El Misti volcano, Arequipa
Arequipa is a city in the Southern Coastal region of Peru just below the edge of the Altiplano, at 2380 meters above sea level and surrounded by three impressive volcanoes. It's Peru's second most important city (after Lima), and the second most popular among tourists (after Cuzco).
The city is part of the so called "Southern Peru Tourist Corridor", together with Nazca, Puno and Cusco. In contrast to these other cities, Arequipa is an example of the Spanish and mestizo culture developed in Peru. There are no Inca artifacts or ruins in the city.
In the winter it is warmer than in the summer. It is nicknamed the 'white city' (la ciudad blanca, in Spanish), because many of the buildings in the area are built of sillar, a white stone. This rock was quarried from the many volcanoes that surround the city, including the towering El Misti. Ask for local help to identify Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu, the three volcanoes surrounding the city.
Arequipa embodies a rich mix of the indigenous and Spanish colonial cultures. With 468 years of history since its founding, examples of Spanish colonial architecture can be found throughout the center of the city and several surrounding districts. UNESCO has declared it Human Heritage site. Catholic churches are scattered throughout the center of the city. Some ancient houses have been refurbished by the local authorities and serve as living museums. An example of this are the so-called "Tambos" located at Puente Bolognesi street.
By far the easiest way to get to Arequipa is by plane, landing in Rodríguez Ballón airport (IATA: AQP), 8km from the city. LanPerú , Peruvian Airlines, Taca and Star Perú fly from Lima, Juliaca and Cuzco. A taxi from the airport to the Plaza de Armas costs a flat-rate of S/25. Signs are posted with this rate, but depending on the size of the car, the size of your bags and your bartering skills you could pay less.
No public transportation is available to/from the airport.
There are two terminals serving the city, Terminal Terrestre and Terminal Terrapuerto. They're next to each other, about 3km from the center. A taxi should cost around 10 soles (May 2014) but prices are fixed based on distance.
You need a taxi to get to your hotel. Take taxis WITHIN the parking lot of the bus station. Those are registered official taxis. Express kidnappings have being reported with passengers taking taxis outside the bus stations.
You can use buses/combis to get to/from the main bus terminal for 0.75 soles per person to Plaza de Armas (August 2014); much cheaper than a taxi and still quite quick.
Usually Hotels do not organize pickups from bus station because buses delay and time of arrival is not exact. But you can ask your hotel to call a taxi for you when you arrive to the bus station. It will take no more than 20 minutes waiting.
An option to go from Cusco, Lima, Paracas, Ica or Huacachina is to take one of the Peru Hop buses. This service has brand new cama buses with movies in English and Spanish their passes allow you to hop on or hop off at any of these places. Peru Hop includes hotel/hostel pick-ups and drop-offs which is pretty neat from a safety/no taxi fare viewpoint.
From Lima (30-130 soles, 16-18 hours) it's advisable to take non-stop express buses — though more expensive, they tend to be safer. Cruz del Sur, Oltursa and Excluciva are reputable companies with special tourist services. They leave from dedicated VIP terminals in Lima. Most express buses leave starting at 5 pm in order to get to Arequipa early morning. Its a night trip and has no view attraction. A special service from Cruz del Sur leaves at 9 pm and let you enjoy watchig the beautiful coast of Arequipa during the trip.
Regular or local services stop too many times on the way and your risk of loosing your luggage is very high. Avoid them.
From Cusco an option is Cruz del Sur Cruzero service. Its expensive but a night non stop express service with comfortable buses. You arrive to Arequipa very early, at 6-7 am. Be aware some hotels will not give you a room that early.
From Ica (12 hours) Cruz del Sur offers a night nonstop express service with comfortable seating.
From Puno Cruz del Sur daily service leaves at 3.30 pm. Some Expresso services are also available with 4M and Giardino Tours. If you are a group (4+) you can rent a charter. All the local companies providing regular cheap service have being reported as bad and unsafe for tourists. Julsa has been reported as the worst service available.
From Tacna or Chile the best option is Florez Hnos Super Dorado service leaving from Tacna National Bus Station. You better leave before night time. Its a 5 hour trip but because of customs procedures to avoid counterband the bus can be delayed 1 to 3 hours.
La Paz Ormeños has direct buses leaving at 1AM every day, passing through Puno at 6AM (40 Soles) and arriving in La Paz at 12 midday (60$).
Charter trains to Juliaca and Puno are only available for groups of 40 or more.
The city has a central urban area that can be explored on foot. The historic center is a 5 block area around the main square and is relatively easy to navigate with one of the many maps available at hotels or any information office. Some ancient districts like Yanahuara and Cayma are also within walking distance. Walking is safe within reason even at nighttime. Follow your hotel recommendations on which places NOT to go.
