This beautiful 'white city', framed by three dramatic, snow-capped volcanoes, is known for its many colonial buildings including a famous convent, for its food and also for its proximity to Colca Canyon. The city's ancient centre is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a lovely place for a two or three-night stay, which will also help you start to acclimatise to the altitude before you head to the higher levels at Colca.
Reasons to visit Arequipa include:
Most people tend to avoid the worst of the rainy season from about December to March. For more information about when to travel in Peru, see our When to visit Peru page.
There is an airport in Arequipa and this is how most visitors arrive. You can drive from here from/to Lake Titicaca via Colca Canyon. It is about 4-5 hours from Arequipa to Colca Canyon, and about a day’s drive (7 hours) from Colca Canyon to Lake Titicaca.
It is at about 2380m so altitude sickness is not an issue for most people. In fact, it's a good place to start to acclimatise before you head to Colca. You can also travel to Arequipa by train - on board the supremely elegant Belmond Andean Explorer sleeper that runs from Cusco to Arequipa, via Lake Titicaca.
Belmond Andean Explorer is a luxury sleeper train operating between Cusco and Arequipa, offering excellent service and a gentle pace of travel.
40-room hotel in a former 18th century Mint House located 3 blocks from Arequipa's main square.
In a prime city centre location, Casa Andina Select offers comfy accommodation and a restaurant with a lovely terrace
Both KLM and Iberia have flights to Lima via Europe, leaving the UK early in the morning to arrive in Lima in the evening. The flight time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly to Lima via America.
Language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages.
Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.
There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.