Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

Articles Jul 30, 2020 12:32

The city of Arequipa is not as famous as some of the major cities in Latin America, but once you come here, it will not take much time for you to realize why this ancient city is so special, always leading the list of must-see places in South America.

Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru and remains one of the hidden gems of the country. Although it is not well known by visitors and its biggest attraction is the Colca gorge, this city has much more to offer. Arequipa is called the "White City", with its striking architecture built of a kind of white volcanic rock called sillar.

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

The culture of the city of Arequipa is different from the rest of Peru in many ways. The city is described as a cultural oasis of Peru. The historic center of Arequipa features white volcanic rock and a blend of European and indigenous construction techniques. Its white walls were what gave Arequipa the nickname of “White City”. In 1970, it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

Arequipa is rich in music, food, art and literature and offers visitors numerous museums, historic buildings and restaurants. It can be said that Arequipa is a place you will not want to leave, thanks to its unique cuisine, history and great atmosphere.

Interesting things in the city of Arequipa

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

Plaza de Armas: like other squares in Latin American, this is the center of the city and is your main anchor point as you explore Arequipa's historic center. Great portraits, majestic churches, palm trees and crowds of locals mingle with visitors make it a fun party, and you'll never get tired of walking through the Plaza de Armas every day - although it is gradually becoming more focused on serving tourists than locals.

A common thing to do is have a drink or a meal at one of the hidden restaurants on the second floor above the arches, which gives great views over the square!

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

San Camilo Market: seeing a line of women who sell juice and smoothies made from exotic fruits, you will be amazed at the series of fresh, inexpensive products grown in Peru. So, do enjoy a lunch or a smoothie, chat with the shopkeeper and make your taste buds excited with some fresh, inexpensive products here.

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

San Lazaro: this is the oldest neighborhood in the city of Arequipa. It has by far the prettiest roads, mansions, white walls and streaks of color. Its beauty is also increased by the recently completed restoration works.

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

Walk across the river to Yanahuara: Buildings made of white volcanic rock and streets dotted with ancient churches, this middle-class residential area is a great place to take pictures. Its quiet roads also provide a bit of relaxation compared to the rest of the city.

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

It is also the place to visit one of the best attractions of Arequipa: Mirador de Yanahuara. With a panoramic view of the city below and the Volcan Misti in the distance, it is especially spectacular during sunset.

If you have time to visit this place earlier in the day, take some time to enjoy the tranquility of the small park right behind Mirador or enjoy a queso from one of the salespeople (queso is a craft cream invented in Arequipa – it actually doesn't contain cheese, but has coconut, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon).

Explore the Cola canyon

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

If you want to visit one of the deepest canyons in the world, start from the city of Arequipa, Peru.

To come here, you should not make a day trip, but instead a two-day trip, an overnight tour at a more comfortable pace.

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

Arequipa is located 2,335 meters above sea level, and it is essential that you notice the side effects the altitude can cause on your health. If you're from Cusco or Bolivia, chances are you'll be able to adapt to the altitude - otherwise, it's important to accelerate and let your body adjust to the heights of Arequipa before starting to discover the Colca Canyon (the canyon is taller than 3,000 meters at various points).

In addition to the majestic scenery, the Colca Canyon is also home to many rare birds and mammals. It also has an archaeological area dating back to about 6,000 years, a hot spring that you can enjoy to have great relaxing moments.

Discover the city of Arequipa, a must-visit destination in Peru

The Cola Canyon is also famous for the terraces of residents in the region. Because their cultivation practices date back to pre-Incas, it is not surprising that the area attracts 120,000 visitors each year. The deepest place of the Colca Canyon reaches 4,160m - double the depth of the famous Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA.

Watch: Historic Arequipa, Peru in 4K Ultra HD.

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