Truth be told, I was going to skip out of Arequipa. B
Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city. While most visitors go to Arequipa to see the magnificent Colca Canyon, I went to see my friend, Jody, who has decided that the Cuidad Blanco would be her home for the next six months.
Plaza de Armas
No Peruvian city will be complete without a Plaza de Armas (the main plaza of a city). Arequipa’s plaza is one of my favorites. At any time of day, there is always something happening. It’s very difficult to find an empty space on a bench. But when you do, it’s a great place to just hang out. Jody and I sat in the rain chatting and having some drinks in the plaza.
Basílica Catedral de Arequipa
This cathedral has been through a lot. Construction began in 1540 and was completed four years later. An earthquake destroyed it and was rebuilt again. Three more earthquakes, a fire, and volcanic eruptions have caused more damage to the cathedral, which then required more fixing.
This pedestrian-only street goes on for 4 blocks and all about shopping and eating. At night, the street becomes a place for performers to show off their skills. Calle Merchaderes also hosts a number of Arequipa’s nightclubs. I never went to one, but I could hear them from my hostel room.
Callejón del Solar
This Arequipa neighborhood is famous for its white sillar (volcanic rock) buildings. The flowers and cacti that decorate the front of every home here makes this place feel extra special.
Mercado San Camilo
This market was named after the church of the Camillians and designed by Gustave Eiffel. [Yes, the same guy who did the Eiffel Tower in Paris.] It’s a massive market to pick up fruit and vegetables. If you’re brave enough, there are plenty of stalls that sell
Best Eats in Arequipa
- INDIA: As the name suggests, this place offers pretty good Indian food. Run by Roy, a native of Kerala, this place offers a wide variety of curries and rice dishes to suit everyone’s palette. The only unfortunate part was that Roy only turns on the tandoori over after 16:00, so naan until then.
buda profano: I was a bit skeptical of a vegan sushi place with French owners, but I was pleasantly surprised. They offer lunch specials for 15 PEN ($4.47), I got 15 pieces of sushi that tasted pretty good. Their ramen was a pass, though.
My visit to Arequipa was short but sweet. Thanks, Jody, for being by eating partner. Until next time…