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Tours in Arequipa - "The White City of Peru" - Peru Tours
Arequipa Tours, Peru

The department of Arequipa is one of various terrains. It begins in the coastal desert and then climbs the Andes, reaching great altitude at the snow covered peaks and at its volcanoes.

Arequipa, known as the White City for its beautiful white walls of ‘sillar’, a volcanic stone, lies at the feet of the mighty volcanos of Mount Chachani, Mount Misti, and the snow covered peak of Mount Pichu Pichu. The downtown of the city, placed on the World Cultural Heritage list by UNESCO, features Mixed Baroque churches and mansions from the Colonial Period like the Monastery of Santa Catalina, a Spanish city in miniature with stone streets, beautiful patios, and plazas. Sabandía, Tiabaya, and Tingo, located among the large fields, are must see places, and the irresistible Arequipa cuisine is the perfect complement to the visit.

 
1
 Arequipa City Tour and Santa Catalina Monastery
 

The best excursion in Arequipa "The White City"
Daily Departures in Shared/Group or Private Service
Duration: Approximately 3 hours

You will be picked up at your hotel and will start out at Carmen Alto Lookout to have a panoramic view of Chilina Valley and to Yanahuara Lookout that was built in the nineteenth century and is composed of a series of ‘sillar’ stone arches where the words of famous Arequipa citizens have been engraved. This spot is a wonderful view point of the city and Mount Misti volcano. Continue to Barrio de San Lázaro or Saint Lazarus neighborhood. This neighborhood of alleys, narrow passageways, small plazas, and large homes is the most representative of old Arequipa. This place was established by Dominican priests in 1538, who built a sanctuary to evangelize the natives of the area and prepare the land to found a new Spanish city. The small bridge that connects the Church of San Lázaro and its small plaza with the rest of the quarter is worth a visit.

We will visit then the Santa Catalina Monastery, constructed to shelter the daughters of the wealthiest families of the city with a religious vocation, the monastery was inaugurated on October 2, 1580, under the name of Santa Catalina of Siena to be a totally cloistered religious center, and it remained that way until August 15, 1970. It occupies an approximate area of 20.000 m2 (215.285 feet2), and its placement is similar to the first neighborhoods of Arequipa. The building exhibits rooms of very different architectural design. One of the areas has established as a gallery to display the canvasses of the Cusco, Quito, and Arequipa Schools. There are other rooms, or sectors, to visit as well, like el Claustro de la Portería (the Gate Cloister), el Museo Precolombino (the pre-Colombian Museum), el Claustro de San Francisco (the Cloister of Saint Francis), etc.

Then the Main Square. Bordered by various arched walkways and the Cathedral, the Main Square possesses a beautiful bronze fountain of three plates crowned by the figure of a sixteenth century soldier. Of this person, who is called “Tuturutu”, the story says he was in charge of warning of any new event. Around the square, you see three granite portals with brick and lime bases: Portal del Cabildo (Portal de la Municipalidad), Portal de las Delicias (Portal de San Agustín), and Portal del Regocijo (Portal de Flores).

Continue to Church of the Company of Jesus Christ. This complex, made up of buildings constructed by the Jesuits for religious and living purposes, is a representative monument of the seventeenth century religious architecture (1660). The church itself rises from the center of the buildings. It was designed in 1573 by Gaspar Baez and destroyed by an earthquake in 1584. The current structure dates from 1650. Inside you find sixty-six canvases from the CuscoSchool from such artists as Bernardo Bitti and Diego de la Puente.

Drop off at your hotel. .


