Arequipa & the Colca Canyon
The ‘White City’ is a fascinating city and a convenient base from which to visit the Colca Valley
Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city and characterised by the local white ‘sillar’ volcanic stone used in construction of its many colonial buildings – hence the name the ‘Ciudad Blanca’ (White City). The city is dramatically watched over by three volcanic peaks (El Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu) and has much of interest for the visitor.
The Plaza de Armas is a good starting point: a large and spacious square with Arequipa’s famous cathedral taking up one whole side. The must-see attraction, though, is the Santa Catalina Monastery which dates from 1580 and is truly a city within a city with winding lanes, cloisters, ascetic lodgings and the impressive communal kitchen.
Arequipa is a great jumping-off point for the Colca Canyon. This area has some spectacular scenery and in parts is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. It is often possible to see condors circling in the thermal air currents here in the early morning as they hunt for prey. Other activities in Colca include hiking, horse riding and visits to local villages and thermal springs.
To discover more about Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, give us a call or send us a message.
Places we love to stay
The Libertador is a gracious 1930s hotel a few blocks from the centre of Arequipa.View details about The Libertador
Belmond Las Casitas
Bought back by the Belmond Group in 2017, Las Casitas del Colca is a rural retreat high in the Colca Valley away from the worries of the world.View details about Belmond Las Casitas
A comfortable lodge built on Inca style terraces on the banks of the Colca River.View details about Colca Lodge