Travel Guide South America Peru Arequipa

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Introduction

Arequipa 6

Arequipa 6

© Darell

Arequipa is Peru's second largest city (with about 900,000 inhabitants) and is located in the dusty foothills of the Andes on the Pan-American Highway. Its beauty lies in its breath taking architecture, displaying some spectacular examples of Spanish colonial work. Built from locally mined white ashlar stone, the city literally shines with white sun drenched buildings set against the backdrop of Andean Peaks. It is easy to see how and why this city is on the world heritage list. Whilst it is larger than Cusco, Arequipa appears to maintain a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere, with less tourists and a smaller, more intimate feel. That said it is still a busy city and at any time there will be street sellers, restaurant owners, shoe shiners, and taxi drivers all at hand, ready for your business. The climate is dry and warm and it is surrounded by an almost desert-like plateau with canyons cutting across it, this leads to some spectacular red and purple sunsets. The flight in from Juliaca really shows off the barrenness of the landscape and the deep scars cut by the numerous rivers and streams. The El Misti volcano towers over the city and is ever present as you walk around it.

Arequipa has strong since of identity and strong sense of history. Having survived several earthquakes and living the shadow of several active volcanos has not stopped this city. At one time it made its one national flag and its own national currency as way to stick its noise to Lima. Although most tourists just hang out in the city centre there is also plenty of interesting neighborhoods and countryside to explore in this amazing city.

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Neighbourhoods

The Plaza de Armas is the main tourist area, containing the main cathedral as well as a number of other churches and religious buildings. This area also houses many of the larger stores and restaurants in the city. Like the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Arequipa's main centre displays a wide range of restaurants which surround the square with beautiful balconies. Eating in one these places of course, is the most expensive way to enjoy arequipenan cuisine but you are paying for your view and it is a magnificent way to enjoy the city away from the hussle and bussle. However, if you would like to eat a little cheaper and also in a less touristy place, try walking a little away from the main square, up a side street or two, and you will fine some great family run eateries serving excellent local cuisine.

Across the river is the neighbourhood of Yanahuara, where you can find the Mirador of Yanahuara (built in the nineteenth century and composed of a series of sillar stone arches where the words of famous Arequipa citizens have been engraved), which has a wonderful view of the city and Misti Volcano. There is also the Iglesia de Yanahuara (church) which dates from 1750.

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Sights and Activities

Inside the Nunnery

Inside the Nunnery

© Lavafalls

Historical City Centre

The historical city centre of Arequipa is on the Unesco World Heritage List. The main cathedral and the churches around the Plaza de Armas are worth visiting, be sure to check the tourist visiting times on the cathedral door as it is closed to tourists at certain times of the day.

Santa Catalina Monastery

Santa Catalina Monastery, a former convent that has been renovated and opened up to the public and is one of the main attractions in town. The monastery provides an insight into life in the convent and you can walk around the cloisters, churches and former accommodation of the nun's that used to live here. Walking around the maze of buildings and streets within the complex is an experience within itself and can take 1-2 hours to see everything.

The monastery has a slightly more seedy side then most at the time it was founded. The place was meant to be the home for the daughters of the wealthy and powerful. The seclusion of the place allowed the sisters to maintain their non-religious life style with large living quarters, servant and private kitchens. The cells are more like small apartments with private gardens. Eventually the church shut down this lifestyle after a couple hundred years but the legacy can be felt.