The rural area is a whole attraction itself, with gorgeous terraces, Spanish mills, palaces and the ever-present view of the volcanoes from wherever you are.
One option for visiting most of the main tourist sights from the rural and urban area is to take a bus tour. Tour buses are available at the main square and you can book the tour at your hotel or directly with the bus driver. In two or four hours, according to the tour you book, you will visit most of the famous viewpoints of the city. A great experience (from 6 to 10 dollars).
For safe purposes use cabs from dispatch taxis companies. Your hotel or the restaurant can call it for you. Avoid taking taxis that are stoped waiting for passengers. A tip to take a taxi is to take the one you see its leaving a passenger.
Prices are per ride. A ride from the main square to any place in the central district will be 4 - 7 soles. A raid from the bus station to any hotel, 8 soles. From the airport, the price varies between 20-30 soles. Some cab drivers try to rip you off by saying prices are per head but price is always per ride for all passengers. Allow for a minor extra charge for luggage (usually half a sol per major piece).
There is also an option to rent a taxi per hour. Price:$6/hour.
Please follow the advise of your hotel on reliable taxi companies.
Most of the attractions are within walking distance from the historic center. You can use buses/combis to get to/from the main bus terminal for 0.75 soles per person; much cheaper than a taxi and still quite quick. Always be aware of your personal belongings and don't leave valuables unattended.
Traffic in Arequipa is chaotic. We do not advise you to drive. If you drive to Arequipa, leave your vehicle in your hotel and enjoy the city walking or using taxis.
If you want to visit Arequipa outskirts or villages like Colca River, Majes, Camana and Mollendo beaches, you can rent a truck at a very low rate including a driver (just $55 per 8 hours plus diesel expenses), call +5154 9350539 or email: [email protected]
From 'Hertz' you can rent a Toyota Hilux for $90/day. The 4x4 they give you will be 5 years old and have been driven over 50,000km. Do not expect the car to be clean inside (insist on a discount for this) and expect your collection to take a minimum of 45 minutes.
- The Plaza de Armas, the main square of Arequipa, surrounded by buildings made of sillar, a white volcanic stone.
- Visit San Camilo Market, the oldest one, located in the centre of the city. It's three blocks away from the main square.
- See the Juanita Mummy in the Museo Santuarios Andinos. From May to November the main exhibit is the Dama de Ampato, also known as Juanita. It is close to the main square.
Convento de Santa Catalina, Arequipa
- Convento de Santa Catalina is the most visited building from the Spanish era of the city. Described as a city within a city, this beautiful place with its colors, flowers and little streets will make you feel like you have traveled back in time. Quite close to the Plaza de Armas.
- One of the newest attractions is the Convento de Santa Teresa, a little off the usual tourist areas in downtown Arequipa. Not as interesting architecturally as the Convento de Santa Catalina, but some of the paintings and artifacts are stunning.
- Many of the almost 250 colonial buildings entitled as Human Heritage by UNESCO, are close to the main square. Some have been turned into banks, stores, restaurants and departments. This method of preserving the city by finding a practical use for the historical buildings, provides a great experience to the visitor who feels like visiting a living museum.
- Churches are among the most beautiful buildings preserved. They are all Catholic and you can visit them but be aware that they are used daily for worship so try not to be intrusive. La Compania, San Francisco, La Merced and the Cathedral are some of the most famous.
Molino de Sabandiá, Arequipa
- Arequipa has beautiful bridges. Puente Bolognesi is the closest to the main square. Go there and visit the Tambos (ancient houses rebuilt by the city government and used as apartments). Great experience and good views of El Misti and Chachani
- Puente Fierro is an iron bridge designed by Eiffel and still in service. A technological jewel located in Vallecito (10 blocks from main square) and a must for people who love trains and bridges. From the bridge, at golden time (4.00-5.00PM), you can get some of the best pictures from the volcanoes and the city. Worth the 15 minutes walk!
- Nearby, in the old countryside, is the Molino de Sabandía (Sabandía Mill), a three centuries old water mill, set in the old Arequipa countryside.
- Also to be found in the old countryside is the Mansión del Fundador, a renovated centuries old Spanish Colonial mansion. Admission 10 S/, 5 S/ for students.
- Peruvian Cooking Experience, Av San Martin 116 (Casa de Avila Hotel), ☎ 54 213177, . 2 hours. Hands on activity where you prepare Peruvian Food and enjoy eating after. A cultural souvenir from Peru. Several menus available. Register on line or at location. Usually needs at least 12 hours advance booking. Daily except Sunday. A Pisco Sour Lecture and visit to the market are also optional with the activity US$ 25.
