Arequipa & the Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon
Andean condor, Colca Canyon
Arequipa backed by El Misti Volcano
El Misty Volcano and Inca terraces, Arequipa

This part of the world is a patchwork of different architectural styles, towering snow shrouded volcanoes and a canyon that makes the Grand Canyon take a back seat.


Arequipa & the Colca Canyon

Gaining Unesco World Heritage listing in 2000, the pretty city of Arequipa offers plenty of aesthetic diversions.

Through an integration of European characteristics and native building techniques we see Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassicist styles played out in the city's open squares, metre-thick walls, archways and vaults.

The monumentally imposing Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa – with the ethereal image of the 5825m snowcapped volcano El Misti rising behind it – is the stuff dreams (and postcards) are made of.

Add to this historic atmosphere a food culture that helped put Peru on the culinary map and you have yet another reason Arequipa makes the perfect base to explore the nearby Colca Canyon.

Cutting through the High Andes for over 100km, Colca is nearly twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Eerily beautiful, this sparse land is home to the fabulously white-ruffed Andean condor. Weighing up to 15kg and with a wingspan of up to 3.2m, seeing these inky creatures glide through the depths of the canyon is something pretty special.

Suggested Arequipa and Colca Canyon itineraries