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3 fantastic Arequipa tours for your vacations in 2024

View of Cathedral and Misti Mountain in Arequipa - Tours in Arequipa with Fertur Peru Travel, your travel agency in Lima.

Choose from a variety of Arequipa tours to explore the magnificently preserved Spanish Colonial “old city,” explore the surrounding rolling green hills and rugged volcanic slopes, and venture to the world’s deepest canyons.

Contact Fertur Peru for bespoke trips to Arequipa with private guides.
To book your Arequipa tours now or consult with us, fill out the “Contact Us” form and a Fertur Peru Travel coordinator will contact you within one working day with detailed information about your fully customizable trip.

    Fertur Peru Travel’s pledge is to offer you top-quality, individualized attention that starts with the planning of your trip and continues through your journey to guarantee a great vacation.

    Located 629 miles (1011km) from Peru’s capital, Lima, Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city with a population of more than 800,000 people. UNESCO in 2000 declared the historic center a World Heritage Site.

    Clearly visible from the main plaza behind the magnificent cathedral is the conical peak of El Misti Volcano, rising majestically in the distance. It is flanked to the north by the craggier and higher Chachani volcano and to the south by the lower peak of Pichu Pichu.

    El Misti volcano from Arequipa Main Plaza. Arequipa tours: Famous for its colonial-era architecture fashioned from luminescent white "sillar" volcanic rock.

    Known as the “Ciudad Blanca” or “White City” for the pearly ashlar stones used to erect many of its historic buildings, Arequipa also offers numerous trekking opportunities and is a gateway into the Colca or the Cotahuasi, the world’s two deepest canyons.

    Cotahuasi is the deepest, fairly remote, and a favorite destination for hard core adventure seekers of extreme hiking and white water rafting.

    Colca Canyon Tours from Arequipa

    The Colca Canyon is the world’s second deepest, and tours from Arequipa are very accessible. It is ringed by pre-Inca agricultural terraces carved into the steep slopes, and circled overhead by majestic condors soaring on the thermals. Colca Canyon tours will take through charming indigenous communities where you can enjoy traditional food and soak in natural hot springs.

    Arequipa City

    For centuries, the “White City” has served as an intellectual bastion and cradle of Peruvian art and literature. (Nobel Laureate author Mario Vargas Llosa is one of its native sons.) The churches and museums are top attractions when touring Arequipa. Priests, artists and scholars are no strangers to the more earthly delights, and Arequipa is renowned for its distinctive and delicious cuisine.

    Colca Canyon Tour 4 Days


    • Three night in the hotels of your choice in Arequipa
    • Transport from and to airport
    • English-speaking guides
    • City Tour with Santa Catalina Convent
    • Colca Canyon overnight excursion
    • Entrance fees

    Arequipa 3 Days


    • Two nights in the hotels of your choice
    • Transport from and to airport
    • English-speaking guides
    • City Tour with Santa Catalina Convent
    • Countryside excursion
    • Entrance fees

     Arequipa 2 Days


    • One night in the hotel of your choice
    • Transport from and to airport
    • English-speaking guides
    • City Tour with Santa Catalina Convent
    • Entrance fees

    Explore Arequipa: Essential Destinations & Activities

    Arequipa is more than just a gateway to the awe-inspiring natural landscapes of Southern Peru. It’s a city where history, culture, and natural beauty converge in a tapestry of attractions that beckon travelers from around the globe.

    This “White City” is not only a feast for the eyes but also serves as a base for adventurers looking to delve into the depths of the Colca and Cotahuasi Canyons, or for those seeking to uncover the serene beauty of traditional Arequipa hotels and the historical marvels like the Santa Catalina Convent.

    As we guide you through the essentials of Arequipa’s allure, from the cobblestone streets of its historic center to the breathtaking vistas of its surrounding natural wonders, you’ll discover why a city tour Arequipa stands unmatched.

