Revel in the spectacular white-stone buildings and monuments of Arequipa’s main square and the winding cobblestone paths of the colorful Santa Catalina Monastery. Today, you´ll take a step back in time, exploring the most fascinating elements of the historic center, topping it off with spectacular views from two of Arequipa´s outer districts.
Arequipa (Spanish pronunciation: [aɾeˈkipa]; Aymara & Quechua: Ariqipa) is a city located in the province and the eponymous department of Peru. It is the seat of the Constitutional Court of Peru and often dubbed the “legal capital of Peru.” It is the second most populated city in Peru, after Lima, with an urban population of 1,008,290 inhabitants according to the 2017 national census.
Its metropolitan area integrates twenty-one districts, including the foundational central area, which it is the seat of the city government. The city has a Nominal GDP of 9,445 million (USD) and a nominal GDP per capita of US$10,277, which represents a GDP per capita PPP of US$18,610 in the period 2015, being the second city with the highest economic activity in Peru.
Arequipa is also an important industrial and commercial center of Peru, and is considered as the second industrial city of the country. Within its industrial activity the manufactured products and the textile production of wool of camelids. The town maintains close commercial links with Chile, Bolivia, and Brazil and with the cities connected by the South trainway, as well as with the port of Matarani.
The city was founded on August 15, 1540, under the name of “Beautiful Villa of Our Lady of the Assumption” in the name of Marquis Francisco Pizarro. On September 22, 1541, the monarch Carlos V ordered that it should be called the “City of Arequipa”. During the viceregal period, it acquired importance for its outstanding economic role, and is characterized by the fidelismo towards the Spanish Crown, which honored Arequipa with titles such as “Very Noble and Very Loyal.” In the Republican history of Peru, the city has been the focus of popular, civic and democratic rebellions. It has also been the cradle of notable intellectual, political and religious figures. In the Republican era, it was awarded the title of “Heroic city of the freedom people of Arequipa”.
Its historical center extends over an area of 332 hectares and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historical heritage and monumental that it houses and its diverse scenic and cultural spaces turn it into a host city of national and international tourism, in its historical center it highlights the religious architecture viceregal and republican product of mixture of Spanish and autochthonous characteristics, that constituted an own stylistic school called «Arequipeña School» whose influence arrived in Potosí (Bolivia).
In the afternoon, we´ll pick you up from the hotel and begin our exploration of Arequipa with a visit to the beautiful Santa Catalina Monastery. This will be followed by La Compañía “Jesuit church” where we´ll admire its cloisters and cupola. We´ll visit the Tristán del Pozo House, a colonial mansion representing the best colonial architecture in the city, as well as the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries, where you´ll come face to face with mummy Juanita “The Ice Maiden”, looking much as she did when she was found atop Mt Ampato. We´ll finish the evening with a visit to the popular districts of Carmen Alto and Yanahura, where we´ll have remarkable views of the city and its mountain backdrop before returning to your hotel.
We recommend bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen for protection from the sun, a jacket for the cooler temperatures in the evening and comfortable walking shoes. Bring some local currency for any last-minute items you might need. Of course, don’t forget your camera!
When to travel to Peru? Considering that Peru is categorized as one of the 17 megadiverse countries on earth, you have a variety of climates and seasons to consider. That being said, you can visit Peru year-round depending on where you would like to visit. However, if you are looking to explore the Amazonian rainforest or traverse through the Andes Mountains, many travelers choose to avoid the rainy season which runs from November to March with its peak between January and February. Visiting from April through October lands you in the generally dry winter season, which is an excellent time to visit Machu Picchu, experience a world-class trek, traverse the exotic Amazon Rain forest not to mention the other amazing destinations Peru has to offer. Speak with a Qosqo Expeditions Designer today to discover the best time for you to experience a luxury tour of Peru.