Trail permits tend to sell out even 6-months in advance.

Amazon Rainforest

Step into the lush Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and witness a spectacular array of wildlife in its natural habitat. Lodges in Puerto Maldonado are ideal for excursions and daily activities. Those looking for a more luxurious Amazon experience would love an Iquitos Amazon River cruise. Colorful macaws, giant tarantulas, and playful river otters are among the sights you’ll behold.


Cusco city has it all, archaeological ruins, colonial buildings, top-rated restaurants, and countless places to explore. Your Cusco City Tour will take you to the top highlights like Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, the Cusco Cathedral, and more.


Arequipa is a picturesque town and also the second-largest city in Peru. Local markets, beautifully built colonial architecture, and El Misti volcano are among the things you’ll see while walking the cobblestone streets of the white city.

Lake Titicaca

Sail on the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca and step on the reed Uros and Taquile floating islands. Some of the best weavers are found in this area so pick up some Peruvian textiles here for unique souvenirs.

Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are mysterious geoglyphs and geometric shapes drawn onto the desert floor hundreds of years ago by the Nazca culture. Little is known about them nevertheless, the Nazca Lines inspire awe in those who take a flight over them.


Lima is a mixture of modern city living and historical significance. Here you’ll find Central restaurant (ranked #6 by 50 Worlds Best), UNESCO World Heritage sites like Historic City Center with the San Francisco Convent, and the best shopping in Peru.


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