After spending some time in Puno, Guillaume and I took the 6 hour bus ride to Arequipa. I didn’t know much about this city before I went other than it was the access point to Colca Canyon but it turned out to be one of the nicest surprises of my trip.
Arequipa was one of the only places that wasn’t destroyed in the late 1800’s in the war with Chile which makes it one of the most historic cities in Peru. All of the buildings were made out of white volcanic rock and the city center was very charming with a huge cathedral and cobblestone streets.
While in Arequipa, I mainly just enjoyed the city by strolling through Plaza San Francisco, Parque Melgar, The Recoleta Church, and Palacio España as well as the Plaza de Armas. One of the highlights definitely included going for a cocktail at the Arequipa Suites Hotel on the Plaza de Armas to watch the sunset. The sunset was spectacular and the Cathedral of Arequipa was breathtaking with all of the lights at night.
Also in Arequipa, Guillaume and I met this amazing family from Argentina. He was from France originally and she was from Argentina. They met in Argentina and had been living in San Martin de los Andes but were in the process of traveling north to move to France. We met them while we were getting drinks at the Arequipa Suites Hotel and then we ended up going back to there hotel to cook dinner and drink a bottle of wine. I loved hearing about their passion for traveling and how important they thought it was for their kids who were 8 months and 3 years old (roughly). They definitely had the kind of family that I would aspire to have in the future.
Guillaume and I also found an amazing ice cream place on San Francisco street only a black or two away from the Plaza de Armas. It was such a pleasure to get some good ice cream after a month in Bolivia where artisanal ice cream shops didn’t really exist.
While I didn’t do that much in Arequipa I found the city charming and it is one of the few cities in South America that I could see myself spending significant time in. I hope I can return one day and see more of the sites!