It’s time for my second post! Are you exited already? I’m writing again from a bus…How come? This time we are heading towards Cabanaconde, spotting alot of wild alpacas on the way. From here we will hike around the Colca Canyon. More about this in the future. But first about Arequipa, the town we just left.
Arequipa is beautiful! The biggest part of the old city is build from white volcanic rock. That’s probably the reason the city is called ‘The White City’. A beautiful architecture, historic sites and tasty food are the biggest part of the deal visiting Arequipa.
So what to do in Arequipa?
1. Do the ‘free’ walking tour asap! This is the perfect way to gather information about the history and architecture of the city. The local guides can answer any question you have about the city. I would say a perfect start for your visit. There are two different tours. Downtown & Local market and Downtown & Yanahuara viewpoint. I would highly recommend the second one. You’ll have a nice walk up passing the charming neighbourhood ‘el solar’ and multiple viewpoints of the city and the vulcanos.
2. Visit the Monastery of Santa Catalina.This Monastary was founded in the late 15th century by a rich widow and was only for upperclass spanish women. The women entering the Monastary would spent the rest of their lives here and their families would even pay for it. If Arequipa is the White City, this monastery is definitely the colorful part of this city. The Monastery is muy grande (around 20000m2) and since its so big you also pay more or less the price of visiting a national park (40 soles / 12,5 euros).
3. Just walk around. Arequipa is really wonderful and it’s easy to spend the day just walking around. Chill on the beautiful Plaza de Armas, visit the local market and checkout many stands around the city will keep you busy. You can also visit Mundo Alpaca, where you can feed some Alpacas and gather some information about the different types of alpacas and the weaving style of the indigenous people.
So let’s now talk about the food. There are quite some recommended restaurants, so do some research before visiting and make sure you visit the ones you’re interested in (Also the case for vegetarians and vegans).
My favourite restaurant was ZigZag. To visit this fancy restaurant you need to make a reservation. I had fish from the amazon and Nora had some alpaca (both served on Volcanic Rock). I must say that our bellies left the place very happy. Compared to other restaurants it was quite expensive (80 soles per person), but still in reality this is like 25 euro, less than all you can eat sushi in Amsterdam.
The next place I would recommend is Hatunpa. In this restaurant they serve everything with special potatoes (a lot of different colors). You can have potatoes with all types of toppings. The food is quite nice but it’s not a culinair hoogstandje (That’s Dutch). It’s just something different worth trying.
Also a place I would recommend is Crepisimo. Over here they serve almost all their food wrapped in a crepe. You can have different types of sweet things in it but also alpaca and even burgers. Yes, quite unique I would say.
Another place I recommend is Pasta Canteen. Why pasta in Peru? The pasta is just really nice.
And for some nice ice cream I recommend Toaquin. They sell different flavours of Queso Helado which is a special type of ice cream made in Arequipa. Queso Helado is an ice cream made in a similar way cheese is made. That’s why it’s called cheese ice (Queso Helado). You can get this ice cream all around Arequipa, but at Toaquin they sell flavours which can’t be found at other places. Toaquin is all the way up close to the Yanahuara viewpoint. We went here as part of the ‘free’ walking tour, but if you don’t, make sure you try some flavours here when you visit the Yanahuara viewpoint.
Besides these places there are some more we would have liked to visit. We passed alot of places which looked interesting, but we didn’t have that much time in Arequipa.
We stayed in the party hostel called Wild Rover and I wouldn’t recommend it. I like hostels more with a more social setup and not a hostel where the music is too loud to have a conversation with anyone unless you’re yelling. The hostel is really focused on creating a party like the Cooldown cafe (Bar in Amsterdam), which isn’t my type of party anyways. Next time I would checkout Arequipay or MB backpackers.
Besides, there are some interesting musea in Arequipa. Appearantly there are some with mummies, but I can’t tell you how they are because we didn’t visit any musea. Oh yes, we visited the Pisco museum, but I’m not aware of any other part than the bar.
Arequipa is nice!
Thanks for reading again!