Colca Canyon

Arequipa is a good base to book tours for the Colca Canyon and for treks in the surrounding mountainous area. Colca Canyon is one of the most impressive sights in Peru and a good two or three day hike is well worth the trip. This is very easy and can be cheap to do. There are many companies in and around Arequipa offering 2, 3 and 4 day hikes, depending on what you incorporate as some companies can combine the trip with rafting or canoeing, but if you shop around enough, you'll find yourself a great deal. Before choosing a company, it is wise to ask where you will go, what you will see and exactly how much walking is involved. Many people book treks without actually thinking and don't realize that once you are walking half way down or up a canyon, it's not easy to go back, in fact you can't. Also, it may be a good idea to ask to see pictures of the accommodation, or ask for the names of the hotels. Some of the places have more than others. Really you just need a bed, but if you are wanting hot showers and your own room, you need to clarify this more.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Horse Back Riding has become more popular in recent years. The trips can either be half-day or full-day and start at around 100 sols.
  • White Water Rafting can be achieved on many of the rivers around the area. Daily half day trips leave early in the morning and cost $30. It is possible to do longer trips, some even multi-day, but you will have to organize a group.
  • Shopping is a possibility in Arequipa. Although not as good as Puno or Cusco there are plenty shops selling the Incan style around the Plaza De Arms.
  • El Misti Volcano is an amazing place where one can do some hiking, horseback riding or even try their hand at mountaineering up its steep sides.
  • Malina is a nice area located outside of town and is a good day trip from the city centre.
  • Juanita Mummy in the Museo Santuarios Andinos
  • Convento de Santa Teresa
  • Puente Fierro is an iron bridge designed by Eiffel
  • Molino de Sabandía (Sabandía Mill), a three centuries old water mill just outside Arequipa

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Weather

DSC_0214

DSC_0214

© Lavafalls

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max21.5 °C21 °C21.4 °C21.7 °C21.8 °C21.3 °C21.4 °C21.9 °C22.3 °C22.6 °C22.5 °C22.1 °C
Avg Min8.6 °C8.8 °C8.5 °C6.9 °C6.3 °C5.5 °C5.5 °C5.5 °C6.4 °C6.6 °C6.6 °C7.7 °C
Rainfall28 mm35.6 mm21.3 mm0.7 mm0.2 mm0 mm0 mm1.8 mm1.4 mm0.2 mm1.1 mm4.3 mm

Arequipa is at 2400 metres above sea level and enjoys very nice and warm days throughout the year with little variation. It's usually between 18 and 24 °C on most days but nights from May to September are cold with temperatures around or just above zero. From October to April it's between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius at night. May to September is the dry time of the year with just a few days a month with some possible rain. From October to March rain is possible on about half of the number of days, with peaks in October and January when it rain is possible on 2 out of 3 days. This generally means there are a few showers during the afternoon, it barely rains all day.

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Getting There

By Plane

Rodríguez Ballón International Airport near Arequipa has daily flights with LAN Peru to and from Lima, Cusco and Juliaca. The flight between Juliaca and Arequipa offers spectacular views of the Andes, the volcanoes surrounding Arequipa and the massive plain it's on.

Sky Airline has flights to and from Antofagasta, Arica, Iquique and Santiago de Chile. Aerosur will start flights to Santa Cruz in Bolivia from 2010 onwards.

The airport is located a fair way out of town, there will be taxis at the airport and there is a notice on the wall when leaving the airport to tell you what the going rate for a taxi is into town.

By Train

The only train line runs between Arequipa and Juliaca and Puno on Lake Titicaca, but there are no regular services anymore. Only PeruRail offers expensive private charter trains sometimes when there is enough demand.

By Car

As Arequipa is located on the Pan-American Highway it is easily reached by car from Lima or anywhere else along the coastal region. The are main roads (mostly, if not entirely sealed) between here and Cusco and Puno.

By Bus

Arequipa, Plaza de Armas 3

Arequipa, Plaza de Armas 3

© Gitan Jean

There are two terminals serving the city, Terminal Terrestre and Terminal Terrapuerto. They're next to each other, about 3 km (1.9 mi) from the center. A taxi should cost around S/8.

Try to avoid cheap buses — the more you pay, the higher the quality of service, and safety. Some of the more reputable companies are Cruz del Sur, Ormeño, Excluciva (full 180º beds with meals served, S/130), Oltursa and Cromotex (S/70 to Lima, good value and security), Flores (a good budget option, but only with their "super dorado" and similar services, their economic is best to be avoided for safety reasons (high accidents rate). Their station is located across the street from Terminal Terrestre.) If you take the night bus make sure the bus is climated. There are cheap companies like Julsa which don't use heating in the bus, some don't have bathrooms, and the temperature can sink close to 0 °C - don't use them. Compare prices between booking online, in the office or via an agency since it can vary up to 100% for exactly the same seat and service.

From Lima (S/30-130, 16–18 hours) it's advisable to take non-stop express buses — though more expensive, they tend to be safer. Oltursa and Excluciva buses depart from dedicated VIP terminals in the San Isidrio area of Lima.

