Where to go

Arequipa and the Colca Canyon

The educational capital of Peru

Situated in the southern coastal region of Peru, Arequipa is the known a the white city and is both the capital of the Arequipa district and the seat of the Constitutional court of Peru. Sitting at the slopes of the Misti volcano (one of the world's easiest over 6,000 meter peaks to climb) it is often included on itineraries as a means of accessing the famous Colca Canyon but is, in our opinion, well worth a couple of nights to take in the laid back atmosphere and stunning architecture.

Arequipa

The white city of Arequipa, in the south west of the country, sits in the shadow of the Misti volcano and is a truly stunning place to spend a night or two. The city itself is located around a central plaza, influenced by the Spanish conquistadors who moved through the area in the 1500s. This beautiful city is the perfect place to spend a couple of nights before moving on to the nearby Colca Canyon.

Colca Canyon

At around 2 a hour drive outside of Arequipa, the Colca Canyon is famed as the deepest canyon on earth (or so the signs all say!) and the home for the famous Condors. Related to the turkey vulture of Northern America, the condor is a vast bird who spends most of his/her time soaring on the many thermals that run through the valley. A great destination for those keen on natural beauty or taking a few days to walk.

Click here to view some video footage of the Colca Canyon and the condors.

Itineraries: 

Best time to visit Arequipa and the Colca Canyon:

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    At a glance…Arequipa and the Colca Canyon

  • Elevation: Approx 2,335m
  • Population: approx 785 000
  • Time Zone: GMT -5
  • Time to visit: March to October
  • Go here for: History and culture, walking, nature and wildlife
  • Further reading...

  • › When to go
  • Our recommended top hotels and lodges for Arequipa and the Colca Canyon:

    1. Aranwa Pueblito Encantado del Colca - Aerial View

      Aranwa Pueblito Encantado del Colca

      A peaceful riverside retreat in the tranquil rolling hills of the Colca region, the Aranwa Pueblito Encantado del Colca is superbly positioned property, surrounded by agricultural lands and tiny villages. While we loved the location and facilities of this hotel, we did feel that it was lacking a... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      4
    2. Casa Andina Select: Arequipa - Roof Terrace

      Casa Andina Select: Arequipa

      The third Casa Andina property in Arequipa, the Casa Andina Select Hotel is a more modern and functional hotel located on Arequipa’s main Plaza de Armas. While service here is more focussed on being efficient rather than personable, the hotel is ideal for those wanting to be in the hubbub of... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      3
    3. Casa Andina Private Collection: Arequipa - External View

      Casa Andina Private Collection: Arequipa

      Our pick of the hotels in Arequipa, the Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel is a five to ten minute walk from the main square and some of the best restaurants in town. Although the rooms are fairly standard in size and decor, the setting of the hotel and the friendly service more than makes up for... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      4
    4. Hotel Libertador - Lobby

      Hotel Libertador: Arequipa

      A long-standing favourite in Arequipa, the Hotel Libertador is a luxury five star hotel with plenty of facilities and colonial grandeur. Our only reservation about the hotel is the location, which is a 20 minute walk from the centre and not as convenient for walking to bars and restaurants in the... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      4