Arequipa-Colca Canyon

Home of Volcanoes and Canyons

The spectacular geographic and biological diversity and rich cultural heritage of the Arequipa department make it a worthy destination for travelers of all interests. Here you'll encounter the vestiges of ancient peoples, traditional villages perched on the edge of two of the world's deepest canyons and in the lap of towering volcanoes, endangered wildlife reserves, unique natural landscapes that border on the surreal, beautiful beaches and culinary artistry that's second to none.

Without question one of the department's most famous attractions is the Colca Canyon. With a depth of 10,500 feet it is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States and makes for an ideal vantage point to observe the majestic Andean condor in flight. Here, the pre-Inca Collagua and Cabana people built agricultural terraces which continue to be cultivated to this day by their descendants, who proudly dress in the same colorful hand-woven garments their ancestors did centuries ago. Travelers can visit the villages' old colonial churches and participate in outdoor sports such as trekking, mountain biking and river rafting.

Further to the west lies an even deeper canyon, which at 11,597 feet deep is Earth's most profound, but it receives fewer visitors due to its remote location. Those who do make the trip to the Cotahuasi Canyon are rewarded with views of the snowcapped peaks of Coropuna and Solimana, hot springs, waterfalls, Wari and Inca agricultural terraces and picturesque villages populated by native people relocated by the Spanish in colonial times.

Arequipa is also a land of magnificent volcanoes popular with climbers of all abilities. Misti, the stunningly symmetrical volcano that looms over the city of Arequipa, is an excellent choice as is Ampato, the inactive volcano where the world's best-preserved pre-Hispanic mummy, known as Lady of Ampato, was found. One of Arequipa's most unique attractions is the Valley of Volcanoes which has the highest concentration of volcanic peaks in the world. The landscape reminds one of the moon with its 80-odd small peaks.

Pre-historic peoples also left their mark on this intriguing corner of Peru in the form of cave paintings and petroglyphs. Paleolithic people painted 500 images depicting camelids, rheas, felines and hunting scenes in the Sumbay Caves and in the Majes Valley huge volcanic rocks can be found with over 3,000 petroglyphs dating back to 1,100 AD known as Toro Muerto.

Those interested in observing wildlife in its natural habitat can visit the coastal wetlands of the Lagunas de Mejía National Sanctuary with its abundant bird life and the highland Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve which protects tarucas, flamingos, vicuñas, guanacos and a number of threatened bird species.

Just outside the department capital you'll find delightful little villages known for their colonial-era churches, mansions and a mill, excellent picanterías (traditional restaurants), medicinal hot springs and lively celebrations. The coast boasts fine sand beaches for camping and bathing as well as some great fishing spots. Other sites worth visiting include the Imata Stone Forest and the ruins of Puerto Inca.

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Calle Puente Bolognesi 129, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 9.0
At the Hotel Los Tambos travelers will find beautiful modern accommodations in the heart of the White City just half a block from the...
from USD 89 per night
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Urb. Cabaña María E- 4, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
The Cabaña María Inn offers modern accommodations in a pleasant residential neighborhood of the city of Arequipa. Its 11 guest rooms...
from USD 40 per night
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Calle Luna Pizarro 103, Vallecito, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 8.0
Dreams Hotel Boutique is a trendy boutique hotel in downtown Arequipa's Vallecito neighborhood, well-known for its green areas and...
from USD 58 per night
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Calle Sucre 604, Chivay, Arequipa, Peru
Nativa Inn is a quaint hotel in the peaceful village of Chivay, thirty miles north from downtown Arequipa, offering tastefully decorated...
from USD 39 per night
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Calle La Merced 131, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 6.0
The Portal La Merced is located in a stately mansion with a white façade on the charming Calle La Merced, less than one block from...
from USD 14 per night
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Calle San Jose 207, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 8.0
Casona Plaza is situated centrally in Arequipa, very close to the city's main plaza. The hotel's guest rooms feature a rustic décor...
from USD 49 per night
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Andrés Martínez 415, Vallecito, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 9.0
Boasting an impressive façade, the building in which the Inkanto Hotel Boutique is housed is an eloquent expression of the...
from USD 49 per night
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Calle San Agustín 316-318, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 8.0
Posada del Solar is an attractive boutique guest house set right next to the large and modern La Marina Shopping Center. Arequipa's...
from USD 35 per night
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Avenida Mariscal Benavides 205, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 8.0
Surrounded by the green of the Selva Alegre Park and the property's garden, guests at La Fuente Arequipeña benefit from a privileged...
from USD 41 per night
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Oscar Benavides 317-A, Yanahuara, Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 9.0
Located in a quiet and peaceful residential area, yet within walking distance of the tourist attractions of downtown Arequipa, Mama...
from USD 45 per night
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Pasaje Violin 100-102, San Lazaro, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 7.0
Maison Du Soleil in Arequipa offers twenty well-equipped guest rooms with salmon-colored bedspreads, carpeted flooring, private...
from USD 49 per night
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Gomez Sanchez 208, Vallecito, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
The Royal Village is a small guest house situated in the Vallecito neighborhood of downtown Arequipa, just a ten-minute walk from the...
from USD 30 per night
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Calle Melgar 417, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Located in a fully restored 18th-century colonial mansion, the Villa Melgar Hostal offers clean guest rooms distributed throughout its...
from USD 19 per night
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Avenida San Martín 124, Downtown Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru
Featuring a sleek yet warm ambience, Hostal El Turista is a charming lodging property in downtown Arequipa containing a dozen...
from USD 40 per night
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Cruz Verde 224, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
La Casona de Palacio Viejo is housed in an impressive, pale-blue colonial-style building with white trimming, just a few minutes walking...
from USD 49 per night
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Portal de Flores 102, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 7.0
The Arequipa Suites Plaza Hostal offers budget accommodations right on Arequipa's central square. Its 14 immaculate rooms are cozy and...
from USD 26 per night
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Malecon Chili 9759, Vallecito, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 9.5
Situated in the residential Vallecito neighborhood, the Alwa Hotel Boutique offers 3-star accommodations with views of the verdant...
from USD 60 per night
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Andres Martinez 407, Vallecito, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Set in a splendid light-blue home, the Paraiso Inn offers elegantly designed and spacious boutique-style accommodations in downtown...
from USD 20 per night
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Calle Santa Marta 207, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Review Score 8.0
The colonial architecture and traditional ambiance of the Hostal Santa Marta charms visitors as soon as they cross the threshold into...
from USD 22 per night
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Calle Rivero 641, Downtown Arequipa, Peru
Based in a quiet location near the Selva Alegre park and with views of the El Misti volcano, Hostal Mirasol offers tastefully appointed...
from USD 30 per night
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This is a zero-star hotel.
Probably due to the type of accommodation, this hotel or vacation rental has not been evaluated by existing star rating systems. The stars for this property are therefore awarded by Pacarama based on its expertise and knowledge of the hotel market in Peru and Chile.
Prices are per night per room