Peru Family Vacation: Arequipa
This post is part of our Two Weeks in Peru with a Toddler series. The Introduction, route map, and itinerary can be found here.
Fly from Lima to Arequipa, Peru
Arequipa is known as La Ciudad Blanca (the White City), thanks to the light-colored volcanic stone of which many buildings in the old city are constructed. Arequipa sits at 7,638 above sea level and is ringed by the high desert volcanic cones of the Andes Mountains to the north and east. The Arequipa Valley stretches out to the Pacific Ocean, making the city an important historic trading center for both mountain and seaside peoples.
Day 1: Spend some time walking around the old city, particularly the lovely and grand Plaza de Armas. Take a tour of the Arequipa Cathedral; the view from the roof towards the mountains is especially pleasing.
Day 2: Visit Juanita, the Lady of Ampato, the sacrificed Incan girl that was discovered when her resting place high atop Mount Ampato was uncovered during a landslide in 1995. The tour takes an hour and english-speaking guides are available.
Following lunch from one of the restaurants in the main square, head to the nearby Santa Catalina Convent. The Convent was originally founded in 1597 and remained closed to the outside world until the 1970s. Today visitors can wander portions of the complex, viewing living quarters and religious/community buildings of the cloistered women.
Up Next: The Altiplano and Colca Canyon
Arequipa Cathedral. www.museocatedralarequipa.org.pe
Jaunita, Museum of Andean Sanctuaries. Santa Catalina 110, Arequipa, Peru
Santa Catalina Convent. www.santacatalina.org.pe/index.php/en
Casa Arequipa. www.arequipacasa.com. A small hotel set in a quiet residential area. Crib and an excellent breakfast provided. 15 minute walk to the Plaza de Armas. Restaurants nearby.
Up Next: Part 2. Colca Canyon
Part 1. Arequipa
Part 2. Colca Canyon
Part 4. Cusco
Part 5. Machu Picchu
Part 6. The Sacred Valley