- Spanish language Because of its weather, friendly people and budget prices (compared to Lima or Cusco), Arequipa is a great place to learn Spanish. Several schools are available. Most of them with excellent programs. Classes are usually offered in a per week basis, and with accommodation packages included.
- Spanish School Arequipa, Av San Martin 116 (Casa de Avila Hotel), ☎ +51 54 213177, . Mon to Fri. Spanish School Arequipa, provides quality short-term Spanish courses in Arequipa, Peru. We serve people looking to learn Spanish abroad, and travellers who want to take advantage of their trip thru South America. We take advantage of your motivation, needs and abilities to improve your learning of Spanish in short time. $8.50 hour.
- EDEAQ - Legally established and recognised by the Peruvian Ministry of Education. City Centre Location. Swiss Management. Bildungsurlaub (Germany). – 
- Cooking lessons This is an excellent opportunity to share with local cooks and work with them to prepare a delicious foods. The experience starts with selecting the products, then preparing and cooking them. After that, you are can serve and enjoy the outcome in the form of a good traditional meal.
- Downhill volcano biking Offered in several levels of difficulty. Half day adventure managed by professional guides. S/70 to 80. They provide all the required equipment. Very safe. Great countryside views.
- Volcano climbing Two options, an excursion to Misti or a real climbing to Chachani. Two day tour. The first one with low difficulty level the second one with medium difficulty. Altitude is usually the worst enemy for visitors. Chachani is over 6,000 meter altitude. Book with professional operators. Price among 90 dollars/person.
- Whitewater rafting Arequipa has some of the best rivers of the world. A typical half-day tour with some 90 min actual rafting will cost you about 70 S/.
- Arequipa is called the World´s capital of the Alpaca, a wool that comes from this Andean camels and considered very fine and valuable. Big factories have opened tourist outlet stores with zoos and cultural exhibits as attraction. Ask your hotel on how to get to some of the bigger ones, or visit Alpaca World, just off the corner of the Plaza de Armas.
There are also and several boutiques in many locations within the historical center. Good quality alpaca is recognized because the official label on the clothe. Prices for a sweater are between 70 to 180 soles. Cheap sweaters are usually made on faked yarn.
Sweaters, pashminas, blanquets and "ponchos" are very popular among tourists.
- Chivay area provides colorful embroidery called "maquinaza style". You can find hats, purses and many handicrafts with this attractive and typical embroidery in most of the souvenir stores in the city.
- "Mercado Artesanal" is usually a gallery where many little stores offer handicrafts. You can find several all over the historical center of the city. Compare prices before buying. Being original on design they usually do not have the quality some dedicated stores offer. You can find severa of these kinds of gallery all over the city.
- Boutiques dedicated to handicrafts have appeared. Some offering their owners exclusive pieces or very high fashion products. A must visit to enjoy this art expression and maybe to take a piece home. You can find them on Santa Catalina street. La Compania Convent nex to the plaza hosts several of them within a beautiful environment. Patio del Ekeko is a building hosting boutiques, a jewellery and a great cafeteria.
- Chocolate - La Iberica is a local brand producing great chocolate on different presentations. Its considered one of the best gourmet chocolate in Peru. You can find stores all over the city. Try bitter chocolate.
Around Plaza de Armas you will find a lot of people approaching you with menu cards and offer you a free drink, etc. Local authority has prohibited this practice, to enforce authority avoid places using this practice. Check prices and haggle a bit for an extra free drink. Food in Plaza de Armas in general is good but not outstanding.
Arequipa keeps one of the most varied and flavored cuisine cultures in the country. Robust, with long term cooking products and with soups as their main dish. Local food is usually served at lunch time but you can also find it in locals for tourists during dinner time.
Spicy food is very popular. Locals use rocoto (Capsicum pubescens) to provide the spicy taste to their foods. This flavour is different than the spicy flavour you find in Indian or Mexican food.
Try Rocoto relleno con pastel de papa, a stuffed, quite large pepper with potato pie. Ask beforehand if it has been made for "tourists" or if it is the original, quite hot, style; if the last one, be careful, it can be extremely hot.
Try Alpaca steaks. This meat very low in fat is juicy and very soft. Presented in all the variations that beef is presented regularly.
This city is the best place in Peru to eat river shrimps. They are presented in several ways, being the most popular Chupe de Camarones, a thick soup very flavored and presented with many shrimps in it. Beware, plates here are big.
