10 Things to Do in Arequipa Region That You Shouldn't Miss

November 13, 2017 Marianna Hollaway

Arequipa (Aymara: Ariqipa; Quechua: Ariqipa) is a region in southwestern Peru. It is bordered by the Ica, Ayacucho, Apurímac and Cusco regions in the north, the Puno Region in the east, the Moquegua Region in the south, and the Pacific Ocean in the west. Its capital, also called Arequipa, is Peru's second-largest city.
Restaurants in Arequipa Region

1. Monasterio de Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina 301, Arequipa, Peru +51 974 796 605
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Monasterio de Santa Catalina

Considered a masterpiece of colonial architecture, this monastery is a large complex of rooms, picturesque plazas, ornate Fountains and a maze of narrow, cobblestone streets.

Reviewed By EmilyMartha - New York City, New York

Take yourself back 500 years to see how the Carmelite nuns lived in Arequipa. Included in your visit are a garden oasis, a museum exhibition and excellent labels throughout to explain the purpose of each room. Expect to spend two hours here. A wonderful treasure unlike any convent I've seen anywhere in the world; it's a veritable city.

2. Historic Centre of Arequipa

Arequipa, Peru
Excellent
62%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Historic Centre of Arequipa

Reviewed By Chris L

There are many hidden places hidden in Arequipa, just walk around the downtown area and visit the Tambos (old traditional houses where many families live to present days) walk through San Lazaro neighbohood. I hope you find the church which highest point is at the same level as the floor of the main square. Don't forget to visit San Francisco and Santa Teresa monasteries.

3. El Misti

Arequipa | lies between the mountain Chachani and the volcano Pichu-Pichu, Arequipa 054, Peru +51 959 993 201
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 784 reviews

El Misti

Reviewed By Flouse2000 - Villers-la-ville, Belgium

The misti ascension can be done easily solo if you have a bit experience of trekking and have camping equipment. Here is how we did with my friend :
Prepare camping equipment and take at least 5 liters of water per person. We had just enough so maybe take a liter more ?
We went to av. Sepulveda to take a taxi to Chuiguata (6 soles). We asked the taxi to drop us 3/4 of the way where the trek to Misti begins. For navigation we used the smartphone app maps.me wich is really useful. There is a door that you need to get through, of its closed just knock and calm for someone to open. Maybe you can ask the taxi driver to get you closer to Misti ? The road is quite good and you can spare 6 km and 500+ m D+, that can be useful to be less wasted for the next day !
From the road it's a 1600 m D+ so be prepared to suffer a bit, we walked for 6-7 hours to reach the campsite at 4500 m. We were not alone, 2 others groups : 2 tourists and 7-8 locals, both with guide. Again : no water on site, bring your own for cooking. We went to sleep early, it's cold during the night !
Next day, wake up at 1 am. Walking from 2 am and reached the top at 6-6.30, a bit late for sunrise... maybe leave earlier ? The way up is not easy, during the night the trail is sometimes hard to find and keep. You get sometimes to just climb through rocks and finally find the path again. The sand is only a problem if you walk outside the designated paths.
Really beautiful on top, crater still in activity.
Way down EASY : just run as an astronaut in the sand. We went down 1100 m D- in 30 min. Long walk back to the road (were there at 11 am, but we went super fast). Hitchhiked a car on the road to Arequipa.
Rested during after noon, enjoyed a great restaurant for diner ;)
Great experience, be prepared to carry an heavy bag, face the cold during the night walk and be proud of yourself. Bye !

4. Colca Canyon

054, Peru
Excellent
69%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Colca Canyon

One of the deepest canyon in the world is more than 13,100 feet.. Here you can practice: rafting, trekking, mountain biking, vivencial tourism.

Reviewed By Katharina O

I compared some tour agencys in Arequipa for this trekking tour. One agency didnt offer a trekking Tour in February and the others sounded similar. In the end I booked in my Hostel (Okkowasi) in Arequipa and ended up with Omar a guide and a group of 12 people. It was wonderful. The Group and Omar and the trek. I dont know with which Tour Operator or Agency the hostel works so I dont know how you can book with Omar. All the people in my group also paid different prices. But in general was the tour for what was included cheap.
The 3 Day tour is a slower version of the 2 Day tour. We just walked a little less every day. If you have time I would recommend you to take the time and enjoy.
We visited a lot of nice placed on the way and Omar explained all about flora and fauna and you could ask him any question. He wants to share his knowledge and his culture and give you an insight. He likes to talk and is fun and nice. since we didnt walk more than 4 hours the first day and started early we got to the oasis early, when it was still sunny and had time to enjoy the pool. That was fantastic.
Take a flashlight and a book or a card game if you can and a bathing suit!
We didnt stop at the Condor mirador because of the weather. It was to cloudy. February is not the best month to see them. That was sad but also I think the first day the could have let us have look at least. They told us we could stop there on the way back but then we didnt have time. So if you want then let them stop for you there.
You can buy a hiking stick for three soles at the beginning if you need one. Also on the way are a view families selling snacks and fruit and water. You can help them and buy your snacks there.

5. Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve

Peru
Excellent
64%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
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4.5 based on 204 reviews

Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve

Reviewed By alaskantravelnut - Anchorage

We traveled early morning through the reserve on the way to Colca Canyon. The are vast vistas of he altiplano with snow-capped volcanoes (some smoking) on the horizon. We saw lots of alpacas and llamas. The only downside is the roadside litter. Some effort is being made to clean it up, but this is a special place and more needs to be done to educate locals on keeping it that way.