    The must-see sites and not-to-be-missed experiences include culinary delights that make Arequipa a gastronomic hotspot, adventurous Arequipa tours to the heart of its volcanic landscapes, and fabulous accommodations to enhance your stay.

    Whether it’s marveling at the imposing frame of El Misti, exploring the historic depths of the Santa Catalina Convent, or experiencing the rugged beauty of the Colca Canyon, your adventure in Arequipa awaits to unfold in memorable hues.

    Discovering the White City: A Guide to Arequipa’s Historic Center

    Exploring Spanish Colonial Architecture and the Pearly Ashlar Stones

    The architecture of Arequipa is a showcase of colonial grandeur, prominently featuring the use of sillar, a pearly white volcanic stone that gives the city its nickname, “The White City.” Visitors are captivated by majestic structures like the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, which dominates the Plaza de Armas with its intricate façade and twin bell towers. The surrounding colonial-era edifices, including the Compañía de Jesús church and the Monastery of Santa Catalina, offer a deep dive into the architectural prowess of the era.

    Cultural Immersion in Arequipa’s Rich Artistic and Literary Heritage

    Arequipa’s cultural landscape is enriched by its artistic and literary heritage, with museums and galleries celebrating the works of local luminaries like Nobel Prize-winning writer Mario Vargas Llosa. These cultural institutions provide a window into the soul of the city, showcasing a blend of indigenous and Spanish influences that have shaped Arequipa’s identity over the centuries.

    Arequipa’s Natural Wonders: Volcanoes and Canyons

    El Misti Volcano: Arequipa’s iconic backdrop

    Standing at an impressive 19,101 feet above sea level (5,822 m.a.s.l.), El Misti Volcano is the most prominent feature of Arequipa’s skyline. This dormant stratovolcano, with its symmetrical cone and snow-capped peak, has been a constant reminder of the region’s volcanic activity for over 500 years. The volcano’s presence not only enhances the city’s colonial architecture but also offers adventurous travelers the chance to embark on memorable treks. The journey to El Misti’s summit provides a challenging yet rewarding experience, with the ascent through sandy and slippery trails demanding good physical condition and acclimatization to the altitude.

    Trekking adventures in Colca and Cotahuasi Canyons

    1. Colca Canyon: Recognized for its depth of approximately 13,648 feet (3,534 meters) and captivating scenery, the Colca Canyon offers various trekking options, from day tours to multi-day treks. It is a prime spot for observing the majestic Andean condors, especially from the Mirador Cruz del Condor, a viewpoint that becomes a hub for wildlife enthusiasts between 7 am and 10 am.
    2. Cotahuasi Canyon: Holding the title of the world’s deepest canyon, Cotahuasi Canyon presents a more remote trekking experience. Its landscapes are marked by biodiversity, including medicinal plants and a chance to spot Andean wildlife like vicuñas and foxes. The canyon’s trekking routes cater to all levels, offering sights such as the Sipia Waterfalls and thermal hot springs.

    Wildlife and outdoor activities in the surrounding landscapes

    The landscapes around Arequipa, enriched by the towering volcanoes and dramatic canyons, are a haven for diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can engage in a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to bird watching. The region is home to unique wildlife, including vicuñas, guanacos, and a variety of bird species, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking to explore Arequipa’s natural wonders.

    Embarking on Memorable Arequipa Tours

    Choosing the Right Tour: City Highlights vs. Nature Expeditions

    When planning a visit to Arequipa, travelers face a delightful dilemma: should they explore the urban elegance of the “White City” with its rich colonial history, or should they venture into the wild, embracing the natural splendor of the surrounding canyons and volcanoes? City tours offer an immersive journey through Arequipa’s cobbled streets, introducing visitors to architectural marvels and cultural landmarks. In contrast, nature expeditions promise an adventurous exploration of the area’s volcanic landscapes, including the majestic El Misti and the world’s deepest canyons, offering both thrilling challenges and serene beauty.

