Arequipa (pop. 1 million) is Peru’s second largest city. It is popularly known as the White City because many magnificent buildings are constructed using volcanic white stone. Its main attraction is its colonial heritage, among which Santa Catalina Convent, shuttered to the outside world four centuries, is now open for viewing. Nearby Colca Canyon, the world’s deepest, at twice the depth of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, is an ideal place to experience traditional Peruvian rural lifestyle, and to watch condors soaring above and below from lookout points within the canyon.
Best time to go
Arequipa boasts Peru’s most pleasant weather with an average of 300 sunny days per year, making it a perfect destination year ‘round. Temperatures show little variations from month to month with average highs in the lower 70’s and lows around 50°F.
What to do
• Colonial tours: Don’t miss Santa Catalina Convent and other colonial landmarks.
• Colca Canyon: World’s deepest canyon is a very recommended overnight trip.