Peru Hop offers buses to Arequipa, as well. Unlike other buses that provide a direct service with nothing to see along the way, Peru Hop bus passes include stops where you can choose to hop off along the way to Arequipa. Their stops from Lima to Arequipa include Paracas, Huacachina and Nazca. Peru Hop offers free hotel and hostel pick-up and drop-off.

There are several buses per day from Cusco (9 hours, S/50-120), Puno (5–6 hours, S/25-50), Pisco (12–14 hours, S/50-150), Nazca (9 hours, S/50-150) and Tacna (near the border with Chile, 6–8 hours). If you take a Peru Hop bus from Cusco to Arequipa you can choose to hop off in Puno.

La Paz Ormeños has direct buses leaving at 01:00 every day, passing through Puno at 06:00 (S/40) and arriving in La Paz at 12:00 ($60).

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Getting Around

The city has an urban area that can be explored on foot. The historical center is a 5-block area around the main square and it's very easy to visit following one of the many maps available at the hotels or any information office. Some ancient districts like Yanahuara and Cayma are also within walking distance.

The rural area is a whole attraction in itself. With gorgeous terraces, Spanish mills, palaces and an unobstructed view of the volcanoes from wherever you are. A great way to visit most of the tourist spots from the rural and urban area is to take a bus tour. These special buses are available at the main square and you can book the tour at your hotel or directly with the bus driver. In two or four hours, depending on the tour you book, you will visit most of the famous viewpoints of the city. A great experience (from US$6-10).

If you want to take a taxi, you should take a "safe one". Rules to recognize them: they have signs on the roof. The more common the sign, the bigger the company and the safer the taxi. Another tip is to take one that has just left a passenger. Avoid taking taxis that are stopped and waiting for passengers.

Prices are per ride. A ride from the main square to any place in the central district will be S/4-7. A taxi from the bus station to any hotel, S/8 . From the airport, the price varies between S/20-30. Some cab drivers try to rip you off by saying prices are per head but price is always per ride for all passengers. Allow for a minor extra charge for luggage (usually half a sol per large piece).

You can rent a car with a driver included and go all around Arequipa for just $6 an hour. There are many taxi companies that can be trusted like Panataxi, Taxitel, Turismo Arequipa and Megataxi. For your safety, if you leave a restaurant or disco late night and want to come back to your hotel in a taxi, ask the restaurant to call a safe taxi.

You can rent a truck at a very low rate including a driver (just US$55 per 8 hours plus diesel expenses), call +5154 9350539 or email: fbedregal@yahoo.com, and go ahead and visit Arequipa's outskirts and places such Colca River, Majes, and the beaches at Camana and Mollendo.

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Eat

Arequipa features some of the most varied and flavorful cuisines in the country. Meals are robust with soups as one of their main dishes. Local food is usually served at lunch time but you can also find it in locals for tourists during dinner time. The better restaurants are near the Plaza San Francisco.

The places overlooking the Plaza de Armas and behind the cathedral, while decent, are overpriced relative to the quality of the food. Their tours will show you their à-la-carte menus with mains for S/30-40, but you can ask for their menú del día which will give two courses and a drink (pisco sour, chicha morada, or Coke) for S/20 (Mar 2018).

Budget restaurants can be found on Calle Bolognesi, west of the Plaza de Armas.

Spicy food is very popular. Locals use rocoto (Capsicum pubescens) to provide the hot taste to their foods. This flavour is different than the spiciness in Indian or Mexican cuisine.

Try Rocoto relleno con pastel de papa, a large stuffed pepper with potato pie. Ask beforehand if it has been made for tourists or if it is the original, quite hot, style; if the last one, be careful, it can be extremely hot!

Try Alpaca steaks. This meat, very low in fat, is juicy and very tender. It is presented in the same manner as traditional beef.

This city is the best place in Peru to eat river shrimps. They are presented in several ways, the most popular being Chupe de Camarones, a thick, savory soup featuring many shrimps in it. Beware, the plates here are big.

Arequipa is only three hours away from the sea, so many fish restaurants are available. If you have not tried ceviche in Peru yet, this is a great opportunity. There are also many other sea delicacies.