 
2
 Arequipa City Tour and Juanita Mummy
 

Tour to Arequipa City and Juanita Mummy - The Ice Maiden or The Lady of Ampato
Daily Departures in Shared/Group or Private Service
Duration: Approximately 3 Hours

You will be picked up at your hotel and will start out at Carmen Alto Lookout to have a panoramic view of Chilina Valley and to Yanahuara Lookout that was built in the nineteenth century and is composed of a series of ‘sillar’ stone arches where the words of famous Arequipa citizens have been engraved. This spot is a wonderful view point of the city and Mount Misti volcano. Continue to Barrio de San Lázaro or Saint Lazarus neighborhood.This neighborhood of alleys, narrow passageways, small plazas, and large homes is the most representative of old Arequipa. This place was established by Dominican priests in 1538, who built a sanctuary to evangelize the natives of the area and prepare the land to found a new Spanish city. The small bridge that connects the Church of San Lázaro and its small plaza with the rest of the quarter is worth a visit Then the Main Square.

Bordered by various arched walkways and the Cathedral, the Main Square possesses a beautiful bronze fountain of three plates crowned by the figure of a sixteenth century soldier. Of this person, who is called “Tuturutu”, the story says he was in charge of warning of any new event. Around the square, you see three granite portals with brick and lime bases: Portal del Cabildo (Portal de la Municipalidad), Portal de las Delicias (Portal de San Agustín), and Portal del Regocijo (Portal de Flores).

Continue to Church of the Company of Jesus Christ. This complex, made up of buildings constructed by the Jesuits for religious and living purposes, is a representative monument of the seventeenth century religious architecture (1660). The church itself rises from the center of the buildings. It was designed in 1573 by Gaspar Baez and destroyed by an earthquake in 1584. The current structure dates from 1650. Inside you find sixty-six canvases from the CuscoSchool from such artists as Bernardo Bitti and Diego de la Puente.

We will go to Museo Santuarios Andinos of Catholic University of Saint Mary for a guided visit to the Ice Maiden or the Lady of Ampato (La Dama de Ampato), an Inca mummy of a twelve to fourteen year old girl found at the top of the Ampato volcano by the climber Miguel Zárate, the archeologist José Chávez, and the anthropologist Johan Reinhard on September 8, 1995. According to the specialists, it is very likely that the girl, whose remains were found frozen, died from a blow to the temple from a five pointed granite mace. It seems that she was sacrificed to the Ampato Apu (protector god) some 500 years ago. Drop off at your hotel.

NOTE: The mummy, Juanita, will not be on exhibit from January to April each year because it will be going through a process of preservation.


 
3
 Colonial Arequipa City Tour
 

Colonial Tour - The best tourist places of Arequipa City
Daily Departures in Private Service
Duration: Approximately 3 Hours

We will visit the village of Cayma is known as the “Balcony of Arequipa” for its advantageous location that allows the entire city to be seen. Its central plaza houses the church of San Miguel Arcángel (Saint Michael the Archangel), built in 1730 and considered an architectural jewel because of its mixed façade. In the rectory annex, the “Comedor de Bolívar” (Bolivar’s dining room) is preserved where, according to legend, the Liberators used to have lunch during their stay in the town.

Then the Church for La Candelaria Virgen and La Recoleta Convent. This convent was founded in 1848, open to the public since 1978. It features various styles that include Romantic and Neo-gothic styles due to its different remodeling campaigns (the last one in 1940). It has four cloisters and eleven sectors, as well as two pre-Colombian art rooms, two others dedicated to the AmazonRain Forest, and another to religious art. It also has a gallery exhibiting canvasses from the Cusco and ArequipaSchools and a valuable library that protects more than 20.000 volumes and ancient books.

The Moral House. An eighteenth century house, constituting one of the oldest and most important architectural monuments from the Arequipa Baroque period. The house owes its name to an ancient blackberry tree that grows in its main patio. Inside, furniture from Peru’s Colonial and Republican epochs is on display. The main entrance of white sillar stone is a work of art in which you can admire carefully carved figures. For example, there is a crown suspended above a coat of arms that is held up by two angels, the coat of arms is composed of tinier carvings of a castle, a bird, a puma, and two crossed keys. In the same way, the room of sixteenth century “antique” maps of America stands out.

