Located in the South of Perú at 2,359 meters above sea level on the slopes of the Misti volcano.It is known as the "White City" because it is built with "sillar" ( white volcanic stone). A real treasure from the time of the Viceroys is the convent of Santa Catalina, a unique religious monument which was inaugurated in 1580 as a monastic cloister.

About 100 Km. northeast of Arequipa is the Colca Canyon. This canyon reaches the impressive depth of 3,000 mts. and is considered one of the most spectacular geography in the world.


You can visit too, Toro Muerto, an archeological place considered one of the richest areas in rupestrian art. Petroglyphs depicting symbolic geometric animals can be appreciated.

We recommend:

- The Santa Catalina Monastery
- The Colca Canyon
- The Country Side of Yanahuara, Cayma and Sabandía
- "Toro Muerto" (rupestrian art)


-Main Square, city of Arequipa
Bordered by various arched walkways and the Cathedral, the Main Square possesses a beautiful bronze fountain of three plates crowned by the figure of a sixteenth century soldier. Of this person, who is called “Tuturutu”, the story says he was in charge of warning of any new event. Around the square, you see three granite portals with brick and lime bases: Portal del Cabildo (Portal de la Municipalidad), Portal de las Delicias (Portal de San Agustín), and Portal del Regocijo (Portal de Flores).

-Cathedral, city of Arequipa
Main Square. Telephone: (054) 23-2635 / 40-5393. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 7:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M., Sundays 7:00 A.M. – 1:30 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
It is considered one of the first seventeenth century religious monuments of the city. It is built of sillar (white volcanic stone) with a brick base. Destroyed by fire in 1844, it was rebuilt in 1868 by the Arequipa architect Lucas Poblete. He used a Neoclassical style and placed the entrances of church on the flanking naves. In 2001, the building was struck hard by an earthquake, which seriously damaged its towers.

-Iglesia de La Compañía and complex (The Church of the Company of Jesus Christ)
Intersection of Calle General Morán and Calle Álvarez Thomas, Main Square.Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
This complex, made up of buildings constructed by the Jesuits for religious and living purposes, is a representative monument of the seventeenth century religious architecture (1660). The church itself rises from the center of the buildings. It was designed in 1573 by Gaspar Baez and destroyed by an earthquake in 1584. The current structure dates from 1650. Inside you find sixty-six canvases from the CuscoSchool from such artists as Bernardo Bitti and Diego de la Puente.

-Iglesia de San Francisco and complex (Church of Saint Francis)
First block of Calle Zela. Telephone: (054) 22-3048. Church visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 7:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. Sundays 7:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. Convent visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 9:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. and 3:00 P.M – 5:00 P.M.
The complex contains the Saint Francis church, the convent and a smaller church known as La Tercera Orden (the Third Franciscan Order). What catches the attention inside the church is the bas-relief decorated Baroque pulpit and the silver front of the main altar. Besides these, a short passageway, named Manguillo de San Francisco, has been added to the complex to separate the church from what was the first girl school and later a women jail. Today, it has become a commercial art center known as “Fundo El Fierro” (Iron Ranch).

-Monasterio de Santa Catalina (Saint Kathleen Monastery)
Calle Santa Catalina 301. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Constructed to shelter the daughters of the wealthiest families of the city with a religious vocation, the monastery was inaugurated on October 2, 1580, under the name of Santa Catalina of Siena to be a totaly cloistered religious center, and it remained that way until August 15, 1970.
It occupies an approximate area of 20.000 m2 (215.285 feet2), and its placement is similar to the first neighborhoods of Arequipa. The building exhibits rooms of very different architectural design. One of the areas has been established as a gallery to display the canvasses of the Cusco, Quito, and ArequipaSchools. There are other rooms, or sectors, to visit as well, like el Claustro de la Portería (the Gate Cloister), el Museo Precolombino (the pre-Colombian Museum), el Claustro de San Francisco (the Cloister of Saint Francis), etc.

-Convento de La Recoleta (La Recoleta Convent)
Jiron Recoleta 117. Telephone: (054) 27-0966. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. Email: convento-la-recoleta@terra.com.pe
A Franciscan convent founded in 1848, open to the public since 1978. It features various styles that include Romantic and Neo-gothic styles due to its different remodeling campaigns (the last one in 1940). It has four cloisters and eleven sectors, as well as two pre-Colombian art rooms, two others dedicated to the AmazonRain Forest, and another to religious art. It also has a gallery exhibiting canvasses from the Cusco and ArequipaSchools and a valuable library that protects more than 20.000 volumes and ancient books.

-Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo (Church and Convent of Santo Domingo)
Intersection of Calle Santo Domingo and Calle Rivero. Telephone: (054) 21-3511. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 7:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. Sundays 5:45 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. and 6:30 P.M. – 7:45 P.M.
Architecturally, the church is characterized by a bell tower, its entrance with a corner pedestal, and its impeccable arch under the choir loft. Inside, one can appreciate paintings and other pieces of sacred art.It is also known for its side entrance being the oldest in Arequipa. The upper cloister of the convent was constructed around 1734.

-Casa del Moral (Moral House)
Calle Moral 318, downtown Arequipa. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Holidays 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
An eighteenth century house, constituting one of the oldest and most important architectural monuments from the Arequipa Baroque period. The house owes its name to an ancient blackberry tree that grows in its main patio. Inside, furniture from Peru's Colonial and Republican epochs is on display. The main entrance of white sillar stone is a work of art in which you can admire carefully carved figures. For example, there is a crown suspended above a coat of arms that is held up by two angels, the coat of arms is composed of tinier carvings of a castle, a bird, a puma, and two crossed keys. In the same way, the room of sixteenth century “antique” maps of America stands out.

-Barrio de San Lázaro (Saint Lazarus neighborhood)
Five blocks from the Main Square, Arequipa.
This neighborhood of alleys, narrow passageways, small plazas, and large homes is the most representative of old Arequipa. This place was established by Dominican priests in 1538, who built a sanctuary to evangelize the natives of the area and prepare the land to found a new Spanish city. The small bridge that connects the Church of San Lázaro and its small plaza with the rest of the quarter is worth a visit.

-Casa Goyeneche (Goyeneche House)
Calle La Merced 201. Telephone: (054) 21-2251. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:15 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
This sixteenth century house of white sillar stone is completely designed in the Colonial style. Prints from the Cusco and ArequipaSchools are preserved thereas well as sculptures from the GranadaSchool of the seventeenth century. The name comes from Mr. Juan de Goyeneche y Aguerreverre, who bought it in 1782. Presently, it is headquarters to the Central Reserve Bank of Peru in Arequipa.

-Iglesia San Agustín (Saint AugustineChurch)
Intersection of Calle San Agustín and Calle Bolívar. Telephone: (054) 22-0066. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. Sundays 8:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Built in 1575, the church displays a façade that dates from the first half of the eighteenth century and is considered one of the best of its time. In architectural terms, it belongs to the mixed-origin Baroque and the main construction material is white sillar stone. Inside, the main highlights are the dome, its Neoclassical altars, especially the major one, for the precise carvings and gilding

-Iglesia La Merced (Mercy Church)
Intersection of Calle La Merced and Calle Tristán. Telephone: (054) 21-3233. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 8:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. Saturdays 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Its construction began in 1551 and was completed in 1607. It has an attractive side entrance, which features the image of the Virgin of Mercy accompanied by two saints of mercy. Important works of art like the “Aparición de la Virgen a San Pedro Nolasco” (Saint Peter Nolasco Recovering the Image of the Virgin) are preserved in its sacristy as well as a series of paintings related to the Virgin de la Merced in the main hall. The church and the convent, the latter constructed in the city, were built using the white sillar stone from Arequipa. The cloister maintains a library that dates back to the Vice royal period.

-Casa Tristán del Pozo (Tristán del Pozo house)
Calle San Francisco 108. Telephone: (054) 21-2209. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:15 A.M. – 12:45 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. Saturdays 9:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
This traditional, colonial house has a façade carved in mixed-origin Baroque. In addition, it was made with wide, unique patios inside. It was built in 1738 for General Domingo Tristán del Pozo. Today, it is the property of Banco Continental.

-Museo Arqueológico de la Universidad de San Agustín
(University of San Agustín Archeological Museum)
Intersection of Calle Álvarez Thomas and Calle Palacio Viejo. Telephone: (054) 28-8881. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 8:15 A.M. – 4:15 P.M.
A varied collection is exhibited here including stone items, bones from human sacrifices, ceramic pieces from the Nasca, Tiahuanaco, Huari, and Inca, and objects of gold and silver from the Colonial and Inca eras.