Local restaurants are called picanterías. They are still very popular among locals. Some are within the urban area and some others on the outskirts of the city. In the Arancota neighborhood, you can find many of these restaurants. Some of them are huge (600 tables or more) and they are usually full of locals. The main food attraction in this area is chicharron (fried pork with corn). Menu's are usually set, consisting of a hearty soup followed by a main dish. Drinks are often included. Prices are generally very cheap, ranging from S/5 to S/10.

As with all Peruvian food, local delicacies are heavy and sometimes very hot. Proceed with caution when eating here, especially since the height of the city makes digestion slow. Take a mate de coca, coca-leaf tea, after meals: it helps digestion and makes the altitude more bearable.

  • Maya, Calle Jerusalén (Almost on the corner of Ugarte). Breakfast, piglets, burgers. Their set lunch is somewhat expensive, but it is worth it. Set lunch S/5.50.
  • Picantería La Capitana. Old and the truly old cooking in Arequipa, is behind Saga Falabella, this picantería observes the old traditions. Go early, or the specialty of the day, which is around S/7, will be sold out. Though other dishes are also always available.
  • Picantería La Lucila Sachaca. Still run by Sra Lucila Salas de Ballon, is a short taxi ride outside of town. An old-style kitchen with Cuy (Guinea Pigs) eating scraps in the yard, and Lucila still making her sauces the old way as she keeps an eye on everything and everyone
  • Ary Quepay, Calle Jerusalén 502. Nice restaurant that serves local food.
  • Tacos y Tequilas, Calle Ugarte 112, ☏ +51 54 628653. A nice atmospheric Mexican restaurant. The Mexican meals here are delicious, with an excellent guacemole. Mexican menu S/10. eit
  • Zingaro, Calle San Fransisco 309. Typical food like "cuy" or "rocoto relleno".
  • Lazos, San Francisco 315, ☏ +51 54 215729. Steakhouse
  • Chicha Por Gaston Acurio, Santa Catalina 210. M-Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 12:00-20:00. Excellent cuisine inspired by traditional Peruvian dishes. More expensive than other restaurants in the area, but well worth the price. Great table service by very attentive waiters. S/30-50 for mains.
  • Hatunpa, Ugarte 208. M-Sa 12:30-21:30. Restaurant with a unique concept: slices of 3 or 7 different Andean potatoes covered with vegetables and meat slices of your choice. Very small place with only a few tables, so it might be a good idea to be there early. S/12-20.

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Drink

The most popular Peruvian alcohol product is Pisco. Arequipa is the cradle for the Acholado type, a Pisco derived from a blend of several grapes. Locals drink it pure, in little sips. Chilcano is another way to drink it, Pisco with white soda. And of course, the Pisco Sour, which is a must for any visitor.

A famous local alcoholic product is Anis Najar. Chicha, a slightly fermented corn beer and Pisco Sour are also considered traditional drinks.

The local soft drink is Kola Escocesa, not as sweet as Inca Kola. There is also a popular mineral water called Socosani. Energina is a yellow soft drink produced with this water. Some other soft drinks area available from the same factory.

Most bars and clubs for tourists are on Calle San Francisco, uphill from the main square. Many have happy hour specials until 22:00P.

There is an area of the city called Calle Dolores, with discothèques, karaoke bars, and salsa ball rooms usually attended by locals but usually safe enough for travellers. A taxi is needed to get there.

  • Cafe Bar Senor Misti, Calle General Moran 118 - int. 13 (in the Claustros de la Compania), ☏ +51 54-214441. Cafe Bar Senor Misti is a very nice cafe bar within the wonderful Claustros de la Compania. Senor Misti offers very good cafe and one of the best Pisco Sours in town and offers free Wi-Fi. Nice place to enjoy the old part of town in a secure and calm way. Very nice outdoor-seats.
  • Chaqchao Cafe and Chocolate Factory, Santa Catalina 204. Tu-Su 11:00-21:00. Situated between the Plaza de Armas and the Convent, this place offers a nice atmosphere and the cafes and chocolates taste wonderful. There is a chocolate factory and store in the first floor where you can watch chocolates being made and also a cafe in the 2nd floor. All ingredients are grown organically and sourced locally. S/10 for a big cappuccino.
  • El Balde (Bucket Bar) is a wild and crazy place that sells small buckets and large buckets full of some mix drink. Small buckets range from 14 sols to 25 sols. While big buckets range from 35 sols to 50 sols. The place has the usual thumping dance music and the upstairs area tends to be less crowded. Locate on San Francisco Street.

