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Why visit Arequipa?

This beautiful ”˜white’ city surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes is known for its many colonial buildings including a famous convent, and also for its proximity to Colca Canyon.
Reasons to visit Arequipa include:

  • Visit the cloisters and cells of the famous Santa Catalina convent founded in 1579. 
  • See well-preserved remains of Juanita, the ”˜Ice Maiden’ at the Catholic University Museum. 
  • Enjoy people-watching in a café in the Plaza de Armas. 
  • Explore some of the great colonial buildings such as La Compania church, La Merced and the cathedral. 
  • Travel out of town to see the fine 1647 Franciscan monastery of La Recleta. 
  • Arequipa makes a good base from which to set out to see Colca Canyon. 
  • See the impressive El Misti volcano from good viewing spots out of town. 

When to go to Arequipa

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.

How to do it

  • There is an airport in Arequipa and this is how most visitors arrive.
  • Whilst it is a pleasant town, most travellers use it simply as an overnight en-route to Colca Canyon. 
  • 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. 

Accommodation in Arequipa

Being Peru’s second city there is a reasonable choice of hotels here, but we tend to favour a couple we use regularly ”“ the Casa Andina Private Collection and the Posada del Inca. Both are part of hotel chains, but good quality.

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Arequipa accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT-5hrs

Flight time:

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.

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