We will end at Tristan del Pozo house. This traditional, colonial house has a façade carved in mixed-origin Baroque. In addition, it was made with wide, unique patios inside. It was built in 1738 for General Domingo Tristan del Pozo. Today, it is nowadays the property of Banco Continental


 
4
 Walking Arequipa City Tour
 

Walking guided Tour in Arequipa City
Daily Departures in Private Service
Duration: approximately 3 Hours

We will have a guided visit to the Main Square and the Cathedral of Arequipa City.

It is considered one of the first seventeenth Q1century religious monuments of the city. It is built of ‘sillar’ (white volcanic stone) with a brick base. Destroyed by fire in 1844, it was rebuilt in 1868 by the Arequipa architect Lucas Poblete. He used a neoclassical style and placed the entrances of church on the flanking naves. In 2001, the building was struck hard by an earthquake, which seriously damaged its towers.

We will go ahead to the Church of the Company of Jesus Christ. This complex, made up of buildings constructed by the Jesuits for religious and living purposes, is a representative monument of the seventeenth century religious architecture (1660). The church itself rises from the center of the buildings. It was designed in 1573 by Gaspar Baez and destroyed by an earthquake in 1584. The current structure dates from 1650. Inside you find sixty-six canvases from the CuscoSchool from such artists as Bernardo Bitti and Diego de la Puente.

Finally we will continue to Tristan del Pozo House, this traditional, colonial house has a façade carved in mixed-origin Baroque. In addition, it was made with wide, unique patios inside. It was built in 1738 for General Domingo Tristán del Pozo. Today, it is the property of Banco Continental. Drop off at your hotel.


 
5
 Arequipa City Tour and Sabandia Mill
 

Tour to Arequipa City and Sabandia Mill
Daily Departures in Private Service
Duration: Approximately 4 Hours

After picking you up at your hotel, we will start out at the Main Square and the Cathedral of Arequipa City. It is considered one of the first seventeenth century religious monuments of the city. It is built of ‘sillar’ (white volcanic stone) with a brick base. Destroyed by fire in 1844, it was rebuilt in 1868 by the Arequipa architect Lucas Poblete. He used a neoclassical style and placed the entrances of church on the flanking naves. In 2001, the building was struck hard by an earthquake, which seriously damaged its towers.

Continue to Church of the Company of Jesus Christ. This complex, made up of buildings constructed by the Jesuits for religious and living purposes, is a representative monument of the seventeenth century religious architecture (1660). The church itself rises from the center of the buildings. It was designed in 1573 by Gaspar Baez and destroyed by an earthquake in 1584. The current structure dates from 1650. Inside you find sixty-six canvases from the Cusco School from such artists as Bernardo Bitti and Diego de la Puente.

Within Santa Catalina, the rustle of the long habits of the nuns seems to be impregnated into the walls. The alleys that run through the monastery -a city within a city- reveal its past, trapped between the ‘sillar’ stone blocks and colonial oil paintings, between the high vaults and granite plazas. Located in the center of Arequipa, Santa Catalina is the pride of its townspeople. It is a masterpiece of colonial architecture, and houses some of the finest examples of Spanish American religious art. Founded in 1580 under the rule of Viceroy Toledo, the Private Monastery of Nuns of the Order of Santa Catalina of Sena was opened to the world nearly 400 years later, in 1970. Since then, visitors have been able to stroll through the streets and cloisters that during colonial times were the refuge of female nobility who had decided to shut them away from the world and dedicate them entirely to prayer.
Possibly because of their aristocratic background and the wealth of their families, the monastery was decorated with valuable works painted by the Quito and Cuzco Schools, including many others signed by grand masters from Italy and Spain, while special attention was paid to the finishings of the buildings. The main square, whose gates still preserve the magic of their fine finishings and images carved from wood, features a fountain brought from Spain and crafted entirely from granite. The ochre and blue colors of its streets and patios -named after Spanish cities- are decorated with bright flowers such as scarlet geraniums.
Today, it takes around an hour to tour Santa Catalina, an hour to discover centuries of tradition.

