We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“One of my favorite places in Peru”
Review of Arequipa

Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Pittsburgh, PA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
13 helpful votes
“One of my favorite places in Peru”
Reviewed July 16, 2010

I traveled to Peru this past March for a month to visit family and friends.
I am a Peruvian by birth, but a USA citizen since 1992.
It may sound biased, but Peru has changed dramatically since I
left it in the late Seventies.
It has a sound economy, a brand new airport, a modern roadway system and is safe to visit by tourists.
Of course, it possesses the best cuisine of the world, and many
historic monuments, the best being Machu Picchu.
Lima, its capital, has many modern hotels, most with air conditioned rooms at affordable prices.
As March is a hot month in summer, you need to have a cool resting place in the capital to enjoy its food and museums.

One problem is that Lima has increased exponentially in population
making it very congested and difficult to mobilize.
Traffic is hectic and parking limited. So, most tourists and nationals
use the taxi system, which is cheap and has to be negotiated before you take one. They are safe around the city posh neighborhoods, and a 'radio-taxi' is preferable to go to the airport.
One must try the excellent fresh fruit as well as the many restaurants who serve many delicious dishes.

This time I went to Arequipa, my favorite city, 500 miles south of
Lima. I took a quick and comfortable plane ride to visit 'La Ciudad Blanca'(the white city)because of the main white volcanic ash brick which is used everywhere for construction, from its active
volcano, "El Misti". Arequipa is famous for its beautiful cathedral,
its arched square, its wonderful weather(warm in the day and cool at night)and its typical food. It has the only Moroccan restaurant in Peru, among other delicious places such as Chi Cha from the famous gourmet chef Gaston Acurio.
A few miles into the Andes, there is the famous Colca river canyon, comparable to the best similar sites of the world.
But most of all, the Convento de Santa Catalina, (St. Catherine's cloister) a massive structure of the sixteenth century, which is still in operation and which was opened to the public in the mid Seventies.
There are many nice hotels to stay, and many churches to visit too.

5 Thank HerbTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes
“Arequipa, the white city”
Reviewed March 30, 2010

Arequipa is the capital city of the Arequipa Region in southern Peru. With a population of 904,931 it is thesecond most populous city of the country. Arequipa lies in the Andes mountains, at an altitude of 2,380 meters (7,800 feet) above sea level; the snow-capped volcano El Misti overlooks the city.

Arequipa has many colonial-era Spanish buildings built of sillar, a pearly white volcanic rock, from which it gets the nickname La Ciudad Blanca ("The White City"). Reportedly, it first acquired this nickname in the colonial era, because most of its inhabitants were Creole of peninsular (Spanish) descent. The historic centre of Arequipa was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, in recognition of its architecture and historic integrity.

Arequipa is located in the southwestern part of the country and is the second biggest city of Peru, with a population of almost one million. It is also the capital of the department of Arequipa, 663.8 miles (1,068km) from Lima. Arequipa sits at an altitude of 2,325 metres above sea level in a mountainous desert in the western Andes, at the foot of El Mistivolcano.

Metropolitan Arequipa has a metropolitan population of 821.692 inhabitants, equivalent to 71.31% of the population of the department of Arequipa, at 95.07% of the population of the province of Arequipa and 3.00% of total population of Peru, becoming the largest city in southern Peru and the second most populous.


2 Thank arequipa0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lima, Peru
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
45 helpful votes
“Beware! Learn from our experience”
Reviewed November 17, 2009

My wife and I had dinner at the Zig Zag restaurant across from the Iglesia San Francisco and nearly lost our lives as a result. We hailed a taxi outside to take us to our hotel. The taxi looked very legitimate. As we neared our hotel, the driver stopped and three guys entered the taxi, threatening and hitting us, blind-folded us, told us that we would be killed if we did not cooperate. We struggled and were hit in the face and body. We were held for over two hours, all of our possesions were stolen, including our wedding bands we have not taken off in 28 years. We carry little money, so they took our credit cards and stole over $4,000. Fortunately we were finally dropped off on a deserted street somewhere in the city. We were exhausted and terrified. A security guard found us and hailed a cab. We then spent three hours at the police station where we were told that this happens frequently in Arequipa and especially tourists leaving the Zig Zag. My wife is Peruvian and I am American. We both travel extensively in our jobs to the most difficult environments in the world, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Pakistan without incident. The trip to Arequipa and Colca Valley was our first vacation in years.
I understand that the restaurant sometimes asks patrons if they would like to have a taxi called. They did not offer us that service. If you have dinner at the Zig Zag, or any place downtown Arequipa in the evening, please take caution!!

4 Thank hrk_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
30 helpful votes
“Arequipa is tradition in Peru”
Reviewed October 8, 2009

This is a lovely city, with a very well preserved downtown, a Mediterranean climate, a ring of snow capped mountains, tons of history and it is the epicenter of Peruvian cuisine, which is fabulous and diverse. I stayed in the quiet residential section called Vallecito, which is a quiet older neighborhood, formerly very upscale and now kind of middle class, but safe and very pleasant.

1 Thank JAnneBNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan, USA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
4 helpful votes
“La ciudad blanca”
Reviewed July 23, 2008

In 2008 I visited Arequipa for one week, stayed with a nice family and attended the Ceica Language school. I had a wonderful time, the people were very friendly. The school is excellent, well educated professors, great memorable side trips. Excellent service. I received a wonderful insight in the Peruvian life style and had two wonderful teachers whom I thank very much for their effort to accommodate for my special Spanish language wishes.

1 Thank Weltenbummler57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Arequipa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos