• Monasterio de Santa Catalina (with guide is worthwhile, photos below).
• a Colca Canyon visit and/or hiking, a good place to train for the Inca Trail.
• Climbing Misti volcano but it’s very hard, very cold and guides need to be chosen with extreme care.
• The buzzing life and beautiful buildings in Plaza de Armas & Arequipa’s historic centre.
• Casa Museo Villalobos (a rich family’s house, stuffed with exquisite artefacts, furniture etc).
• Arequipa Cathedral and Museum, guide mandatory.
• Salinas y Aguada Blanca Reserve for offworld landscapes, lake and local fauna – llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, flamingoes in season. It’s on the road to Colca Canyon.
• La Compania de Jesus church, especially the cloisters (photo above), Chapel of San Ignacio and altarpiece. Free apart from the chapel.
Arequipa is the place to find a peña (folk club), order a pisco sour (don’t ask) and listen to Andean music played for real, none of that busking in London/Tokyo/Venice Beach stuff, not that the buskers are necessarily bad, but. . . location, location, location.
Plaza de Armas fountain and much social interaction. Photo by Jim.
The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa which only opens at 7am and 5pm. Photo by SirJoseMaria.
The cathedral interior is not so special but does have a wooden devil breaking through the floor below the pulpit. The epitome of wickedness is being held down by a) the weight of Christian prayer b) a truck tyre c) an Amazonian Boa Constrictor. Take your pick. Photo by Jim.