8 must-see tourist places in Arequipa that you must visit

8 must-see tourist places in Arequipa that you must visit

17 February 2023

Known as the White City for its architecture sculpted in ashlar, Arequipa shines favored by a climate that is always sunny all year round and a blue sky that invites you to walk and admire the beauty of its monuments, snow-capped mountains, volcanoes and deep canyons, in addition to enjoying of its exquisite gastronomy and a nightlife that will encourage you to return more than once. What are you waiting for? Let's start the journey!


Arequipa is the perfect destination to enjoy a vacation full of nature, adventure, history, and delicious cuisine. Named as a World Heritage Site, this city is undoubtedly one of those places that you have to visit at least once in your life. Here we leave you 10 tourist places in Arequipa that you should know.


Misti volcano

Arequipa has one of the most impressive destinations for the most daring travelers: El Misti, a 5,822-meter volcano, more than 800,000 years old and one of the 16 active and potentially active volcanoes in Peru. If you are looking for a maximum adventure plan, we recommend you to climb the Misti Volcano, a two-day journey surrounded by incredible landscapes, camping at more than 4,000 meters above sea level and with a totally unique arrival at the goal: the view from the Misti crater.


How to get there: although you can appreciate El Misti from practically any part of the White City, if you want to trek to the top, we recommend you hire a tour, since it is a demanding walk, at a high altitude and in which you need to be accompanied by a guide who knows the area and who can accompany you all the way.


St. Catherine's Monastery

In the heart of the city of Arequipa is one of the great architectural works of colonial Peru. It is the Monastery of Santa Catalina, a cloistered convent built in the 16th century and which has more than 20,000 square meters that you can explore from end to end. Its colorful streets, its interesting history and its amazing architecture have turned the Monastery of Santa Catalina into one of the main tourist places in Arequipa.


How to get there: the Monastery of Santa Catalina is located just a few blocks from Arequipa's Plaza de Armas. If you want to visit it on your own, you just have to follow Santa Catalina street (located next to the Arequipa Cathedral Basilica) and continue along it for four blocks. If you prefer, you can join our City Tour in Arequipa, which includes a guided visit to the monastery and other places in the city.


National Reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca

Among the great natural places to visit in the surroundings of Arequipa is the National Reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca. It is the home of the majestic Arequipeño volcanoes that we mentioned before, typical animals of the Andean highlands such as the llama, alpaca, vicuña and guanaco, and large lagoons inhabited by birds such as flamingos.


In addition, in this place are the Sumbay Caves, where more than 500 rock art paintings dating back between 6,000 and 8,000 years are preserved. Among the drawings that you will be able to observe here, are the typical camelids of this Andean region in a resting situation.


How to get there: to get to the Salinas y Aguada National Reserve you will have to take a taxi in the center of Arequipa that will take you to Chiguata, 25 km from the city. Once here, you have two options: continue with the taxi to the reserve or make the journey on foot, an easy walk that lasts around two hours.


Yanahuara city sigth

If you are one of those who like to have a 360 view of the city you are visiting, you have to visit the Mirador de Yanahura. Located in the picturesque district of the same name, this viewpoint offers one of the most spectacular views of Arequipa, with the city at the foot of its three most representative volcanoes: Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu. In addition, another of the attractions of this place are its characteristic white ashlar arches, in which you can read phrases from famous Peruvian characters.


How to get there: the Yanahuara viewpoint is only a 10-minute walk from the center of Arequipa, so you can get there on foot.


Choqolaqa Stone Forest

The cover photo of this article and one of the 10 places in Peru that you did not know existed. The Choqolaqa Stone Forest looks like a landscape from another planet, the scene of a Hollywood Martian fiction or even a surreal painting by Dalí. It is also known as Nueva Arequipa, and the legend says that one day its inhabitants stopped respecting their Apus and as punishment everything turned to stone.


How to get there: From Arequipa you must go to Tisco, a journey that takes about 5 hours. From Tisco you can ask the locals how to get to Choqolaqa, which is about two hours away. Due to the complexity to get there, we recommend hiring a tour operator that offers this visit from Arequipa.


Sillar Route

One of the main characteristics of Arequipa is the white of the walls of its most important buildings. This color comes from the material with which they are built: ashlar, a famous stone native to the city's volcanoes that has served as a building element for hundreds of years. If you want to know what the process of extracting this stone is like, we recommend you do the Ruta del Sillar, a tour of a quarry on the outskirts of the city where, in addition, you can observe the work of carving, carving and mega-carving.


How to get there: there are buses and taxis that take you to the sillar quarries, but also organized excursions, such as our Ruta del Sillar tour that also includes a visit to the Culebrillas petroglyphs.


Colca Canyon

It is inevitable: when we think of tourist places in Arequipa, the first thing that comes to mind is the Colca Canyon. This impressive jewel of Peruvian nature is the main tourist attraction in the Arequipa region, and no wonder! With 3,600 meters above sea level, the Colca is one of the deepest canyons (as well as being narrow) in the world. In it you can do practically everything: from enjoying the flight of the condor to relaxing in its hot springs, discovering the origin of the pre-Inca terraces or sleeping under an authentic blanket of stars totally surrounded by nature.


How to get there: although you can make the trip on your own, taking public buses or taxis, we recommend you take our excursion to the Colca Canyon, where the experience will be more comfortable and complete. In addition, you can also do a two-day trekking through the Colca Canyon knowing its most spectacular corners.


Imata Stone Forest and Pillones Waterfall

The Imata Stone Forest is a place where the action of the wind and rain turned the rocks found here into large natural sculptures. Taking a walk through this place is a totally exciting experience. Nearby is one of the newest and most spectacular tourist attractions in Arequipa: the Pillones Waterfalls, another great wonder of nature where you will want to spend the whole day taking photos and enjoying its pure and fresh air.


How to get there: These two places are located 145 km from the city of Arequipa, so the best option to get here is to take a full-day tour, which will take you directly to the destination and with which you can enjoy the experience to the fullest.


The best destinations in Perú

Once you decide to visit Palccoyo Mountain, you could add the best destinations to combine the history and experience for your trip to Peru. Peru offers the most beautiful destinations, culture and naturals. we recommend to extend your holidays and choose these best destinations and prepare your itinerary:

Best Peru Treks


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