Arequipa is only three hours away from the sea, so many fish restaurants are available. If you have not tried Ceviche in Peru yet, this is a great opportunity. There are also many other sea delicacies.
Local restaurants are called Picanterias. They are still very popular among locals. Some are within the urban area and some others on the outside of the city. There is a neighborhood called Arancota, where you can find many of this restaurants. Some of them are huge (600 tables or more) and they are usually full of locals. The main food attraction in this area is chicharron (fried pork with corn). Menu's are usually set, consisting of a hearty soup followed by a main dish. Drinks are often included. Prices are generally very cheap, varying from 5 S/ to 10 S/. Dishes at La Capitana range from 10 S/ (Almuerzo) to 31 S/ (Cuy, or guinea pig). Prices at La Palomina (and adjoining La Nueva Palomina) skyrockted as they have been included on guidebooks - do not expect a meal below 30 S/. The best time to eat at a Picanteria is between 12 pm and 3 pm. La Capitana is closed on Thursdays.
If you are looking for some good and cheap lunch, have a look at the tiny restaurants in Calle Puente Bolognesi (Plaza de Armas towards Puente Bolognesi bridge). Set lunch (soup, choice of 2-4 main dishes and sometimes a dessert and/or drink) costs between 3,50 and 5,50 soles.
As with all Peruvian food: local delicacies are heavy and sometimes very hot. Try them with care, especially since the height of the city (around 2,300 meters) makes digestion slow. Take a mate de coca, coca-leaf tea, after meals: it helps indigestion and makes the altitude more bearable.
- Maya, Calle Jerusalén (Almost on the corner of Ugarte). Breakfast, piglets, burgers and more. Their set lunch is somewhat expensive, but they do it better Set lunch 5,50 S/..
- Picanteria La Capitana Old and the truly old cooking in Arequipa, is behind Saga Falabella, this picanteria keep the old traditions. Go early or you wont find the menu which is around 10 soles, other plates are also always available. Best time to go is between 12 and 3 pm. Closed Thursdays.
- Picanteria La Lucila Sachaca, still run by Sra Lucila Salas de Ballon, it's a short taxi ride out of town. Old style kitchen with Cuy (Guinea Pigs) eating scraps in the corner, and Lucila still makes her sauces the old way as she keeps an eye on everything and everyone.
- Mercado San Camilo, Calle San Camilo (Walking distance from the Plaza de Armas towards the south.). Daytime. Inside the market there are plenty of popular restaurants frequented by the locals and with a large variety of local Arequipan cuisine. Dona Rosa's famous "queso helado" (an icecream-like desert made with condensed milk, shredded coconut and sprinkled with cinnamon) is also there and makes a great desert for only 2.5 S/. On the market level, there is a busy tamale stand near the fruit stands, served with a fresh tomato, cilantro and onion salsa for only 2 S/. A row of juice bars are on the ground level, with 2 glasses ranging from 5 to 10 S/, depending on the fruit you chose. 5 to 15 soles.
For dinner, you can find the best restaurants from the city around Calle San Fransisco:
- Ary Quepay, Calle Jerusalén 502. Nice restaurant that serves local food.
- Tacos y Tequilas, Calle Ugarte 112, ☎ +51 54 628653. A nice atmospheric Mexican restaurant. The Mexican menu' is delicious, with an excellent guacemole. Veggie tacos are excellent. Mexican Menu 10 S/.
- Zingaro, Calle San Fransisco 309, . Typical food like "cuy" or "rocoto relleno".
- Lazos, San Francisco 315, ☎ 215729. Steakhouse
- Ras el Hanout y los 40 Sabores, Santa Catalina 300 B-1 (2.5 blocks north of Plaza de Armas, on the right side, beside an Organic Cotton and Baby Alpaca Wool shop), ☎ (54) 212424, . 16:00-. Advertised as a Moroccan Resto-lounge, Ras offers the traditional Maghreb fare in a comfortable atmosphere that would fit well in Tangier's El Minzah, a few blocks removed from the bustling Plaza de Armas. Staff is polite, professional and bilingual (Esp/Eng). Espresso machine, but unmemorable espresso. Harira Soup is delicious, served piping hot and packed with lentils, chickpeas, beef and a few dates. Tagine (Lamb) is satisfactory. Restrooms are surprisingly rustic, in stark contrast to the dining area. S/53.5.
