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10 Things to Do in Arequipa

Arequipa, the picturesque city located in southern Peru, is a destination that enthralls visitors with its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture. Known as the “White City” due to its stunning colonial architecture made from sillar, a white volcanic rock, Arequipa offers an array of activities and attractions that cater to all types of travelers. Whether you are an adventure enthusiast, a history buff, or someone seeking a tranquil escape, Arequipa has something for everyone. Here are 10 must-do things in Arequipa:

1. Explore the Historic City Center

Begin your journey in Arequipa by exploring its historic city center, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through the enchanting streets lined with beautifully preserved colonial buildings, such as the iconic Santa Catalina Monastery, the Plaza de Armas, and the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa. Immerse yourself in the rich history and admire the architectural beauty as you wander through the charming alleys of this captivating city.

2. Visit the Santa Catalina Monastery

A visit to Arequipa is incomplete without exploring the fascinating Santa Catalina Monastery. Step into a world of tranquility and spirituality as you wander through the colorful cloisters, peaceful squares, and picturesque gardens of this 16th-century convent. Marvel at the vibrant walls adorned with intricate murals and learn about the lives of the nuns who once resided within its walls. The Santa Catalina Monastery is a true architectural gem that offers a glimpse into Arequipa’s colonial past.

3. Take a Tour of the Juanita Museum

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Juanita Museum is a must. Located in the heart of Arequipa, this museum houses the well-preserved mummy of an Inca girl known as “Juanita.” Learn about the Inca civilization and the ancient rituals performed by the Incas as you explore the exhibits showcasing artifacts and information about this fascinating culture. The museum provides a unique opportunity to delve into the mystical world of the Incas and gain insights into their customs and traditions.

4. Hike to the Misti Volcano

Arequipa is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, and hiking to the Misti Volcano is a thrilling adventure that should not be missed. Rising majestically at an altitude of 5,822 meters (19,101 feet), Misti offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Embark on a guided trek to the summit of the volcano and witness the mesmerizing sunrise or sunset while being surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of the Andean landscape. The Misti Volcano hike promises an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

5. Explore the Colca Canyon

Embark on a journey to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, located just a few hours from Arequipa. Marvel at the sheer magnitude of this natural wonder as you gaze into the deep abyss, carved by the Colca River over millions of years. The Colca Canyon is not only a geological marvel but also home to the majestic Andean condors. Witness these magnificent birds soar above the canyon’s walls during a guided tour and capture awe-inspiring photographs of this unique spectacle.

6. Indulge in Culinary Delights

Arequipa is a paradise for food lovers, offering a gastronomic experience unlike any other. Delight your taste buds with traditional Peruvian dishes infused with Arequipa’s unique flavors. Savor the famous rocoto relleno, a spicy stuffed pepper dish, or enjoy a comforting plate of adobo, a hearty pork stew. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the local specialty, “chupe de camarones,” a delicious shrimp and potato soup. Arequipa’s culinary scene is a true reflection of its rich cultural heritage and is sure to leave you craving for more.

7. Discover the Sabandia Mill

Escape the bustling city and venture into the peaceful countryside to discover the Sabandia Mill, a historic watermill located just outside Arequipa. Built in the 18th century, this beautifully preserved mill showcases the architectural techniques of the colonial era. Take a leisurely stroll around the gardens, enjoy a picnic by the tranquil river, and learn about the process of grinding wheat as you explore this fascinating attraction. The Sabandia Mill is a serene spot that offers a glimpse into the region’s agricultural past.

8. Visit the Yanahuara District

Head to the picturesque Yanahuara District, located only a few kilometers from Arequipa’s city center. This charming neighborhood is renowned for its scenic viewpoint, offering panoramic vistas of the city’s white colonial architecture against a backdrop of towering volcanoes. Take a leisurely walk along the cobblestone streets, visit the beautiful Yanahuara Church, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the local market. The Yanahuara District is a haven for photographers and a great place to capture breathtaking shots of Arequipa’s iconic skyline.

9. Explore the San Camilo Market

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the bustling San Camilo Market, Arequipa’s largest and most vibrant market. Experience the vibrant colors, enticing aromas, and lively atmosphere as you wander through the stalls filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, local handicrafts, and traditional Peruvian products. Indulge in some exotic fruits, sample street food delicacies, and interact with friendly locals to get a true taste of Arequipa’s vibrant lifestyle.

10. Relax in the Hot Springs of Yura

After a day of exploring, unwind and rejuvenate your senses in the natural hot springs of Yura, located just a short drive from Arequipa. Immerse yourself in the warm mineral-rich waters, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the Andean mountains. The hot springs of Yura offer the perfect opportunity to relax, soak away your worries, and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the natural geothermal springs.

In conclusion, Arequipa is a destination that captivates visitors with its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture. From exploring its historic city center to embarking on thrilling adventures in the surrounding natural wonders, the “White City” offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. Whether you are seeking history, adventure, or a culinary delight, Arequipa has it all. Plan your visit to Arequipa and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of this remarkable city.

FAQ

1. What is the historic city center of Arequipa?

The historic city center of Arequipa is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with beautifully preserved colonial buildings, such as the Santa Catalina Monastery, the Plaza de Armas, and the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa.

2. What can I expect to see at the Santa Catalina Monastery?

At the Santa Catalina Monastery, you can expect to see colorful cloisters, peaceful squares, picturesque gardens, and vibrant walls adorned with intricate murals. It offers a glimpse into Arequipa’s colonial past.

3. What is the Juanita Museum and what can I learn there?

The Juanita Museum is located in the heart of Arequipa and houses the well-preserved mummy of an Inca girl known as Juanita. At the museum, you can learn about the Inca civilization, the ancient rituals performed by the Incas, and explore exhibits showcasing artifacts and information about this fascinating culture.

4. What is the Misti Volcano and why should I hike to it?

The Misti Volcano is a stunning natural landscape in Arequipa. Hiking to the Misti Volcano offers a thrilling adventure and provides breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. It stands at an altitude of 5,822 meters (19,101 feet).

Anwar Abdi
Anwar Abdihttps://www.universitymagazine.ca/author/anwar-abdi/
Anwar Abdi is a Canadian business executive and Digital Journalist. Anwar Abdi is the CEO of AMG Brands Network Inc. and the Current Editor-in-Chief of University Magazine. Previously He Worked as an Education contributor at HuffPost. Anwar received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication at the University of Windsor.
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