    Unique Experiences: Hot Springs, Traditional Food, and Indigenous Communities

    Arequipa tours are incomplete without experiencing the region’s unique offerings. The hot springs near Molino de Sabandía provide a relaxing escape amidst breathtaking scenery, while the city’s culinary delights, such as the nationally-famous shrimp soup, offer a taste of Peru’s rich gastronomic heritage. Engaging with indigenous communities presents an opportunity to connect with the local culture, providing insights into their traditions and way of life. These experiences enrich the journey, making each tour not just a visit but a deep dive into the heart of Arequipa.

    How to Prepare for High-Altitude Adventures in Arequipa

    Embarking on high-altitude adventures in Arequipa requires thoughtful preparation. Acclimatization is crucial; travelers should allow their bodies to adjust to the altitude for at least 48 hours before undertaking strenuous activities. Hydration and a healthy diet are key, with coca tea being a traditional remedy for altitude sickness. Equipping oneself with the right gear, including warm clothes and sun protection, ensures comfort and safety during the exploration. By taking these steps, adventurers can fully enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and challenging treks that Arequipa offers, making their tours memorable and rewarding.

    A Feast for the Senses: Arequipa’s Culinary Delights

    Sampling Arequipa’s Distinctive and Delicious Cuisine

    Arequipa’s culinary landscape paints a vibrant palette of flavors, where ingredients from Pacific coasts, high Andean valleys, and the volcanic soil converge to create a diverse culinary canvas. Visitors are invited to explore this gastronomic gem, starting their day at Mercado San Camilo. This bustling market is a treasure trove of fresh, seasonal produce, exotic fruits, aromatic spices, and regional delicacies. The culinary journey continues with signature dishes such as Rocoto Relleno, Chupe de Camarones, and the sweet subtlety of Queso Helado, showcasing the city’s unique blend of indigenous heritage and Spanish influences.

    Indulging in Picanterías: The Traditional Arequipan Restaurants

    Picanterías, the heart of Arequipa’s dining culture, offer an authentic taste of the region’s culinary traditions. These establishments, known for their communal dining and hearty fare, serve a variety of local favorites including the spicy Rocoto Relleno and the savory Adobo Arequipeño. La Capitana, a household name, stands out as a must-visit for its memorable dining experience and signature dishes cooked over a wood fire, intensifying the flavors and aromas.

    Foodie Tours: A Journey Through Arequipa’s Gastronomic Scene

    Embark on a culinary adventure with guided food tours that weave through the city’s historic center, introducing travelers to the best picanterías, bars, and cafes. These tours offer an immersive experience, allowing visitors to sample exotic flavors from local farmers and discover dishes unique to Arequipa. From street food tours at Mercado San Camilo to private personalized walking tours, food enthusiasts can dive deep into Arequipa’s rich gastronomic heritage, making every tour not just a visit but a journey through the heart of the city’s culinary delights.

    Arequipa’s Allure: Colonial Heritage, Natural Wonders, and Culinary Delights

    Journey into the heart and soul of Arequipa, and you’ll traverse the vibrant streets of its historic center, brave the majestic landscapes surrounding El Misti, and delve into the culinary delights that define this region’s rich gastronomic heritage. Each facet of Arequipa, from its colonial architecture and natural wonders to its distinctive cuisine, invites travelers to immerse themselves in a profound cultural and adventurous experience. This exploration not only highlights the city’s significant role in preserving cultural heritage but also underscores its allure as a destination that promises both enchantment and discovery.

    To book your Arequipa tours now or consult with us, fill out the “Contact Us” form to the right and a Fertur Peru Travel coordinator will contact you within one working day with detailed information about your fully customizable trip. Fertur Peru Travel’s pledge is to offer you top-quality, individualized attention that starts with the planning of your trip and continues through your journey to guarantee a great vacation.

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