-Museo de Arqueología de la Universidad Católica de Santa María de Arequipa
(University of Santa María de Arequipa Archeological Museum)
Calle Cruz Verde 303. Telephone: (054) 95-9636. Visiting hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. and 2:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.
The museum has around 1000 pieces (ceramics, textiles, mummies, works of stone, wood, and metal) from the different cultural groups that inhabited the Department of Arequipa from 12.000 B.C. up to the time of the colony: Nasca, Tiahuanaco, Wari, Churajón, Acarí, Aruni and Inca as well as transitional and colonial materials.

-Museo Santuarios Andinos de la Universidad Católica de Santa María(Catholic University of Saint Mary)
Calle La Merced 110, downtown Arequipa. Telephone: (054) 21-5013. Visiting hours: Mon. – Sat. 9:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. Sundays 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Here, they exhibit la Dama de Ampato (the Lady of Ampato), an Inca mummy of a twelve to fourteen year old girl found at the top of the Ampato volcano by the climber Miguel Zárate, the archeologist José Chávez, and the anthropologist Johan Reinhard on September 8, 1995. According to the specialists, it is very likely that the girl, whose remains were found frozen, died from a blow to the temple from a five pointed granite mace. It seems that she was sacrificed to the Ampato Apu (protector god) some 500 years ago.

-Urbanización Selva Alegre (Selva Alegre suburb)
Considered the “garden of the city” for its large parks and huge trees that live in harmony with the modern houses of the area, Selva Alegre was constructed as a monument to Juan Pablo Vizcardo y Guzmán, fore runner of the Peruvian independence. The Molino de Santa Catalina (Mill of Saint Kathleen) is anothersite to visit, completely restored and located on the mall of this zone.

-Yanahuara Lookout
2 km / 1 mile from downtown Arequipa (8 minutes by car)
It was built in the nineteenth century and is composed of a series of sillar stone arches where the words of famous Arequipa citizens have been engraved. This spot is a wonderful view point of the city and MountMisti volcano.

-City of Sabandia
8 km / 5 miles from Arequipa (20 minutes by car)
Wide terraces and three volcanoes, the Misti, the Chachani, and the Pichu Pichu, provide the scenery around this traditional town. Some of the houses still preserve characteristic styles of the Viceroyalty or of the nineteenth century Republicanism. A recreational area with two swimming pools that use the cold river waters of the surrounding region has been built.

-Molino de Sabandía (Sabandía Mill)
Located in Sabandía
Constructed in 1785, it represents the typical architecture of the zone where the use of sillar stone predominates. It is characterized by solid supports and rustic balconies. Stone grinding wheel techniques for wheat processing can be viewed here as well.

-Mansión del Fundador (Founder's Mansion)
9 km / 6 miles from Arequipa (15 minutes by car)
Built with sillar stone at the edge of a cliff, it is one of the most important and traditional mansions or houses in the department. According to the story, Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, founder of Arequipa, had it built for his son. Later, in 1785, Mr. Juan Crisóstomo de Goyeneche y Aguerreverre was its proprietor and remodeled it, giving it the distinguished characteristics that can be seen today. The main entrance is composed of a foyer with an arched ceiling, followed by a wide principal patio over which the windows and doors of the bedrooms open.

-District of Cayma
3 km / 2 miles south of Arequipa (8 minutes by car)
The village of Cayma is known as the “Balcony of Arequipa” for its advantageous location that allows the entire city to be seen. Its central plaza houses the church of San Miguel Arcángel (Saint Michael the Archangel), built in 1730 and considered an architectural jewel because of its mixed façade. In the rectory annex, the “Comedor de Bolívar” (Bolivar's dining room) is preserved where, according to legend, the Liberators used to have lunch during their stay in the town.

- Misti Volcano
The foothills of the volcano are located 20 km / 12 miles. northeast of Arequipa (1 hour by 4x4 vehicle)
The Misti volcano, 5825 masl / 19.111 fasl is the guardian of the city. From the summit, you can see the city of Arequipa, the ChiliRiver valley, and the Chachani and Pichu Pichu volcanoes.

