The charming 'White City' of Arequipa sits in the foothills of the active Misti volcano.
Arequipa (2,335m/7,660ft) is famous for being Peru’s second largest city and for its striking architecture. Built using chalk-white volcanic stone known as sillar, this has given Arequipa the name 'The White City'. Colonial architecture, a charming city center, museums and the five nearby volcanoes have awarded Arequipa the title of UNESCO World Heritage city and put it on the map of travelers around the world. Arequipa is often visited in combination with the Colca Canyon, home of the famous condor, and located only four hours away by car.
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Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city and a bustling commercial town, is located in a valley at 2.360m/7,742ft above sea level, at the foothills of the active Misti, one of the three volcanoes which surround the city. Founded by the Spaniards as early as 1540, the city is built with white volcanic stone, has beautiful colonial architecture and a dry and temperate climate year round. Arequipa is often visited in combination with the Colca Canyon, home of the famous condor, and located only four hours away.
Things to do in Arequipa
Time in Arequipa is generally spent visiting Santa Catalina Convent, its lovely Main Square, the Jesuit Church of La Compania and the Museum displaying Inca mummies. One day is generally enough to visit the City.
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How to get to Arequipa
Arequipa is the perfect first stop in a Peru trip, as it provides gradual acclimatization to altitude. You can fly from Lima, a 1 hour flight. You can also drive from Lima via Nazca. After a visit to Arequipa you can continue your trip through Southern Peru. There are flights from Arequipa to Cusco and to Juliaca for a visit to Lake Titicaca. Alternatively, you can drive to Colca to visit the Colca Canyon and then on by vehicle to Puno, on Lake Titicaca. Another great option for travel around Southern Peru is the Belmond Andean Explorer, a luxury sleeper train that connects Cusco, Arequipa and Puno.
When to go
During the drier seasons, from May to October is ideal. Travel from November to March can include heavy downpours.