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Arequipa tourist attractions
1. Historic centre of Arequipa
The historic centre of Arequipa is one of the most beautiful in Peru. According to Forbes magazine, Arequipa is one of the 5 most beautiful cities in the world. What really stands out in the center of Arequipa are its old buildings in the shape of cloisters and also built with Sillar, which is a rectangular piece of volcanic rock called ignimbrite, which is obtained from the Chachani or Misti volcano.
From the Misti volcano you get red Sillar and from the Chachani volcano you get light gray Sillar and it is the most used in Arequipa and the reason why Arequipa is called the white city. It should be noted that when Peru became independent from Spain, Arequipa was one of the last cities in being independent because most of its population were of Spanish origin and lived in districts such as San Lazaro and Yanahuara.
For more info about tours in the historic centre of Arequipa click here.
2. Colca Canyon
The Colca canyon is located 162 km away from Arequipa city and has the privilege of being one of the deepest in the world. This beautiful canyon has been formed due to the movement of tectonic plates over millions of years. Today it is a place rich in vegetation and wildlife. It is very easy to see in the canyon, animals like the condor, vizcachas, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and even the puma.
Without a doubt, the Colca Canyon is a paradise for life at more than 3,000 meters above sea level. An interesting fact is that in Arequipa lives the largest population of Alpacas in the world and these are mostly in the Colca Valley. In the towns that are part of the Colca canyon, Quechua is still spoken, which together with Aymara, are some of the native languages of Peru.
For more info about tours to the Colca canyon click here.
3. Arequipa Monastery
The Monastery of Santa Catalina was created in 1570 and in it lived nuns from very rich families in Peru. It was a tradition that within a family the first daughter is a nun and for this, the family had to pay what is currently equivalent to 50 thousand USD. Within this monastery each nun had her own house, divided into a living room, bathroom and kitchen, but also a second floor that was the place where the nuns’ slaves could sleep.
Each nun could have a maximum of 3 slaves. Once a nun entered the Monastery, she never came out again. They could talk with their relatives in a space called the Locutorio, always watched over by 2 more nuns. This monastery has streets and they all have names of cities in Spain due to their similarity. The entrance to this beautiful Monastery costs 40 soles and it is definitely worth visiting.
For more info about tours to Santa Catalina Monastery click here.
4. Arequipa Volcanoes
The city of Arequipa is very famous for having many volcanoes. From the center you can clearly see 3 volcanoes, which are: The Misti volcano (which is an active volcano), the Chachani volcano (which is a dormant volcano) and the Picchu Picchu volcano which is actually a set of old volcanoes without any activity. Since pre-Inca times the population has learned to survive near volcanoes and they even considered them gods.
In the crater of the Misti volcano it has been possible to find several mummies that are currently inside the Juanita mummy museum. The mummies found inside the volcano’s crater were young girls, who belonged to the upper class of society and who, without resistance, were given as an offering to the volcano so that it could bring rain or stop its activity.
For more info about tours to the volcanoes in Arequipa click here.
5. Ruta del Sillar
The sillar route is the quarries located in the Cerro Colorado district within the Arequipa city. These quarries are used to obtain the Sillar blocks that are the main element for the construction of houses and buildings in Arequipa and thanks to which Arequipa is known as the white city, since this rock has a light gray color.
When visiting the Sillar route you can observe the manufacturing process of each Sillar, but in addition, you can also visit the famous site where the Peruvian coat of arms, the coat of arms of Arequipa and the cloisters have been carved in an imposing way and worthy of admiration.
For more info about tours to Ruta del Sillar click here.
6. Rafting in Quilca river
This is one of the most adrenaline and fun sports practiced in Arequipa. Travel agencies or individual groups venture to the Quilca or Chili rivers to carry out this extreme sport. These rivers have many rapids that undoubtedly make this experience entertaining and unforgettable.
The water in these rivers descends from the Andes, so it is recommended to do this sport in the spring and summer seasons, since the water is not so cold and the flow of the river is appropriate for rafting.
For more info about rafting tours in Arequipa click here.