6. Plaza de Armas

Arequipa, Peru +51 959 832 081
Excellent
57%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Plaza de Armas

Serving as the focus of urban life and evening activities, this elegant grand square features graceful colonnades, swaying palms and lush Gardens.

Reviewed By Brittany_11_10 - Los Angeles, California

I lucked out and happened to be in Arequipa (and South America, in general) during carnaval, and one of the days they had a parade that wound through the plaza. There were heaps of people (spectators and participants alike, locals and foreigners both) dancing, celebrating life, spraying each other with...whatever it is they use (it's like shaving cream, sort of).
I also visited the plaza when no special event was taking place, and it obviously wasn't as great, but it was still a nice place to hang out, people-watch, and write a few postcards.

7. Museo de Arte Virreinal Santa Teresa

Calle Melgar 303 | Esquina calle Melgar con Calle Peral, Arequipa 04000, Peru +51 54 281188
Excellent
66%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 279 reviews

Museo de Arte Virreinal Santa Teresa

Reviewed By Frédérique D - Montreal, Canada

Great staff and charming place to discover! We were not planning on visiting Santa Teresa covent as we had not heard of it before passing in front. Dennis and the lady at the ticket counter were lovely. Dennis schedule us a guided tour via email. He was very helpful and sociable. We enjoyed a lot our visit. The covent is charming and not too touristy. Exactly what we were looking for. One of the highlights was definitely to hear the monjas singing at noon. We listened to their beautiful voices right by the door that gave access to the room they were in and that we had visited 15 min earlier. It gave us chills. Also, try the cookies they bake. They were incredibly delicious!

8. Mirador Cruz del Condor

Cabanaconde, Peru +51 978 071 182
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 162 reviews

Mirador Cruz del Condor

Reviewed By Dorianne G - Johannesburg, South Africa

There is a reason this spot is crawling with tourists in the morning! What a sight!! Apparently were were lucky that morning, in the hour we were there, there was almost one condor in flight all the time. Not only that, but this viewpoint over the canyon is spectacular.
We passed it on the way to Cabanaconde the evening before at sunset. Sat there with NOBODY else, not even condors. The atmosphere and silence were overwhelmingly magnificent. One of our most special moments on our two week holiday of Peru.
Thank you Carlitos Tours!

9. Complejo de la Compania de Jesus

Calle Grl Moran,118, Arequipa 054, Peru +51 959 652 410
Excellent
57%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 251 reviews

Complejo de la Compania de Jesus

Reviewed By Jarko2015 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This set of cloistered courtyards is part of the church precinct, but has been converted to restaurants and shops, so is no longer part of the religious site. It's well worth seeing as it's in a great state of preservation and the views from the upper balconies are very good;. Even if you choose not to eat or shop it's worth seeing.

10. Chachani

Calle Zela 209 - Arequipa | Next to Plaza San Francisco - Downtown, Arequipa 04000, Peru
Excellent
64%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 202 reviews

Chachani

This large extinct volcano, 6,057 meters in height, rises above Arequipa in southern Peru and is a popular site for climbers.

Reviewed By YayaArnie - London, United Kingdom

Three of us (between 30 and 40 fit enough) decided to attempt climbing Chachani on our own in 1day. We got as much information as we could from locals and agencies the day before (regarding weather forecast, level of snow at the top, necessity of ice pick, routes...), and as the weather was good, there was no snow at the top, we just done Ausengate so we though we are acclimatised to altitude we decided to try to do it alone.
We got up at 12.30am, took our taxi 4x4 at 1am, it takes 2h30 to go to the starting point of the climb at 5100meters. We brought with us warm clothes, leggings, gloves, hats, jacket, windstopper...2,5liters of water each, breakfast and lunch!
We started walking at 5.30am, we could see a little bit as the first light of the sun was appearing.
It took us 1h10minutes to the campsite; that part is easy enough, but there is a landslide after 20minutes walk so it can be tricky at times to find your way, try to look for the painted white arrows or dots, and if you can try to spot the trail on the other side to know where to get out.
At this stage, one of us started to experience altitude sickness even though we spent 5days over 4600m the last week. (Bring coca leaves or tablets in case)
Then you arrive at the campsite and can see the mountain to climb...the path is pretty clear to follow going up... We stayed on the part you can see for a couple of hours, and then the path leads you on the other side of the rocks that are on your right.
Two of us really struggled with altitude and found it really hard to breath, we had to stop every minute nearly after 5600m, and we were not sure if we will make it to the summit. The third one had no major problem going up...so it really depends how you deal with altitude!
Anyway it took us 5h15 to get from the campsite to the summit, it felt amazing reaching it 'our first 6000m', and we were super lucky as it was not too cold so we enjoyed the views up there.
After 20minutes on the top, we went down, it took us 3hours in total (2h walking, and 1h resting for lunch and relaxing). Going down scree skiing was fun and easy, but its hard on your knees and it's quiet dusty. This day was really tiring, probably our hardest 1day hike...the altitude slowed us and two of us had bad bad headaches from it for hours.
Our taxi collected us at 4pm, and we were back at our hostel at 6.30pm (totally wrecked!)
There is lots of agencies in Arequipa that organise trips to Chachani, so no need to book ahead. You can also rent warm clothes if you decide to diy.
It's definitely not an easy walk (and it can be dangerous depending of the weather), so if you have no experience of Mountains or altitude, take a guide, it's safer!
Remember to take lots of warm clothes, it's pretty cold early morning and at the top! And be cautious, there is no reception on Chachani and nobody there at all, so if you have a problem you are alone.
If you decide to do it alone and need a taxi, contact Esteban directly on +51963408641

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