Arequipa is Heating Up

Don't worry, this is not a political push or climate change commentary - this is your advance-notice, inside scoop on Peru's hottest new destination: The White City.

Arequipa, located at a comfortable 2,000 meters above sea level in southern Peru, is the country’s second major city in terms of population and economy. The city has long been a secondary destination attracting only in-the-know visitors, but the recent addition of luxe hotels has catapulted the city into the spotlight.

The hotels in the city have long lagged behind the rich heritage and ample activities on offer, and kept the well-heeled traveller at bay. This is finally turning around, and is the catalyst for the recent “discovery” of the local gems that have held their shine for centuries. A variety of new properties have stepped onto the scene, offering everything from well-appointed ballrooms and havens for special group retreats, to refurbished historic monasteries, decorated by distinguished Peruvian designers and offering personalized butler service and a glamorous rooftop dining scene. The city is now home to a character-filled cast of hotel personalities, each comfortably filling a different niche and offering the perfect sanctuary for its discerning guest. The new hotels offer peaceful respite after long days exploring the many experiences Arequipa has on offer.

The White City is called so for its colonial historical centre, built entirely from white volcanic sillar stone. The historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, protected from development for its unique and outstanding display of cultural integration between colonizers and native populations, and authentic one of a kind architecture. The city is built strategically in the cradle between 3 volcanos, lending it copious sillar building blocks in addition to an incredible skyline. Today, the art of sillar craftsmanship lives on in the masonic families living on the outskirts of the city, and visiting with these proud artisans and their workshops is a popular activity, along with visiting the city’s museums and the myriad adventure activities awaiting just beyond the city walls.

As much as Lima is world-renowned as a gastronomic hub and haven for culinary innovation, Arequipa has a reputation within Peru as the capital of cuisine. The city’s 300 days of sunshine per year mean it has been a prominent city within Peruvian civilizations for centuries, and the culinary heritage of the city trace back to the Inca, with countless popular dishes having originated in the city during that time. The city embraces its roots and identity, and picanterias, or traditional local eateries, continue to pop up around the city serving fresh takes as well as classic recipes, and allowing a platform for young chefs to create names for themselves.

Arequipa has dug its heels in and secured a spot on the quintessential Peruvian circuit. Whether travellers come to hike, bike, or photograph the rich surroundings, get a little adventure and a lot of top notch cuisine while acclimatizing for higher sites, or delve into the rich history that oozes from every sillar stone, The White City does not disappoint.

To plan your unique, individually tailored Peru itinerary, contact the Peru Empire Company at or call +51-1-700-5100 or, if you are in the US, 1-347-713-7030/34.

#Arequipa #WhiteCity #UNESCO #Picanterias #Gastronomy #Culture #History

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