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Arequipa & Colca Canyon Holidays

Arequipa is one of Peru's most attractive cities with its fine whitewashed colonial buildings, pretty squares and a skyline dominated by three volcanoes: El Misti, Chachani and Pichu Picchu. This pretty city known as 'La Cuidad Blanca' or white city is a great place to stay before heading higher up into the Colca Canyon, where you can explore remote villages and see magnificent condors soaring over the valley below in the early morning.

Arequipa's historic centre has a number of attractions including an impressive main square and the Santa Catalina Monastery, one of Peru’s most important religious monuments. A visit to the beautifully restored convent of Santa Catalina, built in 1579 and now open to the public after 400 years of seclusion, is a real highlight. It offers a remarkable step back in time, beautifully refurbished with period furniture, cobbled streets and original colonial art work.

Equally fascinating is its museum which houses the mummy of Juanita, a young girl sacrificed in an Incan ceremony and perfectly preserved over the centuries by ice high up in the Andes before she was discovered and brought to Arequipa.

At an altitude of just under 2,400 metres, Arequipa is a gradual introduction to attractions at higher altitude, such as the Colca Canyon.

The Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon is the deepest canyon in the Americas and twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. The scenery here is breath-taking and the area is home to vicuñas, llamas and the majestic condor. Travel either from Arequipa or Puno through the fertile landscape of the Colca Valley, stopping at traditional villages surrounded by pre-Inca agricultural terraces, some of which are still in use today.

There are some very comfortable lodges close to the Mirador and with spectacular views over the valley and terraces below. In the early morning, go to the Mirador overlooking the steep canyon below where you can watch majestic condors soaring above on the thermal currents. Then relax in hot springs, take hikes or horse-rides in the canyon or simply enjoy the peace and tranquility in this high Andean landscape.

Read more about Arequipa & Colca Canyon

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Holiday Type
Total Holidays: 3      
Wonders of Peru Holiday
  • Culture & History
  • Family
From £2950 per person
13 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Our Wonders of Peru tailor-made tour encompasses the key highlights of a holiday to Peru and is the perfect introduction for the first-time visitor.
Treasures of Peru with Inti Raymi
  • Adventure
  • Culture & History
From £3595 per person
14 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Experience Peru in all its glory and witness the famous Inti Raymi festival, one of Latin America's most exciting celebrations.
Luxury Peru with Belmond
  • Culture & History
From £5490 per person
12 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Experience the world of Belmond and dip your toes into the enchanting history and culture of Peru on this luxury holiday staying in Peru’s most indulgent hotels, including the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge located next to the gates of Machu Picchu and the Belmond Andean Explorer, South America’s first luxury sleeper train.
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