I love Arequipa. I cannot be clear enough about this, I arrived planning on staying for three nights, and now I’ll be here for 6. What a place!
First a recommendation, two places in Arequipa which have made me feel not only at home, but exceptionally comfortable all-round.
We’ve stayed at Vallecito Backpackers. I advise you do the same. It’s rare I’ve felt this well looked after at a hostel. Honestly, you will feel like part of the family because it is a family run place. Wonderful.
Second, when you get here and have the hunger, head straight for Ratatouille. This small restaurant is run by an energetic young French chef who dishes up a great two course lunch for 8 soles. I rarely eat at the same place twice, but I’ve already been here twice and would like to go a third time.
Arequipa has been the first time we’ve slowed down on this trip and honestly it has been the best place to do it. I’ve felt so relaxed in this beautiful colonial city, I actually can’t describe it.
Sunset next to the Plaza de Armas here in Arequipa. Even as darkness spread, we felt perfectly safe walking the streets to get home.
Arequipa is packed full of colonial architecture, some of it 500 years old. It was left behind by the Spanish colonists who build a great deal all through the Andes mountain chain.
Volcanos rise high above the city. It is dwarfed by them despite standing at 2,400m above sea level itself.
Winding streets curl through the cities historical centre, leading to smart little cafes, and literally dozens of local restaurants and cafes serving delicious Peruvian food.
So that is Arequipa so far. If you visit Peru, make the most of the time you spend here. It is brilliant.