-Yura Hot Springs
27 km / 17 miles north of Arequipa (45 minutes by bus)
These are wells of thermal waters at the foothills of the Chachani volcano, 2575 masl / 8448 fasl. The therapeutic properties of the waters, which temperature fluctuates between 23ºC (73.40ºF) and 28ºC (82.40ºF), are celebrated. Between 1810 and 1831, Mr. José Nogal y Noguerol built the wells that are still maintained today.

-Sumbay Caves – Rock Art
97 km / 60 miles north of Arequipa on the Caylloma highway (1 hour and 45 minutes by bus)
Located within the boundaries of the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, this area boasts over 500 rock art figures. These representations, possibly made by the first inhabitants of the area, are approximately 6000 to 8000 years old.

The base camp is 55 km / 34 miles north of Arequipa (2 hours by 4x4 vehicle). From there, an approximate 6-hour hike will take you to the summit.
This snow covered peak, towering over 6075 masl / 19931 fasl is considered one of the most difficult mountains to climb in Peru. It is an inactive volcano, but lava is still visible, and there are depressions and moraines. It takes two days and one night to ascend.

-District of Yarabamba
21 km / 13 miles south of the city of Arequipa (35 minutes by car)
The name of the district comes from two Quechua words: “yaro” or “yara”, a native bush of the area, and “bamba” which means pampas. Visiting the mansion of Arenas y Pinto and the colonial house of Rivera y Echevarría are the things to do in the town.

-District of Quequeña
25 km / 16 miles southeast of Arequipa (40 minutes by car)
This area has been inhabited by the Lupacas, Aymaras, Quechuas, Collaguas, Puquinas, and, in the middle of the fifteenth century, the Incas. The name of the town probably comes from the Puquina word, “quequeña”, which means “rocky and solid place”. The main places of interest are la Alameda de los Sauces (Willows Walk), la Alameda de los Muertos (Path of the Dead), and Guanaqueros Gorge. There is also a recently restored church to see.

-District of Chiguata
30 km / 19 miles east of Arequipa (45 minutes by car) at the foothills of the Pichu-Pichu volcano
Chiguata was founded on January 22, 1540, by the steward - Diego Hernández. The name of the city is a combination of two Quechua words, “chiri” (cold) and “guata” (year), and means “cold all year long”. Among the main attractions, you can visit the Iglesia del Espíritu Santo (Church of the Holy Spirit) and the archeological centers of Tambo de León and Infiernillos.

-District of Tiabaya
10 km / 6 miles from Arequipa (15 minutes by car)
The valley is completely agricultural and is believed to have been inhabited by the ethnic groups of the Kuntis from Cabana, the Yanahuaras, and the Chumbivilcas. On November 8, 1870, it was given the title of “city” and is famous for its rustic restaurants.

-District of Characato
10 km / 6 miles from Arequipa (15 minutes by car)
This town has plenty of vegetation and abundant water, so it is ideal for farming. Very close to the town is the “Ojo de Milagro” waterspring (Eye of Miracle Spring). There is also a beautiful colonial church. Historically, the inhabitants of this area went to work at the southern salt licks, now territory of Chile. When the people of this place were asked where they were from, they used to say “from Characato, sir”; that is where the nickname of the people of Arequipa – “characatos” come from.

-Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve
35 km / 22 miles northeast of Arequipa (1 hour and 30 minutes by bus)
The reserve covers almost 367.000 hectares, including territory from the Provinces of Arequipa, Caylloma (department of Arequipa), and General Sánchez Cerro (department of Moqueqa). It was created for the purpose of preserving important associations of flora and fauna, protecting the natural environment that was deteriorating and in the process of being destroyed, as well as caring for the vicuña through a repopulation program. The reserve is located between 2800 and 6050 masl (9186 and 19.849 fasl) and the Misti (5825 masl / 19.111 fasl), the Chachani (6075 masl / 19.931 fasl), and the Pichu-Pichu (5664 masl / 18.583fasl) volcanoes are found there.

Among the most representative species of the reserve are the vizcacha, the fox, the condor, and the Andean flamingo or parihuana. Scientists have determined the existence of 169 animal species, 23 of which are mammals (including two forms of domesticated South American camelids), 138 species of birds (blue billed ducks, eagles, and kestrels are the trophies), 3 reptilians, 4 amphibious, and 3 fish species. SalinasLake is considered a special spot to observe flamingos during their migration period.



América Tours © 2000 - 2007 All rights reserved