Then we will ascend to Carmen Alto Lookout to have a panoramic view of Chilina Valley and to Yanahuara Lookout that was built in the nineteenth century and is composed of a series of ‘sillar’ stone arches where the words of famous Arequipa citizens have been engraved. This spot is a wonderful view point of the city and Mount Misti volcano.

Finally, the City of Sabandia and Sabandia Mill. Wide terraces and three volcanoes, the Misti, the Chachani, and the Pichu Pichu provide the scenery around this traditional town. Some of the houses still preserve characteristic styles of the Viceroyalty or of the nineteenth century Republicanism. The Sabandia Mill was constructed in 1785; it represents the typical architecture of the zone where the use of ‘sillar’ stone predominates. It is characterized by solid supports and rustic balconies. Stone grinding wheel techniques for wheat processing can be viewed here as well.


 
6
 Countryside or Campiña Tour
 

Tour to the Campiña of Arequipa and the majestic Misti Volcanoe
Daily Departures in Shared/Group or Private Service
Duration: Approximately 3 Hours

Pick up from your hotel. On the Arequipa outskirts you will find captivating villages with stepped terraces dating from pre-Inca times that are still used today from the districts of Paucarpata and Sabandia.

The rural suburb of Paucarpata, about 8km southeast of the city center, makes a pleasant country escape. Itself features an attractive colonial church on the main plaza and several good ‘picanterías’ (local restaurants). And the City of Sabandia and Sabandia Mill. The surrounding landscape boasts views of several volcanoes, including the Chachani and El Misti, and both alpacas and vicunas can be seen freely wandering around the countryside. Some of the houses still preserve characteristic styles of the Viceroyalty or of the nineteenth century Republicanism. The Sabandia Mill was constructed in 1785, it represents the typical architecture of the zone where the use of ‘sillar’ stone predominates. It is characterized by solid supports and rustic balconies. Stone grinding wheel techniques for wheat processing can be viewed here as well.

The Founder’s Mansion is built with ‘sillar’ stone at the edge of a cliff; it is one of the most important and traditional mansions or houses in the department. According to the story, Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, founder of Arequipa, had it built for his son. Later, in 1785, Mr. Juan Crisóstomo de Goyeneche y Aguerreverre was its proprietor and remodeled it, giving it the distinguished characteristics that can be seen today. The main entrance is composed of a foyer with an arched ceiling, followed by a wide principal patio over which the windows and doors of the bedrooms open. Pisac, of colonial origin, hosts a Sunday fair that draws thousands of visitors and villagers from remote highland villages, clad in colorful traditional dress. Holidays feature the procession of the varayocs or town mayors, who at around 9:30 am head to church to attend the traditional Mass held in Quechua, the Inca language.

The Sachaca is an interesting stone hill and can be found standing close to Tingo, around 4 km or 2.5 miles away from the city centre. There is a selection of historical attractions situated around the Sachaca, including a church dating from the early 1870s, which features a stylish Roman-inspired interior and dominates the area. Of course, due to its elevated nature, you can expect some good views as well.

Before arriving to your hotel, we will stop at The Fierro Bridge or the well-known Puente de Fierro.

NOTE: This Campiña Tour can be arranged in Panoramic Bus as well.


 
7
 The Lady of Ampato: Juanita Mummy or the Ice Maiden
 

Daily Departures only in Private Service Duration: approximately 1 Hour

Meet Juanita Mummy - The Ice Maiden or The Lady of Ampato
Daily Departures only in Private Service
Duration: Approximately 1 Hour

At Museo Santuarios Andinos de la Universidad Católica de Santa María (Catholic University of Saint Mary) is exhibited “La Dama de Ampato” or the Lady of Ampato, an Inca mummy from the time of the Incas of twelve to fourteen year-old girl found at the top of the Ampato volcano (6,288 meters above sea level or 20,630 feet), by the climber Miguel Zárate, the archeologist José Chávez, and the anthropologist Johan Reinhard on September 8, 1995.