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Sleep

  • Casablanca Hostal, Puente Bolognesi 104 (10 steps from the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa), ☏ +51 54 221327.
  • Posada del Parque, ☏ +51 54 21227. Deán Valdivia 238-A. (5 minutes from Plaza de Armas). Located in an old colonial building with high ceilings. Budget dorms to semi-luxurious doubles. All rooms have speakers to plug in mp3/mp4/devices. Large rooftop area with tables and chairs is a great chill-out place. Free internet, a travel agency, kitchen, laundry, breakfast and drinks. Staff is friendly and helpful, some speak English.
  • Lula's B&B. Neither a hotel nor a hostel, but a family-run apartment-style B&B. All the rooms are with private bathroom/shower-WC, international cable TV and WiFi (ADSL wireless). Owners speak (besides Spanish) English, German and French.
  • Koala Hostel, ☏ +51 54 223622. Puente Grau 108. In an old colonial building with a lovely courtyard. All types of rooms, arrange tours for you, and is very friendly and has no curfew. If using their bus ticket booking service check the price is comparable with other alternatives. Check your bathroom on arrival as some are really miniature. S/60 per double with private bathroom including breakfast.
  • Pirwa Park Hostel Arequipa, Calle Sucre 204 (San Cercado. A few steps from the Plaza de Armas), ☏ +51 84 244315, ✉ info@pirwahostelsperu.com. Free breakfast, free internet, pick up service, kitchen, laundry, breakfast and comfortable beds. From US$9.50/person.
  • Buena Vista Hostal (Buena Vista Hostal) (20 min walk from the Plaza de Armas), ✉ bookings@buenavistahostal.com. Very basic hotel in one of the oldest and most pleasant suburbs. Breakfast may be of dubious quality. Keep your own record of expenses and incidental charges as they may get confused when it comes time for the final bill. From US$18/person.
  • Casa de Avila (Casa de Avila), Av. San Martin 116, Vallecito (4 blocks from main square), ☏ +51 54 213177, ✉ casadeavila@casadeavila.com. 24 hours. Casa de Avila is in a beautiful 1930s building reburbished as a hotel. Central courtyard is the main attraction of the place. Staff is friendly and helpful, and most speak English. A family run business with a warm informal atmosphere. Free wifi, private rooms with cableTV in most of them. Spanish classes and cooking activities are available. Tourist information service to help you planning your activities. From $10/person, breakfast is included.
  • La Posada del Cacique, Jerusalen 404 (Cercado/Arequipa, near to the Plaza de Armas), ☏ +51 54 202170, ✉ posadadelcacique@yahoo.es. Safe area, friendly and competent owner can give good assistance with tours such as hill climbing, colca canyon and similar. S/25/pp for a double with private bathroom.
  • El Rosario Hospedaje, ☏ +51 54 222517. Pasaje del Solar No 124, run by a friendly elderly couple. Hot water showers. Singles from S/10.
  • The Crismar Hotel, Calle Moral #107. One and a half blocks from main plaza across the post office, best location, free transfer from airport, and bus terminal, great coffee shop Bernini's at hotel. Prices start at US$30, tax-exempt for tourist.
  • Hotel Viza. Calle Peru #202. Three blocks from the Plaza de Armas, US$25 a nice room, includes breakfast and pick up from the airport. edit
  • Arequipa Youth Hostel, ☏ +51 959669253, ✉ arequipayouthhostel@hotmail.com. Calle Zela 313 (between Bolivar and 4th block of Santa Catalina). Singles, doubles, and dorms available from S/15/person, S/20 w/breakfast. Professionally managed and on a quiet street just 2 blocks from Plaza de Armas. Clean and comfortable rooms. Nice patio area for socialising. Use of kitchen and free internet access. Friendly and helpful staff with tourist information available.
  • Arequipay Backpackers, ☏ +51 54 275498, ✉ reservas@arequipaybackpackers.com. At Urbanizacion Los Angeles de Cayma Mz. G1 (A few blocks from the main plaza). Dorm bed S/20, including breakfast and hot showers.
  • La Reyna, Zela 209. Doubles S/30.
  • Colonial House Inn, Calle Puente Grau 114 (say "Arriba de la Plaza" to the taxi driver). A huge, beautiful room for US$27, the rest are cheaper, good breakfast.
  • Bothy Hostel, Calle Puente Grau 306, ☏ +51 54 282438. Sunny terrace, bar area, hammocks and helpful bilingual staff. Lots of fun things going on- Spanish lessons, bbqs, trips, tours, volunteering. 23 soles a night.
  • Le Foyer Hostel, Ugarta 114 (2 blocks north of the Plaza de armas). Several restaurants below, on a rather busy road. S/35/night for single room with shower.