- Zig Zag Restaurant (Alpandina Gastronomy), Zela 210 - Cercado (3 blocks north of Plaza de Armas, across from Plaza San Fransciso), ☎ 0051 54 206020, . reservations recommended. High Class city dining on a tranquil street across from the beautiful Plaza de San Francisco. Zigzag offers a diverse menu that boasts French, Italian and Andean-Peruvian influences (Chef/Owner Michel Hediger is actually Swiss). Several popular dishes are served sizzling on volcanic rock... you will be adorned with a paper bib. Good espresso properly served with sparkling water and a simple cookie. Pan de la casa (two types of house bread) are served with delicious garlic and black olive butters. Tasty "Velouté de espárragos con coulis de maiz" is the popular asparagus soup; slightly spicy. Delicious "El Trilogía" comes as 150, 200, or 300g of Pork, Beef and Alpaca Filet on an aforementioned sizzling volcanic rock slab. S/100.
- Salud Y Vida, Octavo Muñez Najar # 140 (4.5 blocks east of the Plaza de Armas). noon until 3pm.. Large and popular vegetarian restaurant serving a set lunch. S./7.
- Lakshmivan Vegetarian Food, Jerusalen 408. Vegetarin or Vegan Menu (3 courses) costs 18 Soles or order individual items from the menu. Food is excellent, particularly the 'hamburguesa'. Opens at 1230 for lunch and is open for dinner.
- Mandala, Calle Jerusalén 207, tél: 22 99 74, natural and tasty vegetarian food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. At lunch time, the menú ejecutivo, including a small salad, a soup, a yoghurt, a main dish, a dessert and a drink costs only 8 soles. Dinner (soup, main dish and a drink) normally costs around 7 soles. Very friendly staff. Update dec 2013: Ok if your on a diet and prefer bland food. Tiny square of lasagne cooked with TVP (textured vege protein, ie: soya, which will be GM soya and contain msg. Its a cheap menu if your not fussy about taste, freshness or size. Soup was healthy but also bland.
- Nostra Fusion - Calle Jerusalen 613, A bit more of a walk from the main plaza but worth it. Very tasty menu for 10 soles with garlic bread, drink and choices of mains like vege pizzas or freshly made spaghetti or lasagne. Decent potion for mains. Wine and coffee also available. Clean and fresh space with real photos of the food on the walls, the actual meals you get.
- Nitay Gouranga Vegetarian Restaurant, Calle Rivero (Rivero Street) 603 Cercado. You can get the menu of the day for just 4 S/ including soup and a main dish and a soft natural drink. Tasty vegetarian food. Also you can order and have different options.
- Guisos de mi casa, Calle General Morán 118 / Calle Palacio Viejo 115, . s/10.
- Istanbul (Fez Cafe), Calle San Francisco 229. Falafel or roasted vegetables wrap for S/7.50. Add humus for S/4. Not hugely flavoursome, but quick service and some very cool tables. Not solely vegetarian.
- El Turco, Calle San Francisco 216. Roasted vegetables as wraps or oven cooked with cheese, falafels available, prices from S/7.50. Nice colonial building with vaulted ceiling. Not solely vegetarian.
- Viva Mas y Mejor, Jerusalen 307-A (On street Jerusalen, block 3). Clean and simple place serving vegeterian food. Besides delicious a la carte menu they serve almuerzo (set menu) also. Owner is a gentleman who enjoys classical music. Open Sunday to thursday (and on holidays) between 08:00 - 21:00 and fridays on 08:00 - 17:30. Closed on saturdays.
- Los Girasoles, Av. Lambramani, 112 (– Urb. Alvarez Thomas E-2. Arequipa), ☎ (+51) (5.4) .20.-5.523. Vegetarian Restaurant
The typical Peruvian drink is Pisco. Arequipa is the craddle for the Acholado type, a Pisco comming from a mixture of several grapes. Locals drink it pure, in little sips. Chilcano is another way to drink it, Pisco with white soda. And of course, the Pisco Sour, which is a must for any visitor.
The local booze is Anis Najar. Chicha and Pisco Sour is also drunk.
The local soft drink is Kola Escocesa, not as sweet as Inca Kola.
There is also a popular mineral water called Socosani. Energina is a yellow soft drink produced with this water. Some other soft drinks area available from the same factory.
Most bars and clubs for tourists are on Calle San Fransisco, uphill from the main square. Many have happy hour specials until 10.00PM.
There is an area of the city called Calle Dolores, with discotheques, kareoke bars, and salsa ball rooms usually attended by locals but safe enough for travellers. The taxi is needed to get there.
