Arequipa is a charming city located in the south of Peru, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and impressive volcanoes. Known as the White City, it boasts colonial architecture, delicious cuisine, and a vibrant cultural scene. With only one day to explore this gem, it can be overwhelming to decide what to see and do. Fear not, as we have put together the perfect itinerary for your day in Arequipa from 8 A.M to 10 P.M. Get ready to fall in love with this charming city!
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at La Despensa, a cozy café located in the heart of the city. The menu offers a great variety of sandwiches, salads, and freshly brewed coffee. Try the traditional Arequipena dish called “rocoto relleno,” a stuffed spicy pepper served with potato gratin. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for something sweet, go for the “queso helado,” a refreshing dessert made of frozen milk and cinnamon.
After breakfast, head to the Plaza de Armas, the main square of the city. Admire its stunning colonial buildings, including the Cathedral and the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús. It’s worth noting that the latter has a beautiful façade covered in intricate carvings and Baroque decorations. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the “mistis,” a group of locals who dress in traditional costumes and pose for pictures with tourists.
From the Plaza de Armas, make your way to the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, one of the most unique places in Arequipa. Founded in 1580, this convent was once home to over 450 nuns who lived in isolation from the outside world. The complex covers an area of 20,000 square meters, and it is a maze of narrow alleys, colorful buildings, and beautiful gardens. Make sure you have your camera ready, as every corner is a photo opportunity!
By now, you’re probably feeling hungry again. Head over to the Mercado San Camilo, a bustling market where you can find local products, souvenirs, and most importantly, delicious food. The market offers a great variety of dishes, including ceviche, beef stew, and fried fish. Make your way to one of the food stalls and enjoy a plate of “chicharrón,” crispy pork served with sweet potato and corn.
After lunch, take a taxi to the Yanahuara viewpoint, located just five kilometers from the city center. There, you’ll find an impressive arcade lined with ashlar arches, decorated with beautiful statues. The arcade offers stunning views of the Misti volcano, as well as the city’s landscape. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Chachani and Pichu Pichu volcanoes on the horizon.
As the sun sets, head to La Nueva Palomino, a traditional “picantería” located in the Yanahuara district. This restaurant serves the best local cuisine, including “chupe de camarones,” a shrimp chowder, and “adobo,” a stew made with pork, chili, and garlic. Don’t forget to order a Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail, made with Pisco, lemon juice, sugar, and egg whites.
To end the day in style, make your way to the “Callejón del Solar,” a street located in the San Lázaro district. The street is full of bars and pubs, where you can enjoy live music and dance until late at night. Join the locals and dance to the rhythm of salsa, cumbia, and huayno, and enjoy a memorable night in the White City.
Arequipa is a city that has a lot to offer, even if you only have one day to explore it. This itinerary is a perfect mix of history, culture, and gastronomy, that will give you a taste of everything that Arequipa has to offer. We hope you have enjoyed our suggestions and that you fall in love with the charms of the White City, just like we did. Safe travels!
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