The 7 Best Budget-Friendly Things to do In Arequipa, Peru

By on July 31, 2017 in Budget Travel Ideas, Latin America, Peru with 0 Comments

Things to do in Arequipa, Peru if You're on a Budget

One of Peru’s many UNESCO World Heritage sights, the city of Arequipa in the south of country is a delightful spot to explore.

Renowned for its stunning colonial architecture, Arequipa’s famous use of sillar, a white volcanic stone, is what gives many of its buildings such a distinctive appearance.

Flanked by 3 volcanoes and boasting a wonderful year-round climate, a trip to Arequipa can be a fantastically cheap, as well as mesmerising experience, with these awesome budget-friendly things to do there.


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#1 Marvel at the Basilica Cathedral

The centre of Arequipa is built around the Plaza des Armas, which houses the impressive Basilica Cathedral.

Standing in this stunning central square, gazing at the beautiful fountain, cathedral and other wonderfully preserved colonial buildings around, it’s easy to see why the centre of Arequipa was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

Free to enter, visiting Arequipa’s Basilica Cathedral is a must do thing in Arequipa – it’s one of the most impressive in the whole of South America.

Arequipa Basilica

#2 Snap an Alpaca Selfie

Arequipa’s fascinating cultural centre cross museum, Mundo Alpaca, gives tourists a great insight into the production of alpaca goods.

It really is amazing to see just how much work goes into making those incredibly warm clothes these animals help produce.

Local women demonstrate the traditional art of weaving as well as talk visitors through the modern day, timesaving machine method too!

A great free thing to do in Arequipa, it’s also possible to buy some wonderful alpaca clothing items here, which although a bit more expensive than the locals markets, are of a much higher quality.

Oh and of course, there’s a chance to say hi and grab a selfie with an alpaca or 2 as well!

Alpaca

#3 Shop in San Camilo Market

One of the best markets in Peru, if not the whole of South America, San Camilo in Arequipa is the bustling hub of city life here.

Providing visitors with a very authentic experience, the market gives travellers a wonderful opportunity to sample an amazing array of local treats and delights, including a few Peruvian cuisine classics, such as Rocoto Relleno and Soltero de Queso.

A very local affair, the prices are incredibly cheap in San Camilo Market and the atmosphere is unbeatable.

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#4 Hike the Colca Canyon

The world’s second deepest canyon, Colca is a hiker’s dream and understandably many tourists like to make the epic trek inside this impressive geographical feature.

Walking the canyon independently, rather than taking a tour, is definitely the best way to experience this amazing place on a budget and quite easy to arrange too via local bus.

A few hours outside Arequipa, the Colca Canyon is the city’s best day trip, not least for the chance it offers to spot a great Andean Condor.

Colca Canyon

#5 Visit Juanita

The amazing tale of Juanita is a story worth taking the time to discover when it comes to Arequipa’s interesting history.

Believed to have been sacrificed to the Gods during the Incan Era, Juanita’s teenage body was only revealed in 1995 after a melting glacier exposed her tomb.

Learning the story of Juanita, as part of a visit to the Museo Santuarios Andinos where her body now rests, is a very unique thing to do in Arequipa.

For just 30 Peruvian Sol, you’ll receive the knowledge and information of a museum guide, as well as a fascinating peek at Juanita’s naturally mummified corpse and the ancient articles found alongside here.

Monastery Arequipa

#6 Explore the Santa Catalina Monastery

Built in 1579, this monastery still houses nuns today, as well as a fantastic collection of native artwork, religious objects and artefacts from numerous historical periods.

It costs only 40 Peruvian Sol to explore the huge maze of tunnels, cloisters and walkways that make up the Santa Catalina monastery, which was only opened to the general public as late as 1970.

Essentially cut off to the outside world until that point, the highlight for visitors is the climb onto the rooftop during the late afternoon to view the incredible sunset spectacle.

Best Backpackers  Hostels in Arequipa

#7 Take in the Volcano Views

It’s hard to deny Arequipa’s stunning backdrop and getting the best view, not to mention photographs, of its famous volcano – El Misti – can probably be achieved from Yanahuara.

This gorgeous suburb, which lies on the other side of the Rio Chili, can easily be accessed on foot from the centre of Arequipa.

There’s a mirador (lookout) here, which gives a great shot of the city from under some picturesque arches, as well as a quaint little plaza and an 18th Century church, which is free to enter.

But perhaps best of all is the local speciality queso helado – literally translated as cheese ice-cream! Trying some is a must!

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With so much to offer, Arequipa is well worth a stop during any trip to Peru.

From markets to monasteries, cathedrals to canyons, it’s the perfect choice for those travelling on a budget with so many cheap and unique things to do.

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About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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