This region is home to the deepest canyons in the world and the beautiful ‘White City’ of Arequipa.
Arequipa is one of Peru’s loveliest cities fringed by beautiful mountains including the snow-capped volcanic cone of El Misti and has a pleasant spring-like climate. Arequipa is built of white stone with fine 17th and 18th century buildings. Our guides will take you to the famous Convent of Santa Catalina, a city-within-a-city, opened to the public in 1970, revealing a community sealed from the world for almost four centuries. You will also be taken to meet Juanita, the Inca Ice-Maiden the best preserved human sacrifice in the Andean Sanctuaries museum. Afterwards relax in the main square with a coffee or a Pisco sour. The altitude is less heady than Cuzco so is a good acclimatisation point.
The Colca Canyon near Arequipa is one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights, carved over eons by the Colca River it is more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon. Small towns and villages sit atop the canyon banks and thousands of ancient stone terraces show it was inhabited before the Incas but westerners have only explored in the last few decades. Our guides will take you to the Cruz del Condor, where you can watch the rare giant Andean condors as they ride the morning thermals rising from the canyon floor.
Recently an even deeper canyon, Cotahuasi, has been opened up to the more adventurous traveller. For the intrepid traveller we can organise trips to more remote places and canyons for rafting, trekking and horse riding.
We advise staying in one of the hotels with natural thermal springs and healing spas.
An interesting region, that’s often overlooked, but well worth a visit
When to go: All year round