Views 14 Abr Arequipa – The White City in Peru
 |  Category: Must-see Travel Destinations

Arequipa, the second largest city of Peru, is located at an altitude of 2325m on the Western slopes of the Andes mountain chain. It is just 3 hours drive from the coast, and as such has a dry warm climate most of the year.

This beautiful city is called the White City because its old centre is built almost entirely from "Sillar", a white volcanic stone found nearby. The main square, the Plaza de Armas, is considered the most beautiful in Peru.

Arequipa-The White City in Peru

Arequipa offers a huge range of tourist attractions both with the city and nearby. You should definitely visit the convent of Santa Catalina, built as a "city within a city" around 1580 and expanded in the 17th century. This is probably the biggest convent in the world, it has been a home to around 450 nuns over the past 400 years. The nuns lived totally cut off from the outside world, and people outside had no clue of what happened within the high walls. Then in 1970 a big part of the convent opened its doors to the public, though nuns still live in isolation in part of the complex.

You should also visit the Sanctuary Museum, home to many mummies found throughout Peru, Chile & Argentina, including the world famous "Ice Princess" or Mummy Juanita. The body of this little girl was found frozen and incredible preserved in a melting glacier in one of the mountains near to the city.

Arequipa-The White City in Peru

An excursion not to be missed is Colca Canyon, this Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. With over 1km separating the canyon floor from the top, it is the deepest in the world. At the Cruz del Condor you can spot Andean Condors, the largest birds in the world, soaring majestically on thermal currents above the Canyon. You are almost guaranteed to see them if you go early in the morning when they are hunting – I was lucky and saw 5 in total.

With so much to offer, make sure you include Arequipa in your Peruvian travel plans!

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  1. 1
    South AmericanTravel Blog 

    Hola Bob and Jean!

    Thank you so much for your comment we love to hear about travelers experiences of their own. From the look of your photos and blogs you had a very enjoyable time! If you are interested in coming back to Peru in the future and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me! My name is Ana and you can email me on

    Safe travels!

    Ana @ South American Travel Blog

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