Arequipa Travel Guide

What you need to know

Arequipa, nestled in the picturesque Andes of Peru, invites you to explore its vibrant streets and rich culture. The city's colonial architecture, crafted from the white volcanic stone known as "sillar," gives it a unique charm. As you wander through the historic centre, you'll find yourself surrounded by beautifully preserved buildings, some of which date back centuries.

One of the highlights of Arequipa is the Santa Catalina Monastery, a city within a city. Lose yourself in its maze-like alleys and admire the vividly painted walls, which seem to tell stories of the past. It's a peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

Arequipa's culinary scene is a delight for your taste buds. Don't miss the opportunity to savor traditional Peruvian dishes like "rocoto relleno" or "adobo." The local cuisine offers a burst of flavors that will leave you craving for more.

For those seeking adventure, the nearby Colca Canyon provides a thrilling experience. Hike along its trails, and you might spot the majestic Andean condor soaring above. The views of the canyon's terraced fields and villages are simply breathtaking.

In the evening, as the sun sets behind the Misti volcano, head to the Plaza de Armas. It's the perfect place to unwind with a cup of coca tea, reflecting on the beauty of Arequipa.

So, if you're looking for an authentic Peruvian experience, Arequipa welcomes you with open arms.

Things To Do

Colca Canyon
Historic Centre of Arequipa
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Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Arequipa largely depends on your preferences for weather and local festivities. The peak tourist season falls between May and September when the weather is dry and mild, making it an ideal time for outdoor exploration. During this period, you can enjoy clear skies and comfortable temperatures, making sightseeing and hiking in the nearby Colca Canyon a delightful experience.

If you're interested in immersing yourself in the local culture, consider visiting during Arequipa's anniversary celebrations in August. The city comes alive with parades, traditional dances, and vibrant street markets. It's a fantastic opportunity to witness the rich Peruvian heritage and mingle with the friendly locals.

Alternatively, for those seeking a more tranquil experience, the shoulder seasons of October to November and March to April offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and lower accommodation rates. These months provide an excellent balance between comfortable temperatures and the chance to explore Arequipa's attractions without the peak-season hustle and bustle.

Travel Information

Currency: Peru's official currency is the Peruvian Sol (PEN). You'll find ATMs in most urban areas where you can withdraw cash. It's advisable to carry some cash, especially for smaller purchases and in more remote locations.

Language: Spanish is the primary language spoken in Arequipa. While some people in the hospitality industry may speak English, it's helpful to know a few basic Spanish phrases to facilitate communication.

Credit Cards and ATMs: Major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in restaurants, hotels, and shops in Arequipa. However, it's a good idea to carry some cash for places that may not accept cards. ATMs are readily available in the city center.

Plugs: Peru uses Type A and Type C electrical outlets. The standard voltage is 220V, and the standard frequency is 60Hz. Be sure to bring the appropriate adapters and voltage converters if needed.

Safety: Arequipa is generally a safe city for tourists, but it's always wise to exercise common-sense precautions. Keep an eye on your belongings, avoid displaying expensive items, and be cautious when exploring unfamiliar areas at night.

Local Etiquette: Peruvians are known for their warm hospitality. It's customary to greet people with a handshake and a smile. When visiting homes or religious sites, it's polite to remove your shoes. Tipping is appreciated in restaurants, with 10-15% of the bill being customary.

Health Precautions: Make sure your vaccinations are up to date before traveling to Peru. It's recommended to take precautions against altitude sickness if you plan to visit higher altitudes. Drink bottled water and be mindful of street food to avoid stomach issues.

Emergency Contacts: In case of an emergency, dial 911 for police, medical, or fire assistance. It's a good idea to save the contact information of your country's embassy or consulate in Arequipa in case you need assistance.

Cuisine: Arequipa offers a diverse culinary scene. Don't miss trying local specialties like "rocoto relleno" (stuffed spicy peppers) and "adobo" (a flavorful pork stew). Sample street food like "anticuchos" (grilled skewers) for an authentic taste of Peru.

Travel Insurance: It's highly advisable to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and theft. Ensure you understand the terms and conditions of your policy.

Popular Attractions

Colca Canyon

Historic Centre of Arequipa

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