The Ampato Volcano is temporarily inactive and exhibits a perpetual snowcap. The foothills have scarce vegetation limited to bunch grass and hawthorn.

The body caused a sensation in the scientific world due to its well-preserved condition. According to the specialists, it is very likely that the girl, whose remains were found frozen, died from a blow to the temple from a five pointed granite mace. It seems that she was sacrificed to the Ampato Apu (protector god) some 500 years ago, according to the worldview of the Incas.

Statues of gold, silver and ceramics were buried with Juanita. The figurines may have been offerings to the gods, small icons of the sacrificial victims, or guides to the afterworld. With the exception of their feathered headdresses, the statues were usually dressed in the same manner as the bodies they accompanied. The tightly woven threads in the textiles were dyed using vegetables and minerals.

NOTE: The mummy, Juanita, will not be on exhibit from January to April each year because will be going through a process of preservation.


 
8
 Santa Catalina Convent or Santa Catalina Monastery
 

Visit the unique monastery in the world with a citadel inside.
Daily Departures only in Private Service
Duration: Approximately 1 Hour

We will visit one of the most important spots in Arequipa City and will know the history of this important monument. Its architectonic style is mainly colonial, but of a ‘mestizo’ nature. Different from other colonial heritages in this part of Latin America, in Santa Catalina specially, the fusion of Spanish and native elements can be observed to the point of generating it own creativity.

During his visit to Arequipa, Viceroy Francisco Toledo was informed by the Town Corporation about their wish, from years back, to found a monastery of nuns. He gave the necessary licenses to found the private monastery of nuns of the Order of Saint Catherine of Siena.

Several years later, Doña María de Guzmán, the widow of Diego Hernández de Mendoza, a beautiful young lady who had no children, decided to retire into the yet unfinished monastery, giving to it all her fortune. On the 10th of September 1579, the Memorial and Capitulation of the foundation of the Monastery was signed by the Town Corporation, the Judiciary, the Regiment of the City and the Bishopric of Cusco. The Town Corporation delivered the four plots owned by the city for its functioning and appointed Doña María de Guzmán as "the first to live within and be prioress of said Monastery".

On Sunday 2nd of October 1580 a high mass was celebrated in the city and Doña María was acknowledged as the founder and took the habits formally

The ladies who entered as nuns were Creole, half-bred and even daughters of ‘curacas’ (Indian chieftains). In 1964 the first Spanish nuns entered. History tells of the intake of poor nuns and from ladies of the city, who without embracing the religious life entered into the Monastery to exert their virtues.

In 1582, Arequipa suffered a severe earthquake and the Monastery was badly damaged. In spite of that, the retirement was kept. Then, a period of suffering started during which the nuns themselves repaired their rooms. Due to lack of money the chapel was not repaired and the "Holy Sacrament" was exposed in a hut made of straw.

Then the recurrent earthquakes destroyed the older constructions and also the properties of the relatives of the nuns of Santa Catalina over whom the income that guaranteed the future economy and life of the Monastery was dependent. This was the reason and origin for building the citadel whiting the monastery of Saint Catherine of Siena in Arequipa. The relatives of the nuns decided to build private cells for them, because the common dormitory was damaged and was also too small for the increasing number of nuns. For almost two centuries during the viceroyalty, the cloisters and cells of Santa Catalina have undergone modifications, additions and new constructions. All of these have made of it a sample of the colonial architecture of Arequipa.


TOURS INCLUDE:
  • Assistance
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) official guide
  • Tourist Transportation with official drivers
  • Pick up/Drop off at your Arequipa Hotel
  • Entrances to tourist places according to the tour
  • Duration travel times may vary due to operational reasons
  • The order of the tours may vary as well due to operational reasons and according to travel times
NOTE:
  • NO minimum is required for private tours
  • Two (2) is the minimum number of passengers required for shared/group service
  • Additional combinations of all tours are also possible; write us to info@perurooms.travel for any special request.
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