Peru’s White City, Arequipa, boasts stunningly beautiful architecture and one of the most diverse landscapes in the country. There’s too much here to fit into one day, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!
Start the morning with a visit to the Mercado San Camilo. The vibrant marketplace showcases why the city is one of Peru’s food capitals. Dozens of stalls are set up with delicious fruits like papaya and passion fruit, or sample some scrumptious bread and pastries for less than $10.
Next, head toward the Plaza de Armas. The town square is filled with Spanish colonial architecture, including elaborate buildings made of white volcanic sillar. The small gardens and benches make for a quiet place to relax and soak in the views for awhile.
At lunchtime, head to Hatunpa where you can sample anything and everything potato. A Peruvian staple, you’ll be amazed with what they can accomplish with such a simple food. A meal will cost you $10.
In the afternoon you’ll want to experience a city within a city. Peru’s version of The Vatican, the Monasterio de Santa Catalina is an enormous labyrinth that dates back to 1579. It’s said the nuns lived here without outside contact until 1970. The five acres of maze-like walkways, gardens and galleries is a perfect way to kill a couple of hours. Tickets inside cost $12.50, though you might want to spring for the guided tour.
Before calling it a day, seek out the Museo Santuarios Andinos. Arequipa’s most popular museum is home to the “Ice Maiden,” a 12-year-old Inca girl sacrificed to the gods back in the 1400s. Entrance is $6.
Finally, finish off with dinner at Zig Zag. The menu features an array of Alpandino gastronomy with unique ingredients sourced from all over Peru. A meal here will run $30.
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