- Espressate, Av. Trinidad Morán G-22 (Urb. León XIII, Cayma), ☎ 054274607, . Espressate is a small, comfy, and welcoming place to enjoy a good cup of coffee, some homemade desserts and Spanish tapas. This coffee house offers free wi-fi, has a books exchange corner (books in different languages) -- Edit: no books as of October 2012 -- and also sells special gifts (jewelry, ceramics, etc.). A nice little place to spend some time…
- Cafe Bar Senor Misti, Calle General Moran 118 - int. 13 (in the Claustros de la Compania), ☎ 054-214441, . Cafe Bar Senor Misti is a very nice Cafe Bar within the wonderful Claustros de la Compania. Senor Misti offers very good cafe and one of the best Pisco Sour in town and offers free Wi-Fi. Nice place to enjoy the oldtown in a secure and calm way. Very nice outdoor-seats.
- Los Girasoles, Av. Lambramani, 112 (– Urb. Alvarez Thomas E-2. Arequipa), ☎ (+51) (5.4) .20.-5.523. Vegetarian Restaurant
- Lula's B&B  is neither a hotel nor a hostel, but (as the Lonely Planet states) "a charming [family run] apartment-style B&B“. All the rooms are with private bathroom/shower-WC, international cable TV and WiFi (ADSL wireless). Owners speak (besides Spanish) English, German and French.
- Koala Hostel  Puente Grau 108. ☎ +51 54 223622. In an old colonial building with a lovely courtyard. All types of rooms, arrange tours for you, and is very friendly and has no curfew. If using their bus ticket booking service check the price is comparable with other alternatives.
- Buena Vista Hostal (Buena Vista Hostal), (20 min walk from the Plaza de Armas), ("[email protected]"url="http://www.buenavistahostal.com/"). Very basic hotel in one of the oldest and most pleasant suburbs. Breakfast may be of dubious quality. Keep your own record of expenses and incidental charges as they may get confused when it comes time for the final bill. From US$18/person.
- Casa de Avila (Casa de Avila), Av. San Martin 116, Vallecito (4 blocks from main square), ☎ +51 54 213177 ([email protected]), . Casa de Avila is in a beautiful 1930s building reburbished as a hotel. Central courtyard is the main attraction of the place. Staff is friendly and helpful, and most speak English. A family run business with a warm informal atmosphere. Free wifi, private rooms with cableTV in most of them. Spanish classes and cooking activities are available. Tourist information service to help you planning your activities. From $10/person, breakfast is included.
- La Posada del Cacique, Jerusalen 404 (Cercado/Arequipa, near to the Plaza de Armas), ☎ +51 54 202170 ([email protected]). Safe area, friendly and competent owner can give good assistance with tours such as hill climbing, colca canyon and similar. 25 soles/pp for a double with private bathroom.
- Hospedaje El Rosario del Solar, (2.5 blocks from NW corner of Plaza de Armas), ☎ +51 54 222517, . This quaint hospedaje in a quiet, safe, sillar-covered street in the Historical District is run by a friendly elderly woman very eager to help you acquire a tour of various parts of Arequipa which is comparable to what you'll find on Calle Jerusalen. One burner kitchen, WiFi, hot (sometimes) water showers, and laundry service for currently S/. 4 a kilo. From S/. 15 per person.
- Crismar Hotel, Calle Moral 107,  telephone: (+51) 54 215 290. Perfect location at only one and a half blocks from main plaza. This 3 star hotel offers single, double, twin, triple, quad rooms and suites. All the rooms are en-suite (shower or bath), have free Wi-Fi access and cable television.
- Hotel Viza, calle Peru #202, . Three blocks from the Plaza de Armas, $25 a nice room, includes breakfast and pick up from the airport.
- Arequipa Youth Hostel, Calle Zela 313 (between Bolivar and 4th block of Santa Catalina). ☎ +51 959669253, ([email protected]). Singles, doubles, and dorms available from 20 soles/person. On a quiet street just 2 blocks from Plaza de Armas. Clean rooms. Patio area for socialising. Use of kitchen, no internet access. Friendly and helpful staff with tourist information.
- Arequipay Backpackers at Urbanizacion Los Angeles de Cayma Mz. G1 (A few blocks from the main plaza). ☎ +51 54 275498.  ([email protected]),. Dorm bed 20 soles, including breakfast and hot showers.
- Colonial House Inn, Calle Puente Grau 114. ("Arriba de la Plaza" to the taxi driver) A big old room facing the street for US$14, the rest are cheaper, good breakfast.
- Bothy Hostel,  Calle Puente Grau 109. ☎ +51 54 282438. Sunny terrace, kitchen use, DVD room, hammocks and helpful staff. Lots of fun things going on- spanish lessons, bbqs, trips, tours, volunteering. 23 soles a night.
