There is so much to do and so much to see in Arequipa. Check out our list of tourist attractions in the region of Arequipa.
The Convent of Santa Catalina is situated in the historical center of Arequipa. Built in 1579, it was used as a cloister for Dominican nuns. Today, nuns still find a home in this convent. This huge complex, measuring at more than 20,000 square meters, is made of volcanic stone. In the whole convent, you find different cloisters and also spaces for living, a plaza, a gallery and a chapel. When in Arequipa, you should not miss out on visiting this amazing Convent. Some people say that the Convent of Santa Catalina is not just a religious building, but also a citadel within the city of Arequipa. The whole complex is so big that you could get lost! If you don’t want to visit the Convent on your own, you can also do a guided tour so that navigating this grand space is made easier.
The Cathedral Basilica of Arequipa located in the Plaza de Armas is a beautiful and impressive cathedral made of volcanic stone. The construction of the cathedral began in 1540, the year in which Arequipa was founded. Inside the cathedral tourists can find the Museum of the Cathedral of Arequipa which is said to be the most important and traditional museum of the city. It represents the history of more than 400 years of the cathedral by showing valuable objects like jewelry, clothing, and paintings. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm.
This small Jesuit church is located on the southeastern corner of the Plaza de Armas. The eye-catching feature of the church is its impressive facade. But the interior is also worth a visit: The altar is covered in gold leaves, and to the left of the altar you can find the San Ignacio Chapel where you can observe beautiful paintings of tropical flowers, fruits, birds, warriors, and angels.
Yanahuara is a nice and calm quarter in Arequipa. Most interesting is the famous viewpoint of Yanahuara where there is an amazing view of the Misti Volcano and Arequipa. The viewpoint was built in the 19th century and it is comprised of arches covered in the words of famous inhabitants of the city. When going to the viewpoint, you should also spend some time in the plaza of Yanahuara and visit the Church of Saint John the Baptist.
Located about 20 minutes by car from downtown Arequipa in the district of Sabandía, this impressive mill still holds its perfect condition. When visiting the mill you will learn how it functions and you will also learn about the history of the mill as well. For centuries, the Molino de Sabandía was the supplier of flour, corn and other cereals for the inhabitants of Arequipa. The whole area is surrounded by ancient trees and has a beautiful waterfall. You can also observe a nice collection of cacti, flowers and other local plants.
In contrast to the Convent of Santa Catalina, this convent is less popular and quieter. The peaceful convent located in Melgar 303 shows the evolution of colonial art in Peru. You can also still find rooms for daily prayers. A highlight of this convent is not only the exhibition rooms, but also flowers and hummingbirds in the garden. The convent is open from Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm.
This museum is located close to the Plaza de Armas, in Calle la Merced 110. It is known for having Juanita, “la niña de los hielos” or the “Inca Ice Maiden”, whose remains have been preserved for over 500 years. This Inca girl, Juanita, is believed to have been numbed before she was sacrificed to the Apus. At this museum you can also observe Incan offerings such as textiles, ceramics, and metals.