  • Home Sweet Home, Rivero 509, ☏ +51 54 405982. Family-run hostel, multilingual staff. Cosy bedrooms, wifi, terrace, laundry, travel agency. Dorm beds S/25, great breakfast S/5.
  • Hostal Lluvia de Oro, Jerusalen 308 (About three blocks from the main Plaza), ✉ lluvia_de_oro@hotmail.com. Friendly, in front of the tourist police station, nice patio, pick up from airport.
  • El Solar de la Macarena, Calle Jerusalen 531, ✉ info@elsolardelamacarena.com. Private bathrooms, nice shared kitchen, laundry, TV in every room, wifi. You can hang out on the roof or the 2nd floor terrace.
  • La Casona de Jerusalen, Jerusalen St #306-A (in front of the tourist police station), ☏ +51 54-205453, ✉ lacasonadejerusalen@hotmail.com. Check-in: 24 hr, no curfew. Very friendly staff, great location, and quiet. Clean rooms, sunny terrace, free laptop use and free wifi, cable TV. Good thick towels and hot water. Very nice place to stay. US$9 (rooms with shared bathrooms)/$17 (rooms with en-suite bathrooms).
  • El Albergue Espanol, Calle Peral 117. Relaxed place, authentic building, rooftop terrace, free wifi, nice staff, clean and very comfortable beds. Showers are solar powered, so not always really hot. Between S/30 for a double with shared bathroom and S/50 for one with private bathroom and TV. No breakfast.
  • La Posada del Virrey, 103 Calle Puente Grau. Four blocks away from the central square, this place has rooms with shared and private bathroom. Rooms are clean and a bit worn out. Some of them even has TV. Laundry is available on site for S/3 per kilo. Staff takes good care of safety and keeps the main gate locked majority of time. Wi-Fi is available in patio, but does not reach into all the rooms. Breakfast is available for extra S/7, but may be delivered later than promised. The roof terrace is extra nice bonus. S/50 for double with private bathroom.
  • Che Lagarto Hostels Arequipa, Ugarte 202, ☏ +51 54 226111, ✉ arequipa@chelagarto.com.
  • Los Andes Bed & Breakfast, La Merced 123 (30 mts. south from Plaza de Armas, on the west side), ☏ +51 54 330015, ✉ info@losandesarequipa.com. Check-out: 11:30. Bright and clean, with an expansive and sunny terrace. Wi-Fi, kitchen, hot water, breakfast (all-you-can-eat fresh breadrolls, jam and butter, tea, coffee, juice, fruit), even towels included. Rooms are cleaned every day. The shared bathrooms are separated by gender and definitely clean. S/65 for a double with shared bathroom.
  • Hotel Maison d' Elise Arequipa (15 minutes to get from the local Alfredo Rodriguez Ballon airport, S/15-17 by taxi).
  • La Casa de Los Pinguinos, Av. Parra 110-B Cercado (Between the bus station and the Plaza de Armas), ☏ +51 54 223851. Very comfortable, modern rooms with TV, fast wifi, hot showers and buffet breakfast. Very competent and helpful staff, also English-, Dutch- and German-speaking. Big garden with hammocks and chairs. Spanish language school in garden: Spanish Cafe Arequipa. S/4 by taxi (day), S/5 by night - but don't worry about that, as the hotel is paying the taxi fare for you. Single-double with private bathroom S/55-90.
  • La Casa de Melgar Arequipa, Melgar 108 Cercado (A few blocks away from the Plaza de Armas), ☏ +51 54 222459. Built into an old colonial house. Very atmospheric hotel with friendly staff.
  • Fundador Hotel, Campo Redondo 109-111 San Lázaro, Cercado, ☏ +51 54 284848, fax: +51 54 286969. In the traditional district of San Lazaro, which is characterized by small alleys of sillar (volcanic stone blocks).
  • Los Tambos. Half a block from Plaza de Armas. 2-night minimum stay, wifi throughout, à la carte breakfast and private transfers on arrival and departure.
  • Hotel Asturias, Calle Ugarte 211 (A couple of blocks from the Plaza de Armas). Rooms are small, but the hotel is recently refurbished, clean, and quiet. The staff is friendly and solicitous. There is internet, and breakfast is included. Travel agency on site. Double for US$45.
  • El Balcón, Calderón 202, ☏ +51 54 286998, ✉ balconaqp@star.com.pe. Decorated mansion with a small number of rooms on a small side street between the downtown and the river.
  • Hotel Queens Villa (15 blocks from the Plaza de Armas). 3 stars with standard and deluxe rooms. Including breakfast, cafeteria and swimming pool.
  • La Casa de mi Abuela, Jerusalen 606. A green oasis 10 minutes' walk from the main plaza. The place has a huge beautiful garden area with hammocks, benches, swings and a little swimming pool. Very clean and bright rooms in houses around the garden, most with view or balcony to the garden. US$59 for a double.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Safety