- Le Foyer Hostel, Ugarta 114. (2 blocks north of the Plaza de armas). Several restaurants below, on a rather busy road. 35 soles/night for single room with shower
- Home Sweet Home, Rivero 509. ☎ +51 54 405982.  Family run hostel, multilingual staff. Cosy bedrooms, wifi, terrace, laundry, travel agency. Great breakfast 5 soles. Dorm beds 25 soles.
- Hostal Lluvia de Oro, Jerusalen 308. ( About three blocks from the main Plaza) ([email protected]). Friendly, in front of the tourist police station, nice patio, pick up from airport.
- El Solar de la Macarena, Calle Jerusalen 531. ([email protected]). Opened in February 2008. Private bathrooms, nice shared kitchen, laundry, TV in every room, wifi. You can hang out on the roof or the 2nd floor terrace.
- La Casona de Jerusalen, Jerusalen St #306-A (in front of the tourist police station), ☎ +51 54-205453 ([email protected], fax: ""checkin="24). Very friendly staff with great recommendations, Great location near everything, and quite enough to sleep like a baby, Clean rooms, Sunny terrace, free laptop use and free wifi, cableTV. Good thick towels and hot water. Very nice place to stay. US$9 (rooms with shared bathrooms)/$17 (rooms with en-suite bathrooms).
- El Albergue Espanol, Calle Peral 117. Relaxed place, authentic building, central located, rooftop terrace, free wifi (2 wifi networks for the whole building -> strong and fast!), nice staff, clean and very comfortable beds. Prices between 15 soles for a single with shared bathroom and 25 soles pp for a double with private bathroom and tv. No breakfast. Showers are solar powered, so not always really hot.
- La Reyna, Calle Zela 209 (On the corner of Zela and Santa Catalina, entrance is on Zela). Doubles (or matrimonials) with shared bathroom from 40 soles (including towels and breakfast) (todays is 29.11.2012). Clean basic rooms, nice terrace.
- Che Lagarto Hostels Arequipa, Ugarte 202, ☎ +51 (054) 226111, .
- Los Andes Bed & Breakfast, La Merced 123 (30 mts. south from Plaza de Armas, on the west side), ☎ (01) 054 + 330015 ([email protected]), . checkout: 11.30am. Bright and clean, with an expansive and sunny terrace. Wifi, kitchen, hot water, breakfast (all-you-can-eat fresh breadrolls, jam and butter, tea, coffee, juice, fruit), even towels included. Rooms are cleaned every day. The shared bathrooms are separated by gender and definitely clean. S65 for a double with shared bathroom, Sept 2014.
- Hotel Scandinavia House  street Address:Calle Ugarte 314.next-to Santa Catalina Monastery. phone:51+54227542-cel:959693885.
- Casablanca Hotel  Street Address: Puente Bolognesi 104. (10 steps from the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa) ☎ +51 54 221327. The entrance has the feeling of entering a neat wine cellar, but once you go up the stairs, there's a wonderful and large open room in the middle. The rooms are unusually large with high ceilings; street-facing rooms can be a bit noisy at night but have a pleasant balcony to sit on. Very clean and comfortable with friendly staff and good bread for breakfast (rare in Peru). Clean shower with moderately hot water. A twin was approximately US$45. Only extremely rudimentary English spoken. Stayed in and verified by User:Cluth; also listed in Lonely Planet.
- Posada del Parque  Deán Valdivia 238-A. (5 minutes from Plaza de Armas). ☎ +51 54 21227. Located in an old colonial building with high ceilings. Budget dorms to semi-luxurious doubles. All rooms have speakers to plug in mp3/mp4/devices. Large rooftop area with tables and chairs is a great chill-out place. Free internet, a travel agency, kitchen, laundry, breakfast and drinks. Staff is friendly and helpful, some speak English. S/60.
- Alwa Hotel  Address: Calle Malecón Chili # 9759 Chili Urb Los Pinos - Vallecito Arequipa - Peru Phone:5154284598 Alwa Hotel is in the residential area of Vallecito, five minutes from the main square. Vallecito is a place that is characterized by peace and quiet that allow guests to enjoy taking walks to witness the masterpiece of french architect Gustave Eiffel in his work embodied Iron Bridge which is located a few meters from our premises.
- Hotel Maison d' Elise Arequipa  It will take 15 minutes to get from the local Alfredo Rodriguez Ballon airport and will cost approximately 15 to 17 nuevos soles on taxi.
- La Casa de Melgar Arequipa Melgar 108 Cercado. (A few blocks away from the Plaza de Armas) . ☎ +51 54 222459. Built into an old colonial house. Very atmospheric hotel with friendly staff.
