Things to do in Arequipa – Peru’s White City!

Arequipa, Peru, is a vibrant and historic city with a rich cultural heritage and a stunning natural landscape. Located in the country’s southern region, the city is known for its breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains and unique architecture, combining Spanish colonial and indigenous influences. Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking for outdoor activities or a history buff seeking to learn more about Peruvian culture, there’s no shortage of things to do in Arequipa – the White City!

Talking to Salvador Dali - Things to do in Arequipa, Peru
Talking to Salvador Dali – Things to do in Arequipa, Peru

Here are a few of the top attractions and activities to check out during your visit. Remember, some of these suggested places are outside the city – so joining a tour could be your best possible option.

1. Santa Catalina Monastery (Monasterio de Santa Catalina)

Immerse yourself in this unique, colorful 16th-century monastery that’s a city within a city. Wander through vibrant corridors, quaint chapels, and blooming gardens. You’ll feel a spiritual connection and discover tranquility in Arequipa’s bustling heart.

Santa Catalina Monastery / Things to do in Arequipa, Peru
Santa Catalina Monastery / Things to do in Arequipa, Peru

2. Colca Canyon 

Embrace the adventure of a lifetime in Colca Canyon. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, it offers breathtaking hikes. Spot Andean condors, soak in natural hot springs, and stay in cozy lodges. Colca Canyon isn’t just a place; it’s an unforgettable Arequipa experience. You can join a day or a two-day tour here.

Things to do in Arequipa, Peru (Colca Canyon)
Things to do in Arequipa, Peru (Colca Canyon)

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3. Museo Santuarios Andinos

History comes to life at Museo Santuarios Andinos. Meet Juanita, the famous Ice Maiden, and uncover the secrets of ancient Inca rituals. Dive into Arequipa’s rich past and explore artifacts that tell stories of a bygone era.

4. Plaza de Armas

Feel Arequipa’s pulse in Plaza de Armas. Enjoy the elegant architecture, dine alfresco, and people-watch. Attend local festivals and explore the awe-inspiring cathedral. Plaza de Armas is Arequipa’s heart and soul; don’t miss it!

Plaza Armas in Arequipa
Plaza Armas in Arequipa.

5. Explore Yanahuara District

Yanahuara is Arequipa’s picturesque neighborhood. Walk under archways, take Instagram-worthy photos with Misti Volcano, and savor local cuisine. Experience authentic city vibe and capture memories that’ll last forever.

Things to do in Peru
Things to do in Peru

6. Salinas Lagoon and Aguada Blanca National Reserve

Explore Arequipa’s wild side in this untamed national reserve. Meet vicuñas, alpacas, and flamingos. Hike volcanic landscapes, discover salt flats, and lose yourself in nature’s beauty. Adventure awaits in Arequipa’s breathtaking wilderness.

7. Sillar Stone Quarry (Cantera de Sillar)

Be part of Arequipa’s heritage at Sillar Stone Quarry. Watch local artisans, touch Arequipa’s white volcanic rock, and understand why Arequipa’s known as the White City—a hands-on experience connecting you to Arequipa’s traditions. You can join a half-day tour here.

Sillar Quarry - This is where Arequipa got its nickname as a "White City."
Sillar Quarry – This is where Arequipa got its nickname as a “White City.”

8. Culinary Delights in Arequipa

Your journey isn’t complete without tasting local flavors. Try Rocoto Relleno, a spicy stuffed pepper, or sip on Anise liquor. Explore markets, dine in local picanterías, and satisfy your taste buds.

9. Shopping and Souvenirs in Arequipa

Take home a piece of the White City. Visit local markets, haggle for alpaca textiles, and find unique crafts. Shop for memories that’ll keep Arequipa close to your heart.

Museums in Arequipa
One of the museums in the White City.

10. Local Guided Tours in Arequipa

Enhance your experience with guided tours. Learn from local guides, uncover hidden gems, and see Arequipa through native eyes. A more prosperous, more profound understanding of this wonderful city awaits you.

Join a "free" walking tour in Arequipa!
Join a “free” walking tour in Arequipa!

Your Arequipa Adventure Awaits! 

Arequipa is more than a destination; it’s a feeling, a journey, a story waiting to be written by you. Whether exploring monasteries, canyons, markets, or flavors, Arequipa offers a unique experience that enchants you. Book your Arequipa adventure now and dive into a world filled with wonder!

Where to Stay in Arequipa

Finding the perfect place to rest your head in Arequipa is a breeze, with options for every budget. For the budget-savvy traveler, consider staying at Los Andes Bed & Breakfast, a stone’s throw away from the historical center downtown. It is known for its lively atmosphere and clean, comfortable dorms. You should also check out Pusary Hostel, which is 300 meters from the city center. If you prefer more privacy and convenience, Casa Andina Standard Arequipa offers medium-priced rooms and is just a short walk from the city center. Located near the Plaza de Armas and many of Arequipa’s key attractions, you’ll have easy access to everything this vibrant city offers. From enjoying the local cuisine to exploring historical sites, your accommodation in Arequipa can be affordable and ideally located.


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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