We will start our route in the Plaza de Armas, site of Arequipa’s foundation which witnessed major historical events.
The Cathedral of Arequipa, the most important neoclassical building of the country and one of the most beautiful churches in Latin America retains its grand style and personality, despite countless disasters. Then, we will visit the Church and Cloisters of the Company of Jesus, the principal monument of the expression of the Barroco Mestizo period. This landmark is complete with impressive columns of sillar and beautifully decorated with Andean elements vital to the indigenous culture (Cantuta flower, shells, corn cobs) which adorn this complex that was finished almost a hundred years after work began; in approximately 1690 (started in 1595). One of the main attractions in the church is the Chapel of St. Ignatius, especially for its murals depicting tropical flora and fauna.
The Andean Sanctuaries Museum showcases the fascinating Juanita; the Lady of Ampato who was a girl offered to the Apus (the mountains), between 1450 and 1550. Stunning costumes accompany this well-preserved body that has not gone through any process of mummification due to her sacrifice at an elevation of about 20,000 ft (6096 m).
A stroll through the Mercado San Camilo (market) is like seeing the local culture coming to life. On display, tourists can browse through: agricultural products, straw hats (some traditional and some for pure necessity), different herbs used to cure all kinds of illnesses, tables to pay the land “mesas de pago”, multi-coloured candies, and other unusual but highly representative mementos of our culture. This is a great way to learn about the Peruvian culture and mingle with the locals.
The group will then leave the city centre and go towards the outskirts of the city.
Sabandía is a picturesque village which is still practices the ancient forms of agriculture and maintains colourful water platforms called "springs." In this area is the Mill Sabandía (1785), which contrasts perfectly with the sun and Arequipa’s greenness for amazing photos.
Characato was an ancient pre-Inca settlement, where there is a spring called "eye of the miracle" and a beautiful church. This district is the source of the name "characatos," which is a name for people from Arequipa, since many of these people went to work the Salitre (sodium nitrate) fields of Chile, and when asked where they were, they responded: "Characato, sir"; causing this name to include all Arequipa people.
Sachaca is a rocky village located at the top of a hill, where there is a lovely viewpoint; it is possible to see the city and the remainder of the crop fields that now are paving the way for new development.
We will dine for a traditional lunch in the cookhouse of La Lucila, typical food will be served by Mrs. Lucila, a nice lady who always takes care of her kitchen and loves the company and photos.
After a local lunch, we will visit the most important architectural monument of the city, the Santa Catalina Convent; this is a colourful place with many stories to tell.
Finally, the tour will visit the Yanahuara Viewpoint, a quiet place perfect for a gentle hike before the end of this long journey.
- Plaza de Armas and Cathedral
- Company of Jesus Church and Cloisters
- St. Ignacious Chapell
- Andean Sactuary Museum
- San Camilo Market
- Sabandía mill and town, Characato town
- Sachaca viewpoint
- Lunch in La Lucila Traditional Restaurant
- Santa Catalina Convent
- Yanahuara viewpoint
The participants must bring camera, sun block, hat and jacket for afternoon.