- Fundador Hotel Campo Redondo 109-111 San Lázaro, Cercado. . ☎ +51 54 284848, telefax+51 54 286969. In the traditional district of San Lazaro, which is characterized by small alleys of sillar (volcanic stone blocks).
- Los Tambos  Newly built and half block from Plaza de Armas. 2 night minimum stay, wifi throughout, à la carte breakfast and private transfers on arrival and departure.
- Hotel Asturias . Calle Ugarte 211. (A couple of blocks from the Plaza de Armas) Close to the Convento, good location. Rooms are small, but the hotel is recently refurbished, clean, and quiet. The staff is friendly and solicitous. There is internet, and breakfast is included. Travel agency on site. Double for US$45.
- El Balcón. Calderón 202.([email protected]) ☎ +51 54 286998. Mansion decorated with a small number of rooms. Located on a small side street between the downtown and the river.
- Hotel Queens Villa (15 blocks from the Plaza de Armas)  3 stars with standard and deluxe rooms. Including breakfast, cafeteria and swimming Pool.
All the usual advice given for Peru applies here as well. Arequipa feels like a somewhat safe city, and like in most of the other major Peruvian cities there is always a fairly large police presence. That said, don't unnecessarily flaunt your valuables or your money. Despite of this, there have been several robberies reported. DO NOT walk alone after 11.00PM in the downtown area!
In the downtown area, there is a fairly large presence of tourist police, wearing white shirts. Ask them for help.
The most common form is when a foreigner takes a no-name cab and some corners later other people are picked up to rob the tourist. To be safe, don't just hail any old cab that passes by. Always take branded taxis (of which you can see plenty). Several of these branded taxis are very careful about the owners/drivers they take on. Consequently, they are very reliable. The best of these is the "Turismo Arequipa" company with a green and white logo (watch out for fakes). "Taxitel" is also good.
The safest way to call a taxi is to ask your hotel or hostel to do it for you. Almost all hostels and hotels have a relationship with a taxi company whose drivers are known and trusted. This holds for the rest of Peru as well.
Motorycle and Car parts and repair are generally concentrated along Puente Arnao. One inexpensive reapir option is Motocentro Arequipa at 337 Puente Arnao, but their customer service can be lacking at times and only comes in Spanish.
There are many travel agencies, but only few tour operators without commissions. Best operators are Andina (Jerusalen 402A) for Colca Canyon Tours and Quechua Explorer (San Francisco 218) for hill climbing. For guided and unguided trips you can also contact Rafael Llosa
View of Chachani from El Misti
- The Colca Canyon: It is possible to do it as daytrip that cost about US$20, the tour operator would pick you up from your hotel at 3:00am to arrive at Chivay around 6:30am, have a quick breakfast (included) and get to see the condors at the Colca Canyon at 8:00am. Later, you'll take lunch (not incl.) at Chivay and stop at Patapampa viewpoint to take a few pictures.
The other alternative is to stay one night in Chivay to have a slightly better chance to see the birds early in the morning, tours pick you up at 9:00am and in the night you get to see a folklore dance show. Besides that is mostly the same and prices start at US$25 depending on the accomodations.
- Chachani 6057 meters above sea level. Arrange transport with one of the adventure tour guides in town and be prepared for a 2-hour bumpy, swerving, scary drive around sharp curves up steep mountain roads. The base camp is over 5000 meters and the views are spectacular. If you are well-acclimated and have gear (ice axes and crampons) you should be able to summit from high camp in just over 8 hours. Otherwise just hike up the switchbacks to high camp (don´t stay there, you can´t sleep well at that altitude. Heed the mountaineer´s motto: "Hike high, Lie low") and then on to the col, from which you can see the beautiful view of Arequipa and surrounding mountains. The trek beyond can be dangerous if you´re not an experienced mountaineer. If you are, be prepared for a tough slog up dangerous scree and a trecherous traverse, and make sure you feel up to the return trip.
- El Misti 5822 meters above sea level. Is a 2 day climb there are a lot of agencies in Arequipa offering the climb for around $50 US. First night camps at approx 4600m so it gets very cold. You wake up at 1AM to make the summit for sunrise. Not at all a technical climb, you can pretty much walk to the top. It helps to be acclimatised as you can get pretty breathless up there.
- Sogay Falls Located 20 km SE of Arequipa. Day tours cost around $25. As well as the waterfall (2 hours hike), you can see the Quequeña countryside and some stone glyphs.
- Lake Salinas Located in the Salinas National Reserve, it's a mayor birdwatching location but you'll have to take a private tour.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!