7 reasons to visit Arequipa in Peru
When a traveler considers the possibility of visiting Peru, probably the first destinations in which he thinks are Cuzco and Machu Picchu . However, there are many other less promoted but equally spectacular places; One of them is the majestic city of Arequipa. I give you 7 reasons to include it in your itinerary!
“It is not born in vain at the foot of a volcano,” said Jorge Polar, illustrious lawyer, poet and writer Arequipeño, and was right. With its imposing volcanoes, which seem to dominate everything, the White City will captivate you from the first minute. Come with me and discover the reasons why you can not miss visiting Arequipa.
Reason 1: It is “The White City”
Much of the buildings in Arequipa are made of ashlar or volcanic tuff, a variety of volcanic stone typical of the place. Its white color, which combines perfectly with the imposing constructions, gives the city a unique aspect in the world .
Reason 2: Your Main Square
It is the heart of Arequipa. Located in the heart of the Historic Center – which, by the way, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000 – houses all important celebration and event of the city.
Its proximity to entertainment centers and lively nightlife give it a relaxed and bohemian vibe that is worth experiencing.
A special mention deserves the Cathedral which, with its two towers, rises imposing towards one of the sides of the square.
Reason 3: Your food
This is one of the biggest reasons to visit Arequipa. Only for this would be worth arriving from anywhere in the world. If Peru, in recent years, has begun to recognize itself as a gastronomic destination, Arequipa is undoubtedly one of the flagship cities of this movement. Here you will find one of the best cuisines in South America .
The picanterías represent the essence of the Arequipa food and are a mark of the city. In these places you can try, at very affordable prices, the best recipes in the region, those that have passed from generation to generation.
Nothing I can tell you about the Arequipa food will give you an idea, even far away, of what it means to try it. The marinade, a dish made from pork marinated in spices and cooked over a low flame in a clay pot; The famous rocoto relleno, the king of Arequipeña cuisine; The guinea pig, a classic of the Andean gastronomy; The myriad of soups you will find or the delicious iced cheese are just some of the delights you will find in the White City.
Reason 4: The Colca Valley
Walking the full route to the valley is a real pleasure. It is a path full of mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, flora, fauna and spectacular views that you can not miss. The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world.
In spite of the altitude and the desert conditions, the valley owns a very diverse fauna, in which reigns the Andean Condor; The largest bird in the world. An adult condor can measure more than 140 centimeters and weigh up to 15 kilos. With the wings extended it reaches more than 3 meters. To see them fly over the heights of the Andes is a spectacle .
Reason 5: The Mirador of Yanahuara
Very close to the historical center is the traditional neighborhood of Yanahuara. It is a pleasure to walk through its narrow cobbled streets. Its viewpoint is one of the most typical postcards in Arequipa . From this set of sillar arches, built in the nineteenth century, you get the best view of the city and its 3 volcanoes. Simply, essential.
Reason 6: The Monastery of Santa Catalina
Small citadel of 20,000 square meters, built more than 400 years ago, made of clay and ashlar. It was made, in principle, to house the daughters of families of the upper social classes. Later, it became an absolute cloister convent. And recently, in the year 1970, it opened its doors and became an important tourist place. Today it houses artistic pieces of great value .
Reason 7: Their volcanoes
El Misti, Chachani and Picchu Picchu are the three most famous volcanoes that flank the city. Certainly, Arequipa would not be the same without its three guardians .
The Misti summit – the only active volcano in Arequipa – is 5,822 meters high. Each year, the challenge of reaching it summons high-level climbers from various parts of the world. In the surroundings there are numerous less demanding routes so that all people who wish to enjoy the beautiful views, can do it without having to reach the top.