skip to Main Content
Menu
Arequipa Peru: Top Things You Can Do In One Day

Arequipa Peru: Top Things You Can Do in One Day

Spread the love

Have you been to Arequipa? If not, you need to put this gorgeous town on your bucket list.

Do you know that Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru? Located in the southern highlands,

Arequipa’s structures made of white stones got it the name of “the White City.”

The sillar is the local white volcanic stone used in the construction of many those buildings. The buildings unique European and Native structural style is called “Escuela Arequipeña.”

Arequipa History and Culture

Arequipa center city earned the UNESCO World Heritage badge in 2000 because of its baroque architectures, colonial Monasteries, and the stunning backdrop of the volcano El Misti. It is the third most visited city in Peru, besides Machu Picchu and Cusco. And it certainly deserves to be ranked among those three remarkable towns.

volcano-mistyIt is surrounded by three volcanoes, Misti and the volcanic groups of Pichu and Chachani.

While you are in Peru, I urge that you spend at least a day in Arequipa, and you will also fall in love with the city. No other cities in Peru get close to the striking beauty and popularity of Machu Picchu. But, Arequipa comes close to it, and it will not disappoint you.

Arequipa Weather

The climate is dry most time of the year: winter, autumn, and spring. Traveling during the winter season, make sure you bring a raincoat and in March, bring a light jacket.

The wet season starts from December to March. The winter months, June to July, get a little colder, and the temperature only drops to an average of 6 °C (43 °F). With an average 300 days of sunshine, do not forget to bring a pair of sunglasses.

If you worry about adjusting to the elevation, Arequipa is only 7,638 ft. of height above sea level. Save the oxygen mask for Machu Picchu.

Ultimate Arequipa Day Trip

Here’s how you can spend your day in Arequipa and get a feel for the city and its culture. Let’s start with the transportation from the major areas. Buses are readily available from the main cities.

how-to-get-to-arequipaHow to get there:

Bus from Cusco to Arequipa

If you are coming from Cusco, take the Cruz del Sur Cruzero Service. It is not cheap but worth the price because it is a non-stop bus to Arequipa.

I do not know about you, but I hate changing buses in the middle of the night. This bus arrives in Arequipa around 6-7am in the morning. Since it is a direct bus, you should be all refreshed to explore Arequipa city center.

Bus From Lima to Arequipa

If you are coming from Lima to Arequipa, the bus trip is very long. You need to be mentally and physically prepared for it. The Cruz del Sur Cruzero Service also has bus service from Lima. It is approximately a 17-hour bus ride to Arequipa. I made that trip, from Arequipa to Lima, and it took me a while to recover. I would not recommend this bus journey for a one-day excursion.

Bus From Puno to Arequipa

 Buses run daily, every hour. I took the six-hour bus ride to Arequipa from Puno on the Cruz del Sur. It was very surprisingly comfortable. My advice is to get on the first bus to arrive at a reasonable time to explore.

 Travel Tip: Do not take some of the local buses. They are cheaper but not very safe.

Once you get there in the early morning, many of the stores and restaurants will not be open. Besides, you have the city all to yourself to start exploring.

Arequipa Things to do

Don’t leave Arequipa without visiting its famous monuments, churches and museums.

church-in-arequipaSince this is a one-day trip, as an experienced traveler you know every minute counts. Don’t spend time wandering around figuring what to see.

Arequipa City Tour

Take a walking tour; you will enjoy it. There are tour buses at the main square, and the tour is only one to two hours.

arequipa-buildingGet your camera ready to take some incredible pictures. The first stop is one of Arequipa traditional and colorful market.

  • The Market San Camilo is considered the oldest in the city. Be prepared to buy some of their unique souvenirs, which help the sustainability of the local artisans.
  • The Arequipa Main Square has about 250 buildings that belong to the UNESCO Heritage sites. It is a large area and will require some time to see it all.
  • You will get to see the Compañia Church, one of the famous churches and still being used for service.
  • The Monastery Santa Catalina, another religious building, occupies the entire block. It looks identical to a fortress and must explore before you go back.
  • The colonial neighborhood of El Tambo la Cabezona is a Colonial-style manor house from the 17th century in the heart of the City of Arequipa. The neighborhood was declared a Cultural Heritage of the Nation on March 9, 1991. This YouTube video tells more about its background and history.

arequipa-churchAfter your walking tour, you can do some self-sightseeing. Arequipa has some of the most impressive bridges and museums. From the main square, walk to the Puente Bolognesi to experience its charm.

  • Get informed on the history and culture of Arequipa at the Museo Arqueológico Chiribaya. Its vast collections of pre-Incan Chiribaya civilization is worth seeing. It also has a selection of well-preserved textiles and the only pre-Inca gold collections.
  • The Convento de Santa Teresa is another site to visit. It is not located near the main attractions but has a vast number of remarkable paintings and artifacts.

Arequipa attractions

arequia-peruAfter your walking tour, you can do some self-sightseeing. Arequipa has some of the most impressive bridges and museums. From the main square, walk to the Puente Bolognesi to experience its charm.

  • Get informed on the history and culture of Arequipa at the Museo Arqueológico Chiribaya. Its vast collections of pre-Incan Chiribaya civilization is worth seeing. It also has a selection of well-preserved textiles and the only pre-Inca gold collections.
  • The Convento de Santa Teresa is another site to visit. It is not located near the main attractions but has a vast number of remarkable paintings and artifacts.

Taste the Local Dishes in Arequipa

 The local restaurants are called Picanterias. An excellent place to grab lunch or dinner and enjoy the local cuisine. The Picanterias are very popular among locals and backpackers.

 You can find them close to the city and in the remote areas. Arancota is one of the neighborhoods where you can find many of these local eateries.

 Some of the Picanterias are enormous, holding more 600 tables, and are usually full of locals. Most go there for the chicharron (fried pork with corn). You must get a sample, once you get there. It is a local preference.

The Calle Puente Bolognesi (Plaza de Armas towards Puente Bolognesi bridge) has plenty of affordable eateries.

For vegetarian alternatives, the Mandala restaurant offers a variety of dishes, and their particular menu includes salad, soup, and the main entrée.

food-market-arequipaThe Govinda Hare Krishna has a buffet that is also very reasonable. They serve several Indians and Italian vegetarian options. The food is fresh and organic. If you order a la carte, there may be a wait since the meal is made from scratch.

This one-day itinerary in Arequipa is insane, and expect to be exhausted at the end of your trip. But it is feasible when you are traveling and want to see everything; you cannot be tired.

Hotels in Arequipa

 But, if you are too fatigued to go back on the same day, there are a couple of hotels near the city center. The prices are reasonable.

The Terra Viva Hotels staffs are friendly and there to meet your needs. It is at the heart of the city, near the plaza and has exceptional amenities. The price of the room includes a free breakfast.

Hostels are always cheaper than the hotels. There is the colorful Bothy backpacker hostel, where you get plenty of rest or hang out with new friends.

I discovered Arequipa on my way to Lima from Puno because it was more than a twenty-hour bus trip to Lima. I cut my trip into several stops to visit a couple of the cities.

Arequipa will always be a memorable place for me. I hope to return one day because I did not get a chance to experience the city thoroughly.

Happy Reading,

magdala

Sign-up for the BlackgirlZen Travel Newsletter and get my new blog posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Back To Top
Close search
Search