See also: Travel Safety

The tourist police station is located along Jerusalen towards the northern end just before the church of San Francisco.
Be careful of pick pockets along Jerusalen, it has a bit of a reputation.

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Keep Connected

Internet

More and more hotels, resorts, airports, cafes, and retailers are going Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), becoming "hotspots" that offer free high-speed Wi-Fi access or charge a small fee for usage. In Peru, by far the easiest way to check your e-mail and surf the Web is to drop in at the Internet cabinas (booths) that can be found in virtually every city and even small towns. Connections are usually fast, and the service is as little as S/2 per hour.
Aside from formal cybercafes, most youth hostels and many hotels nowadays have at least one computer with Internet access.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Peru's country code is +51. Emergency numbers include 105 (Police), 117 (Ambulance) and 116 (Fire).

In all towns and villages that are not too small, it is no problem to find public telephones for national and international calls. Many public phones can be expensive, and an attractive alternative is a Locutorio, or "call-center". Typical rates include .2 Nuevo Sol/minute for calls in the country, and .5 Nuevo Sol/minute for most international calls. Phone cards are cheap and easily available from shops or vendors who hang around pay phones. You'll often see people with a bundle of mobile phones who act as pay phones, they'll be shouting 'llamadas'. Telephone booths are primarily used for making local calls. Calling to other countries from Peru is expensive.

If you have an unlocked cell phone you can buy local SIM cards. Movistar and Claro are two of the phone companies in Peru. You can buy your sim card from these companies and buy a phone card also.

Your best, cheapest bet for making international calls from Peru is to head to any Internet cafe with an international calling option. These cafes have connections to Skype, Net2Phone, or some other VoIP service. International calls made this way can range anywhere from 5¢ to $1 per minute -- much cheaper than making direct international calls or using a phone card. If you have your own Skype or similar account, you just need to find an Internet cafe that provides a computer with a headset.

Post

Check the Serpost website, the national postal service (a private company), for more information about prices and options regarding the sending of postcards, letters and parcels. The post service is relatively efficient and post offices can be found in most cities and (larger) towns. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday and some are open on Sundays from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Postcards are available from street vendors and shops at any touristy area, and stamps are generally available as well, though sometimes only at the post office itself. It takes at least 10 days to send a postcard to North America and prices start at S/5.5. To Europe it is S/7.8 and it takes even a bit longer, around 2 weeks. For little extra money, you can choose 'expresso' services. For large parcels and quantities, you can use both Serpost or companies like DHL, UPS, TNT or FedEx, which are faster and offers the same prices, though it is still relatively expensive.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -16.32773
  • Longitude: -71.595886

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as well as Lavafalls (7%), Corinna26 (4%), Peter (2%), alsalis (2%), Hien (<1%), jtlande (<1%)

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This is version 51. Last edited at 9:47 on Jul 22, 19 by Utrecht. 13 articles link to this page.

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